COME February 22, Thomasian brains will be pitted against each other again in the ultimate intellectual battleground called Pautakan.

Already on its 26th year, Pautakan is considered the longest running inter-collegiate quiz contest in the country.

This year, 10 teams will try to take the Pautakan trophy away from last year’s champion, the Faculty of Arts and Letters.

The Faculty of Engineering is keen on dethroning the Artlets. In addition, the Thomasian engineers will try to get ahead of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and the College of Science as the Pautakan’s winningest team.

The College of Architecture debuts in the competition after its split from the College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD).

First-time jitters

Only two years old, the College of Architecture is joining Pautakan for the first time this year and unlike its “sibling” Fine Arts and Design, it doesn’t have the advantage of experience to bank on.

The infant team is composed of team captain Thea Joyce de Joya, Leandro Poco, Emmanuel Plan, Bij Borja, Glenn Frederick Khu, Luther Maynard Sijm, and Louise Chito Ranay, who are coached by architects Rafael C. Alli and Chona Ponce.

Architecture junior Ranay says that the team has no expectations of winning, but hopes to enter the final round.

Forecast

Team: As a first-timer, the Architecture team doesn’t seem to take the contest seriously. But if it really wants to reach the final round, it must prepare for the fight ahead. But who knows? It may yet pull off a surprise like CFAD a year ago.

Individual: No representative.

Faculty of Arts & Letters:

Breaking the Jinx

Whoever believes that 13 is unlucky should try and tell that to the Faculty of Arts and Letters team.

After beating a formidable Engineering team in the clincher round last year, AB finally ended its 12-year losing streak.

Asian Studies senior Armand Vincent Delfin is confident that they can win again this year. According to him, “It really helps to know that you’re the champion last year.”

Individual representative Wilfred Ritona says Artlets is “not willing to give up the championship trophy easily.”

Forecast

Team: Still heady over its dramatic victory last year, AB goes into this year’s competition with full confidence. However, it can’t afford to get overconfident. since the Engineering team is determined to reclaim the trophy.

Individual: After placing a disappointing second last year, Ritona has doubled his efforts to capture the elusive trophy. But with Engineering representative Germaine Ang still in the picture, it won’t be an easy task.

College of Commerce:

Unassuming

Having placed third in last year’s competition, the unassuming Commerce team is expected to have set its sights higher and make a strong run at winning their first Pautakan trophy. But the loss of key players may have dampened this desire.

Its third runner-up finish last year—the closest it came to the title—proved insufficient to boost Commerce’s confidence, either.

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When asked about their chances, veteran member McReynald Banderlipe downplays their prospects.

Forecast

Team: Cracking jokes and having fun is okay. But treating the contest as a big laugh won’t get Commerce its very first championship trophy.

Individual: Second-year Commerce student Timothy Ernest John Javier must take the contest seriously if he wants to be part of the final round.

Faculty of Engineering:

Pay back time

As one of the winningest teams in Pautakan history, the Faculty of Engineering is a force to reckon with.

Last year’s sudden victory of AB however—a result of a Math question that was correctly answered by Artlets no less—was a big blow to Engineering’s pride. Add this to the fact that a victory last year would have earned Engineerinng the distinction as the contest’s winningest team.

This year, Engineering is determined to seize back the title by beefing up on Humanities, its known weakness.

Coache Michael Francis Benjamin says the team is “lazy” in learning key Humanities and other general information. But he adds the team has recruited a member who will fill up that lack.

Aside from the new member, Nathaniel Antonio, Engineering has retained six of its old members—Roland Pineda, Mark Anthony Ancheta, Kaye Ong, Germaine Lisa Ang, Yvette Taberna, and Jennifer Balog.

Forecast

Team: With the old gang intact, Engineering remains formidable and is assured a position in the top three.

Individual: As individual category champion, Ang awed the audience last year with her proficiency in Mathematics. There’s a big chance that she’ll land first place again. That is, if she brushes up on the Humanities.

Faculty of Pharmacy:

Determined to give a good fight

The first time that the Faculty of Pharmacy won its first ever Pautakan championship was in 1994. Seven years have passed since then and it still hasn’t repeated the feat.

With only three old members left, Lorenzo Tan, Sharmaine Sun, and Edgar Wilson Timbol, its chances of winning looks grim.

“We’re not expecting much but all I can say is that we’ll give them hell,” says team captain Tan.

Like the other teams, he believes that AB and Engineering are the best contenders. But Pharmacy will not make it “easy for them either,” he adds.

Forecast

Team: What Pharmacy lacks in optimism, it makes up for in determination. Although it lost four members this year, it’s possible that the team can make it to the finals. But reaching the top three is another story.

Individual: Being pitted against the likes of Ritona and Ang is hard enough. Now, Tan has to contend with ex-teammate Earl Sempio as well. But Tan seems a feisty fighter and may hold his own. Many are betting that he’ll make it to the finals.

College of Nursing:

New Blood

Nursing still seeks for the proverbial Golden Fleece in the 26-year-old Pautakan. But this appears a Herculean task as it has only two veterans left.

