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2012/02/26 / Gem R. Zhang

CEBU Wins Grand Prize in 39th Japanese Speech Contest Manila

CEBU representative Ms Rosario Ocho of NEC Telecom Software Phils., Inc was awarded as the Grand Prize Winner for the speech entitled “Hitting Two Birds with One Stone” during the 39th Nihongo Fiesta Japanese Speech Contest held last Saturday February 25, 2012 at The Tents Alphaland Southgate Mall, Makati City, Philippines.

Ms Rosario Ocho during the Awarding

There are three divisions in the speech contest: Student Division, Non-student, and the Open Division. Among the 1st place winners in each division, a grand prize winner and an outstanding performance winner is chosen. And both of these awards comes with a free one(1) week tour in Japan.

Ms Rosario Ocho, as 1st placer in the Open Division and also granted at the same time as the Grand Prize winner… indeed as according to her speech… its “Hitting Two Birds with One Stone” isn’t it? 😀

Other Cebu participants were Gem Christela Rosales (Rarusu Chin Gem) for the Non-student Division with the speech entitled “Street Walking”, and  Ms Juliefer Solmayor for the Student Division with the speech entitled “Danger Zone”.

Team Cebu with Cebu-based Japanese Teachers

I may not have won in the division that I participated in but I’m still with pride and happy that Team CEBU never came back home empty handed and still bringing home with a very big bacon! 🙂

Here’s a grand prize winning speech video. Check it out and be amazed by Ms Ocho’s Awesome performance! (^-^)

The entire speech program was just simple and straight forward(or should I say time-efficient?). Compared to our own Cebu Japanese Speech Contest, there were a lot of in between entertainment such as Japanese Cultural dances, Cosplay presentations, and singing presentations.  In this speech event, only one  presentation was performed, a Japanese cultural dance called “Suzume Odori” or in English called the Sparrow Dance…

Sendai Suzume Odori is a folk dance that Sendai Sparrow Dance Company reconstructed from a traditional entertainment of sparrow Dance that had been lost for a long time. The original Sparrow Dance is derived from the dance improvised by the stonemasons at the feast for the construction of Sendai Castle of famous monarch Masamune Date about 400 years ago.

Video of the dance below:

But the one thing different about the Nihongo Speech Contest in Manila compared with the local Cebu Nihongo Speech Contest, is that in every after speech of each participant, there’s a short Question & Answer portion. Questions are asked in Japanese by a native Japanese Host and as expected also… most answers coming from the participants answered in Japanese as well. It was the most terrifying part for me Lol But it was a wonderful experience… felt like in a pageant! 😀


Student Division

1st – Ms Dianne Dawn T. Fernandez (Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku DAVAO)

2nd – Ms Jan Corvie L. Villamor (Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku DAVAO)

Non-Student Division

1st – Ms Shieba L. Magno (Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku DAVAO)

2nd – Mr Kenny Shin R. Emo (Philippine Institute of Japanese Language & Culture Foundation, Inc MANILA)

Open Division

1st – Ms Rosario Q. Ocho (NEC Telecom Software Phils. CEBU)

Grand Prize Award – Ms Rosario Q. Ocho (CEBU)

Outstanding Performance Award – Ms Shieba L. Magno (DAVAO)

Special Jury Award – Ms Erika Mae Z. Lirio (University of the Philippines, Diliman MANILA)

According to Mr. Shuji Takatori, Director of The Japan Foundation Manila, he was impressed by everyone’s performances this year. Everyone was outstanding and if only The Japan Foundation Manila had a bigger budget, he would have awarded everyone a tour to Japan as well…he said. (oh really… 😀 please please JFMO…hehe) But anyway, everyone did done there very best and everyone are winners and fighters!  It’s not really that easy to stand in a stage in front of a huge crowd! 🙂




– – –

As for me, I learned a lot. A good speech is not just about how much confidence you have, but a good speech is that you believe in it and you put your heart in it. And good speech is with a very good content!

With these learnings that I have, this keeps me in moving forward and would love to try out myself for the Open Division next year… a whole new and higher level! hehe… too ambitious? well.. why not? And you can do it as well too! 😉

Ms. Ocho became an inspiration to me. It is said that participants in the Open Division mostly are people of years experiences already in Japan. But this didn’t stop her, and yet she proved it won the fight! And so I’m inspired to also try myself out anyway… There’s nothing to lose in trying. Win or not, you always grow stronger and become more experienced 🙂

So to inspiring nihongo learners like me as well, why don’t you try also joining the next speech contest? 🙂


All thanks to God who have blessed me always the fighting spirit to go through, and blessed me so much that I’ve reached this far. Most especially thankful for an opportunity to participate in a National Nihongo Speech Contest for an opportunity of writing this blog post! hehe 😀 And thank you to my family who accompanied a throughout this speech journey, and to my friends who always believed in me and supported me with their hoping and fighting hearts and prayers. 🙂




Leave a Comment
  1. Rose Ocho / Feb 28 2012 1:43 AM

    Hello Gemma! This is Rose. Otsukaresama deshita. Actually, it wasn’t my first time to join in the Open Division. Six years ago, I also tried but then I failed -[]. I forgot my lines and I was called out for over time. I ended up second to the last in the ranking. It took me how many years before I decided to join again the speech contest.

    I’m glad to hear that you will join again next year in the Open Division. I’ll be cheering for you! 🙂

    • ラルス珍・RarusuChin / Feb 28 2012 3:29 AM

      こんにちは Roseさん!! wow you’ve dropped by…
      I’m soooo happy… とても嬉しくなった!^^

      i see.. wow i love your fighting spirit. i’m sure you’ll be an inspiration to many of us. i used to be scared for trying out for open division(and thoughts of never going to opt for it hehe)… because most of the participants are professional interpreters or already have years experience in Japan. but because of what i saw about you. anyone can really do it. it just only takes of not being scared to try it and really have to do it. thank you for showing us that.. 😀 さすがRoseさん!お疲れ様でした!(^-^)/

    • Jennifer / Mar 7 2012 2:29 PM

      hello rose, congrats! proud of cebu. and to you, gemma – you were great as well.

      i joined the contest in cebu, but had a problem with the mic:-o


  2. iambidextrous / Feb 28 2012 2:38 AM

    woooow! congratssss!!! ❤

  3. MeLovesRed / Feb 28 2012 10:32 AM

    Omedeto ! 😀

  4. ラルス珍・RarusuChin / Apr 18 2012 1:24 AM

    thank you so much for the appreciation. your comment made me happy and inspired to write more! care to visit again… keep in touch 🙂

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