Speak Easy: The Rotaract x Toastmasters Speechcraft Experience (Speeches)

By Gianina Maria Ciriaco | Posted on January 9, 2022

Best Speech- NCR Cluster

Kiano Reyes

Rotaract Club of RCDM Scholars

District 3810


“You are beautiful just the way you are, and I want you to know that”, did anyone ever say that to you? For the longest time, no one ever did that to me. I thought I would never be accepted for who I am, that it’s not okay to not be okay, that it’s not okay to be gay.

Growing up in a conservative and religious family has never been easy. As Barbie wannabe, I have to be Ken in our doll house – pretending to be another person that I know I am not. But this plastic life has reached its peaked – my turning point in life. It was a normal day for Barbie wannabe, when I decided to have another episode of my “Barbie World”. I was so excited to wear my mother’s newly bought dress in Divisoria, and newly ordered make-up from Avon. Everything was perfect, “oh pak ang ganda”. After saying “pak”, there was “sapak” that went over to this beautiful face. It was Papa. I can see all over his face the disappointment and anger he had that time – it feels like he’d seen the most disgusting thing ever in his life. I really don’t know what to do at that time, so I quickly hide in our kloseta, and cried. Not until I heard something was approaching near in my hide-out. It was Lolo. He quickly opens the kloseta, lifted and carry me to a chair in front of a mirror. Then, I immediately saw myself, it was still barbie, namaga nga lang. Lolo started helping me to fix myself again, I was shocked. He asked me, “Bakla ka?”. And I whispered, “Opo”. But what surprised me is his reply, “Okay lang yan, tanggap kita Apo.” After hearing those words, tears were flowing in the eyes of barbie, following a warm hug to my Lolo. And that was the most beautiful episode of my life.

Ever since that day, rainbow was my favorite color since Lolo told me that gays are like rainbow, they’re beautiful and colorful. But I thought it would be forever, but just like a rainbow, Lolo faded away, and my world turned black and white. It was hard, but he always reminded me that rainbows always come after the rain, that happiness will always come, that someday I will be accepted. And I did – it took time but eventually I became the barbie in our doll house. To my Lolo Enrique, my besty, thank you for becoming my rainbow after a heavy rain, you’ve let me feel the spectrum of colors – I laughed, I cried, and now, I am accepted. To all the people who are listening to my story right now, after this session, I dare you to look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself “I am brave, I am bruised, I am who I’m meant to be. This is me.”

Best Speech- Luzon Cluster

Anna Angelica M. Obsequio

Rotaract Club of Asia Pacific College

District 3830

“Space Shuttle”

The BIG, RED, TWIRLY…one in pictures, that is it. The Space Shuttle is the highest roller-coaster in

the Enchanted Kingdom. Just the look of it, gave the 12 year old me the chills. Still, I went because

YOLO!!! While I was in line, I could literally feel the cold sweats and self-doubts, as my neck hair

peaked with anxiousness. Maybe YOLO didn’t matter at all when my heart was racing, realizing how

HIIIIIIIGH we would go…and how STEEEEEP and sudden the drop would be…but then it was my

turn, there’s no backing out now! I was screaming my lungs out. Will I get out of it alive? Then I got to

spit it out straightaway like my body was still in motion, while my brain was adjusting I could still feel

the adrenaline flowing. I started screaming and fearing, but now I WANT TO DO IT AGAIN AND


Speechcraft made me feeeeel the emotions of that first roller coaster ride once more. I remember the

ice-breaker speech and the speeches after. I would constantly re-write it to make a speech that starts

and ends with a BANG, the way we were taught in 4 weeks to deliver speeches that add value and

create impact to our listeners. And with the unique situation that we are in, looking at the camera

made a huge difference as it was the only way now to “look into audience in the eyes.” Our evaluators

would always point out the exact things we had to work on. They evaluated and motivated us that

despite our fear of speaking, our weaknesses and lapses, things will get better and feel better through

constant practice. The feeling will change the way I conquered my fear of the space shuttle ride.

Public speaking has always been my Achilles heel. The last time I delivered a speech in front of

people, I FROZE in the first minutes I froze, to the point that they were checking for technical

difficulties thinking there was a problem. I calmed myself down, started then I stu-stu-stuttered my

words through. But I knew how important delivering a speech or being able to respond in the spur of

the moment is, so I just took the ride and in the process I enjoyed it. I WANTED TO DO IT AGAIN


Fellow Speechcrafters and dear Toastmasters, the space shuttle always looks scary until you try it.

Speaking is dreadful until you do it. Meg Nocero once said, “magic happens outside your comfort

zone.” Scream your lungs out if you must, but never let your fear stop you. Keep trying until your

weakness becomes your strength. Everybody, it’s time to take that space shuttle. Enjoy the ride!!

Best Speech- Visayas Cluster

Mina Joy B. Retita

Rotaract Club of Marapara

District 3850

“To Be Trusted Rather than Loved”

To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved

Are you familiar with it? Have you heard of this line before? Or wait! Maybe you never heard of it at all and so one more time…

To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved

Beautiful, is it not?

Among all the wisdom our brilliant predecessors ever shared to us

This one by George Mac Donald, the author not the clown,

is stuck on me like a sacred mod in my digital pocketed DNA

aka phone gallery hoard of inspiring quotes from Google.

