The OKOR Experience

“If I could sum up my whole experience in one word, it would be: “eye-opening”. Being a first-time participant in the OKOR competition, I only had little knowledge on what goes on in these types of competitions.

It was nerve-racking to see how seriously all of the other participating schools took the competition. It truly did show that they were all so well prepared and that all deserved the titles they won. It made me think that if we had prepared a bit earlier than we did, we could have done better than we had. But what’s done is done and I have nothing but respect and gratitude for everyone who aided, supported and mentored me, and the other participants. What I have obtained from the whole experience made it all worth it. Plus, I was given the opportunity to get to know a few of my schoolmates here at AAIS. I also got to share many funny moments with them. The whole experience really opened my eyes to the fact that, as you grow older, life just becomes more and more cutthroat and that you can never be “too prepared” for anything. But, as long as you work hard and commit yourself to achieving your goals and dreams in life, you will succeed. All of your hard work will be worth it in the end.”

– Jovi Christelle P. Esmalla, Essay Writing Contest Representative


”Nerve-wracking. Nail-biting. Hair-raising.

The experience taught me a lot of things. The Order of the Knights of Rizal (OKOR) Competition may not have been that prestigious, but being there gave me the sense of both excitement and anxiety. To win, I learned from experience, readiness is a key, along with responsibility, patience, willingness, trust in yourself, and, of course, faith in God.

I would say it was a ‘shocker’. Everything was, not to be taken lightly. It was during the trip to Bahrain that I actually realized how serious we should have taken the review. Personally, I thought, we, Genesis Bartolome and I, were both ready for the Battle of the Brains competition. Having thoroughly memorized and familiarized ourselves with the broad topics included in our review papers, I was very confident that we would nail the competition. Of course, at times, nervousness would kick in. In the venue, though, my hands were stone cold (both our mentors, Mrs. Bonite and Ms. Malagapo, pointed that out), my arms full of goose bumps, and my face almost looked wan. Up on stage, there came a point where my mind went almost blank, but then again, prayers saved me. The questions did not cover an extensive range, yet they were difficult all the same.

It was not luck, I believe, that got us in the Top 5. It was more of God’s will. Yes, we may not have brought a trophy home, but I deem we still won, as champions even. The support of our fellow AAISians was overwhelming. The experience was incredible; the memories just as wonderful. After all, so they say, all’s well that ends well.”

– Jennievie C. Cacayuran, Battle of the Brains 4th-Runner Up

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