An AB English Language Studies student of Tarlac State University who shared her failure to enter her dream school earned the top spot in a speech competition and paved way for opportunities to further hone her public speaking skills.
Precious Berdolaga, a third year ELS student from the College of Arts and Social Sciences, bested four other contenders in the Metro Manila Toastmasters Club - Club Contest for the International Speeches Category last November 29, 2021, via Zoom.
Her six-minute speech titled “The Water I Drank” symbolizes hope. It is about her failed attempt to be admitted to the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and the three kinds of people she met who consoled her.
“In our lives we meet three kinds of people lalo na kapag dumadaan tayo sa ganoong experiences – na dumadaan tayo sa lowest point of our lives,” Berdolaga said in an interview.
Twenty-year-old Berdolaga said she was in a theater rehearsal when she learned about her failure in the PUP entrance exam. The first kind of person she mentioned was her theater director who saw her crying and eventually asked everyone to stop and asked what was going on.
“We need people like my theater director who will stop everything that they are doing just to spend time with you when you need them the most,” Berdolaga mentioned in her speech.
The next person to console her was her mother who told her in a phone call to stop crying saying, “You failed the exam, but you are not a failure.” As an explanation, Berdolaga said, “We need people who will show us our real value.”
The last kind of person she mentioned was her friend who just waited for her to stop crying. Her friend gave her an assuring smile and a glass of water.
“We need people who will see our needs and who will stay by our side when we need them the most. The water I drank was a symbol of hope – it reminded me that as long as I have these three kinds of people around me, no matter how many times I fail, I will get back up,” Berdolaga said in her speech.
As a student, she has dedicated most of her time to her passion for public speaking and theater arts. She said she used to join radio broadcasting, balagatasan, and talumpati competitions from elementary to college.
Berdolaga is set to compete for the International Speech Area level of the Toastmasters next year. Should she win the division and national levels, she will represent the country for another international speech competition.
The Metro Manila Toastmasters Club (MMTMC) is a non-profit educational organization for students and professionals who are interested in honing their skills in public speaking.
One of its famous members is Ayn Bernos, a motivational speaker who joined the Miss Universe Philippines 2021 representing San Juan City.