A Footnote to Young Debaters

by Emmy Borromeo

In their bold faces, the blazing fervor to win you will see. In cadence, they move forward, wearing that camouflage of loyalty, that badge of identity- they are their nation’s defenders. Bullets thrown to and fro. With the perfect balance of hastiness and caution, they battle with strangers trying to vanquish the unified principles and ordeals their country treasure.

Days of struggle, nights of alertness. Weeks went on and the scuffle noisily dimmed down. The black birds feasted on the losers’ abode. The winners rejoiced and in humility, with the sweetest tears of joy, they marched towards their beloved motherland, exclaiming how that tale ended according to their wish.

They are soldiers. And you, too, are just like them, young debaters, defenders of firm arguments well-valued by your fellow believers. Worry not if you are in the side of the truth. Before you would know it, you have behind your lips a thousand bullets. With courageous stance, be on your feet before your rival, show your adversary how eager you are to face the fight.

Observe and study the techniques and styles of some of the most successful debaters. Digest their words, learn from them.

Take this case and study: in one of the most memorable US Presidential town hall debates, Bill Clinton impressed the inquirer and the rest of the crowd as he answered this: “How has the national debt personally affect each of your lives? And if it hasn’t, how can you honestly find a cure for the economic problems of the common people if you have no experience in what’s ailing them?”

Here is a clip of how Clinton managed to triumph over this tricky question:

The secrets why the former US President was such an excellent debater were revealed by a former colleague in an article written by Sabrina Siddiqui in The Huffington Post. According to David Mercer, one of the people behind the 1992 Bill/Gore campaign, Clinton was a natural, he always managed to work on his strengths without forgetting to cater the moderator, the crowd and the opponent. Wouldn’t you agree?

Now, not only can you learn debating tips from the political arena but in religious realm as well. For example, take a look on the way Bro. Eli Soriano, a prominent Filipino debater on religious-themed disputes, articulated and defended the biblical principles he believes in in one of his remarkable debates:

Just as how Clinton showed his faith to the American people, you can also see the man’s reliance and assurance on the side he is taking. That is a vital note worthy to be heartily kept. And in a Bible Exposition last Friday, while he clarified the postponement of a debate with a Gospel of Christ pastor in the Philippines, he nonetheless exemplified another note: the importance of always being ready to stand on the side of the beliefs you defend- wherever, whenever.

(For a background: Last December, a Gospel of Christ member participated in another Bible Exposition and later on told that his pastor is willing to have a debate about the oneness doctrine , which states that God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are the same. After some negotiations, the pastor said that he must consult it first to a so-called “council”).

You can watch his other debates here.

From these debaters you will learn how to wear that bold face for people to see that blazing fervor to win, how to put on that badge of identity as your philosophies’ defender, how to throw your arguments to and fro…how to battle with strangers trying to vanquish the unified principles and ordeals you treasure.

With this footnote, hopefully you will see young debaters vital ingredients on how in humility, with the sweetest tears of joy, you could march towards your fellow allies, exclaiming how your tale ended according to their wish.



Ang Dating Daan, . Debate:Bro. Eli Soriano vs. Pastor William Saraga. 2007. Video. Youtube. Web. 8 Jan 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrwLAeVOE7Y&list=PL55276B9ABF005B3B&gt;.

Siddiqui, Sabrina. The Huffington Post. N.p., 16 2012. Web. 8 Jan 2013 <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/16/bill-clinton-debate_n_1971685.html&gt;.

smotus, . Clinton vs. Bush in 1992 Debate. 2007. Video. Youtube. Web. 8 Jan 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ffbFvKlWqE&gt;.