Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dear fellow applicants,

As the UPDS application process for the year 2007 comes to a close, MAC invites you to submit a personal essay about your experience as an applicant of the UP Debate Society. You may use whatever tone or style you choose as long as you write in English. Videos and photographs are optional. Be reminded that there is a minimum of 500 words. Some guide questions are listed below:
  1. What is BJ?
  2. How is the Membership and Administration Committee (MAC)?
  3. How do you feel about applying to UPDS?
Blog post template is as follows:
Title: Your chosen pen name, which should be a distorted version of a member's name. Example: Tet Grasa for Tet Grajo (thanks, BJ).
Font: Default font. Please do not add colour or fancy styles!
Labels: Your favourite colour. Wala lang.
Entry: The first line should be Creative Title by Pen name.
The username is and the password is iskaisko (if that doesn't work, switch it around). Once you have submitted the entry, text BJ your pseudonym.


Friday, September 7, 2007

At the Start of the Last

Start of the Last
by Prinsesa Luna

I read all the blog entries, yes, including the late ones, and I couldn’t help but whip out my own. Consider this a very generalised oral adjudication, but drop the oral bit since Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero’s the master of anything oral anyway. He’s allegedly an English major and uh... world-class adj but, let’s own it, when it comes to blogs, I’m still the queen of it (if you don't believe me, well, I've been blogging longer than I've been flossing, debating and started obsessing about fags and boys. I took 9 units of English courses for the purpose of improving my blogging, CL 115, CW 140 and CW198: Online Writing).

So I’ll give the major fault of most of your entries. IT DOES NOT CATER TO A GENERAL AUDIENCE. Half the time I keep reading the same thing, I keep on wondering if the questions became an outline for everyone to follow expressed in different words. When given the task to define “how is MAC” and “what is BJ”, people took the liberty to stroke our egos. Hm. Typical human nature I reckon. But hello, the egos of both BJ and the MAC need-not be stricken! It's already been stroke!

I would’ve accepted this type of worshipping, if there were more references to ME! was more creativity. Yes, the C word you had to resort to every-time the motion is as alien as Joe (Aguilar). To give credit to some entries (around three I think), they made room for good metaphors, but I was looking forward to something more revealing. Like:

“[after mandatory Bernard Joseph 'BJ' Esposo Guerrero worshipping]. I love BJ. But the truth that I’ve never professed is my undying love for Paolo Bernardo. After getting another rank 4 in a debate and before crumpling my useless debate notes in the nearest recycle bin, the only thing I can think of is the glimpse of his brace-clad smile that lights up his entire face. But what am I to do, I’m only a hapless gay, fresh out of the closet with a gazillion girls competing against this prize.”

Or something like:

“The only thing bothering me now that the application period is ending is where Nikki Zeta and Celine Socrates got their names. I mean honestly, why couldn’t I have been named cooler?”

"I think Yang Villa and Alister Zosa make the perfect couple. They both remind me of BJ."

Random thoughts like that would’ve been given more flavour to your thoughts and feelings. What really disappointed me was that given a history of the posts, people still ended up posting the same things! I expected more from the later entries because you guys should've stepped up to what has been said.

To give credit to where credit is due, people did have very honest sentiments, or more or less the expected sentiments over the application process. Of course the tie-back is the inevitable lie (or at least the comforting bit of information “it’s worth it, no matter what”). I guess it’s something I can relate to, at this point, I know exactly how it feels to be hanging by a thread, not knowing if you’re good enough especially after that “enjoyable” app period.

[I just love the Econ Lounge]

As closure, I think MAC will be doing well with the new line of iPods. The iTouch is rather pricey for it’s limited capacity, and it would’ve been nicer if it had a built in camera (it will literally be an iPhone short of a phone). I still get pissed that my iPod is only 2 years old, yet they increased its capacity four-fold and not only that, it’s $50 cheaper! No amount of economics can explain that, well, it could, it’s called economies of scale. Or abusive conditions for workers in China.

Oh and another thing. Just to play devil’s advocate with the entire BJ is Love movement, one of the memorable moments of my app life was that BJ left me. He said it was acads. While I shrugged it off with ease (we didn’t get married after all, it was just a partnership you had to settle with for lack of clear choices at that time), I found out two years after that he left me for a guy. Not just a regular guy, a guy that was rumoured to be selling drugs with his father when I was in high school (well according to my friend Bea). Of course, that was a third-degree rumour (Bea's brother was BJ's boy's classmate), but it wasn’t hard to believe. I actually met the father of said person, actually, I attended a forum that he was speaking for, and it was forum on prostitution. I know you think that this paragraph is farce, but I could tell you that this is 100% true.

