Worlds Funding Update: Thanks to the generous donation of a fellow blogger, I am now real close to booking my plane ticket! Thank you! This is really something big for me. I have dreamed of making it to the Worlds and thanks to you, I’m THIS close to competing. *Identity of donor withheld upon request*
I’m really happy about the turn of events now. If there are still generous individuals who would like to help me out – whether financially, giving me a writing gig, lending me books that could give me an edge in the competition, wishing me luck etc. Don’t hesitate to contact me. :p I’m a nice, nice boy and I will do my best to make sure that I don’t let my school, country and self down.
This time last year, I was full-time med student – barely blogging and without any major activity outside of hospital and medical didactic concerns. Sure there were occasional opportunities to play and rock out in front of a handful of people, but last year’s first semester was pretty much routine. I went through rotations in Pharmacology, Microbiology, Pathology, Hematology, Immunology, Dermatology, Orthopedics, Rehabilitation Medicine, Endocrinology, Obstetrics and Gynecology just like everyone else in my block. Nothing big happened.
This year has clearly been a radical departure.
This time last year, Atheista.net was not yet in existence. I was also happily experiencing student life as someone with no responsibilities to an organization or a particular group. But alas, debate really is addicting and as evidenced by the throngs of already-twenty-somethings who continue to opt to join major competitions, I was in no way ready to buck that trend. Just like many before me, I gave in and decided to feed the fever and return to debating again after a premature retirement lasting two years.
September 14-16 – The University of the Philippines Los BaÃ±os Intervarsities (UPLB IVs)
Host: UP Los BaÃ±os
Defending Champion: UP Manila (Dr. Adrian Rabe and Robin Lucas)
Allocation: Debater (UPM E)
The UPLB IVs was designed to be a training venue for the the National Debate Championships. The tournament follows the British Parliamentary format where in four pairs compete. The team with the best arguments, manner and method win three points for the round. The second best team takes home 2, third takes one and last takes zero. The top teams in terms of cumulative points (in this case, the top16) get to advance to THE BREAKS. The break rounds are the playoff phase of a debate competition. Teams that get 1st and 2nd in the break round earn the right to advance to the next round. This cycle ends when only four teams are left.
The four teams are named the finalists and the winning team for that final debate is crowned as champions.
My teammate for this tournament is… Robin Lucas. Yes, he’s a defending champion. Pressure… Pressure…
October 21-27 National Debate Championships (NDCs)
Host: Philippine Military Academy
Defending Champion: UP Diliman (Claudia Poon and Nicolo Cabrera)
Allocation: Debater (UPM B)
The Nationals is the premier event for BP debates as far the college circuit is concerned. UP Manila is sending a strong contingent this year both in terms of number (read: 11 teams) and quality of debaters. The fact that this competition is being held in Baguio does drive the prices up significantly.
My teammate for this competition is fellow medical student James Salisi – another veteran of the local debate scene.
December 27-January 4 – Worlds Universities Debate Championship (Worlds/ WUDC)
Host: Assumption University (Bangkok, Thailand)
The UP Manila Debate Circle is a very meritocratic and democratic organization. This is why debaters (even seniors like myself) still have to go through tryouts to prove their worth. The slots to debate are limited, so I have to step up to the plate and show the org that I deserve one of those spots.
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