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Memoirs of a [Retired] Collegiate Debater October 27, 2006

Posted by benj in debate, Friends.



My former orgmates from the University of the Philippines Manila Debate Circle are currently strutting their wares against the best in the country at Baguio as I type this entry. Much of the time I spent outside school activities was spent with the Debaters and as geeky as it sounds, the debaters are definitely my kind of people. The humor is simply perverse and intellectually-stimulating at the same time. 🙂



I’ve been very casual about quitting debate – even months before I actually left the pressure-packed and competitive scene. I dropped hints on how this competition was to be my last only to contradict myself by joining the succeeding tournament. Of course, nobody really took note of such an inconsistency. Almost everyone who thought of retiring and resigning from the organization didn’t exactly quit the first time he or she mentioned plans about it.

As tribute to one of my greatest passions, let me debunk misconceptions about debaters:

Debaters need to have strong convictions.

Well, that depends on how you interpret the statement. If by having strong conviction you mean being staunch and solid in the context of the motion being debated upon, then that type of conviction can really go a long way. If you’re a hardline believer in something, it might be to your disadvantage in debate. The reality is, you will be forced to defend ideologies that run countercurrent to your deeply seated credos.

Debaters know everything

False. More often than not, debates are won by the team that manipulates the truth the most. The government/affirmative side always gets to setup the parameters of the debate and sometimes, they can use false information to skew the framework to their advantage. In debate, you have to claw and scratch for every conceivable edge in the game. Blink once and you’ll be sure to lose.


And yes, as for the prize, you’ll be lucky to get a trophy/ medal. Cash prizes are reserved for the champions alone and that prize money is just enough to register you for the next tournament. It’s not exactly a lucrative “career” for all the expenses that it would cost you.

Good luck UPMDC.



UPM E – 2004 IIDC Octofinalists – JBernadas KSupnad BEspina *FUGHLY HAIR DAMMIT*



1. Gee - October 28, 2006

Yeah, good luck to you Benj! Anyway, that hair is not FUGLY! I love it! Ang tino! Wahahaha…

2. ade - October 28, 2006


Because you are one of my most avid commenters I will not say anything negative about that, um, ‘do.

3. benj - October 29, 2006

yeah. now ill just have to think about everything negative and pick out the ones you are most likely to say.

This was taken a few weeks after I cut my hair. I didn’t cut my hair for 2 years and then I had it trimmed to that FUHGLY style.

4. bikoy - October 29, 2006

The reality is, you will be forced to defend ideologies that run countercurrent to your deeply seated credos. -> this was a major apprehension for me. i never got to try joining up debsoc. i couldn’t imagine myself having to defend say… some of arroyo’s policies

hooray for upds taking the championship from admu!

5. benj - October 29, 2006

Yup, this is the first time that Ateneo lost in the NDC finals. Ironically, it was Cabrera and Poon who brought this first championship – not the legendary tandem of Ng and Cortez.

Worst motion I had to defend: This House supports state-sponsored terrorism. W.T.F. Are they crazy?! haha

6. Celeni - November 1, 2006


Correction lang, it was ADDU B who was Opening Opp. 😛

I guess debating does require some sort of “moral flexibility”. I don’t think it makes debaters amoral or at worst, immoral, we’re just uh… “understanding”. ALAVET.

As for Sir Martin and Carl, they were, as Aids would say “the people’s champion” in the 6th San Beda NDC. This win is vindication more than anything. 🙂

7. benj - November 1, 2006

I really hated debating LOST causes in debate.

Especially the state terrorism motions. UGH. pathetic. I know what a politician feels now. haha

8. mats - November 4, 2006

FUGHLY HAIR… wtf *lol*
Anw, it’s true that Debaters doesn’t know everything.
What REALLY lies beneath is the most important factor and how a debater will take their lead towards every edge, doesn’t matter what the angle is…

9. arvin - November 6, 2006


I suck at debate (I think), but I remember being a member of a debate team for our school back in highschool (where I never competed, except on mock debates)

10. Anonymous - November 20, 2006

“Ironically, it was Cabrera and Poon who brought this first championship – not the legendary tandem of Ng and Cortez.”

At first I was going to respond to that statement, to disprove the irony, then I realized you were very right saying that.

Not to undermine the team of Cabrera and Poon, they’re great debaters in their own right, and could take on Ng and Cortez, but, really, Carl and Sir Martin beat Jess and Len every other round they met, by a clear margin in almost every instance. UPD A and ADM C were practically evenly matched.

But, in either case, it’s about time.

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