[800 words] @3:48AM

clear wow

BJ, to me, means biggest jerk. he is a person. a debater. an "ex-boyfriend." a loser. a person "who swept me off my feet during my first year in UST." he led me into a n illicit romance full cheap, wanton kissing and dutch dates. lesson learned: do not go out with a debater who brings debates into his love life.

MAC. mooting assistance companions. most admirable crew. makes aspirations come true. makers of amazing camaraderie. those were just a few anagrams to describe the people of MAC. the membership committee of debsoc are composed of people who never fail to smile though very "hogwarts." who laugh even if very stressed. and the stress mostly were because of us the applicants.

they are what i describe as the "philanthropists" of debsoc. helpful, happy, huggable, hilarious but serious species.

for me, MAC is the generator of laughter in the debsoc. with members' laugh range from barbaric to monotone. with this disposition, MAC never fails to rev up the drive of the applicants throughout the application process. they are our cheerleaders.

what can i say? i love MAC! i love MAC! i love MAC! i love MAC! who wouldn't? i know deep in the hearts of the MAC members they have found a place to love me as much!!!

it was very tough to juggle school work and the application process. but that is what made every bit of the application process rewarding. i came to love the company of the members and applicants knowing that they have the same passion as i have which is debating. through all the vague motions i have gone through, all the sweet wins, and the matterless moments, i wish to see the light in the labyrinth. i really do believe that i have a lot to offer to the society most especially that i am further buffed by excellent debaters. given the opportunity to be part of the society, it is just that i give back what debsoc has given me - mooting skills armed with critical thought. logical reasoning and the fire to live up to the standards that make debsoc champions.

every moment in the application was savored. it was fun. a series of never ending fun. i dream of experiencing what sir said; that you will experience the most frustrating and your most victorious moments in debsoc. with this, debating became addictive. i just find myself sometimes hear hearing when in agreement at home, school or with friends. Debsoc lights my fire. fueled by its excellent members, i hope to intensify the flame. all for a debate society i could soon call my family.

Some Tigdas

Fingers Crossed by Some Tigdas

BJ (bee-jey) n. proficiency in the language; n. grace under pressure; n.
romance; n. eloqunce; n. grace under pressure; n. friendship.

Several meanings are given to this word. The English dictionary defines it as proficiency in language. Indonesians see it as romance. Ilocanos say it's eloquence. DebSoc dictionary says it's grace under pressure. App's dictionary states it is friendship. I say it means a warm heart, a state of compassion.

It's a helping hand when you think you're fucked off in your debate performances. It's a funny joke when your day was terrible. It's responsibility over self. It's rationality despite emotionality. It's a pink streak in a white sheet. It's depth and pakikisama. Others know this more than I do. I hope I would be given a chance to understand what this word really means.


MAC. Wow. I don't know how they juggle everything, from the start of the app process to the regulation of buddies and applicants, from the App's Olympics to the JDC. They have super hero complexes inside them.

The most fun part was the Applicant's Olympics. I don't know much of my co-applicants yet so at first I was worried. I was competitive at first, I was running for the first place. Lucky, my teammates were 'bibo'; I managed to loosen up quickly. But we had so much 'tanga' moments – we got really tired only of going back from one station to another and we got delayed. In the end, we decided just to have fun, enjoy running around crazy, grin back at the people who smile at our hagard looks. And the moment we decided just to do that, things went well.

Without pressure, the tasks were a lot easier to accomplish. The hardest part was buying or looking for a condom, but hey, I managed to ask the girl at coop and did it again for the second time. When I laughingly asked the coop girl, “Ate, may condom po ba kayo?”, with my biggest smile pasted on my face, the girl just gave me this weird look and said they don't sell any. My charms failed me. It was awkward asking to buy one especially when I have a girl beside me grinning with me as I ask. I won't even think about what the coop girl thought. When I did it the second time at the drug store, the drug store girl gave me this blank face. Good she didn't give me another raised eyebrow; I bet she's used of UP students asking for one (Safe sex is a norm in the campus). The longest line was of course the highlight of the event. Good thing I didn't have to take off my shorts.

