Filipino-Canadian Spellers Shine in Spelling Bee and Speech Arts

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  • DSC00120DSC00121Eight out of twenty three contestants in this year’s Catholic Independent Schools of Vancouver (CISVA) Spelling Bee were Filipino-Canadians, showing how Pinoys value quality education.

    Spelling champions in their schools already, the students, ranging from Grades 3 to 7, showed their spelling prowess and competed in the spelling contest. The CISVA picked up the Spelling Bee competition when it was dropped by the Canwest Canspell, the Canadian Scripps version, four years ago because of lack of sponsors. The CISVA wanted to recognize the talent of the young children in spelling and to show the degree of quality education Catholic schools in Vancouver offer. Filipino-Canadians make up around fifty percent of enrollment in the CISVA, despite tuition fee costs.

    Those who competed were Andre Aberin (Grade 7) of St. Patrick’s Vancouver, Bea Correa of Immaculate Conception School Delta (Grade 5), Jianna Dela Cruz (Grade 6) of St. Matthew’s, Andre De Vela of St. Anthony de Padua (Grade 6), Gabriel Ilagan (Grade 4) of Star of the Sea, Cristophe Manapat (Grade 3) of St. Andrew’s, Andrea Narido (Grade 6) of St. Bernadette, Nate Noguera (Grade 7) of St. Joseph the Worker, and Ryan Tengku (Grade 7) of St. Joseph’s in Vancouver. Noguera finished in third place, and Dela Cruz finished in second place.

    In another competition, the top three winners of the Archbishop James Carney Speech Arts Festival Poetry Recitation were also Filipino-Canadians and members of Couples for Christ – Kids for Christ.  Brendan Navoa,  Deanne Bautista and  Johann Costelo, all from St. Bernadette Parish, won the top awards for poetry recitation.

    Both English language competitions are held every year and celebrate the speech and spelling talents of young people in the Catholic school system.

    The students’ proud parents were present to support their children.

    By Rosette Correa

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