DEBEATER by Claire Daw
What is a BJ? Let’s not go into fancy acronyms or symbolisms, as there can be only one kind of this rare species. It’s none other than Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero – the MAC head himself. I was first introduced to BJ during the night of the buddy bidding. Intimidated at first, I was very shy around him. But when my buddy reminded me that my fate lay in his hands (gasp), I made it a point to get to know him. Bad motive, I know. But it’s amazing what more than a month can do. Behind the intimidating facade is a great debate and adjudication mentor. BJ has always been one of my favourite members. He and Yang combined crack me up! Although there was a certain time when I kinda got shocked at their innocence (or lack of thereof), I really appreciate how they make serious things very light by a simple joke or “hirit”. They gave me the feel of what the REAL UPDS is – fun, spontaneous and homey. Moreover, I felt his sincere concern for the applicants. His individualistic approach at getting to know each one of us paid off. Added to this, his comments (though the truth hurts sometimes) and constructive feedback make him the perfect example of tough love, fatherly (*smile*) love.
MAC has been the committee who guided us throughout the application process. All in all, I can honestly say that MAC has exceeded my expectations. What I like the most about MAC is how much they made our whole application process as well-rounded as possible. Who would make the extra effort to organize an all-out Sportsfest and Amazing Race for us? Who would think of the Apps’ Night? Who trains us everyday, despite the heavy academic load? I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for MAC members. As an applicant, I would also like to commend how “at home” I felt every time I’m in DebSoc. Maybe it’s Bj’s blooper moments. Maybe it’s Yang’s extra effort to commend what you did RIGHT in a debate, although what you did WRONG was the only thing people saw. Maybe it’s just MAC in general – a committee of DebSoc that has and continues to reach out to rookies hoping to reach their debate goals.
I felt mostly mixed emotions while applying to DebSoc. Extreme feelings actually. During the beginning, I really was surprised at how demanding the App Process was. During that time, I didn’t see what the point of a Sportsfest or a matter exam (which I know nothing of) was. But that’s what I love most about my application. I didn’t start out as the most “bibo” or enthusiastic app, but I felt that as time passed, I grew to like the organization. Although it was a gradual process, it was certain and it was real. There were moments of pure bliss – doing well in a debate, having a great conversation in the tambayan, the joke-time moments. There were moments of torment and torture – the EAComm Task, the matter exam, the times when I would squeeze my charm just to get a member to sign my sigsheet. At the end of the day, truly, “nothing worthwhile is ever easy”. DebSoc is one of those things, and whether accepted or not, I would never regret being an applicant.
DebSoc didn’t train me to be simply a DEBATER. They trained me to be a DEBEATER, ready to face the opponent and to do my best, even outside a debate round.