Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Midyear 2011: Run Away With us to…Boracay!

The Midyear Conference is held annually on the month of October to bring together Toastmasters from all over the Philippines to enjoy food, fellowship and healthy competition (without the pressure of winning).   Oh, and it’s also supposed to bring together the district officers for their yearly midyear meeting. But I suspect most people focus more on the partying. I should know. I’m one of those people.

That’s why when I found out that this year’s conference was going to be held in Boracay I did not hesitate to register immediately. The venue is going to be at La Carmella de Boracay Resort Hotel. It’s to be hosted by Division D and organized by Midyear Chair ACS Mhel Sillador.

La Carmella Hotel is found in Station 2 right in front of the beach. It has beautiful rooms and excellent amenities. 

For those who have yet to register do it NOW! Don’t miss out on all the fun.

Here are the registration rates, exclusive of accommodation:

Early Bird: 1,700  (May 2 – June 30, 2011)
Regular: 2,000 (July 1 – September 15, 2011)
Late Registration: 2, 500 (September 16 – October 15, 2011)
Onsite: 3,000 (October 15 – 22, 2011)

Payment may be deposited to China Bank Bacolod North Drive.
Acct name: Toastmasters International Division D
Acct number: 1610353010

For inquiries and concerns contact Midyear Chair Mhel Sillador at mhel_sillador@yahoo.com.ph or call/text him at 09052811776

The Midyear Conference: When did it all begin?

In the Toastmasters world, there are two national conferences to look forward to: The District Conference and the Midyear Conference. The former happens around April or May while the latter happens on October. Another interesting thing to note is that the Midyear Conference only happens here in the Philippines. Yes. The main reason for this conference is so that the district officers could meet in the middle of the year to discuss their progress in their respective areas of responsibility. But eventually it morphed into a national event that was hosted in turns by Toastmasters from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. After all there’s no reason why we Toastmasters can’t work and party at the same time, right?

Now aside from the district meeting, a variety of contests are included in the program. These are designed to find the best speakers, dancers and singers from each Division. Yes. We Toastmasters are very talented. (Is there nothing we can’t do?)

The first Midyear Conference was held on October 10-11, 2003 at the Orient Pearl Hotel in Manila.  It originally began as the Luzon Conference attended only by Division’s A, B, G and H. It was brought about by PDG Jimmy Pamintuan’s proposal to hold a conference that would feature games, fun, food and fellowship. What couldn’t be done in a District Conference could be done here. Thus, the Quartethlon was born. It was a contest wherein one contestant had to compete in all 4 categories: evaluation, singing, entertaining and impromptu speech. If you think competing in the District Conference is tough – think again. The first Quartethlon Champion was Grea Tulio – a Toastmaster from Harbor TMC-Division H.

It was in 2006 when the Luzon conference officially became the Midyear Convention.  In 2008, the Midyear Conference was held outside Luzon for the first time - at Bacolod City. Since the first Midyear Conference, this midyear tradition has only become more and more popular. The success of last year’s conference which was held in Cagayan de Oro City, hosted by Division F and facilitated by Midyear Chair ACS Albert Mabaquiao only whetted the people’s appetite for more. And I have no doubt that this year’s conference is going to be spectacular. Why? The venue says it all.

Midyear 2011 is going to be held at the beautiful island of Boracay. It is to be hosted by Division D and organized by this year’s midyear chair ACS Mhel Sillador.

Source: http://www.scribd.com/doc/20306823/Maharlika-Noble-Press-Issue-42

Have you ever been to a Midyear Conference? If not then this would be a great time to try. Read all about it in my post Midyear 2011: Run Away with us to...Boracay!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Competing at Discon 2011 by Alex Zeta

I have already been to three Toastmaster’s District Conferences. But this conference was special – at least to me. Why? Because this time I was competing in 2 categories. For the last 2 Discon’s I have sat in the crowd and wondered what it would be like to be on stage competing. Finally I was going to be able to find out first hand. There were four categories to compete in: Impromptu, Evaluation, Humorous and International Prepared Speech. I was Division F’s representative for the Evaluation and International Prepared Speech category.

I have prepared for this moment for months, from the club contest up to the district conference. On the first day they had all the contestants register for the categories each one would be competing in. After the briefing, which was done by PDG Gina Mapua, they had us pull out our speaking order. I got number 8 for the Evaluation contest. Perfect! I was visualizing number 10 but, as long as it wasn’t number 1, I’ll take it. For the Prepared speech I got number 5. It was good enough.

