Monthly Archives: November 2013

My First and Last Philippine Schools Debating Championship (PSDC)

Philippine Schools Debating Championship (PSDC)

It’s become a ritual of mine to write about a debate tournament experience one week after the tournament itself. It’s always fun to look back at these tournaments because you start to realize that it wasn’t just a tournament, but a growing experience as well. More than just the pressure packed debates and headaches, the little moments of laughter you spend with your teammates are moments that make these tournaments so surreal.

With the Xavier Contingent right before the start of PSDC....the incredible company is what makes being part of the debate team so surreal!

With the Xavier Contingent right before the start of PSDC….the incredible company is what makes being part of the debate team so surreal!

Last week, from Nov. 9-11, the Xavier team participated in another tournament, the Philippine Schools Debating Championship (PSDC) which is hosted annually by the Ateneo Debate Society. PSDC is a national tournament that brings together debaters from schools from all over the Philippines for a 3 day tournament where anything and everything can happen.

What doesn’t break you only makes you stronger

Coming out of HKDO, I thought that I’d be able to do just as good in PSDC but reality struck quickly in the first few rounds of PSDC as my team quickly fell into a hole. It was really disheartening and to be honest, during the fourth round, I was feeling really down already. I thought that we probably wouldn’t break anymore. Then I realized that all I could do was just give it my all and pray for the best.

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SHIFT-ing Dynamics – A Not So Mainstream Movie

Filipino movies have always brought to the table a sense of peculiarity and obscurity but the movie Shift directed by Siege Ledesma takes this to a whole different level. Although Shift is packaged like a mainstream movie, the overarching plot was as different as it could get. No pun intended, but Shift really shifted from what a lot of us would expect from a mainstream drama film! Siege Ledesma was really able to combine aspects of a mainstream film with a riveting and eccentric story line that literally leaves you wanting for more.

Shift is definitely one of the better Filipino movies I've seen!!

Shift is definitely one of the better Filipino movies I’ve seen!!

Lead actor and Filipino pop-star Yeng Constantino was also able to perfectly play Estela, a boyish girl whose personality was a central point of the movie. Contrast that boyish personality of Estela to that of her crush and lover Trevor’s feminine personality, also beautifully played by Felix Roco, and you get a movie that is extremely dynamic, engaging, hilarious and deeper than the surface!  From these facts in themselves, you already know that this movie really pushes the boundaries but at the same time, still sticks to very powerful themes that really make it stand out from other movies!

Covering themes from gender and feminism to social structures active in a young professionals life to the importance of friends in work, Shift is a movie that caters to a wide array of audience while still staying true to the message Siege Ledesma wanted to deliver.

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My Hong Kong Debate Open 2013 Experience – More Than Just Winning Debates

The HKDO cover photo from the HKDO facebook page shows just how diverse the teams were!

The HKDO cover photo from the HKDO facebook page shows just how diverse the teams were!

I’ve always dreamed of winning an international competition and although, I fell one step short last week during the Hong Kong Debate Open (HKDO), I’ve got to say that all the learnings, insights, memories and experiences I got from HKDO more than made up for the loss.

It’s been a week since HKDO but it’s only now that I’ve found time to look back at the experience and appreciate the entity of the event. It’s really amazing how I got to partner with one of the greatest Filipino debaters of the past decade, Kip, who is also my school team’s debate coach.

It’s not everyday that you get to partner with one of the most revered and prominent debaters in the Philippines. When the idea of partnering with Kip, my debate coach, for an open tournament presented itself, I knew that I just had to take the chance. Being that I’m just four months into debating, I still have a lot to learn and honestly, there’s no better way to get better at something than by learning from the best!

Making it to the Grand Finals actually looks just like a bonus when compared to everything I learned from this entire experience! :D

Making it to the Grand Finals actually looks just like a bonus when compared to everything I learned from this entire experience! 😀

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