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.

36 comments:

dana canicosa said...

hi mikee! i would like to share with you my experience regarding debates. when i was in highschool, i didn't like the idea of having debates as a class activity. i was not the type of student who voices out her opinions about certain issues. when i hear someone speak, i eventually feel intimidated to defend our side, specially kung ung sinabi niya ay convincing. if i have something to say, i stay quiet because i was afraid...afraid that my idea would be wrong...afraid that my classmates would laugh at my idea. now that i'm in college, i'm trying my best to at least speak up when we have debates not only to help my groupmates but to let my voice, my ideas, my side, and my points to be heard. sometimes, i ask my groupmates to help me as well.this being said, i still don't like debates. haha. or maybe, i would watch debates pero hindi ako participant. haha. i like writing more than debates. =)

anyway, good luck mikee! one big fight! God bless!

-dana


*by the way, i'm updating my blog (icanwriteyey.blogspot.com). nasa links mo un. please visit it if you have time. haha. please feel free to comment or suggest. thank you!*

-DC- said...

sang-ayon ako sa'yo ngaun... dpat tlaga tagalog unahin ntin... isipin mo n lang kung mgsasalita k s harap ng lhat ng pilipino, walang sinuman ang hnd makakaintindi sa'yo... ewan ko lang yung mga half-half. cguro dpat rn clang mgtagalog...

-DC-

Anonymous said...

is that really you?? :) so glad to have found you're blog.

good luck in everything you do!!!

jassy ann said...

siguro ang reason kung bakit nagiging conyo yung term nila dahil sa kaba.

i dunno. i haven't experience debating in that kind of matter.

ahehe. goodluck !

Jeremy Romero said...

Speaking of debate, I could still remember the moments when I had my oral defenses on my school works. Though I never had a chance to be in a major and serious debates, I really admire people who are very expressive of their thoughts and viewpoints.

Basics are very essential, as we both know, right? Isipin mo na lang, basta-basta na lang ba akong papalo o magre-receive ng volleybal kung hindi ako tinuruan mula sa simula? Heheheh...

Anyway, some of your blogs make me realize about the reality of life. :)

Nicole said...

I used to debate before (I'm still in high school), but I never really wished we used Filipino. I don't know, I'm actually more comfortable using English when expressing my thoughts. Yeah, I know it sucks because I feel less like a Filipino that way. But don't get me wrong, I can still speak and write well in Filipino (at least I think so. Haha.). I just really feel more free using English. Don't you?

Oh boy, I need a refresher too. Haha.

jhosel said...

hehe.. i share the same sentiment.. it was in the NDC 2006 first round..it was my first time in the nationals so when the adjcore announced the motion: TH Celebrates Bigotry's Place in Mass Media..bog! patay! plus the adjes gave a clue that it was about the Isagani issue..patay na talaga! i dont know who the hell was Isagani.. and i simply know that bigotry is something thats narrow-minded.. i was rattled! and i panicked more because I was the prime minister!! naku, sobrang kaba and dumbfounded aq while we were going to the 4th floor of UB.. so there, i ended up being undertimed.. 5 mins lng ata aq nun.. plus the FEU and malaysian teams who were in the opposition where giving many POIs that I dont know how to answer. i really hated and blamed the adjcore for that motion. kung sana tagalog na lang lahat and mas simpleng opinion-based ang debates e di sana mas magiging confident aq.. but then again i realized na kung sana mas nag matter load aq before the debates e di sana i wont have a problem.. haiz.. we really need to go back to the basics. kagaya din sabi ng mother ko one time na pinapagalitan nia aq.. sabi nia.. we grew up in a generation where everybody is accustomed to living a complicated life kaya we dont know the basics na..di kagaya noon, lahat sariling kayod kaya magaling ang mga tao noon na dumiskarte..
hence, a good foundation would really ensure success..

Anonymous said...

Pareho pala tayo. Lol. English is important because we can make lotsa money using it rather than our own. Practicality. But! If we were only taught to love our own language in the first place we might be more fluent in Filipino than in English and maybe both! If only we mastered our own language first.

