The IDeA Lite 2015 Debate Tournament Experience: SSC Manila’s Debate Society Team A on Ranking Sixth, Advancing to the Semi-Finals and Bringing Pride and Honor to our School
After weeks of preparation, sleepless nights and exhaustion, the Delta Chi members headed to Xavier High School to participate in the Interscholastic Debaters’ Association Lite Invitational Tournament (IDeA Lite), a high school debate tournament held last August 1 and 2. During the morning car ride going to Xavier, all members were frantically refreshing BBC’s homepage on their smartphones, trying to update themselves with the latest news and listening to the last-minute debating tips and reminders given by their coaches. They were simultaneously nervous and excited for the event. As they entered the venue, the members of the club were astonished by the number of determined debaters who, like them, are debating to bring pride to their school and be able to grow and mold themselves into the best debaters they could be.
The event started with the usual line up of orientations and remarks which were given to ensure that all the participants know what to do. It was about 9 o’clock in the morning when silence filled the room as each of the teams looked for a spot outside the convening room where they can do their rituals and say their last minute prayers before the start of the rounds. Once the first motion was released, everyone just raced to their designated rooms while preparing their speeches on the way since they have only 15 minutes to do both. During lunch break, everyone in the team gathered in an area to examine and reflect on what had happened during the previous round and ready themselves for the next.
When the preliminary rounds ended, participants waited with anticipation for the announcement of the breaking or advancing teams. Fingers were crossed, prayers were said and wishes were made. Triumphant screams of joy from the Top 5 teams were heard alongside the pounding hearts of those who continue to look forward for their team name to be called. Finally, the phrase: “Breaking 6th…SSC A.” was said. All members of Delta Chi screamed for joy, their hearts were filled with relief that they survived the first day and with one team moved to the Quarterfinals of the tournament.
Day 2 came offering the opportunity to the Deltans to take home the trophy. However, as the number of people decreased, because some were eliminated, the number of best competitors did not. True enough, the rounds became tougher; the farther the team advances, the greater the competition turned out to be. By the end of the Semifinals, Delta Chi’s chance to bag the highest honor of the tournament got severed but definitely not their strong desire to achieve excellence in the field of debating.
Indeed, the experience was enjoyable and fruitful despite being mentally exhausting and draining. And while the girls may not have brought home their desired trophy, they surely learned much and were transformed to become better people.
By: Charlene Enriquez and Antonie Peralta