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 clichés, 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.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Puto Pahiyas

BITTERSWEET by: Puto Pahiyas

BJ!!! Adj! BJ yada! BJ blah! Debate this! Quota that!

Clutter. Everybody chants just one name – BJ. Nah, he’s not Brad Pitt, nor Adam Brody or some Hollywood hunk, he’s plain BJ. The one and only BJ. BJ is genetically-engineered to become the surrogate mother slash runner of the embryonic oral cavities stemming from the month-or-so-old Petri dishes and test tubes. The fast-growing adult germ cells, on the get-go, well, umm, are growing. However, as it is BJ who engulfs the nearly neurotic, hyperactive orifices, yes my dears, mouths have weird tendencies, after all, he just never settles for the second best. Implication: if you are to talk might as well speak with all the sense and conviction in the world. Gibberish and BJ just don’t go hand-in-hand.

As everyone is near the verge of neurasthenia, exams on one side, app quotas on the other, BJ is not the end-all and be-all for these kiddos. There is still MAC to shed some light. No, we aren’t talking about the red and yellow mascot of this one large food chain or whatnot. MAC is like BJ, the descendants of him for that matter. Splintered BJ scattered to each corner of the MAC committee ensures that these embryos wouldn’t be flushed down the drain at the end of the day.

BJ and MAC are the applicants’ number one must-know. They are the sacred force that one could never go without knowing. Dude, not knowing a MAC member at this point in time means one thing, DEAD MEAT. It’s over. Whatever your problem is, these are the people you automatically go to. As cheesy as it may sound, they are the ones whom you run into when you sre on the brink of psychosis or what-have-you.

Debating is fulfilling. Heck, debating is love. But sometimes the urge to be just one cowardly little creature, run away from all this and once and for all, defer, is sometimes just too strong to ignore. Nonetheless, there is that driving force telling you to step forward. The lighting challenged, mosquito infested, dirty corner in Econ could be one of the happiest places in UP. Though intimidating at first, the members could be the most interesting, funniest entities in the university.

In retrospect, who would have thought that applicants could be superhuman in terms of how we could balance our schedules. That despite of all the exams, recits, and other academic related activities, we could still fulfill the requirements of the app period. The latter part of the process is the most fun part for me though. It’s funny how the apps become more bonded as we race against time to fulfill all our deficiencies. Regardless of how many exams we have to take the next day, we desperately stay up late in econ, hoping to debate and adj and work off our asses as we become weirder and weirder. The peculiar thing is, we enjoy it. I enjoy it. I get tired, yes, but never toxic.

To sum it all up, the application is a love-hate relationship. Sometimes, I despise it, most of the time I love it. And you know what, you wouldn’t know the sense of fulfillment anywhere else.

Eris Platito

Fun and Frustrations of a Freshman by Eris Platito

I first encountered BJ's name in a tarpaulin hanging in front of the faculty center. It was my first day in the university and I was about to go to my Kas1 class when I saw the tarpaulin congratulating him for winning in a debate competition. I was really impressed and that's when my interest in joining DebSoc began. I was a high school debater and there's nothing wrong if I continue debating in college, besides if ever I get to join DebSoc I will not just be any debater...I will be a UP debater. When I first saw BJ on the orientation, I can't believe that it was his name on the tarpaulin. I imagined him as a geeky guy who always has to speak about intellectual matters but he is actually the wacky but very concerned and helpful Vice President for MAC of DebSoc. I felt really intimidated to him at the start, well I was intimidated by all the members. I thought that he would be snobish and won't talk to any applicants at all. As my tambay days went on, I get to talk to BJ often and that's my intimidation to him and to almost all members disappeared. Even if I get to talk to BJ a lot, I never realized how great his concern for the applicants. One time he suddenly talked to me and my partner about our performance. My partner and I confessed how much we're having a hard time in the application period. When we have finished, he gave us advice on what to do and he suddenly called for a debate. He told us that he wants to adjudicate us to see how we are doing with our debates. After the debate, he even trained us on how to organize our speech and how we could substantiate our arguments and so on and so forth. I remember that we finished late from that training but BJ never cared at all, he's contented that he had done his part. I am really thankful to BJ for being always there for the apps. Even if we know that Levi and Paolo are his favorites, he still care enough for all of us. I am not afraid to tell BJ everything that I feel about DebSoc. I'm confident enough that he does not judge but actually understands our situation.

Besides BJ, I am also thankful to the MAC members. They are the ones that we always see around. They are the ones who always try to help us with the application period. Whether they are just warm to the applicants because it is their job or it is innate to them, I am still very thankful. Their constant checking on us make the application period a lot easier. As I ponder on this MAC requirement, I realized that it is mostly MAC members that I became very close to. Their presence really made my application period fun and really interesting.

My application period was such an adventure. At the start I thought that debating in college was as simple as it was in my high school debating days. I realized that there is a world of difference between the two. I always felt that my debates were awful. In most of my debates, I got 4th. The adjudicator always has the most to say about my speech...lack of substantiation, farfetched arguments, rehash, wrong definition and so much more. The only thing they always appreciate in my speech is my manner. It gave me the impression that I am good enough in acting out a good delivery of my speech but dumb enough to think of valuable arguments. It made me feel that whenever I stand in front of the adjudicators, they are thinking that I am the dumbest applicant of DebSoc ever. Along with my frustrations on my debate, I also have my acads. Most of the time, I am so tired when I get home that I don't finish all my readings in SS2 and Eng12 anymore. I am so stressed whenever I have to study on my test in one of my classes and also have to matterload for the coming graded debate. Sometimes, I am wondering if I gave myself so much to worry knowing that I am only a freshie but at the end of the day, I would just dismiss that thought. Even if the application period really stressed me, I don't take it against anybody. I don't take it even to myself. I know that whenever I want something, I have to work hard for it. In joining DebSoc, I have to experience this all.

Even if all my debates were awful and I felt that my classes are already affected, I did not defer. Even if I was only an inch away from defering, I did not defer. Simply because whenever I look back on the application period, whenever I look back on everything that I've done, I just cannot give up at once. I am not the kind of person who just gives up. Besides, I always have a great time whenever I am with my co-applicants. I became really close to most of them and I will surely miss so much fun if I defer. I love going to Econ Caf and chat with members and applicants. I also enjoyed learning a lot from debating. Besides learning the basic debating, I also learned a lot of new style of speaking. It makes me laugh whenever I think that I cannot finish my speech without saying, “ladies and gentlemen”, “at the end of the day”, “we question” and so many phrases that I get used to when I became a DebSoc applicant.

