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.

Luckily, lady luck was on our side and the next two rounds, we not only got the positions we wanted but we were also able to pull through and win the last two rounds which was enough for us to break. Honestly, having our backs against the wall after getting last place in round 4 really pushed me and my partner to do our best. The following two rounds weren’t only pressure packed but also two of the best rounds I’ve had as a debater.

First and Last PSDC

Being that it was our first PSDC, it was a really unique experience. It’s honestly really cool how schools from as far as Ateneo de Iloilo were present in the tournament. Imagine that, they even had to take an 8 hour bus ride just to reach the tournament. Debate has really become a forum where students are able to not only debate various issues and topics but also meet new friends.

There was a moment during the tournament where in I wasn’t even sure why I was there. It was really disheartening starting out with a string of losses and reaching a point where in we couldn’t suffer anymore losses if we wanted to break.

Different experiences

Every tournament I’ve joined so far has been so diverse and has taught me myriad of different lessons. From the start of the year where I wasn’t able to break to making it to the Grand Finals of HKDO to breaking in my first PSDC, every single debate tournament so far has been a unique experience in itself. This is what makes debate so exciting because anything can happen.

Certificate of Participation for my first and last PSDC

Certificate of Participation for my first and last PSDC

There’s always hope

I guess the greatest thing I learned from PSDC is that there’s always hope and that you shouldn’t give up on your teammate. Anything can happen and as long as there’s one more round to go, one more day to go, you should keep fighting. And even if you end up losing, life still goes on.

There were times where in I was really frustrated that my partner was a bit nonchalant and wasn’t so affected by losing. Sometimes, we can only do so much but at the same time, we must always try our best and push ourselves to the limit.

But at the end of the day, win or lose, life goes on.

With the youngest member of the team during the closing dinner.....so much potential for this kid! :D

With the youngest member of the team during the closing dinner…..so much potential for this kid! 😀

Embrace the losses, cherish the wins 

Looking back, I wouldn’t have had it any other way and I’ll most definitely remember this tournament because of the way things turned out. It’s always nice to win but sometimes, in the long run, it’s the memories and lessons you make that you learn treasure more than anything.

During the start of the school year, when I first joined the debate team, the one tournament I was really looking forward to was the Philippine Schools Debating Championship (PSDC). This was because it was the most prestigious tournament nationally and was a tournament I always heard my sister talk about.

Funny how time flies by and PSDC is already over. You know what this made me realize? The school year is also getting closer and closer to the end. In one side, during times like these, I regret joining debate so late. On the other hand, I’m happy that I actually joined debate this year for I’ve been able to experience so much already thanks to debate.

With my partner for PSDC....even if we had to face several challenges, we still learned a lot in the process!

With my partner for PSDC….even if we had to face several challenges, we still learned a lot in the process!

Just like in life, I still have many things to learn about debating. There are still a few more tournaments waiting for me in this school year and this PSDC experience of mine will definitely come in handy. I’m really looking forward to what else debate has to offer to me for so far, it has been a magical ride like no other being able to experience all sorts of different situations!!

-David Ongchoco

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