All things debate

A weekend of debating and again I am surprised by how you are judged solely on your achievements. I guess its a little naive of me to expect this tournament to be any different. My heard bleeds for the workhorses though. They are not all flash and fury – there is calmness, substance and steely resolve. I wish more teams had workhorses – they are the true heroes.

I wonder sometimes if our style of debating is flawed. The over-emphasis on analysis doesn’t really seem to be yielding results. We need the kids to commit and to be taken to the pond. The thing though is that I am tending to lose faith in where we are leading them – Is that really the best way to get results? How does Ateneo do it so consistently? Sometimes its like there is a critical ingredient we are missing.

We do need a trainer. There are too many kids who deserve attention who are just crying out for direction. This move is so completely against NTU debate tradition though – I just can’t see a lot of our alumni backing it. It would take a lot of courage from the kids and the trainer to make it work. As if, coaching itself was that simple.


AUDC Debrief

So, its finally over. The anticipation, the excitement and the nervousness. How would my last competitive debating tournament for NTU be? Apparently, there is no straight answer. I have to say that its the best trip I have ever been on though.

Lets start off with the good shall we?

– James’ house, yellow and purple walls
– Pastries in the car from Clark to Manila, they were awesome
– Roller blading with James’ brother (and not landing on my ass even once!)
– Yves and his pekpek shorts
– Pancake house, truly the best taco in town and they serve some mean waffles as well
– Dairy Queen’s Tropical mango fruit passion milkshake – to die for
– Lazy boy (remember joey and chandler’s arm chairs in Friends?) theatres, so wish I could have seen a movie in one!
– San Miguel beer – almost up there with Erdinger and Rugenbrau
– The city of Intramuros, beautiful and ancient
– UST, absolutely loved the view from the top of the sports podium
– Ginataang lang ka and veggie filipino dishes


– Don’t ever call iced-tea a “chick drink”. It’s the unofficial national drink of the Philippines and you will never hear the end of it.
– Don’t sing at a karaoke bar if you are a sucky singer. You could get killed. (not that it stops the filipinos)
– Don’t ever tell a bunch of girls that you will kick their ass at arcade games. Women play arcade games in the Philippines and you will end up embarassing yourself.

Debating stuff

– Breaking as NTU B. 10th place was not too bad for a team without Baldie, our inspirational captain and team mate last year
– Better ofcourse was meeting NTU A in the octos. Wishing I had broken anywhere except 10th so that I would not have met them
– Losing my last competitive debate for NTU to NTU A. Absolutely hated that.
– Apparently I was best speaker of the debate against NTU A. Consolation prize is a bitch
– Becoming CA for the next AUDC
– Debating with Aqilah – the most committed and sincere debater I have seen after NMK. I hope she achieves greatness one day
– Doing wonderful debates against UPM B and Ateneo B. Lost both rounds but they were the ones I enjoyed the most.
– Chrys a.k.a Bogit’s speech during the 4th round of AUDC (UPM B), truly great speech
– Reply speeches. I love ‘em.
– Getting an average of above 76 for the tournament.
– Watching PUT A, Bobby, Carl and Franco give some amazing speeches during the UST IV’s


Brisbane Australs ’05 – A Review

After a lot of insinuations that I’ve been lazing around at home, here’s a post reviewing that Australs. This was a tournament that I had been waiting for. And of course I fell extremely sick before it. But alls well that ends well and I was in Brisbane (apparently, colder climate in Australia cures pneumonia).

The Good
1) Well, turns out there wasnt much good in the tournament afterall, debating wise atleast. We did go to Australia on an all expenses paid trip.
2) Chewie and Shaun staying just 2 floors above. (interpret as: Amazing company and good food all the time)
3) Australian fresh strawberries, Yum!
4) Australian aboriginal art – didgeridoos, paintings, boomerangs et all.

The Bad
1) Food – I’m amazed by the amount of bread Australians eat. (People at the tournament will remember me going “I want rice!”)

The Ugly
1) Pathetic Adjudication
2) Did i mention the pathetic Adjudication?
3) We didn’t break (Result of numbers 1 & 2)

The Australs “experience” was overhyped to me. I got the impression that a break and a good showing there is something to be proud of both as a team and as a speaker. But it isn’t I think (Ofcourse this can be dismissed as sour grapes, but I hope people don’t do that). Its a bunch of quite mediocre teams with dodgy claims to fame. A handful of teams and adjudicators are definitely very good but the overall standard of this particular tournament atleast was apalling. I would take the Asians anytime.

This obviously means that I will try and come back to the Australs next year and make sure that I break and beat the mediocre teams even with the pathetic adjudication.


Asian Universities Debating Championships

As with every debating tournament, this shall be reviewed as well.

The Good

1) Breaking Second as NTU B with a win loss tally of 6-1

2) Living up to the break and reaching the Grand Finals

3) Receiving my first best speaker award for the Grand Finals, beating Jess Lopez – best speaker at this tournament and the previous Asians

4) Beating UPD A (undefeated filipino national champions, worlds 2005 quarter finalists) twice, in the 7th round and in the Octo Finals

5) Most amazing tab system with fairest adjudication received

The Bad

1) No rest days for the tournament which meant no sleep and minimum celebration

2) Nervous breakdowns after each break round

The Ugly

1) Losing the Grand Finals to Ateneo A on a split decision 5-2

2) Losing Round 3 by a narrow margin to IIU – B

3) Lugging 30-40kg suitcases up 7 floors in my job capacity as Hall representative for the tournament