I know that I did not give such a wonderful performance on the application period but it was the most that I can give. I am happy enough that I have given my best, the rest now lies on the hands of DebSoc. Still, the application period was the most fun and also most frustrating days of my freshman year.

the effects of cigarettes on the brain by RAY(mund) PINIOCO

Applying for UPDS has been one of the biggest emotional roller coaster rides of my life. Whether the reason for this is that I just live a really boring life or that the application process is really hard I’m not sure, I’m just sure that it made me experience some of the highest highs and lowest lows of my life. Why exactly did it make me experience some of my lowest lows? It did so because at first (and up to now) I feel like there are a many applicants who are way better than me in debating. Sometimes when I watch them debate, I can’t help but feel that I don’t deserve to be in the same league with them. To be more particular, at the start of the application period I won one or two debates but after those debates it all went downhill. I lost almost every debate and had mostly below average debates. My ideas were called underdeveloped, my contextualization very poor, my views myopic, my rebuttals weak and untargetive and the structure to my speeches, -non-existent. I really felt like I was the dumbest applicant of UPDS and the slowest learner in my batch. However even before I applied for UPDS I already told myself that if I’m not going to make it, the only reason for my rejection would be my lack of talent and not my lack of effort and enthusiasm. And so, even though I was losing almost every debate, I continued on debating and debating and I never stopped bugging my buddy (who is one of the most competent, caring and patient buddies in the world) about possible cases for certain motions and so on. In the end I believe that I have improved. The reason that I can say this is that recently my partner and I have recently had very good debates although we also just recently had a poor one. I feel that this is an indicator that I have the potential to be a good debater some day with even more training and hard work.

One of the things that I believe helped me a lot in the application process is the MAC. They are very friendly patient towards the apps. They break the traditional stereotypes of UPDS people as snobs who look down on people who are not as good as they are. For instance Pluto was always checking if we were ok and if we were having any problems with out application process. They befriended us and made us feel like we belong to the society. Their joking around and sometimes even flirting with the apps made it easier for us apps to feel at home. Not only that, they were patient with us as well. In particular I really appreciate how Yang tries to find something good in a person’s speech no matter how much it sucked. He is one of those adjudicators who can really help a debater improve because he is patient towards those who still have a lot to improve. He criticizes but the way he criticizes doesn’t leave the debater disheartened.

BJ is also one of the members who the apps feel closest too. It might be because of his fatherly or motherly touch that the applicants just simply like him. When I first saw him during the apps orientation I thought that he was big tough guy perhaps because of the way he looks but the moment he started talking I immediately knew that it was going to be fun having him as our sort of “daddy” or “mommy.” And with that I believe that BJ stands for Big Joy just because he is really a fun person to be around with. But let me not confuse the reader by making it seem that BJ is just this funny gay guy who likes to have fun. BJ is a funny gay guy who likes to have fun and is an excellent adjudicator. ( I haven’t seen him debate yet) His australs caliber adjudication really helps debaters improve and gives apps critical points as to where they can improve and what good things they should keep on doing.

Diana Dyslexia

An Undefined Definition by Diana Dyslexia

There are things in this world that we can never always explain or define. When science can only do so much, we are left with the play of words. The struggle to choose among the broad spectrum of words is endless. At the end of the day, all we can do is hope that words would be enough to paint the perfect picture.

BJ: a living theory.
BJ is a theory; a theory that lives by itself to prove himself to others. A living proof that excellence does not always translate to being immodest; that one need not to separate himself from the others to be praised because of his achievements; a proof that to be able to be successful and acclaimed, one must always remember how to be grounded.
If there is one thing admirable about BJ, that would be his honesty. Sometimes being confronted with the truth is harsh but I would rather be stabbed in the chest with the truth, than be fed with sugar-coated poison. In this kind of application process, wherein honest assessment is critical, there is always a Bernard Joseph Guererro, honest and reliable.

MAC: your support system.
BJ is infectious and good thing MAC is infected. Happy, perky, and pure fun, that’s what MAC is to me. Upon entering the UPDS application period these are the faces that one must remember. The reason of course is quite obvious, that it’s the Membership and Administration Committee for crying out loud! But above all, MAC is your plank of wood when the ship sinks. When things go wrong, you can cry all you want and do whatever you want to do but the smart choice would always be to talk to them. MAC is your breathing apparatus in times of comatose. They will make sure you will stay alive up to the end. They will help you stand and continue, alongside with other members.

ME: experience defined.
I am NOT brilliant. But the UPDS application period shaped me in a way that I would glitter, even though how faint, still they made me glitter. They made me do things that I did not know I can. They made me discover my potentials and juice out the best in me.
The whole application period is a path to the mountains - hard yet enjoyable. Starting at the lowest point, you feel at ease. But when it gets steep, chances are, you will struggle just to continue walking the path. The trek to the top is never easy. There is even no assurance of getting to the top. I stumbled once, but never had I had doubts that perseverance will help me make it though. Cuts, cramps, bruises, or what-have-you are necessary pains to make me, us, realize that this is not a stroll in the park. This is the UPDS application period. What we must understand that there is little room for doubt, fear, and even confidence; that we must be determined to take all things seriously.
I had the choice to settle at the foot of the mountain. I had the opportunity to admire the peak from below; where there is less pain and less effort needed. But I chose to take a risk – a risk to discover what is something up in the mountains to be admired. An admiration that made me change my perspective. A perspective I realized is kind that I wanted to have.

the effects of cigarettes on the brain by RAY(mund) PINIOCO

Applying for UPDS has been one of the biggest emotional roller coaster rides of my life. Whether the reason for this is that I just live a really boring life or that the application process is really hard I’m not sure, I’m just sure that it made me experience some of the highest highs and lowest lows of my life. Why exactly did it make me experience some of my lowest lows? It did so because at first (and up to now) I feel like there are a many applicants who are way better than me in debating. Sometimes when I watch them debate, I can’t help but feel that I don’t deserve to be in the same league with them. To be more particular, at the start of the application period I won one or two debates but after those debates it all went downhill. I lost almost every debate and had mostly below average debates. My ideas were called underdeveloped, my contextualization very poor, my views myopic, my rebuttals weak and untargetive and the structure to my speeches, -non-existent. I really felt like I was the dumbest applicant of UPDS and the slowest learner in my batch. However even before I applied for UPDS I already told myself that if I’m not going to make it, the only reason for my rejection would be my lack of talent and not my lack of effort and enthusiasm. And so, even though I was losing almost every debate, I continued on debating and debating and I never stopped bugging my buddy (who is one of the most competent, caring and patient buddies in the world) about possible cases for certain motions and so on. In the end I believe that I have improved. The reason that I can say this is that recently my partner and I have recently had very good debates although we also just recently had a poor one. I feel that this is an indicator that I have the potential to be a good debater some day with even more training and hard work.

