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.