By Lily O. Ramos
MANILA, July 13 (PNA) With her powerful recollection of her beautiful experiences in South Korea, Maria Concepcion Loren Chua from the University of the Philippines took the judges by storm at the 2015 Korean Speech Contest held recently at the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Taguig City.
Chua impressed the judges with her speech "Fell for Koreas Charm in the contest organized by the Korean Cultural Center in collaboration with TESDA, Korea Tourism Organization and United Korean Community Association.
For winning the grand prize, Chua will have the opportunity to travel to Jeju Island together with a companion for free, courtesy of the Korean Community Association and the Korea Tourism Organization. She also received PhP30,000 cash.
TESDA Secretary and Director General Joel Villanueva said the speech contest offers a platform for students to acquire new skills as part of their self-improvement.
Villanueva said the competition raises the level of consciousness of people about the Korean language and culture.
"Knowledge of different languages and the ability to communicate using them can widen the opportunities for employment of Filipinos. It gives the Filipinos the edge to be competitive on a global scale," he added.
Jannin Alegado from Cebu placed second, while Angeli Marie Baclea-an from Tacloban City bagged third place.
The government of Korea has been TESDA's steady partner in a number of initiatives to promote technical-vocational education in the country.
Marta Hernandez, executive director of TESDA Partnerships and Linkages Office, said the holding of the Korean Speech Contest further strengthened the linkage between TESDA and the Korean government.
Although this is the first time for TESDA to partner with the Korean Cultural Center for the 2015 Korean Speech Contest, the Korean government has always been very supportive to TESDA in developing the skills of the Filipino workforce, Hernandez said.
The partnership for the holding of the competition was formalized in a Memorandum of Agreement signed between Villanueva for TESDA and Director Choongsuk Oh of the Korean Cultural Center.
This years panel of judges was composed of Choongsuk Oh, Director of Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines; Park In-Shik, Director of the Korea Tourism Organization; Hwang Sun-tae, Principal of the Korea International School, Manila; Chang Eun-Gap, Head of Korean Chamber of Commerce Philippines; and Sarah Domingo-Lipura, Professor of Ateneo de Manila University. (PNA)