As for the debates, language is JUST one of the challenges. It helps if you are fluent but not as much you are knowledgeable about the topic. :)

april said...

I pretty believe na Tagalog nga ang dapat gawing medium in most debates ngayon lalo na if about sa bansang Pilipinas ang paksa ng nasabing debate. Dapat maintindihan ng madla ang paksa at kabuluhan ng pinagtatalunan, hindi para makigulo kundi para magkaroon ng kamalayan sa mga bagay-bagay lalo na sa panahon ngayon. ;)

Pluma said...

"If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants"

Isaac Newton, sa aking pagkakaalala. Nawa'y lalo pang mahinang ang iyong kaalaman, karanasan at katalinuhan sa pagtuklas ng mga bagay bagay na maari mong baunin sa iyong paglalakbay sa buhay kasabay ng aking pagtuklas ng sarili kong tatahaking landas sa tuklas ng kaligayahan at buhay. Magtagumpay ka sa ano mang piliin mong idelohiya,pamamaraan at landas. Pagpalain ka ng Maykapal.

Pluma said...

mikee, who created the "comic relief videos"? If those were made by your classmates, indeed a comic relief hahaha... I had a good laugh, its crazy!

Delver said...

Hello there, Kuya Mikee!

First of all, I would like to thank you for linking me. Second, I would like to comment on your post. I am a new member in our debate team (STCQC Debate team). I have read your post and it was really nice. Your blog can really help me a lot especially as a debater. By the way, I also watch Y-speak. Anong time na nga ulit yun? Hindi ko na kse maabuan ee...And how come you don't appear there anymore?

--Thanks for taking your time reading this and I'm hoping for a reply :]] --

Anonymous said...

Oh lord... This reminded me of my experience in debating last year... I kind of had the same sentiments as you did. I wasn't fond of matter-loading since like you, I thought (and sometimes stil think) that the best way to spend teenage life is to STAY AWAY from the adult stuff...

But then againm, it's best if we prepare ourselves for what's to come... So it's best if we go back to basics before we go for the complex stuff...

I have a question, are you planning to join ADS?

Mikee said...

wow ang dami palang debaters na nakakabasa nito! bilib ako sa inyo! well, to answer one question, Y-speak is at 7pm Saturday on Studio 23, and once a month na lang siya. Nandoon naman ako, baka 'di lang natiyetiyempuhan minsan.

ADS? Well, maybe not this year. Film Circle muna. New interest.

jhosel said...

hehe.. i suggest u join ADS (maybe next year, hehe) coz i believe that ADS is one of the best debating societies Ive ever known.. leloy of ADS trained us (USI DEBSOC in Bicol) last year and it was really wow!

..then join in the NDC(nationals), its a great learning experience, promise!

hehe.. though there are also a lot of other interesting orgs in college. oh well, good luck to your college life!

god bless mikee!

Delver said...

Once a month na lang?! Whaa! bakit naman ganun! Kung kelan ako nakapasok sa debate team namen, saka pa nawala ang Y-speak! Wah! Eniwei, kung once a month na lan sea, anong week po yun? :]]

Delver said...

Once a month na lang?! Whaa! bakit naman ganun! Kung kelan ako nakapasok sa debate team namen, saka pa nawala ang Y-speak! Wah! Eniwei, kung once a month na lan sea, anong week po yun? :]]

Mikee said...

every 2nd saturday of the month. oh well, sana mas mapadalas pa nga eh. iisipin kong mabuti yung ADS ah. tinrain na rin kami ng mga yun noong high school eh, including leloy. sila glenn tuazon, kilala mo? and sila mico biscocho? captain namin dati si mico sa high school, tapos tinrain nya kami noong college na sya.

Delver said...

