Saturday, June 21, 2008

What Ba Talaga Language Mo? Going Back to Basics

Today is the day I can say debate taught me more than what 'Matter, Manner, and Method' could.

When I was a high school debater debating for Ateneo, I knew damn well that I was not the best. I was your average Ateneo debater (Ateneo debaters were supposedly some of the best in the country, but I would not count myself in.), and while there were notable moments (like a very memorable competition in Los Banos) of debate glory towards the end of my adolescent debating career, I was not completely sure if it was what I really wanted to do for the rest of my schooling. Early in my debating life, I resented reading up on world political and economic views, news, and anything else debaters would call 'Matter,' since I thought that the best way to enjoy teenage life was to stay away from grown-up stuff as much as possible.

When I would have a bad debating day, I would blame it on British Parliamentary Debating in the Philippines being in English, and not Filipino, my primary speaking language. I thought that given the chance to have Filipino debates, more Filipinos would be able express the important thoughts easily. Language would not be a barrier for good thoughts.

Earlier today, I was able to see my dream of experiencing Filipino debates, on a national scale. Two credible schools, not necessarily for teaching English, were competing in a debate broadcast on the radio, with Filipino as the primary language. They were arguing about the policies behind Ces Drilon's release, if I heard them right. However, my happiness for the Filipino debates was short-lived since listening to these debaters was a struggle, since they themselves struggled in finding the right Filipino words to support their points, switching to English more frequently than than the conyos a good number of 'real' Filipinos hate.

I ended up rethinking my previous thoughts (which have been lingering in my head for years) concerning debate. What if I was given the chance to debate formally in Filipino? Would I be able to deliver my points better than before, or would I stutter just like the students I listened to earlier? Was I even good enough a debater, to even demand a Language shift early in my career, or to even want to skip researching and rely on my own intelligence in debates?

In any field, I think that we have to master the basics first, before we can move on to the more challenging, and more glorifying things. In sports, basketball players cannot let go of basic dribbling, passing, or the like, if they want to achieve greater things in their career. For God's sake they'd injure themselves if they tried to dunk without the basics. The same goes for debate, and any other kind of thing that needs practice, determination, concentration, and most of all, commitment. I do not think that without reading about what's happening around us, I can give good views in a debate or even in a blog. I do not think that I will have the guts to talk about mentally intimidating things without mastering the medium, or language, that my audience can find useful.

I am sure that even you have got your own activites that need a little refresher. Let us all strengthen the foundations of our work, so we can reach farther things. Who was that scientist who commented that he would not have seen very far without standing on the shoulders of giants?

I need a refresher myself.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

2 Days After Independence Day

I am writing today as a week-old college freshman. I was able to experience college firsthand, and I was really struck by all the freedom I have recently acquired. The haircut rule is already a thing of the past. 6am mornings are lessened. I was also really surprised by all the free time I had.

Yes, these privileges and a lot more existed, but I have also observed that most of my classmates now are the brightest in the country. Some have even come from the farthest places to study in the Ateneo, eager to show the best they have got. After my first week in college, after all the talks from upperclassmen and school officials regarding how hard it is to stay in the Ateneo, more so stay in my course of study, I have come to realize that all the freedom of college in the Ateneo (or in any school, for that matter), comes with a price, just like anything in this world.

And so I found myself studying during the lightest week of the year, like it was mid-year.

Once again, I felt like a high school freshman being drilled with words of wisdom by Mr. Pagsanghan, the most memorable (and appropriate) being "Everything has a price tag."

Yes, there may be lots of fun times in college, like parties, victories, and chances to meet people, but these fun moments may have to be earned by hard work. Because when you are partying with your 'free' time, someone else may be studying like hell for the next big test, and that night only may already spell the difference between your pasang-awa mark, and that person's summa cum laude QPI or GPA.

So, as college freshmen, do we abuse free time the wrong way, or the right way?

Happy Independence Day should have been the title of my post two days ago, had I decided to write one. Two days ago, we should have celebrated our freedom as a nation. We should have celebrated our freedom from abusive foreign rule.

However, after more than one hundred years, still one abuse, we can observe, is prevalent:

Negative abuse of so much freedom.
And I thought college was supposed to teach you how to manage freedom.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Congrats Pare

Robi, dahil M-boy ka, tatagalugin ko ito nang maayos.
Napanood ko kahapon ang Big Night, at sigurado akong maraming tao ang nasiyahan at hindi nasiyahan sa desisyon ng kapanalunan, pero alam kong hindi na iyon mahalaga para sa iyo.

Bilang kapwa mong housemate, batchmate at Atenista, gusto kong malaman mo na lubos akong nasiyahan sa mga nagawa mo sa loob ng bahay. Mapagkumbaba ka, may talino, at naghahangad ka ng mabuti para sa iba. Kahit huhusgahan ng maraming tao ang mga nagawa mo sa negatibong paraan, tandaan mo na hindi ka pumasok diyan para magpaka-alipin sa prinsipyo ng iba.

Mapagmamalaki ka. Maraming Atenista, at hindi naman lahat mabubuting tao, pero patunay ka na kaya ng Ateneo magpalaki ng tulad mo, na natatanyag ang kalooban. Hindi pa tapos ang lahat, pareho pareho pang hilaw ang ating mga pagkatao, at marami pa tayong pagdadaanan dahil bata pa tayo, subalit pinakita mo na hindi siguro kailangan alalahanin kung ika'y mapapariwara. Ang hamon sa iyo ngayon ay kung paano pa natin magagamit ang mga mararanasan natin para lalong malayo ang marating. Hindi dahil may marami tayong pribilehiyo, gugustuhin na lang natin tumulong nang tumulong. Dapat, lalo rin nating pinalalago ang ating mga pangarap.

Maraming salamat sa iyo. Dahil sa iyo, naranasan ko kung paano ang pakiramdam bilang manonood, at dahil dito, marami rin akong natutunan sa sarili ko. Kahit hindi mo alam noong nasa loob ka, marami kang buhay na naapektuhan sa mabuting paraan.

Ngayong nasa labas ka na, masayang ingay ang mararanasan mo, pero ang payo ko sa iyo, alamin mo kung saan nanggagaling ang mga sinasabi sa iyo, para malaman mo kung ano talaga ang mahalaga. Sobrang saya ng buhay sa labas ng bahay, pero kailangan buo ngayon ang loob mo, dahil kakaibang laban ngayon ang iyong mararanasan.

Congrats pare. Tandaan mo na nandito lang ako para sa iyo. One Big Fight.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Hey guys our orientation seminar in school just started, and I've been busy after school doing different things, so I haven't really had time to make a real entry. By the end of this weekend though, expect a new post, and expect your links to be put up already. If I forget to link your blog, please remind me. Please look into the comments section for replies on your relevant comments. Thanks so much! I'm so happy school's starting! College na! Any tips from those who have gone through it?