In my 15 years of teaching I witnessed, assisted, chaperoned, judged, trained and coached students for various contests from sports to academic. Gone to the most heavenly venues to some God-forsaken ones. Went through a roller-coaster of emotions before and after each contest. Experienced being in awe with the legit results in many to being speechless in most.
We celebrated every win with fanfare, big smiles and humble heart. We accepted every defeat with open-mind, graciousness and humility vowing to be better the next time. Such is life after all, we win some, we lose some.
The last contest we joined, the Panrehiyong Patimpalak sa Filipino held in Caraga State University, Ampayon will go into my personal annals in teaching as the worst and the most disappointing contest, not only in some but in ALL ways. This is a regional contest we are talking about.
Let me count the ways why…
1. Starting the opening program with students as masters of ceremony who are clearly not up for the job, speaking in Filipino with no regard for balarila, mangling every sentences uttered and clearly murdering the Filipino language for all to hear. Saying things like ” ..sa mga kalahok galing sa iba’t ibang rehiyon ng Caraga”
Excuse me? I didn’t know Caraga have become a little country.
Giving lines like …”mula sa lungsod ng Agusan del Norte” or giving unfinished adlibs leaving them vulnerable to audience smirking and jeering, not once, but countless times from 9 in the morning till the end of all the contested events, and all through these the Filipino Coordinators were there and did not even bother to correct them. They must be on the same level, right?
2. Organizers who do not keep track of time and who were killing time by announcing over and over again to wait for a while because they are still organizing things. On the day of the contest?!? (a while turned out to be 2 and half hours). Think about the participants from far areas coming in early to make sure they wouldn’t miss any event and you are still organizing??
3. Contest venue filled to the brim with CSU students sitting prettily in the bleachers clearly MARKED WITH THE NAMES OF THE 11 DIVISIONS of the region while the participants stood in their costumes drenched in sweat and already tired even before the contest started simply because these CSU students were required to attend. Well now, think about region, 11 divisions, 7 categories to be contested, 60 students per school max and you could not even fill the hall with chairs, still, you want your own students to attend, why?
4. Organizers getting confused with their OWN rules, guidelines and criteria resulting to creating a NEW category to be contested upon when the coaches heat up over the interpretation. (Vocal Solo category was on the dot created when what was disseminated was Duet.The criteria was clearly made for vocal solo yet the guidelines were for duet) Fine, we coaches understand what other coaches go through in events like this. Compromise and concession is the name of the game. The organizers admitted they got the criteria wrong and conceded making up the new category BUT said no double entry, meaning if you already have a contestant for the duet, you can no longer have an entry for the vocal solo, yet minutes later broke their restriction by allowing CSU to have a double entry, what does that make you?
When questioned about the double-entry, the one in-charge, the one who announced no double entry is allowed just blinked and asked back, “no double entry? said who?”… what in the what?!?
5. For delicadeza purposes, Subject Coordinators/Teachers should refrain from accepting jobs as judge to events/categories where their school has an entry. NO! Don’t give me that bullshit of “I am being objective while judging” Objective my foot! Let’s be honest here, no matter how objective you are, there will always be that little twinge in your heart to give more points to the school where you come from. A little tweak here, a little tweak there and all’s good, but not as blatant as when the co-judges gave ratings like 97 and 95, the highest among all 19 other contestants and the last one gave 84 because he favored the school where he came from? Color me stupid please.
When my co-teacher requested to see the score sheet, he found out that the 2nd and 3rd place even got the same rating putting them in a tie. The judges did not even bother to change the score. When asked about this, the questionable judge haltingly answered ” Ah napagdesisyunan na namin yan sir, na itong school na to ang second at ito naman ang 3rd.” How did you even come up with that decision? What are your basis for saying “napagdesisyunan na” when the score sheet clearly showed BOTH got the SAME rating? unsa ni?? pintot pintot?? Couldn’t you at least change the score before you show it to the coaches? You are inviting criticisms for your judgment, you know? You couldn’t even defend it properly. And you want us to accept your explanation with open-mind? Thank you, kind judge for making us idiots.
“Judges decision is final and irrevocable”–In the past, we have always accepted this, albeit with difficulty, still we abide because we always think and trust judges know best. What happened was just pure, unadulterated “lutong macao” style. Nagpa contest pa mo?? I am not insisting we should have been declared winner, we have “judges” after all but when even the declared winners themselves are shocked why they won, that says a lot, right?
If my posting this will become basis for some to remove me from government service, SO. BE. IT.!