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However, coach Allan Joseph Maglalang is optimistic about the new blood infused into the team. He adds Nursing will bank on the weaknesses of other contenders, i.e. Math and Science, which are more their strengths.

Forecast

Team: The presence of new members seems to have boosted the optimism of Nursing. But unless it really shapes up for the fight ahead, it can kiss the championship goodbye again.

Individual: Ruff Joseph Cajanding will be pitted against veterans and will have a tough time barging into the finals.

College of Fine Arts and Design:

Beyond the drawing board

Last year, CFAD surprised everybody by nearly snagging a seat in the finals away from powerhouses Medicine and CRS. It failed to handle the pressure.

The biggest problem CFAD faces this year is the loss of most of its members. Only team captain Gail Genevieve Ang and Margrette Mae Arciaga are left to lead a young and inexperienced team.

Despite being short-handed, CFAD hopes to earn respect

Forecast

Team: The team is aiming to land a finals seat. But it must outdo itself and give the other teams run for their money.

Individual: No representative

College of Education:

Still taking things step-by-step

Again, Education will take it one step at a time.

It hopes to enter the Pautakan 2003 finals with help from God, says team captain Gregorio Torres Jr.

The team believes the greatest enemy is itself.

“If we would defeat ourselves, maybe we could win the game,” says Catherine Repaniol.

Aside from strengthening its faith, Education is also practicing the technical side of the game??buzzing. It seems the team is more worried about being out-buzzed rather than being out-answered.

Forecast

Team: Sporting a veteran team could possibly spell a win. Education nearly broke in to last year’s finals had they not choked. But things can change this year with their renewed spirituality.

Individual: The surprising Torres had already proved last year he could compete. But can he pick up from where he had left of?

Faculty of Medicine and Surgery:

Eager beaver

The rivalry between Medicine and Science that spanned from the late ‘70s to the early ‘90s has been an interesting sidelight of Pautakan history, with Medicine having the final laugh when it last captured the trophy in 1993.

Mediocrity may have haunted Medicine but expect the team to get back into contention. Team captain Charlemagne Aguinaldo is enthusiastic that the team can salvage a seat in the finals by sheer stategy.

Aguinaldo admits that the team is weak when it comes to Current Events and Mathematics so that they focused its preparations this year in these two fields.

Aguinaldo adds Medicine has found the perfect person to match Engineering’s Germaine Ang and Artlets’ Wilfred Ritona: Patrick Leonard Co.

Moreover, Medicine has been strengthened with the recruitment of former Pharmacy team captain, Earl Loius Sempio.

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Forecast

Team: With Sempio’s experience and skills, Medicine has found someone to fulfill the vacancy left by Cipriano Dauz. Expect the team to reach into the finals. But it will be a totally ballgame from then on.

Individual: Co is already a veteran in the competition, but this will be his first time to join the individual category. Can he live up to the expectations?

College of Rehabilitation Sciences:

CRS surfaced as a team to beat during the late ‘90s. But it has since fallen into a pit so deep that it finds itself still in it.

Eager for a rally, CRS is preparing hard.

“I think our chances are very bright,” says veteran member Irvin Quezon. “We need to give our all for the competition.

CRS will employ the same balanced attack as in the past year. Like the other teams, it has made adjustments in Mathematics to match the Math prowess of Ang and company.

Forecast

Team: Hard work, balance, and team work may be the formula that CRS needs to back in title contention.

Individual: The feisty Irvin Justin Quezon has big shoes to fill with the exit of Suir Avilin Yu from the competition. The road to the finals may be easy, but getting the top prize away from Ritona and Ang would be arduous.

College of Science:

Bringing back the glory days

Like Medicine and Engineering, Science is among the elite teams in Pautakan history with six championship.

But the team’s winning record is a thing of the past and unless Science solves its dwindling performance in recent competitions, it cannot earn back respect.

Team captain Michael Rico Mesina hopes that the team can make it to the top three. According to him, the team has been preparing since July in order to face up to Engineering and AB.

Science also considers itsveteran core a source of strength to prevail against the competition.

Forecast

Team: With its long preparation, the Science team may get back into the finals.

Individual: Despite three years of experience, Mesina is still considered a green horn when compared to rivals Ritona and Ang.

College of MUSIC:

Into the groove

For many years, the Conservatory of Music has been struggling to shrug-off the usual impression that it’s only good in, well…music.

Joining the annual Pautakan competitions however, is insufficient proof of its intellectual ability—it still hasn’t brought home a trophy.

This year, Music makes another attempt to prove its worth with newcomer Arwin Anat at the helm.

Forecast

Team: With a lot of neophytes in the team, it seems impossible for Music to gain a strong foothold in climbing the Pautakan winning ladder. This year, the most it could hope for is an enjoyable experience

Individual: Considering his neophyte status, the prospects look bleak for Anat. But who knows? He just might have surprises hidden up his sleeve.

1 COMMENT

  1. in the individual category, cajanding (nursing) took the bronze, ritona (arlets) the silver, and ang (engg) the gold. the triumvirate has landed.

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