But it’s not just that

I have proven it to be true on several occasions

like the times I had with my past lover

Yeah, ex-boyfriend, I have many

many embarrassing and whatever moments 

with him such as when I choked on soda and it spilled out my nose

I don’t mean to talk ill about the guy

We’re still friends actually (at least on Facebook)

But now I need classic examples to support my story

Like once, when we were walking after an early dinner date

It just rained, the evening streets were romantic (Bacolod)

And people seem to have just slowed down around us

Sidewalks were lit by nostalgic yellow orange brightness

like gentle spotlights on lovers

Oh! It was pretty

And I was pretty too (I am still)

We were HHWW

Holding Hands While Walking and BOOM!

My “pretty self” made an Olympic dive in the dirt  (Splurt!) 

It was stinky mud on my clothes

my legs, my hands, and  my face,

It was grossly disgusting

you can imagine the rest

As I try my best to stand and not cry (because it happened a long time ago, baby me)

he kind of tried to help me up yet with a different face, a disgusted one,

And I felt not so pretty anymore

I asked, “Do I embarrass you?” He said in his unusually strange 

dead voice “I love you” 

It felt off (he did not even answered my question) but welp,

What a way to be head over heels in the name of love

Closely after, a time when I had to go out with my long-time best friend,

Who by the way is the greatest man in the world,

My ex got so butthurt about it and we fought

After a long argument and threats of breaking-up

I asked him, “Do you trust me?”

He replied, “I love you”


Short story short, we moved on from all of it 

But then I knew of something worth addressing for good 

He also went out with another girl, not his best friend tho,

His best friend was the one who sent me photos, amazing guy

Argument, argument, argument! Argument! 

And like some kind of reverse Deja vu

He asked me “Do you trust me?”,

I replied “I loved you”

Past tense.

Funny how silly we are when young.

Getting in relationships with sketchy people having sketchy voices

Even when our parents kept telling us never to trust strange-ers

So now I live by the quote like it is a part of my system

It is a reminder not just for romance but also for dealing with other

people, workmates, family, friends, with all others. This world

is full beauty, right beautiful zoom participants?, 

Full of goodness, and truth. BUT ALSO, of ugliness and insincerity.

So, the next time you get a compliment

or hear others say I love you. Think about it

Love or trust?

Coz if you ask me?

To be trusted is greater compliment than being loved

Best Speech- Mindanao Cluster

Abby Gail Tiongson

Rotaract Club of Metro San Pedro

District 3820

“Crowning Glory”

Three weeks ago, I had one of the longest hair among the speech crafters. 17 inches long to be exact but I decided to cut it as short as this AND NOT BECAUSE I WAS HEARTBROKEN NO CERTAINLY NOT.  But because I was receiving a lot of love which is why I wanted to share this love and give hope to someone this pandemic. Which led me to donating my long and luscious hair to Makati Med cancer patients

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon, our hair is our crowning glory.  Not only because it is at the top of the head but because it makes a lot of difference to a person’s appearance, personality and style.  It is our unlimited confidence booster and society’s measure of attractiveness. The longer the hair the more beautiful. 

But why did I decide to suddenly cut my so-called crowning glory, if you may ask? Well, I have two reasons why.

Firstly, I am well aware that cancer kills hope. Last year, when one of my aunts was diagnosed with cancer, I researched ways to help and donate, and I found out that the easiest way to help is not to give money but to donate hair to make wigs for cancer patients. According to hair loss center, most cancer patients find that wearing a wig gives them a sense of normalcy and consistency while undergoing cancer treatment.  For example, wearing a wig prevents other people from asking questions about their diagnosis, treatment and appearance.  It helps them avoid the sympathetic head tilt and FINALLY make a conversation like a NORMAL person does. In other words, a custom wig IS NOT JUST HAIR FOR THEM.  A wig gives chemo patients, confidence and strength to while their fight against cancer is ongoing. As a person who lost her grandmother to cancer, this was my opportunity to help someone fight it and not give up.

Besides from giving someone a hope, I wanted to give myself hope as well. This is the second reason why I decided to cut my hair.

I let my long hair define me for 21 years, so I cut it off to take back control.

Since I was a child I’ve had an obsession with long hair. This may be because there was one time that I had a very bad haircut that it caused me to have a very frizzy hair or in Tagalog, “buhaghag”.  So I swear in my life that I will never cut my hair short again.

Ever since then my long hair made me feel so feminine and glamorous. In fact, I even won Ms. School of Management because of this. Then One day, I realized that so much of my identity was wrapped up in having long brown hair, which sounds silly, but it was true. So even though it felt like I was about to lose my strength, I took a huge step to cut itI even decided to go all the way when I was asked by my hairstylist this:

“Are you sure you wanted to cut your hair short, you can still have medium length hair?”  At that time, I even hesitated and made a huge pause before finally saying “Yes, it’s okay please cut it as long as possible”

Remembering why I was doing this for, gave me courage.  I said whatever the outcome will be, I will gladly accept it, with no regrets of any kind. And boy do I love my short hair, I felt in control and I FELT EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL. I mean don’t you agree, I event felt happier.

Toastmasters and Rotaractors, I have learned that in donating your crowning glory, it’s a win-win situation. You will give a cancer patient a feeling of amazement, that someone has remembered them, and you will give yourself a boost of confidence to redefine your own definition of beautiful.

If you love having long hair like me, this can be a huge challenge. But we have to remember why and for whom we are doing it. Remind yourself that you are helping someone who is suffering, even if it’s only in a small way. I promise you, it will be your new crowning glory.

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