AS TALUMPATI NG TAON marks its 20th year, a bronze tablet containing its history was inaugurated last Feb. 20 at the Katipunan Hall.
Agripino “Phyns” Patalinghug, founder of Talumpati ng Taon, donated the bronze tablet which was installed at the Filipino Department. According to Dr. Earl Jude Cleope, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and guest speaker during the launching, Talumpati ng Taon needs to be recognized as one of the significant events in the university since it has been in existence for 20 years and many lives have been touched through it.
Patalinghug started Talumpati ng Taon in Aug. 19, 1997 during his second year in college. When he graduated, he decided to stay at Silliman University (SU) instead of going to the University of the Philippines-Diliman for postgraduate studies in order to continue the program he started.
“Para siyang baby na hindi pwedeng bitawan. At that time, gumagapang pa lang siya. Bago ako tuluyang umalis dito, iniwan ko ang legasiya…sa Departamento ng Filipino, sa leadership ng Ang Sandigan at Pan Hellenic Society,” Patalinghug said.
Patalinghug was a student leader during his college years. He was chairperson of the SU Ways and Means Committee when he started Talumpati ng Taon. He also served as CAS vice-governor and representative.
According to Patalinghug, Silliman University is home to the only Talumpati ng Taon contest in the country, and it is being adopted by other schools.
He added that Talumpati ng Taon aims to rekindle the spirit of the Filipino, “our culture, our tradition and of course, it will also, give respect to our lingua franca.”
He said that different topics during the Talumpati ng Taon use the Filipino language to tackle lessons about life, society, community, environment, politics, leadership, government, “pagpapahalaga sa sarili at pagpapahalaga sa bansa.”
Renz Macion, this year’s chairperson of the Talumpati ng Taon, added a new tradition to the contest. He started an advocacy called “Project Abakada” to help participants “walk their talks.”
“I made a change for Talumpati ng Taon so that it will not only be a contest at Luce, but also serve as a way to promote genuine love for our national language,” Macion said.
The advocacy teaches reading to those who do not have a privilege to go to school, was launched last year.