One of the things that I believe helped me a lot in the application process is the MAC. They are very friendly patient towards the apps. They break the traditional stereotypes of UPDS people as snobs who look down on people who are not as good as they are. For instance Pluto was always checking if we were ok and if we were having any problems with out application process. They befriended us and made us feel like we belong to the society. Their joking around and sometimes even flirting with the apps made it easier for us apps to feel at home. Not only that, they were patient with us as well. In particular I really appreciate how Yang tries to find something good in a person’s speech no matter how much it sucked. He is one of those adjudicators who can really help a debater improve because he is patient towards those who still have a lot to improve. He criticizes but the way he criticizes doesn’t leave the debater disheartened.

BJ is also one of the members who the apps feel closest too. It might be because of his fatherly or motherly touch that the applicants just simply like him. When I first saw him during the apps orientation I thought that he was big tough guy perhaps because of the way he looks but the moment he started talking I immediately knew that it was going to be fun having him as our sort of “daddy” or “mommy.” And with that I believe that BJ stands for Big Joy just because he is really a fun person to be around with. But let me not confuse the reader by making it seem that BJ is just this funny gay guy who likes to have fun. BJ is a funny gay guy who likes to have fun and is an excellent adjudicator. ( I haven’t seen him debate yet) His australs caliber adjudication really helps debaters improve and gives apps critical points as to where they can improve and what good things they should keep on doing.

Sabi-na Lacad

**Paradigms** by Sabi-na Lacad

BJ is a paradigm. It is a paradigm that enabled not only me but also the rest of my co-apps to appreciate the conflicting ideologies of debating.

MAC Paradigm.
It is the paradigm that gives me a glimpse of the soul of the society that I am applying for. It is a paradigm that fosters camaraderie and secures the links of the chain amidst conflict of interests. It values even the smallest contribution I can offer and convinces me that that small bit is indeed something worth sharing. Also, it is a paradigm that equipped me with the necessary tools to wage war, a war that is fought with not only with the best intellectual strategies but moreover with great moral high ground. A paradigm that makes me want to belong in their world at the end of the day.

Debate Paradigms.
I personally believe that a person can only either “super” love or “mega” hate debating. These are two extreme paradigms on both ends and crucial at the very least. This is precisely the reason why if you are a debater it is really something more than a hobby but rather a passion (key element to the “super” love paradigm”) – for it is this passion that drives/ mobilizes one to battle in an academic ground to fight for principles without any incentives (a risk that not everyone wants to take). One needs the passion to battle such a bloody war (a war of ideas which is bloodier than swords) which can either vindicate or destroy you severely at times. More importantly, this passion enables one to heal after the war and concede to loses. That is the main reason why the application process is vital personally, for passion sometimes is not inherent but rather something you acquire from the environment. And I am glad to say that it allowed me to share the same passion from the members and not discouraged me from it. Applying enabled me to further conclude that indeed the passion that this society has is worth sharing and knowing regardless whether you become one of them or not.

I am glad and proud to partake in these paradigms regardless.

Kenneth “remove d” Cadenas

whipped! by Kenneth 'remove d' Cadenas

I can’t say that I know BJ through and through apart from the UP debate society app process but I do know that I have seen him before and I couldn’t forget him. Sometime in September last year, I was hanging out at Vinzons just before training and there I saw BJ. It wasn’t a coming-out-of-the-fog-imagine-BJ-running-toward-me-at-the-beach sort of thing; I’m not in love with him, you know. But still, he made an impression. There was a group of people as if in total panic and in the middle of chaos. Everyone was amuck. And then out of nowhere came BJ. I don’t know what it was about him but he simply said, “order!” and all was well. I realized then that the ecstatic people I saw were the new members of the Up debate society. BJ talked and all listened. (even me, who wasn’t supposed to be listening, pretending I was eating. haha) That was when I entertained the thought of applying for UPDS. I always wanted to debate but knowing debaters and knowing myself, I did not think I was up to par. To make a long story short, I applied and I’m here, typing my last requirement before JDC.

On the onset of the app period, BJ was the guy to look out for. I was dead scared of him for I only knew him from his achievements, his occasional hellos and that faithful day in Vinzons. I had no clue. On the night of my fifth tambay debate, probably around 8pm, BJ invited us to dinner. During about an hour and a half of giggling and dicing, I concluded, BJ is gay. To my surprise, he turned out to be an adventurer as well. At around 10pm, he decided that now would be a good time to cruise along Libis, Fort and ultimately, the place to be, wherever that was. I was thrilled but being the sissy me, I obeyed curfew, went home and lost the chance to party with a rockstar. Since then, I’ve always looked forward to dinners out after his debates with stellar adjudications.

BJ is a person of extremities. He is a person who commands great respect but is willing to laugh at himself. He can be as serious as serious can get and yet still be able to smile and say, don’t take it as if it can kill you. He is one of the people I’ll miss once this is over. His personality and “BJness” allows for a better MAC.

MAC is a committee that runs like a swiss clock. No hitches, no glaring mistakes and like no other. MAC is Macbeautiful, serving millions at a time. This is the committee whose members I get to interact with most often. When MAC is present, I’m sure to have a fun debate. I don’t know if they mean to, but they’ve made the app process bearable and fun. Usually, in all honesty, for the life of me, I do not revel in adding work to my already heavy load of academics, but debsoc tasks don’t seem like work at all with MAC. Most of the time, talks/interviews and getting-to-know-you’s don’t seem scary at all. They allow me to get to know debsoc, the fun, the frolic and the fabulous people. They initiate the discovery of personalities. I believe that if it weren’t for the members of MAC, I wouldn’t have my evening buddies after hours. If it weren’t for them, I’d be going home a mess every night after grueling debates. In fact, for the first time, because of them and other people, I see humor in debating. Imagine that. Before the application, debate is only serious business, fast talk and jargons I couldn’t understand.

As for the rest of the application process, all I know is I loved every minute of it. I got to learn a lot and I got to do what I’ve always been amazed at. I met people who I can consider to be potential life long friends. I know I’ll miss the sometimes harsh criticisms that make me strive to do better. I know I’ll miss the adrenaline rush of pushing for quota, requirements and my 7 minute speeches.

This is going to be over in three days. I know I’m afraid but I also know I’m glad I did it. Getting to know debsoc over the past few months allowed me to get to know some of the most colorful personalities and some of the most memorable characters ever.

It’s almost over. It’ll be almost a year since I saw BJ and the successful applicants of 2006. When September ends, I might be at vinzons listening to BJ again. I may be pretending to eat again but I’ll know I’ll smile at the thought of my app period.