The hardest task from MAC perhaps was the debate requirements. It's heartbreaking when you dop your best and yet it doesn't pay off. It sure is stressing to think about every requirement that is still in the to-do list, given the other academic loads and stuff. And the most depressing is getting not-so-nice comments. But in time, I learned to take it as a push for me to do better. It's also nice that there are my other co-applicants and other members who were ready to give me a tap on the back when I badly need one.

The Application Period couldn't have been this fun and memorable without those who worked behind the curtain. Their efforts were worth it and are deeply appreciated.


I totally felt awkward when I decided to apply and show up at the buddy-bidding event. Just the though of the requirements, the same as many of my co-applicant, I was stressed.

During my first tambay debate, I performed really bad. I was completely nervous to debate for the first time again. During my speech, as I was delivering my speech, suddenly my mind just flew out of the debate. I stopped. In my mind, it was all blank. What am I doing here?, that's the only thing I found there and I was terrified. I struggled to put my mind back on my speech but my momentum was ruined already.

I'm not sure why I'm taking this same track for the second time. Experience is one. But that's not enough reason. Confidence-building. Hmm... Of all the reasons though, one thing is more evident than the rest – I love being with the people of DebSoc. It's not the mushy kind but it's extremely attracting me towards it. It's good to be with people who share the same passion for debating and fun as I have.

J:Will you join DebSoc?
M:I dunno. Pag-iisipan ko pa, medyo marami na rin
kasing acad loads this sem.
J:Pero do you want to?
M:Kung 'gusto' ang
pag-uusapan, I really do.

Case closed. Just in a matter of time, I'll be judged. Whatever comes, everything about this experience was and will always be worth it. I'll keep my finger crossed.

Jennie Hoy

Two-Month Calvary
by Jennie Hoy
Honestly, I could not think of any single word that would describe my experience as an applicant of the University of the Philippines Debate Society. “Hard” would be an underestimation the application process. “Hell”, on the other hand, would be a complete lie, since I did have fun in the whole experience to some extent. When I really think about the whole thing, I am bombarded by an amalgam of emotions: excitement, happiness, exhaustion, hopelessness, frustration, panic, laziness, fulfillment, and a bunch of other feelings that are just too hard to describe.

The truth is, the UPDS application is an experience I would never forget. It is the most stressful and yet most fulfilling activity I’ve ever done in my whole sixteen years of existence. You see, it never occurred to me how “demanding” the organization is until after the second week of the application period, when things really started getting serious.

The first part was still light. We were given modules, wherein we were taught the basics of the British Parliamentary System, and the fundamental rules we needed to follow when adjudicating.

My favorite part was the Apps Olympics. It was the perfect way to start the whole application process (although it would’ve been better if it was held at an earlier date). Since I knew practically nothing about my co-apps (other than their faces), the Olympics served as a great opportunity for me to socialize. I think that this was one of the most important parts of the application. It’s like taking a single, very deep breath before plunging into the challenge of holding your breath for as long as you can.

That time, I had very little idea of how tough the process was going to be. When we were oriented about the minimum requirements of the application, I had the impression that it must be very easy. Ten tambay debates, three graded debates, five adjudications and thirty hours of tambay all seemed to be so manageable, especially since we were given two months to fulfill these things. I was all like, “Hmmkayang kaya. Two months pa naman eh…” But, alas, I was absolutely wrong.

The hardest part was debating (duh). I just had to face it. I sucked most of the time. What made it extra painful, though, was the fact every dumb thing I said did not go unnoticed. All my mistakes were constantly shoved at my face, with no sugarcoats or what. Obviously, it’s not really a very pleasant experience. I’m not used to being criticized and corrected. In debating, on the other hand, every little thing you say can make or break your case.

It was only later on, though, that I fully realized the significance of those criticisms. I hate using clich├ęs, but let’s face it: the truth really does hurt. But then, as I realized later on, learning the painful truth actually does a lot more good than bad. Those training sessions or tambay debates really did help me realize my many flaws that I wasn’t even aware of in the beginning. There is a Greek adage that says, “Know thyself.” Before everything else, I have to know myself, because when it all comes down to it, I am my greatest enemy.

This proved true in the DebSoc application process. There was no real competition between all debaters, because somehow, whether we were conscious of it or not, we knew that the only person that could possibly pull us down was our individual selves.

