Archive | February, 2006

My Debate Experience

Posted on 21 February 2006 by Flisha

Best Adjudicator, Yay! Well, OK, to be very honest it was a tie with a guy from Davao. Urgh, it was my personal achievement moment and I had to share it with an ugly earthling. Nonetheless, it was fulfilling after my last MPDC’s fiasco, that is, when Gimmi my darling boyfriend slash best debater of them all, was almost brutally murdered by unworthy of calling themselves debaters “debaters” who, unfortunately, were pathetically eliminated from the breaks at the fateful hand of yours truly, best adjudicator of them all. ‘Course, last time, they nearly wished me dead.

Crazily, my bad deed was an indirect effect of my good deed. It all began when I chaired the first round of debates. Of course I chaired, having aced the adjudication exam, no sweat (sorry, the MPDC turns me cocky, though I don’t have one). Two debaters paneled with me, and feeling quite sweet and generous, I recommended one of them as a chair for the next round. Who knows how they recommended me, though, since in the next round, my previous panelist did chair while I was demoted to a panelist status! Ack! My dignity! Demolished. And so it persisted in the next few rounds that I kept on paneling and never chairing, having lost my edge.

Finally, in the last round, I paneled with my fellow ADZU adjudicator and a chair from a school I forgot. I had failed in my duty to my debaters, I felt, since now it was a moot point to think that I would in any way belong to the top ten adjudicators. This was crucial, since it would mean that I would eventually help adjudicate the finals round. The only way I could contribute was by eliminating the competition. And I did just that. Threw my average reasonable mind off the building and wore the vengeance-help-me-do-this-dirty-deed cap on my head. Long story short, I influenced my student adjudicator to bow down to my wishes and made the chair want to take me by the neck and strangle me till I acceded to an average reasonable decision. I didn’t, my student adj didn’t and neither of us made it to the breaks.

Breaks night came and I didn’t go, leaving the outraged debaters to gang up on my baby boyfriend demanding him to hand me over so they could skin me alive. Six to one, my poor baby. They beat him up to a pulp and left him for dead.

Just kidding! The other ADZU debaters saw his plight and came to his rescue, and the average reasonable mind enforced peace on earth. For that brief moment, anyways. Finals came and no ADZU adjudicator paneled, woe was us. Ultimately, the enemy won. All my fault.

That was a year ago, the 10th MPDC. I haven’t gone since. Well, until now. The 13th MPDC. I was forced by our contingent to adjudicate since no one else could. Of course, the free trip and registration helped.

Anyways, this year everything happened differently. I put my average reasonable mind to use and didn’t go berserk when our best debater slash ‘I know I’m a god but even gods can have an insecurity complex’ stated at the end of his speech: “Walking does make people win, perhaps not now, but maybe next time.” in reference to the enemy’s quip on our contingent’s habit of parading ’round the stage while speaking. A betrayal of trust, that was, the worst thing a debater could do in a debate – to concede.

Still, even though, again, the debate cup came so close yet still stayed out of our reach, our accolades speak for themselves. Best Debater, Best Speaker and Best Adjudicator. Helps wash away the sour taste of First Runner-Up.

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Creamy Euphorbias

Posted on 09 February 2006 by Flisha

As euphorbia buds, they’re not that beautiful. But strangely, there’s something about this picture that whets my appetite.

Perhaps it’s the creamy swirls, they kinda remind me of ice cream. And not just any ice cream, specifically the Selecta brand.

And that’s weird because I much prefer Nestle (formerly Magnolia, Nestle bought the company) over Selecta.

Hm, now that I think about it, they do resemble the heart-shaped logo of Selecta.

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Food of the Gods

Posted on 06 February 2006 by Flisha

Gim holds up Theobroma (Food of the Gods) CacaoBy that, I mean the fruit, not the boy. Although the boy is also very tasty. (Reservations go through me.)

Gim is holding two cacao fruits (scientific name is Theobroma Cacao), from which my most favorite food of all – chocolate – is made. Last week, we went to Nangka again, only we found out it wasn’t yet Nangka but Lampakan. Anyways, back in Lampakan, Gim and I decided to visit a cave he remembered was easily accessible. I had been pestering him for ages to bring me to a cave, so I could show you pictures. The caretakers of the elementary school were very friendly (unlike some of the other people in Lampakan, more on that later) and they showed us to the cave. It turns out the cave was too small to enter, and Gim admitted that maybe he had mixed up his cave memories. We trudged back up to school in disappointment, but then we saw two huge fruits which looked like coconuts to me, only oblong-shaped, and Gim said those were cacao, and the caretaker told us we could have them as souvenirs! (Haha, as if we were tourists.)

This is Lampakan school, where we found the chocolate fruits.I had never seen a cacao fruit up close before, even though it’s actually very common here in the Philippines. This made me very intrigued, and for a full day I harbored ideas of creating my own chocolate bars. Alas, after a bit of research, I saw that wasn’t possible. The process of turning cacao into chocolate is a bit overwhelming.

First you have to scoop out the cacao seeds from the fruit, then you have to let them ferment for a week under a banana leaf, then you dry them out in the sun for a week, then you de-bacterialize them (how, I wonder?) then you roast them, then you pound them or grind them and peel off the seed’s outer layer and then you have chocolate powder – which you can mix with milk, sugar and other ingredients to make chocolate.

Whew. I think I’ll just buy a Cadbury bar instead.

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Insect Slavery?

Posted on 03 February 2006 by Gim

Humanity has long since recognized the evils of slavery. In the span of a century, reformists and activists have campaigned against it, wars have been fought for or against it, and countless lives have been lost in man’s bid to end it. Today, various groups such as Anti- Slavery International and Amnesty International ensure that slavery as an institution, would never rise again.

Things are different in the insect world. Me and Flishi were outdoors one fine January afternoon when I noticed something right out of a biology book. Insect slavery! I took a snapshot of it using Flishi’s new Canon A410. It’s got a super macro feature which I used to take this pic. And so here it is.


The ants in the picture are ‘farming’ aphids. Aphids feed on the sap from plants. These insects excrete the excess sap, which the ants then collect to feed the colony. Cool isn’t it?

Here are some of the other shots I took:

Above, Suntan buds. Right, Pine sap.

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