JonJon Aberya

Winning by JonJon Aberya

Debate was something that used to scare the shit out of me. I went into those high school tournaments armed with nothing but the latest issue of The Economist while girls in black would pass by holding huge matter binders. Talk about intimidation. The worst part, though, wouldn’t come until the last few seconds before the Chair Adjudicator calls out my turn to speak. My teeth would chatter incessantly, my hands would shake and practically drip with sweat. I would clutch my notes and take a deep breath. I’d exhale, and the exhilaration of the next seven minutes would tell me everything else was worth this moment.

It was a constant inner battle. I had to wrestle with my fears and insecurities, and convince myself that there was something actually gratifying beyond it all. It was a dichotomy demanding the existence of both pain and pleasure in a single activity. It wasn't necessarily about winning the debate. It was that moment when I would feel like I'm actually making sense and what I have to say matters. And for a while, that 7-minute rush kept winning over my anxiety. That is, until frustrations led me to start giving into my fears. I found excuses to pass up tournaments. I found reasons not to train. Ultimately, I doubted that debate was for me.

This picture of how I felt about debate years ago is important in articulating how I feel about my experience in applying to the UP Debate Society. As a freshman, I was curious about the Society. Part of me wanted to get in, but an even bigger part of me just found no reason to even try. Sophomore year came, and the applications all over the University opened again. My curiosity for DebSoc came back. But more than just curiosity, this time I felt challenged. If I tried, could I make it in? Am I really bad in debate, or did I just not try hard enough before? I saw an opportunity, and I took it. I applied.

Honestly, I had to hurdle a lot of problems. Other obligations forced me to have less time with DebSoc than I would have liked, but I tried to make up for it by ensuring that such time was well-spent. I even missed the very first required activity because of a commitment I had made involving my part-time job. I had conflicts with my parents with regards to going home late several times a week, but I guess they saw how serious I was about this, and they learned to deal with it. Eventually, I got into a steady rhythm that somehow managed to go through several typhoons and major exams.

At first I also had trouble making friends with everyone. It’s an org, and I know how important it is to build relationships with everyone. My friends often say I’m outgoing, but I do have difficulty making new acquaintances. It seems unnatural for a debater, but I do admit to being shy around new company. But as the app process progressed, it became easier to let my guard down and to get to know everybody. It was interesting that this org houses a variety of students, making conversation always colorful and rich. As with all new friends, I felt a bit of apprehension in expressing my thoughts about the variety of things talked about, but this couldn’t have been any less of an issue in an org that is so open to different opinions.

My first member-friends, aside from my buddy, were mostly from the Membership and Administration Committee (MAC). It makes sense, because they were the ones I approached when I had questions or concerns. I was actually surprised at how accommodating they were. I guess I had the impression that seniority in orgs was something that was constantly rubbed into applicants’ faces. But it was the opposite with MAC. Of course, I still respected their seniority (and that of all members), but at the same time, they also respected me as an applicant. More than that, they were so supportive and encouraging. I felt their sincerity in wanting to assist all of us apps in passing through this phase. I have to take this chance to make a shout-out to Yang, who among the MAC members I must have badgered the most with all my questions about the app period. Thanks, Yang! I can’t thank you enough.

This also reminds me of the great Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero, MAC’s head. Initially, I was intimidated by BJ. We were told of his achievements when he was first introduced to us. I guess a felt like I was too insignificant to matter to him. But the more I got to see of him, the more at ease I became with him. I remember that there was even one time when he told us apps to just approach him if we needed anything. He said it in such a way that emanated sincerity (and maternal love, even) and made me more comfortable in future conversations with him.

BJ also gave me comments on my adjudication once. I was scared out of my wits at the beginning, because this was BJ—BJ, who has become a prominent adjudicator in the australasian debate circuit. And I was, well, me. No adj experience to speak of. But at the end, I was just grateful that he was the one who listened to my adjudication. BJ is like a model of a debater and adjudicator I would want to be in the future. Actually, DebSoc is full of such models. But in that particular instance, BJ gave a lot of important comments, and those became useful in my next debates and adjudications. More than that, I felt that in those few minutes he really wanted to correct how I was doing it to make sure I do better next time. Thanks, Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero, you truly are a mentor.

In fact, throughout this app period, that was exactly what I tried to do--just keep on doing better and better. My first few tambay debates were terrible. I felt so rusty and kept stuttering in all my speeches. But around mid-sem, I felt the rust slowly come off. This isn't to say that I'm a fantastic debater now, because I'm far from that. But the battle of anxiety vs. exhilaration raged on inside me every single debate. And the latter was winning.

I remember debating recently in front of a panel with their backs against a glass wall. I saw my reflection while giving my speech. For a split-second, my mind deviated from my speech and, in seeing how I’ve rediscovered an old passion, acknowledged how grateful I am that I applied to DebSoc.

Yes, debate still scares the shit out of me. But that only makes me appreciate more the intense joy I feel when I develop an argument that's actually pretty decent, or make a case-busting POI. Whether I get in or not, I feel like I've already won in this app period. I can only hope that my efforts would ultimately extend to getting the grand prize: more years with the Society.

Erismith Prado

Sure as Hell by Erismith Prado

Disclaimer: This article requires your utmost reading patience. Skip through if you think it’s too long. If not, wellyay! Somebody read my entry.

Before you put your hand on that door knob and twisted it, clockwise, with all the strength your hand could wring, you suddenly think of what awaited you as you stood there, hesitantly—you remember your debate yesterday and wonder, if you'd fare any better today. You entertain the thought of just turning around and running the hell off—you won't bear the risk of having to create more hung arguments, more dead-air, more humiliation. But before you even have time to consider, you find your hand moving by itself. The door clinks as you enter the Econ Caf. You purposefully move forward, a man with a mission. To hell with whatever was inside, I'm in. Various sights, smells, sounds and feels, suddenly assault you: a view of BJ jumping up and down, a whiff of BJ's new perfume, the auditory sensation of BJ's high voice reverberating on the walls of the caf, a jolt from BJ, like a mother would a wayward child, slapping your wrist, and, uhm, BJ (So is BJ an assault on the senses?).

There’s an art to it, really—how to understand BJ, how to be around BJ, how to please BJ (hey, no undertones there), much so how to write about BJ—that top adjudicator, situational narcissist, great debate constructive critic and perpetual UPDS character (BJ would love this). And that’s not romanticizing it (I mean BJ) than is strictly necessary. He's really that much hard to put a finger on (Hey, you. Yeah, you snickering there—I know what you're thinking—cut it out).

The steady, wavy movements of his hands, the loud, high strung voice of his, the helpful debate advice, the panacea to any debate ailment, the brutally frank, jocular attitude—all this add up to the single, revelatory vision of a (or the) BJ Guerrero. The one and only. Tadah! OK, so now I'm finished with the obligatory BJ praising.

