Mr. President, your Excellencies, good afternoon. My name is Maria Leonila Villegas, first counsel for applicants…
Hello world! The prodigal blogger is back again for some life updates. I haven’t written for almost a year but I have a valid excuse, I promise.
Aside from the usual shenanigans, I have recently embarked on a new adventure called mooting. In the past 6 months, I have competed in three Moot Court competitions here and abroad. Yeah, I’m crazy like that. Moot Court is a bit difficult to explain, so I just end up saying that I competed in debate competitions. But for those that are curious about what Moot Court is, here’s the Wikipedia article. Haha.
Last October, I competed for the Philippine rounds of the Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Moot Court Competition where I won 2nd Best Speaker (yay, me!) In December, I got to travel to Beijing to compete for the Asia Pacific Rounds of the Monroe Price Media Law Moot Court Competition, where we came in second. This allowed us to qualify for the International Rounds in Oxford, UK, eventually reaching the quarterfinals.
Just writing that paragraph was exhausting. Haha. Anyway, we just got back from Oxford around 2 weeks ago and all I can say is I WANT MORE.
Yep. I never thought moot can be this addicting!!!
But more than anything, I honestly feel like this was the highlight of my stint in law school (of course, this is apart from graduating and passing the Bar.) I don’t have the words to explain how exhilarating the feeling is to get up on the podium, with all eyes on you, trying to argue in front of legal luminaries and actually getting them to agree with your position. In the finals in Oxford, one of the judges was actually a past President of the European Court of Human Rights. I mean, hello. This was an actual “Mr. President,” so of course I got starstruck. (Lol I sound so geeky. Hahaha.)
Of course, the travelling and getting to know learned people in International Law is also a big part of it. Now I know that Oxford is my spirit city (if there’s such a thing) and that at some point in my life I’d like to try and dabble in International Law.
On a more serious note. I am happy because in the past 6 months of hard core competing and training for the competitions, I was still able to learn something new about myself. At 30, it is an amazing feeling to still be able to surprise myself with the things that I can do. Tbh, who knew I’d actually enjoy this? And that I’d actually be good at it? I really never thought I’d be able to represent my school and the Philippines on the world stage.
Anyway, there’s definitely more to expect in the coming months. I am excited at the though of competing again, and I can’t wait to once again go up on the podium.
I would like to thank this court of its time and indulgence. May it please the court.