Kuya mikee! Nga pala, kanina sa discussion namen sa class, binanggit ng teacher ko eto: (nakapost daw sa fac. room nla) MR. PAGSANHAN, 81 YEARS OLD, 57 YEARS TEACHER. Hmm.. I wonder.. sea kea yun sinasabi mong techer na nagbibigay seo ng 'words of wisdom'? Hehe..Share ko lan.. :]]

jhosel said...

yup. glenn tuazon and mico biscocho are good debaters as well. nung ndc2006, glenn's team were on the finals, but they lost over UP.. dun ko nkita how intense a debate can get. it was actually an ateneo and UP finals pero wow! sobrang ang galing nila lahat.. ADS also competed in the Australs and Worlds and kahit pano di sila nahuhuli over other nations' debaters..

hehe.. fan kasi aq ng ADS ever since i was able to experience ndc and heard them debate.. though i already graduated this year.. grabe pa din hang-over ko sa debate. hehe..

oh well.. its still up to you to join or not.. the most important thing is kahit anong org mo balance pa din ang acads and extracurriculars..:)

i wish the best!

neil andrew said...

hello! i came across your blog about the idea about having filipino debates...

i am curious about that... please correct me if i'm wrong... filipino is based on tagalog, right? if we have debates in 'filipino', how about our other fellow non-tagalog speaking filipinos?

as i observe, most non-tagalog speakers fin it difficult to speak tagalog. i, for one, am cebuano. even though filipino was taught to me from kindergarten thru college, i still find it difficult sometimes to speak fluent tagalog.

i cannot even speak fluent cebuano! i even find such an intense struggle just to read one of our local tabloids here!

what do you think? hehe.. =)

Anonymous said...

Hi there! Was your debate in Los Banos in UPLB? If it was, then I just had the pleasure of debating with you there. I was the captain of one of the teams there. You were very good. :D

g-i-s-s-e-l-e said...

pa-link naman mikee! i'm a new blogger, btw. heee. unsentscribbles.blogspot.com. thanks thanks thanks. i'm a big fan of yours :P

g-i-s-s-e-l-e said...

pa-link naman mikee! i'm a new blogger, btw. heee. unsentscribbles.blogspot.com. thanks thanks thanks. i'm a big fan of yours :P

jhosel said...

hi mikee..
uhm.. its not about the ADS anymore..
im juz wondering if you can link my blog too.. *wah! im shy*

its http://jhosel.blogspot.com.. u can just put on my name Jhosel on the link..uhm.. binubuhay q na xia kasi matagal tagal din di nabuksan. and thank you, reading through your blog i was motivated to write again..

thanks much!

god bless!

Mikee said...

Filipino was supposedly based on the different dialects in the country, with Tagalog having the most words acquired by Filipino. Well, debates in Filipino were held because it's the National language just like how English is used in debates as the world language. I'm guessing debates in different dialects can be held by different bodies.

Mikee said...

yup! sa UPLB yun. Thank you so much!

Mikee said...

yung mga nagpapalink, wait lang ah. within the week siguro. thanks!

Mikee said...

yeah siya iyon! si mr. pagsi!!! astig!

Delver said...

Haha. Mr. Pagsi pala aa! :]]

jhosel said...

hehe..thanks again!

Jeremy Romero said...

How I wish, makasama ako sa Y-Speak para man lang mai-express ko rin ang mga saloobin ko... however, I don't know na kung paano ako uli makakapasok sa ABS-CBN... ang dami ko pa namang nami-miss na mga tao doon... especially si ate rox... as in ROXANNE GUINOO... :'(

By the way, bakit yung Japanese Blog (http://ameblo.jp/leeheonjin) ko lang ang may link sa iyo?

-otep- said...

waah! nawala ang y-speak? kailan pa? may plano ba ang studio 23 na kapalit?

Lorenz said...

I belonged to the debate club last year and I thought it would be really easy but it was hard and I was always intimidated by most of them. I never wanted to do it ever again because I felt that I could just write what I think and feel without the pressure. Great experience alhough embarassing :)) I'd appreciate it if you link to my blog! :) thanks!

angel said...

hi mikee! i just want to ask your opinion about dun sa issue about birth conrol here in the philippines...are you in favor of this?

cave in said...

hello mikee..i'm kevin from sorsogon city..and i like ur post regarding you as debater..hehehe...cause i'm actually a debater in our school - a struggling debater..hehehe//

pakiadd man po ako sa list mo..www.kevinclidoro.blogspot.com

thanx