You know it’s only BJ who could think up of a task like this. Really, I’m not surprised. Not that I have anything against this—in fact, I’m all for it. Not for purely sentimental reasons, so I could whine all I can for the next few paragraphs about my experiences, how they've changed me and all—I'm not really much that kind of guy—neither wanted to nor could do that. What I'm thinking instead is, it’s good that there’s something like this, a lens, if you will, with which to view the past application process in hindsight, so you could review yourself again, take a bird's eye view of whatever the hell happened this past month—and reaffirm yourself, of your place (consider it an obligatory self-evaluation process). The only danger to that probably is how upon being forced to regurgitate, like some bulimic poring over the contents of his/her (have to be politically correct here) little spill, whatever has happened this past month or so, what I have felt about the app process—which has positively been good, very good in fact—may change upon retrospection.

I'm not even sure if something of the sort has already begun to happen with me—you only remember the failed debates, the hard-as-hell matter exams, the disappointment in being unable to put yourself up to standards, the cut-throat competition, all throughout the application process, you're almost tempted to wonder—is this truly debate, or is it flagellation? Is this supposed to inspire enthuisasm, or masochism?

Out of sheer frustration and major ego de-boosting, you start considering jumping out the window or lying down in the middle of the university avenue, customary food for any tire willing to come your way. But then upon hearing encouraging words from those divine beings, debating gods (from my vantage point anyway), the MAC members—veritable extensions of BJ himself, you slowly regain your sanity, start thinking straight, begin appreciating everything.

You get to spend time with them, you talk about the application process, and then you realize that the phenomenon of pain and pleasure, as evinced in the debsoc application process, is not limited to the confines of a bedroom, dominatrix leather outfits, whips, and screams of the codename California. It can also be seen towards the end of the application process—when all your hard work would pay off (hopefully it would). If it doesn’t—well that’s all the more reason to work your ass harder, isn’t it?

But if I really wanted to examine just how positive an effect UPDS has done to me, I need not look far for an answer. You simply conjure a what-if thought process where you didn’t push through the debsoc application. I’d be carrying my lifeless carcass of a body to an institution was so hyped to study in before and which upon entering I had quite some trouble adjusting to—something I never expected. I do this every weekday for the next 4 or so years, try to enter UP law and become a lawyer, so I could feed myself three times a day, say to myself this is what I’m born to do, serve society (the old bull), and then be happy—but such things seem so formulaic, so lacking life. It invokes the unholy image of likening UP college life to meat grinders—put something in, out comes the finished product. What’s so fun about that?

I know I’m not speaking entirely for others, and I’m not even asserting a fierce generalization here, but I truly believe the only way I could fully enjoy UP life is to have an org—one that pushed me to my very limits, one that improved me in every aspect, one that had the most interesting, not to mention intelligent, people UP could boast of, and one that could open up entirely new experiences for me. Well, you know what the org is. To think, it makes all the hardships you’ve been through worthwhile, if only to give you the slightest chance of getting into such an organization. Sure as hell.

Sell Any Ginto?

Addicted by sell any ginto?

Last year, I looked forward to entering university and trying out new things: dodgy sun-tan orange isaw, winding routes to the Math building, and racing from one end of campus to the other. I was fairly certain that my high school interests (i.e. obsessions with Canadian paper and arguing with boys) were going to remain firmly in the land of yellow gingham. "Yeah," I told my fellow IDEA baby, "Debate and I are on a break." And so we were. I went my way (damn you, Math 17) and left debate to the hands of the experts (I'm talking about you, Nicolo Cabrera and Claudia Poon).

Then a few months later, the withdrawal pains kicked in. I lovingly remembered the matter-cramming sessions, the laughs over made-up words uttered during a heated speech, and even the sense of disappointment after a particularly bad debate. Despair after drawing OG for the ninth straight round, smug amusement when an opposing team finds itself boxed out (it's called karma, boys), and heady relief of making it past the break-- all these are feelings I acutely missed. So I took the chance of applying to UPDS, even though I was (or rather, am) afraid of not being decent enough for college-level debate. In a matter of a year I was back at Econ, hoping to be accepted to the only community I ever felt at home with.

It's tough, finishing a ton of tambay debates and playing eenie-meenie-minie-moe on matter exams, but I want to say it's worth it. I certainly hope that the hours of making bola and humiliation for the sake of learning will pay off and I get into UPDS. But I have a feeling that if I don't, it wouldn't hurt too much. I made friends, which I totally am glad about since I have always been intimidated by the thought of forging social relationships, and I learned slang (at last! Aw aw!). I found fellow football fans (Victoria Concordia Crescit), television geeks (Love Sylar), and trippy food fans (ramyun is best served hot). I discovered people are funny and interesting because they don't care about being too loud or too normal. Weird is good. Debate is good.

The application process is not as impossible as some people think. It certainly isn't a frat. Not when those expert jugglers in MAC have got all bases covered. If there was a television series about the travails and triumphs of MAC members (Eureka! New reality show idea!) the theme song would be Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Diana Ross. Incidentally she's got the va-va-voom style MAC has.
If you need me, call me/No matter where you are, no matter how far/Just call my name/I'll be there in a hurry/On that you can depend and never worry.
But if there has to be one thing the UPDS application process needs to have for future debaters-to-be, it would be adjudication sessions where applicants can actually listen to the discussion among members adjudicating. I really think that would have helped me understand adjudicating more. Or maybe it's just me. I'm rotten at it.

Whenever I start talking about debate my little brother covers his ears and goes lalalalalalala in a high-pitched panicky voice. Such is the manner in which debate has once again taken over my life. Articles torn from TIME and pamphlets from the World Bank are strewn all over my bedroom floor. I have to dodge the stacks of matterloaded books in order to get to my clothes. I can't go to sleep without hearing George Alagiah on the evening news, nor can I leave the house without reading the ticker on BBC World. My habit of building cases for newspaper headlines has returned, slowly but surely. Debate has wriggled its way into my heart, but I'm not sorry about it.

BJ is a rainbow lollipop
Once he starts he can't stop
He's got the looks; he's got the heart
BJ is so very smart!

He's here and there
He's everywhere
Too cool for school
BJ, you rule!

Jessica Hermengarde

This House Believes. By Jessica Hermengarde

THBT BJ is God’s gift to mankind.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me speak to you about the wonder that is BJ! He or (she) is God’s gift to mankind.

Mankind defined as UP debate society, as only those of superior intellect deserve to be called human.

Gift defined as a beautiful parcel waiting to be unwrapped.

God defined as the mystical force that created BJ.