The signature sheet was another burden, although I understand that it’s a necessary part of the application. It wasn’t easy to fulfill the tasks we were asked to do in return for the members’ priceless signatures, but I can say that it was an effective way of breaking the ice between the members and the applicants. Besides, most of the things we were asked to do weren’t really absurd. They were, in some way, linked to knowing more about UPDS, its members and its history, so it was not such a waste of time and energy, when you think of it.

I must admit that during the middle of the application, it came to the point that I got really frustrated, and I felt tempted to quit. It felt awful to miss out in after-class gimmicks with my friends, just so that I could spend the rest of the afternoon debating. A sense of helplessness also pervaded me. I felt that it was impossible to finish the quota, since I couldn’t hang out and debate much, given the sudden increase in holidays (fuck holiday economics). I was also lagging behind in most of the updates because I rarely checked my e-mail and the UPDS bulletin board (Thankfully, I learned my lesson and am now an avid checker of the bulleting board. Haha.).

Right now, I am thankful that I did not give up on my application. I realized during those times that if I quit in exchange for leisurely (and undeniably wasteful) afternoons, I would be wasting an excellent opportunity for improvement. After all, it’s not so bad. Like they say, what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.
The wonderful Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero (or BJ) is the head of MAC, and I think that he and all the MAC members really did a good job in handling us. What’s more amazing is that MAC members rarely got mad, no matter how irritating the situation might have been. When I think of it, I realize now that the application process is as stressful for applicants as it is for MAC members (maybe even more for them, in fact). It remains to me a great mystery how MAC members were able to keep their cool even in the most annoying situations.

If I don’t get accepted in the society, I will commit suicide (joke! haha). Even if I don’t get in, I can still say that the app process was well worth all the sacrifices. It is a rare privilege to be trained so rigorously by and among such skilled individuals. I was also able to learn a lot of important things about myself, which I owe to DebSoc.

On the other hand, if I do get in (which, hopefully, is the case), I guess a lot of it I owe to MAC. Although it is the duty of MAC members to hand out materials to the applicants and all that stuff, they all went the extra mile by being warm, encouraging and understanding to me and my co-apps. They constantly guided us throughout the whole process, reminding us of all the things we needed to do and all.
All in all, my whole two months of Calvary can be summed up in two words: WORTH IT!

Playing with Doldrums

Ay Caramba

Friend: Bakit ba DebSoc ang sinalihan mo? Sikat yang org na yan kaya mag-expect ka ng mahirap na application process. Anu bang benefits mo d’yan?
Ako: sober silence matched with killing glance from slit-like eyes (do you know what you’re talking about?)
Friend: mum

I was really put on a hard ground that night when one of my friends suddenly had the aforementioned question to me. It was not because I could not defend a flimsy idea as that (this merits only a surface-level analysis you know) but because of the screaming thought unbeknownst to them. If not for the precept of civility and moral conduct with which we Sapiens are occasionally asked to prescribe to, I could have shuffled out right away of the very place we were standing, clamp out, spread open and even dress him with the tarpaulin of the organization clearly and legibly trumpeting:


But believing that doing such would have him brand me as someone condescending and devilish, (he may even even go to an extreme point as, ‘Yan ba ang tinuturo sa yo ng DebSoc!) I remained silent, knowing that he’s losing a lot of things conjunct with UPDS. I could have hollered and do some enumerations of its achievements but I chose not to do so for I think a sober and murderous silence would be the best revenge. And that basically was my target: to employ this self-coined you-will-shame-yourself-later measure, you-will-eat-your-words course of action. Another accolade flashed in a bright tarpaulin of swanky fonts between FC and AS would probably have him thinking again.

After edging on what could have been a bloody fight, I never did ask myself of what are the possible benefits of joining DebSoc because clearly enough, the list could run from coast to coast. A simple scholarly talk of issues and arguments ignites everything until you find yourself in the middle of the conflagration itself.

