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?)
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:
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES DEBATE SOCIETY BERNARD JOSEPH GUERRERO
IV- ENGLISH STUDIES
8TH QUARTERFINALIST ADJUDICATOR
AUSTRALASIANS INTER-VARSITY DEBATING CHAMPIONSHIP
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.