Let us discuss the nature of a gift. A gift is hardly a gift unless it’s a fancy package. It has to have un-grepa wrapping paper, and ribbons that frame the box as wonderfully as yang’s hair frames his face. BJ clearly meets this standard, Madam Chair, as he is evidently good looking and aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. His hair is amazingly clean cut, leading others to believe he is heterosexual.
His eyes pierce right through you, whether or not he intends it to do so. His smile brightens up any place, that’s why they don’t bother to turn on the lights in the Econ walkway when we debate. If BJ were straight, he’d have a long line of chics waiting for their sigsheets to be signed and their sorry asses asked out on a date. Hahaha.

But more than the fancy package, a gift has to be of use, and for it to be of use, it has to be unwrapped. BJ is being mercilessly unwrapped by the application process. His repetitive adjing for countless tambay and graded debates, his precious time spent in front of his laptop poring over applicant requirements, his endless need to sign this and sign that, his efforts to organize everything, show us ladies and gentlemen, that he serves his purpose in debate society, that he is a gift to them-- unwrapped all too harshly it’s almost like stripping. ;)

THBT the MAC committee is the anti-thesis of power tripping.

Frankly, I expected the members of the MAC committee to be scary, applicant-eating, people whose end goal is to make all of us cry like motherless babies.
Instead I met wonderful, even-tempered upper classmen who spent their time getting to know us, and encouraging us to improve all throughout the application period.

Thank you to BJ, Yang, Biboy, Celeni, Jovan, Nico, Pluto, Dimple for not giving us hell… well not yet at least. Haha.

TH does not regret applying.

I remember asking my fellow applicants one day if they feared the idea of not getting in after all the hard work (because I certainly did). I thought they would immediately nod and vent out their feelings; instead, I got such mature and objective answers, which reminded me once again of how one should handle oneself in the world that is college.

They told me that ‘of course it would suck,’ but that they think the application process is its own reward. We learn a lot of things merely by applying to UPDS. We learn to speak constructively, to matter load and actually ANALYZE and USE the matter, to work with different people, to listen and filter ideas, and above all, to be patient and persevering all throughout the application period.

We were also able to test ourselves, to see how far we can go. On my part, I never thought I’d face such a long and tedious process in my first semester of college. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed the things we had to go through as debsoc applicants. I felt I was investing my time and effort in something worth it, something I can always look back on as a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience.

Above all, I cherish the friends I’ve made, both members and co-applicants alike. I remember sulking during the early part of the school year, because unlike my friends in other universities who had blocks to regularly hang out with, I only had random acquaintances from classes. When I started applying to UPDS, I took comfort in the fact that I could go to their “tambayan” if I had nothing to do or no one to stay with. I liked that I was able to build relationships, beyond a simple conversation or a class-related question. If ever I don’t get in, what would suck the most about it is the fact that I’ll miss everybody.

Overall, I say the application process is worth it. I wouldn’t have chosen any other way to start off my life in college. =)

Renier Bongga

The insistent annoying fly by Renier Bongga

Still finding out if it was sheer masochism, or impulsiveness, or the noble and Miss Universe-worth answer which is pure love to debate or genuine interest to join the org, I swallowed all my elephant-sized reservations and applied for UP DebSoc. Of the many things I'm ignorant about, I had at least one tautology- I am certain that this is gonna be bloody for me. Or so I think.

Blood is a cheap commodity, compared to the big part, if not all, of my dignity that I lost (about to lose since it's not yet done) during the app process. The app process was rich of all the underlying principles MAC wants to teach us or to make us remember. Kapal ng mukha? People went gaga over the boldstars in the applympics.The scrutiny of adjing in open areas where people could hear. Resourcefulness? Talk about the debates in the econ exterior, the formal attire we had to wear in Vinzons. Competitiveness? It was a race. Whatever sugarcoating applied to it, it was more of a race. Never mind the money struggles I had to face, the absences I had to make, and all the butt-aching and calorie-burning tasks I went through, because there were more to see.

There is BJ. He is the menstruation that happened for the third time in a month, the bungang-araw that came in winter, the twenty-five cents left on your entire body and bag after you've been harrassed by a hold-uper and you're just halfway home. He's the (not an) enigma.

As if he's wearing an invisible mink coat adorned with porcupine thorns. I can't approach him most of the time. There's no shallow reason for that. He's no goody-two-shoes to me. I explain how I adjed and he looks at me as though I'm bound to eternal damnation, as if I've adjed totally miserably. The stare tells me I did. He speaks the verdict of the debate as cold and sharp as he could (sometimes, he opts not to, but I haven't experienced that), as true and clear as he could, that even I would like to pounce myself for debating so stupidly. He can convince me that I have the mind of a premature cockroach and I don't hate him for it. All these but I still couldn't not respect him, because I know he's right. (Shame!...on my part ok?)

There is the losing and regaining of self-confidence, patterned to how many times I suck and not suck so much in debates from first tambay to third graded, from mini-mock to the mocking reaffirmation that I don't belong.

But here comes the (coincidentally) members of MAC. Make Anyone Comfortable can even be their motto. I splurge in the mud of self-doubt and someone from this committee tells me I'm not the worst case, only bad. Just playing around. Seriously, and often unbelievably, they have the talent of patching up one's hopes when the rebuttals, POI's, and bluffings have torn it and made it into a Prada bag. They juggle what they can juggle, the legworkers of DS they are (no pun to other committees, there's the other leg if you assert your hardworkings) and still make you believe either that you're the best debater in the world, or you can be in the future.

So many time spent. So many people met. So many things on the line. It wasn't just blood and tears and eye-bags after all. At first, I wonder how I wildly fight to live up to that choice, how I had many chances to defer but I didn't, how many things I had to give up- and disregard all that and anticipate the next tambay debate, adj, kupalan, etc. All the inconveniences and I still stay.

Then, when I sing in the bathroom, it all falls into place. The reasons why come like I had the voice of Charlotte Church and I sang for soul redemption.

It's about not caring, or wanting to shed all those, for that gleaming but faint chance of membership. The membership I want because it means more than just a title or gangsta feel. It's more of, mushy as it sounds, knowing it's worth it, knowing that you owe it to yourself. Like nothing would ever be more right to do.

