Break night with two additional shots – PIDC 2008

Mr Roberto Benedicto (Ph.D. cand., Melb.) and Ms Cyris Ng (BA, UST), deputy chief adjudicator.

This will be the last album I’ll be uploading in quite a while. Enjoy!

Taken by Ren Aguila on 5 April 2008, before and after watching All I Want.


PIDC 2008 – the last day

This was shortly before it became clear it was an all-AdMU final.

Photos taken by Ren Aguila (unless otherwise noted) on 7 April 2008, the last day of the Philippine Intercollegiate Debate Championships.

No pictures were taken of the actual grand final round as my camera died on me.

A short play deserves a short review

Q: Why would you give a short review for All I Want?

A. It is all of twenty minutes long, but I didn’t keep the time unfortunately. Oh and by the way, this was drafted before the moratorium so this is unfinished business before this shop closes.

Nothing would be finer than to temporarily leave the debate bubble, as a debating acquaintance described it, and to watch a play. Even a short one. Then again, if your female lead is described as “well-read, sometimes agressive, and intimidates boys,” you’d often wonder who within the bubble would fit the description. To those who met me on break night looking a little dazed, that was part of the explanation.

That aside, Ren Robles wrote a play for our time, where the crucial question that comes to fore is the value of male-female friendships. It is indeed about a metrosexual’s inept attempts at finding love, about how a woman seeks her own Mr. Right, and about how their ideals are really talk show hosts (yes, those were among the funniest lines). But it brings back to mind a point first discussed many years ago (ten years ago in fact) by Ruey de Vera in his Sunday Inquirer Magazine article on his close female friend. It seems that there are people who are happy, and willing, to let these friendships be.

In this sense, Ren was successful in showing that these relationships are possible. I particularly liked how Sab Jose (whom I last saw in Bat Boy) handled the female lead with the resonances it caused. Also, Pol Doble’s portrayal of a metrosexual was done with taste and understatement. Of course, Joy Alano (sister of a friend—disclaimer) was good in allowing just the right amounts of humor and sentiment to shine through.

On that note, I look forward to the coffee house tour Mahar told me they would be doing. I am really grateful for the chance to escape the bubble, to enjoy myself, and to reflect in the process. Which of course partly explains the moratorium.

Until May, then. Have fun everyone!

The Inquirer got it right, this time

Here is today’s Editorial from the Inquirer. I was a little more pleased, but at least they were nuanced enough to acknowledge that we do need liberal education.

And yes, the humanities and social sciences stand at the heart of it. I hope Ateneo de Manila and many other institutions across the country will not be dissuaded by the forces of the market that close philosophy departments in the name of national progress. Or to adopt fundamentalistic stances that do not permit the possibility of critical debate, even on matters of faith—or do not permit us to explore the great traditions on which we are founded. (Ehem.)

The Correspondent’s Notebook 3

Ateneo de Manila team wins PIDC again

QUEZON CITY – In a repeat of the second Asian Universities Debate Championships, an all-Ateneo de Manila final in the Philippine Intercollegiate Debate Championships resulted in the C team defeating the A team by 5 votes to 2, on the motion “that mass migration has eroded Philippine nationalism.” It was an outcome that was sure to please the crowd, as the government whip, Shiveena Parmanand, delivered a very impassioned speech to the applause of many present.

The best speaker of the round was Kip Oebanda, and Claire Jiao of UP Diliman A was best speaker of the the tournament. Wyndale Wong of Ateneo de Manila was the best adjudicator, and UP Diliman F was the best rookie team.

This tournament set several records. Among others, this was the first time, as previously reported, that four teams from the same institution faced each other in two consecutive rounds. It was also one of the largest Intercollegiate Debate Championships ever staged by UP Diliman, involving 64 teams. Another record, which was brought to the attention of this correspondent by a source contemporary to him in Philippine debate, has yet to be confirmed.

(Editor’s Note: While the organizers consider this the second PIDC, it is technically a continuation of the former Inquirer IDC and hence comparisons are possible. On this blog, I referred to it as the 7th tournament because, even if the newspaper withdrew its sponsorship, it is still an IDC organized by UP Diliman. Perhaps it would be better to use years, so I first officially adjudicated in IIDC 2004 and again in PIDC 2008.)

The Correspondent’s Notebook II

It’s a whole new ballgame. As the final rounds of the Philippine Intercollegiate Debate Championships begin this morning, your correspondent will come back (with feigned reluctance of course) to help figure out which one of these sixteen will move to the grand final. The adjudication core made a good call, I think, which was that precisely because the pool of adjudicators and the pool of finalist teams (known in debate argot as “breaking” teams) had similar compositions, the rules of inhibition would not apply. Precisely because the judges managed to be generally fair during the rounds (I hope I was right) would we be able to do these rounds fairly.

More updates to follow as usual.


Two years ago, I wrote that the UP Debate Society, in general, was characterized by an enthusiasm for break night dancing. Last night, it was in very clear evidence. In a restaurant well known for being, um, utterly expensive (and its Eastwood branch less so), people had some food and a lot of drink, and the band, which did almost every reggae hit including the Police song which gave me my epigraph to my Heights write-up a long time ago.

Here is the epigraph by the way, and the line following:
“Seems I’m not alone in being alone,
 A hundred billion castaways looking for a home.”
                                   – “Message in a Bottle,” G.M Sumner

Incidentally, an acquaintance commented about someone we knew, saying that his impression of this person as an intellectual had changed into a six-year old with the cooties. This someone said that these lines from another Police song, “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” applied to him:

“Have I tried before to tell her of the feelings I have for her in my heart?
 Every time that I come near her I just lose my nerve as I’ve done from the start!”
                                  – “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic,” ibid.

I had to remind him that Sting was of course an English teacher.