Bali / 2015

The best cure for Post-Tournament Syndrome is Pre-Tournament Syndrome.*

Jimbaran Bay stretched out to the horizon. My memories, too, had no beginning and no end. 

This is what Bali taught me: in the life of a traveller, some experiences aren’t just moments, to be fondly recalled but mostly forgotten. Sometimes they’re Moments —circumstances, conditions and coincidences that happen and make you think this can only happen once and this will never happen again. The sound of locals laughing with us, the scars we bore as witnesses to our forays into surfing, and our worthy struggles through the winding steps of cliffside temples all said the same thing. We were alive. 

The quote above is reworked from an essay I submitted to a travel blog way back when the memories were still fresh. It’s a bit harder now to recall the emotions that I felt so viscerally during our stay in Bali, but luckily I have photos, videos and a traveller’s journal to consult. 

I decided now to finally post something about our trip to Bali (which was almost a year ago) because the Thailand UADC is coming up, and I still have to blog about our Australia trip as well. I thought I might as well clear up my queue, and at the same time work out my Post-Tournament Syndrome (the Philippine Inter-Collegiate Debate Championships just finished; see my post here).

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  1. Thank you to my mother, my kindest financer, who until now, despite all my failures, is still paying for my trip to Thailand and, presumably, my med school education. 
  2. I love UPMDC. I love how comfortable I can be with them, how accepting they can be of my quirks. Travelling (on a full stomach and on well-rested feet) with you guys is the best. By extension, the family members of UPMDC who treated us to dinner were also the best. 
  3. Bali is amazing. The public transportation may not be good, but the atmosphere was still pretty friendly, and there’s a whole (relatively cheap) business of travel tours going around. 

I miss the beach. 


And yeah, we broke in UADC. I’m proud to have lost out in octos to the eventual grand finalist of the tournament (and ultimate cuties). I loved the atmosphere in the tournament. Everyone was so relaxed, and I got to make some friends! Hope to repeat it (and do more) this year!


There’s really no satisfying way to conclude this. Bali was where I first tried surfing, where I experienced an exhilarating form of independence, where I bravely drank civet coffee and where I learned to love cooked seafood. I can’t wait to go back, and to move forward. Infinite possibilities either way.

*In order to do justice to my fourth-year debating milestones, I feel like I also have to blog about the Global Health Debates (epic, and also the tournament where I kept falling in love with people left, right and center), about NDC Baguio 2015 (the tournament with M, where I learned that I can do anything, if I get lucky enough) and about PIDC 2016 (the last nationals of my collegiate debating career).

ALSO lol I don’t have the money to pay for Thai UADC yet so idk man, idk.

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