Jowee Pasensiya

This is my quest to follow that star, no matter how hopeless... by Jowee Pasensiya

While I was reading the blog entries of my co-apps, I think majority of them thought that the “BJ” they should talk about is Benjamin Joseph Esposo Guerrero, who is the very famous MAC Chair. Although BJ is nice to me and I already consider him as my friend, I would rather talk about a different BJ. As an applicant of upds, I know I have a lot of things to fulfill, (i.e. debate and adj quotas, sigsheets, internships, whatever!) and I must say that all those things are part of the BJ or the Big Job that we’re expected to do. The responsibility given to us is not easy believe me. You have to learn how to balance acads with org work since the app period requires you a lot of time and effort. It would be helpful also if you’d read broadsheets everyday and buy the economist magazine every week. Unfortunately for a student like me it’s really hard to save up since when i'm in school I also get to spend a lot (i.e. food, transportation, unnecessary expenses, etc.) I really think that the big job is important because even if it will not assure you of a slot in the org, at least it can improve your chances. And even if everything is equally hard and stressful, at least at the end of the day you’ve learned something from it.

The whole app process even if it’s not yet done is really tiring but enjoyable. It’s enjoyable since you get to learn a lot of things. It’s when you meet a lot of intelligent, weird, moody and not to mention pretty girls. For a person lacking in social skills, I know that the whole app process is a challenge I have to take. For the reason I don’t really understand, I’ve been very shy all my life so it’s never been easy for me to mingle with other people but I’m really trying my best to catch up and socialize with the rest. I feel a bit uncomfortable when I’m exposed to a new group of people but thanks to my ever-reliant buddy and some debsoc people since they made me feel as if I can share to them everything I have in mind, especially those things that concern the app process, which mind you is very tiring since it requires you to devote substantial amount of time and effort.

When everything gets rough, that’s when MAC comes in. They’ll let you know what you should do and they’ll inform you the things you need to improve. MAC is composed of nine interesting people, who I think deserve a place in this entry.

Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero: He’s the VP for MAC but according to him, he’s the “Queen” of the org. He may be snob at times but BJ would always be there when you need someone to talk with. If you have problems in terms of the entire app process and you don’t know who to talk with, BJ is the man (or the other way around)! Believe me, he seems to be a snob but BJ is really nice and friendly too.

Yang: He may be brutally frank in terms of adjudicating but I really think that he’s the friendliest among the members. If I’m not mistaken he’s one of the primary movers of the “Seven Deadly Questions”, and if you’d ask me if the questions are really worth answering, I really don’t know because most of the questions are very hard to answer. Anyway, the “Seven Deadly Questions Game” is really fun. Even if you don’t like the question, you have no choice but to answer it and I assume that’s the primary challenge of the game.

Paula: I rarely see her during debate trainings but I get to see her twice a week. She’s pretty, well dressed, very articulate, and not to mention she’s also sexy. I think she has this resemblance to female newscaster Rhea Santos. Like everyone else in MAC, she looks like a snob but the moment you talk to her, you’ll find out that this woman is also fun to be with.

Pluto: This guy is very funny. I think he’s the most kikay among the male upds members. I haven’t seen him debate so I have no idea if this guy is a killer or what.

Celeni: Even if we see each other often, we never had the chance to sit down and spend the next 15 minutes together. That I guess is one of my regrets because I really think that Celeni is a very funny girl. The way she carries herself is also amusing and I’m really looking forward to be her friend.

Jovan: Although Jovan is nice, I think he has to eat more. Hehe. He seems to be very quiet just like me.

Biboy: I guess he’s one of the most competitive members of upds. I’ve seen him debate several times already and I must say I’m a fan, it’s just that he has this very high pitch of voice that is a bit unusual since he’s a very big guy.

Nikko: Like everyone else in upds, this guy looks like a snob. But when I had a chance to talk and spend some time with him, I realized that he’s really not.

Dimple: I rarely see her during debate trainings so I have no idea if she’s nice or what. But I guess she’s friendly because she always carries a smile on her face not to mention I was able to get her signature without any challenge at all.

I’m grateful that I applied for UPDS not only because I know that it will help me in terms of future reports, paper works, job interviews etc. but I’m more grateful because at least I’ve met a lot of people who can be my friends in the long run. It has always been my dream also to be featured on national T.V. and I’m positive that debsoc can make that elusive dream come true. Haha. Peace.

Anna Porcelana

Learning how to Masterdebate by Anna Porcelana

A normal person would rather choose to spend nearly two months of his time studying, playing, flirting or even watching plants grow in their yard over applying for UPDS. Arguably, the DebSoc holds the title for the most competitive application process, from the Apps Olympics to the Tambay Debates, Tambay Adjes, Mini-Mock, the Graded Debates and the dreaded Matter Exam. By sheer length ang complexity, the process has completely stretched me beyond my former bounds, I had to struggle with severely conflicting schedules and tempting holidays all in good hopes of making it. I will never forget running across the campus in search for condoms and sanitary napkins or even hitching a ride with a complete stranger delivering ulam. Even debating in Vinzons over limited space and light, to sit in Econ building just to manage my quota was worthwhile. Our buddy made sure that we were ready for all the things that we would be facing, from case building to adjing our buddy made sure that we were all in the right track. Looking back the buddy bid fee which I used to think was irrational is now justified, I feel that we undercompensated our buddy’s effort and patience with us. All in all the process wasn’t just about getting grades higher than 75 but rather an intrinsic checking of desire to make it, because as I have heard the app process is just a warm-up of all the stretching that I will have to make assuming I get in.

What added flavor to the process are BJ and MAC and in order to be able to talk about them properly I have to define them first, BJ, contrary to the misnomers who shallowly define such as blow job or buko juice, is a word (not an abbreviation) used to define something which adds positive value to somewhat negative scenarios. For example; if you are lonely, all you need is a BJ and everything will be alright. If you think that you can’t appreciate things anymore, just get a BJ and you’re all set for seeing the beauty of life. As far as research is concerned, BJ will be placed in the thesaurus as something synonymous to appreciation or hope. The only rule about BJ is that you must pay it forward, meaning that if someone BJs you it is imperative that you BJ someone else who desperately needs it.

This then leads me to MAC (Membership and Administration Committee), how is MAC anyway? MAC is a spawn of the concept of BJ because throughout the process, MAC is the main cursor of the applicants, helping us through the whole process by giving out tips about sig-sheets, making us physically fit through the Olympics and helping us figure out strategies how to increase our chances of getting in.

In summation, the process has promoted my whole outlook about debating and it has made me realize that I must follow the BJ principle which is useful in everyday scenarios. I had a taste of the UPDS life, and it is tough and worthwhile no matter what.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Kriska Karengkeng

Centrum (I Want To Be Complete) by Kriska Karengkeng

This is also your story. You woke up this morning with a big smile on your face. You are lucky because hot Hollywood actor Jude Law was able to kiss and even hug you… But of course, those are just part of your fantasies... Err, your dream.

As you have checked the time, your once smiling face suddenly turned into a wrinkled one—comparable to a piece of crumpled paper. You happened to remember that you have a short story due today yet you forgot to finish it last night since you arrived late because you have debated for UPDS as part of the application process.