Now, the question that remains is this: How do I feel about applying to UPDS? Simple. I feel empowered (an operative term that works with most of the debates in which I am compelled to use because it just perfectly fits.). Why? Because as the process wears on, I see myself standing to the challenges that the work demands. I simply learn how to raise the bar hence not settling for mediocrity. And that is exactly what’s good with UPDS. Contrary to what a basic law of economics would profess, I essentially do not go bland with continuous debating. Moreover, a growing sort of craving starts to manifest on how you could better improve your previous crappy debates. Though I must honestly say that UPDS Application Process was awfully grueling and that a twinge of hesitation occurred to me before I finally signed up, these feelings become completely irrelevant now because an enhanced and redefined person is made at the end of the day. I, too, must say that I got an initial shock when I saw the members do the debate thing (I was really asking myself, “Am I entering the right arena or am I just plainly miscalculated or what?) but I get composed of my tremors and all that when I let my mindset rest on the idea that best people are often molded out of the greatest blunders (hah!).

And mind you, my next reaction upon UPDS is completely laughable. It was during the Apps Orientation, July 17, Tuesday. When the activity was about to commence, I, together with my blockmates, was just beleaguered when almost every member of the organization took out his ‘own’ laptop to facilitate his works. I mean, god? Is this an unwritten law, an unseen permit to penetrate the circle? The joke that ran among us was that we have to secure one to say we belong.

Lastly, I have to tell that with the empowerment I mentioned comes the equally gratifying prize of having no fear to commit mistakes if made as rebounds to catapult oneself to the pinnacle of success. UPDS allows leeways for mistakes as they are intrinsic of every person; they are exactly inevitable. But the organization is always hitting the basic and simplest point right: mistakes are unavoidable. But to wallow in them is already your choice.

What is BJ? A Blissful Journey perhaps. UPDS has given me this experience and SHOULD BE GIVING ME MORE OF THIS. (haha)

How is the Membership and Administration Committee (MAC)? It is a well-engaged group, meaning it optimally interacts with applicants. In a sense, aside from assessing capacities of hopefuls with witnessing the debates as frequent overseers, MAC also fulfills its role to a certain extent of monitoring and evaluating behaviors of debaters, which are a crucial part in determining their current positions in the application process. I think it just needs to strengthen its posture on the rule of discipline among the applicants. As I have observed, applicants are lately becoming too noisy especially if classes are in place. As a recommendation, I just say that a tighter regulation is accelerated with this matter so as to avoid any further conflicts with other people.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


by nmoran koalateros

At the end of the day I say, ladies and gentlemen, that the application period has been one of the best yet!

After learning that I have passed UPCAT, the next thing that I wanted to do was to join the prestigious University of the Philippines Debate Society. It was neither to spice up my college life nor to prepare myself to law school that I decided to apply. It was for the simple reason that I fell in love to the beauty of debating. Although I feel I have been one of the worst debaters in my high school, I cannot constrain myself from applying. I have fallen in love. I have fallen in love most ardently. I have to do it no matter how pathetic it might look like to my high school friends.

It was not very hard for me to get along with the members and the applicants. Everybody had been very friendly. I have been in tune with everybody. And no, I am too proud even to be offended by some.

Nevertheless, like an epidemic, I also felt the desire to defer as the application process progressed. I felt I cannot pass the elitist standards of DebSoc. But I constrained myself from telling this to anyone. I cannot even pour out my sentiments in my multiply account in fear that a DebSoc member might be able to read my petty sobs. It will definitely not help me. Every after discouraging graded debate, I felt weaker. The thought of honorably failing myself in deferring than being told that I failed did not escape me. There was this fear of rejection that kept me awake at night and nervous in the morning. There were the debates and the sigsheet to occupy my mind like my boyfriend.

But one night it happened. A Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero came into my life. He asked me how I felt and I cannot resist being honest to him. I had to tell how I felt discouraged. He helped me and my partner and things started to turn around. I understood my mystical beloved more. There was one night when he asked me whether I felt it will be a pass or a fail. I told him that I cannot accept failure and I have no guts to defer. I will fight this fight with honor until the end. With these words in my mind I learned to see my debates from a different point of view. I learned how to appreciate my arguments and understand constructive criticisms. BJ is the MAC god/goddess worthy of all the praises that one could give. He is the balance of the mild and the strong. He is the intellectual and the social.

Throughout my application ups and downs the MAC committee, as expected, had helped me a lot. They had been my aids in times of genocide among applicants. It was their constant presence that taught me more about the beauty of debating. MAC who had ever been so patient makes up most of my application process memories. They are the meek creatures with the right ego that holds the glorious key and power to UP Debate Society’s existence.

The question, ladies and gentlemen, that needs to be answered is how am I going to magnify on my preordained calling to debate. There is so much to learn and UP DebSoc provides an avenue for that.