Mapúa Malayan Colleges Mindanao

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#PROUDMALAYAN: MapúaMCM Chemical Engineering Student Bags Back-to-Back Championship for the 2021 C-ASEAN TSX Youth Speech Contest

Rex Michael Ugpay, a 4th Year Chemical Engineering student from Mapúa Malayan Colleges Mindanao reigns as the champion of the 2021 C-ASEAN TSX Youth Speech Contest at the Thailand Sustainability Expo 2021. The contest was held last October 2, 2021, via online meet. It can be recalled that Ugpay also won last year’s Youth Speech Contest held by the same organizers.

The theme for this year’s Thailand Sustainability Expo is “Do More Together”, which focuses on the global climate crisis and what solutions should be done to help relieve it. Meanwhile, the content of the discussion for the Youth Speech Contest is: “Human activities are changing the climate globally in unprecedented ways. What urgent actions can we do more together for the planet?”

Ugpay addressed the problem with his winning speech, taking inspiration from writer and climate justice activist May Annaise Heglar — specifically on her principles about the definition of personal action.

“It was a 6-minute speech. The core content of my speech was about how impactful the people’s collective climate action can do more than the individualistic approach. May Annaise Heglar, I thoroughly discussed that there is a need for us to understand that personal actions to combat climate change should be defined by more than the things that we buy or use or the lifestyle that we have.” Ugpay shared.

He further explained that although it is famously advocated to switch to an eco-friendly lifestyle, making a change is not about our personal consumerism since those are just the grassroots of the solution framework.

“There is something more impactful, realistic, and long-term that we can do for climate mitigation when we choose to do more by working collectively. I proposed that we can begin by exercising our right to vote by being responsible voters and selecting leaders who have a green thumb are ready to fight for a greener cause… Generally, the whole speech emphasizes how far the world go in addressing the climate crisis when we have proactive governments and unified global citizens.” Ugpay concluded.

Among the youth participants from other ASEAN member countries, Ugpay made it to the Top 10. He shared that much of the preparation he did this year is similar to the techniques he had last year such as improving the script, practicing facial expressions in front of the mirror, and more. He also stated that he did extensive research to deepen his understanding of the topic at hand, reading from several news sites and watching documentaries online.

Rex Michael Ugpay, 4th Year MapúaMCM Chemical Engineering student, delivers his winning speech at the C-ASEAN TSX Youth Speech Contest 2021.

Among the 10 finalists, Ugpay claimed victory once again as he represented his school, Mapúa Malayan Colleges Mindanao, and his country, the Philippines. The first runner-up was also from the Philippines, and the third runner-up was from Thailand.

“It feels surreal to be honest. I never expected that after winning my first international competition last year, I got to compete and win again after a year. Winning once is already a gift, and now winning twice is a huge blessing.” Ugpay said, sharing about his humbling experience after winning two years in a row in an international competition. “I am very much happy that I was able to carry the name of our school and our country at the ASEAN level. Most importantly, I am very much delighted and honored to become an inspiration to some of the kids back in my community, who also aspire to achieve their dreams.”

C-ASEAN is an ASEAN organization whose objectives are to strengthen and establish regional unity and aspire for “ASEAN as ONE.” It also serves as a platform for ASEAN cultural jargon and dialogues art facility, believing that art is essential to unite the ASEAN heritage and create a harmonious relationship between the members. With this, they organized a Youth Speech Contest during the Thailand Sustainability Expo 2021.