Persuading others to act

A panel discussion on Speech 30: Public Speaking and Persuasion was recently held in observance of the 65th anniversary of the UP Diliman (UPD) Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts (DSCTA), with the theme DSCTA@65: Honoring the Past, Reckoning With the Present, Priming the Future.

At the My Persuasion Can Build a Nation: Discourses on Speech 30 (My Persuasion), DSCTA Chair Oscar T. Serquiña Jr. explained the transition of Speech 30 from its two predecessors, Speech 1: Speech Fundamentals (Speech 1) and Communication 3: Practical Speech Fundamentals (Comm. 3).

(From left) Serquiña, Sibayan-Sarmiento, De Guzman, Ladia, Alcarazen, and DSCTA Anniversary ad hoc committee heads Karl Lewis L. Cruz and Gabrielle Carissa Marie A. Paras. Photo by Jerald DJ. Caranza, UPDIO

“Speech 30 is an unprecedented course, both in the DSCTA and in the University, in that it spends one full semester, not only exploring a particular form or level of communication such as public speaking, but also shedding light on the study, art, and practice of influencing the beliefs, values, and attitudes of people,” Serquiña said.

Quoting Lourdes Abad Santos Benitez’s essay, Speech 1 in the General Education System, Serquiña said Speech 1 sought “to develop the student’s proficiency in oral communication through an understanding of the basic principles of speaking and listening and practicing their use.”

Benitez was a professor at the Department of Speech and Drama (now the DSCTA).

When the national government’s K-12 program incorporated the oral communication subject in the senior high school curriculum, the Comm. 3 course was affected.

“Thus, the DSCTA felt the urgent need not only to rework its most basic course offering but also reorder its academic framework to avoid curricular redundancies,” Serquiña explained.

Serquiña said Speech 30 shares the tasks of both Speech 1 and Comm. 3 for the three are “aligned with one another in their professed pedagogical commitments to train students in the art of expression and communication, and turn them into responsible speakers and critical thinkers who can participate productively in the affairs of life, both public and private.”

Held on March 15 at the Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan, My Persuasion had DSCTA assistant professors Holden Kenneth G. Alcazaren, Charles Erize P. Ladia, and Ma. Theresa DC. de Guzman as discussants.

(From left) De Guzman, Ladia, and Alcarazen. Photo by Jerald DJ. Caranza, UPDIO

Alcarazen shared his insights on Speech 30 from the educational perspective and the use of critical communication pedagogy in teaching the course, while Ladia assessed from a political perspective. He pointed out the need for responsive and critical thinkers and for more Speech 30 classes to be held in Filipino. Lastly, De Guzman used the technological perspective in her assessment and shared the idea of integrating digital or online public speaking into the Speech 30 syllabus.

Reacting to the assessments, UPD General Education Center (GEC) Director Anna Marie Sibayan-Sarmiento observed that a common thread among the three assessments is the transformation brought by the inevitable changes in the communication landscape and in technological development. 

Following the panel discussion, Dap-Ayan Digital, the first season of the project TALKBACK: World-changing Ideas (TALKBACK), was launched.

Dap-ayan Digital was created in collaboration with GEC’s HASAAN: General Education Program Enhancement Project.

The panelists, organizers, and attendees. Photo by Jerald DJ. Caranza, UPDIO

According to the DSCTA Facebook page, Dap-ayan Digital features various speakers “talking about the rationale and development of the project as well as suggestions on how these materials can be incorporated into Speech 30 classes in UPD.”

The five episodes of Dap-Ayan Digital can now be viewed at the DSCTA YouTube channel (

The DSCTA introduced TALKBACK in May 2022 with Marvin Ray D. Olaes, an assistant professor at the DSCTA, as the project leader.

According to the DSCTA Facebook page, it is “a public speaking platform that features TED Talks-style presentations from thought leaders representing different sectors of society. It aims to provide a platform for Filipinos to share world-changing ideas, creating a snowball of community discussions on sociopolitical and cultural issues.”