DSPC ’14, at first glance

My 3rd time in the Division Schools Press Conference was quite polarizing. It’s been a week since, but flashbacks still circulate In my head.


Day Zero


I arrived home the evening before the DSPC. But before going home, my parents sent all my heavy baggage to a bus company a day before so I will commute easily without the bulky stuff.

It turns out that I arrived earlier than my luggage.

I woke the morning of our departure to the venue without any idea how everything will turn out. I was even wondering if my baggage will arrive that morning.

The hours passed by. Tick tock went the clock. I was worried that I might get ditched because we were supposed to leave after lunch, around 12:45. Finally they arrived at 10am. However, the series of unfortunate events did not end just yet.

I had a hard time opening the trolley bag, since it was old and the lock was probably dysfunctional. I called my mom for help but nothing worked. In the end, we resorted to breaking the lock open in order for me to finish packing up.

I still did not arrive in time, however. By time I got there, they already left moments ago.

Frantically, I hailed a van. Armed with my luggage and wallet in hand and a John Mayer playlist in my ears, I embarked on a good chase.

I did not know where I will go. Luckily, one of my fellow participants answered to my text and directed where I should go. And I arrived in there just as they did. (Luckily, they got lost around town as well. HAHA)

Our quarters was a mosquito-infested, fan-less room with an open CR that had little to no running water. Wham. Bam. F*ck you clam. (Excuse my French) But seriously though. It wasn’t even a consolation that it was in front of a cemetery.

Thankfully, the event supervisor allowed us to move into a rented house. It looked like a traditional Spanish house from the 1970’s, kind of reminiscent to the one our family has in Occidental Mindoro.

At first, we were scared sh*tless because it reminded us of one of those haunted houses in horror movies. And when we found our respective sleeping spots, my mates and I had a hard time sleeping that night due to mosquitos kissing our butts. And arms. And legs. And necks. 

In summary, it was all a BIG CLUSTERF***.


Day One, Morning Edition


I wasn’t a happy camper when I woke up. Our sleep was like those scratched CDs, which played smoothly and the stops repeatedly on a verse.

The food was surprisingly good however, since we opted to shy away from the official caterers.

My day couldn’t be more consistent though. There was an endless queue for the two bathrooms. This is what happens when you put 69 (I’m not sure) students in a single house, with some of them taking decades for their morning routines. 

I tried to go to our original quarters to try and take a bath. Turns out that it was occupied by another school.

As if it could get even worse.

I was wrong. It turns out that my two contests will be held simultaneously in the afternoon. Like fragile glass, my heart shattered into thousand pieces on the floor.

On the plus side, I didn’t need to take a bath early. HA!


 The Contest Proper


We arrived at the contest proper early for us to get front row seats. Turns out that changes were made and we, apparently, have to rush to the gymnasium. We took the front row seats. We got in there in time. We were armed and ready. There was just one thing missing. 

The speaker-judge. 

And we waited for her. I slept for over an hour. She still hasn’t arrived. I bought snacks outside. She still hasn’t arrived.

And it bothered me that the precious minutes I spent waiting for our speaker-judge to pop out could’ve been spent in the Copy Reading contest. We tried negotiating with the coordinators if we can just continue on with our other contest while waiting for the speaker-judge. They let us. 

Faith cannot agree with us however, since our adviser did not want us to leave.

After 3 hours, the speaker-judge has finally entered the building.

The lecture went by like a breeze. Literally though, it was 5 minutes of apologies for being late and 7 minutes of lecture then snap, bring out your pens. 

Once the tip of my ballpen landed on the paper, I was unstoppable. I wrote on while trying to find my most comfortable position. And when I finished my work with an encircled sharp, I felt something different.

The magic wasn’t there. 

I tried to brush it off and quickly headed to quarters, since I was hungry like a wolf.

My fellows were anxious to know what my article was going to be like, since everyone expects me to move on to RSPC. I showed them the pictures of my work. Most of them were impressed.

Still, I did not feel the magic, unlike my previous contest pieces.


Day One, Nighttime Edition


When we were handing out dinner, I noticed that we were incomplete. Turns out that the Collaborative Writing contest, which was supposed to start in the morning, was just seeing its beginning at 8pm. And what I heard was that when dinner was handed to our participants, they only had three bites since food was apparently, not allowed inside the contest proper.

I felt bad for them, since most of them were my friends. Together with Chloe and Vince, we hurriedly brought them water.

When we came back to the quarters, I heard a familiar sound.

The sound of shuffling cards. 

My sleepy soul was then awoken. Turns out, the fourth years were playing Tongits and Pusoy Dos to pass the time. I, being the card game enthusiast, quickly joined them. I quickly became an almost unbeatable player (with Ate Rachiel being the undefeated one) with sheer dumb luck with my cards.

Since the night was still young, we decided to continue on with our antics. Our all-time favorite drink, Swiss Miss, was in attendance. Hugs were rampant along with lots bro-mantic kisses that almost landed. Though I love messing around, I admit that Jik-jik’s kiss made me nervous. 

Day One ended on a high note, with a good nights’ sleep, thanks to mosquito coil.


If anyone’s reading this, part two will be posted tomorrow. 😉


2 thoughts on “DSPC ’14, at first glance

  1. i can fell you kuya, naiyak naman ako while reading this, kc nakakarelate ako, though hindi ako umiyak nung awarding, ito yung time na naiyak ako, know what, my daughter rain started in journalism since grade 3, she and her group always the champion in dspc khit saang school kami makarating, 3 schools na ang napasukan ni rain. 3 nspc na rin ang nilabanan niya at palaging may panalo, nagchampion na nga siya dun sa tagum city. god bless!

    • Up until now Tita, the pain of my loss still stings. Even though I know that this is God’s will, not experiencing Tagaytay and Angel’s Hills (which I adored) with my schoolmates and not seeing my NSPC friends who’ll graduate this yet will sure hurt. But I still have a year to comeback, and Rain still has 4 years. We will probably kick-butt by that time. Haha. God bless you too Tita 🙂

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