The Impromptu and Evaluation contest was scheduled on the first day – April 29. The Humorous and Prepared Speech contest was set on the next day. The morning went swiftly by. Before it knew it the Impromptu Speaking Contest and the election of the next set of district officers was over and it was time for the Evaluation Competition. We were all asked to sit at a table in front so we could listen to the test speaker. Then the martial escorted us to a holding room to wait for our turn.

Finally, I was up. The stage looked scary to me. I started walking towards the platform. The room was deathly silent. It was like everything was happening in slow motion. My heart was beating so fast I felt like I was going to have a heart attack any second. My mouth was dry and my hands were cold and clammy. Then I started to speak. And it felt like I was back were I belonged. Once the first few words were out I began to enjoy myself. Adrenaline rushed through me and I thought, this is why I love speaking. There’s nothing quite like the rush of nervous excitement when you’re on stage.

Competing for the International Prepared Speech Category was even more nerve racking for me. My mouth was so dry I had a hard time pronouncing the words at first. But I had memorized my speech so thoroughly I couldn’t have forgotten it if I wanted to. But after those first few seconds I began to feel my speech come to life. I had poured my heart out in that speech. And now all those feelings that I put in it: anger, betrayal and finally, forgiveness came rushing to the surface. Tears threatened to fall and my voice began to reflect the rawness of the emotion I was feeling. At that point I no longer thought of winning. What mattered to me was that I shared my story and maybe, through that, I could uplift someone who was going through the same experience.

I won 1st place in the Evaluation Category. As for the Prepared Speech, I didn’t even place. But I still felt like a winner. Just being able to compete among such amazing speakers was an immensely humbling experience for me. This experience taught me so much.

I have been a Toastmaster for over 2 years now and although this was my first time to compete at the District level, I’ve competed several times in club and area competitions. And I can honestly say that after ever competition, win or loose, I’ve grown as a speaker.

Winning is an amazing feeling. But what makes it so special is the person you have grown to become. Success is never accidental. It requires passion backed by hard work. It’s not easy. But it’s definitely worth it.

Have you ever wondered how the Midyear Conference began? Read my post on the The Midyear Conference: When did it all begin? to find out!

Toastmasters Discon 2011 Contest Results

Every year, District 75 holds a national conference to showcase the public speaking prowess of Toastmasters from all over the Philippines. This year it was held on April 29 – May 1 at Manila Ocean Park and was organized by DTM Voltaire Victoria. The main event of every district conference are the speaking competitions. There are four contest categories: Impromptu, Evaluation, Humorous and International Prepared Speech. Each category has 10 contestants one representing each of the ten divisions in the Philippines: Division A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, and K.

The first two days of the conference were packed full with activities. All the contestants gave the audience a show and everyone enjoyed themselves. For those who weren’t able to go to the conference, here are the Contest results for Discon 2011.

Contest results for Discon 2011:

Impromptu Speaking Contest

1st place: Philipp Matthys, Division D-Iloilo Executive Toastmasters Club
2nd place: Alvin Neil Gutierrez, Division A-I-Connect Toastmasters Club
3rd place: Mark Novem Grageda, Division F-Iligan Toastmasters Club

Evaluation Contest

1st place: Alessandra Victoria Zeta, Division F-Iligan Toastmasters Club
2nd place: Jenny Monastrial, Division B- TOPS Toastmasters Club
3rd place: Stephen Michael Lumanlan, Division g-Baguio Living Synergistically Inc. Toastmasters Club

Humorous Contest

1st place: Mark Novem Grageda, Division F-Iligan Toastmasters Club
2nd place: Adrian Alo, Division C-Queen City Toastmasters Club
3rd place: Eduardo Catayoc III, Division A-Camanava Brunch Toastmasters Club

International Prepared Speech Contest

1st place: Michael Del Rosario, Division G-Pines City Toastmasters Club
2nd place: Darwin John Moises, Division C-Lexmark Toastmasters Club
3rd place: Ma. Cecilia Onate, Division A-Metro Manila Toastmasters Club

Analysis (courtesy of Discon Chairman, DTM Volts Victoria)

Division F = 7 points
Divisions A, C & G = 4 points
Division D = 3 points
Division B = 2 points

According to Discon Chairman, DTM Volts Victoria, this is Division F's highest standing over the years :)


Next year’s District Conference is going to be at Samal Island, Davao. We’ll be able to enjoy the sun, the beach and the company of our fellow Toastmasters. For those who haven't registered yet please send an email to tmdiscon2012@gmail.com or call 09177008891

Look for Discon Chair DTM Elisa Tay

 See you all there!

Read my next post Competing at Discon 2011 by Alex Zeta.