Tardy though it is, here's the run up of what happened post the break night party.
Tuesday, 23rd May: Free Day
I went shopping. Manila city is quite a fantastic place to go shopping if you have foreign exchange in hand and a lot of silly aimless desires. I went to the major shopping complex in a place called Greenhill.
The regular mall stores and multiplexes here share shopping space with gigantic flea and export surplus markets rivalling Sarojini Nagar both in size and price. Sadly, haggling is a little tougher when you can't speak Tagalog, but you can still work things down by at least 50 pesos, if not more. In addition, huge music stores existed, with CD's, VCD's and to my heart's delight, rock posters at dirt cheap prices. The country, as I observed, is crazy over rock music, and have exceptional taste. The radio's blare U2, Semisonic, Greenday and assorted other rock bands, and their local rock bands are exceptionally good. This is the country that Pop forgot.
I picked up a couple of posters, including a Pink Floyd Back Album poster, which is the most amazing looking thing ever to be hung up on any wall. We're talking better than the Mona Lisa here, I think you get the drift. Aside from that, I also purchased a pair of smiley shorts, which are...shorts with loud yellow smileys all over them. I was very proud. I nearly bought a spiderman tie (where in the world would you get that), but I relented. Not much opportunity to wear one of those, eh what. My shopping done, one moved on to grabbing a bite to eat, and one was again, not dissapointed.
I ate at Jerry's Grill, for a good taste of Filipino grilled food. I had a local fish called Bangus, the entire fish grilled for just 190 pesos. The fish itself is a milk fish, that is it's meat is white. It is the most brilliant tasting fish I have ever had. The fish is grilled, coated with Calamansi and garnished with tomatos and sprigs of green things. The fish itself is sublime, just flaky enough to break off well with a fork, and juicy enough to melt in your mouth. The best part, of course, is the Belly. The belly is the nice fatty portion of the fish, where you have the most delectable fish fat and meat which is all hopefully rich in good ol' omega three fatty acids. Even if its not, it was well worth it. To cut a long story short, I pigged out.
24th May: Break Day 1
On our octofinal round, facing University of Philippines Diliman, we lost in a very close round, with a split desicion dissenting against the chair going against us. I was crushed, I was sure we had taken the debate, and I really really hate losing, especially if its not a clear loss as it had been with NTU A. The other singaporean teams, NTU B and NUS A also got knocked out, leaving only the old brigade of NTU A in the quarterfinals. The QF's themselves took care of NTU A, leaving exclusively Filipino teams in the draw. A round later, it was down to only Ateneo teams, which was kind of sad. Takes the whole fun out of the competition. But one shouldn't complain, do better next year and beat them fair and square.
25th: Finals Day
Ateneo A vs Ateneo B. Ateneo A wins. That's called cutting a long story short, and I'd rather not elaborate on the politics of the affair.
Aside from the complete screw up with our tabs, in our third round, one of the adjudicators mistakenly gave us a 68 average for the round, which is...incredibly low. It was apparently another mistake, as the adj. believed it to be the average score for AUDC. Sigh...I really hope we don't have to go through so much contreversy in the next tournament.
After the finals and the results and the general prize distrubution, one left for the After Party at a pub called Ponticelli. The pub itself had an excellent live band, who kept performing the various and varied requests we set out for them, from Losing my Religion, to Bohemian Raphsody(The ultimate Drunk Singalong Song) to Elevation. The party itself was quite wild, a group of exhausted debaters getting drunk makes for an interesting night, especially if you're one of the few sober chaps around. A group of straight laced Tam Brams from NTU getting drunk makes for an even more interesting night, especially when one is slowly manouvered into a little guy on guy action. That wasn't of course, the only guy on guy or indeed girl on girl action that night. As I said, it was a very interesting party. Around 2 at night we all departed, heading back for the hotel to grab a final night's rest before flying out the next day.
I'm back home, which is why I had been a bit tardy with the update. Meeting friends and family after ages does take up a bit of time, and I am quite attached to this city, it's horrendous weather, its beautiful buildings and delicious food. I'm sadly vegetarian for a while, till my stomach recovers from the hammering it got in Manila with a steady diet of fried meat and rice.
I'll be putting up photos of AUDC soon, at my flickr (yeah, I created one) account.