A few seconds later, you started smiling again, got up from your bed, turned on the computer started typing some words and after an hour, voila! A literary work-of-art was produced!

Well, why am I telling you this story? Basically, that defines BJ. How? BJ, for me is a talent. It means being able to multi-task, and carry out each tasks with confidence and finesse, ergo grace under pressure. BJ is neither an acronym nor a word consisted of only two letters. BJ - to put formally, Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero - is an adjective used to describe the true essence of being a UPDS member—that is being able to excel both in academics and in debating and/or adjudicating as well without sacrificing your gaiety and societal entertaining influence.

BJ is also a term used to describe professionalism. It means being objective and rational… Being unbiased that no matter how emotionally attached you are to a person, in the name of professionalism, you will be fair and rational in analyzing issues (involving that person)

BJ is simply a word with many meanings. But despite this complexity, cliché it may sound, BJ exemplifies the true meaning of a rational iskolar ng bayan.

These characteristics are personified through the Membership and Administration Committee (MAC) chairman. He is indeed suitable for the committee he was into, since the MAC served as rational league of applicants’ comrades during the entire application period. They’ve served my sisters and brothers (second to my buddy and my partner) to whom I could ask questions, share my concerns and get advices. They helped me in being compatible with the organizations’ members and activities. They remove the line that divides the members from the applicants and they try to welcome you with open arms for you to feel comfortable with UPDS thus, helping you carry out your best during the process.

MAC is the committee where most of my and other applicants’ “friend-members” came from. The committee members really upheld their purpose to bring the applicants closer to the org. MAC is simply great! It is helpful and if there’s one adjective that would describe it, that would be, “friendly”
With all these elements, I don’t think any applicant would dare to hate the application period.

Before, I am hesitant to enter UPDS since, in the first place, I thought, I have no debate experience in high school thus it would be hard for me to debate in front of many people. Plus, I thought, there are lotsa public humiliation, etc. but I was wrong. The members are rational enough to think of your “rights” and thus they only focused on the “honing” of your skills and “developing” your confidence.

I feel so fulfilled with my application to UPDS. And though there are times that I really cry because I find it hard to allot time for the organization yet I don’t want to defer, I just sacrifice my time for other things (e.g. time for rest) to devoting myself to the organization.

I always tell myself that if I am not a brilliant debater as of now, I promised to persevere so hard for me to uphold the meaning of a real UPDS member. I know I have lots of inferior moments yet I know that I can improve and transform to a better debater.

The process itself taught me to persevere more, to devote myself to the organization no matter how stressful my subjects are and to accept my mistakes and improve them.

As the application nears its end, I am proud to say that I have no regrets in the things I have sacrificed for UPDS and that the fruit of these sacrifice is a measurable amount of happiness that brings a sense of self-fulfillment within me. As journey take its toll, I am hoping that another door will be opened for me and thus continue the struggle towards self-fulfillment.

As of now, though I am still unsure if I would be accepted or not, I can say that I can shout out to the world that, because of my experiences during the application period, the jigsaw puzzle of my UP life, like Centrum, is now complete.

A-Lester Tuking-pun

Application by A-Lester Tuking-pun

The prefix "a-" which means without and the pun intended with the third sex word "tuki", you can easily figure out what the distortion means. For your information, his name is actually my household nickname. =)

BJ. Bernard Joseph Guerrero is the head of the Membership and Application Committee(MAC) of the UP Debate Society(UPDS). He plays a big role in my future. I first encountered BJ during the orientation of our application period. The way he acted and talked, I knew one thing for sure, he was gay. Nowadays, BJ has been a part of my life, and so has the rest of my fellow applicants and the members of the UP Debate Society. BJ is everyone's mother. Despite bilogical differences from the typical mother, he manages to fulfill the role just as good. I have spent a lot of time with him and hopefully more so in the future, whether or not I pass UPDS.

MAC. The Membership and Application Committee was the whole committee in charge of my future, BJ extension. Everyone is perky and nice. Some of the MAC members can be intimidating and made me hesitate to get to know some of them. But my hesitations were unfounded. So far, they have given me no reasons to doubt their sincerity. Everything has continued to run smoothly, even when faced with typhoons and people deferring.

The application period were the two best and worst months of my life. Applying to an organization, I didn't think the process was so demanding. The requirements were: 10 tambay debates, 5 tambay adjudications, 3 graded debates, 3 matter exams, 30 tambay hours, an internship in each of the 5 committees, a sigsheet which meant a whole lot of tasks to acquire the signatures, an apps olympics, a matter exam, an adjudication exam, attending two debate seminars, one adjudication seminar, and one IR seminar, buddy fee, application fee, resume, a copy of my Form 5 and JDC. On top of that, you still aren't guaranteed a slot because of the tier system and the existence of a second phase. If you put it that way, I can't even believe I pushed through with the process. To be honest, I thought the requirements were unreasonable.

I was about to defer after the orientation. I couldn't imagine myself managing to fulfill the requirements. The day of the buddy bidding, braving the storm, I decided "What the heck, might as well continue and try. What have I got to lose?". It's been two months since. My adjudication exam is this afternoon. JDC is this Saturday. My views have changed. The requirements are achievable and they are the most meritorious way of filtering the applicants.

And I've never been happier. Last Monday, during my first subject(Maths 17), I was thinking about how long the time was until it's finally dismissal. Then, I can tambay at Econ. I've cherished every minute. I'm more passionate about UPDS than any of my college subjects. And I can't believe the process is coming to an end. Yesterday, 9am I was at Econ and 9pm I was having dinner with my co-applicants and members at Jollibee Philcoa.

I have changed my attitude a lot. People think I have a high level of self-entitlement. And to a certain extent, I do. Trust me, I have been working on my problem. To give faces and to be rowdy during rounds, I haven't been for two weeks. And people have been telling me, that since then, I have become pretentious and beauty pageant-ish. I don't see anything wrong with that. After all, we all control even our most basic instincts, like agression and sex. We all do a lot of pretending, like wearing make-up. I don't think I've been "plastik". When people want to change, I don't see anything wrong with that. What's wrong with changing for the better. And when I feel the way I do, like annoyed and pissed, I don't deny, I just control them.

The process has been life-changing. Just last week, I was in my most depressed state. My acads were deteriorating. The worse part is, so is my debating. A lot of people cheered me up and I realized that the problem wouldn't exist if I acted upon it. And on top of that, I have amazing people surrounding me.

I will always look back at the application period with no regret. Whether or not I get accepted lies in the hands of the members of the UPDS. And I am going to be honest about my feelings. I want to pass and I can't imagine life without DebSoc.