I recently bumped into Bong Natividad at the Araneta Big Dome during the 2nd round game between Ateneo and FEU. I was searching for a seat when Bong Nat gave a warm greeting before game time. A few minutes later I received a call from him telling me that he had a vacant seat beside him. It was during this time before game time and during time outs that we were able to talk. Amidst the beat of the bands drums and yells of the blue battalion and the blue and white crowd we talked shop.

Bong Natividad, together with Mario Magsaysay, Bobby Tesoro and Penny Cham are members of the very first PCCI Board of Directors wherein I was a member and whom I am close too, we txt and e-mail once in a while and with Mario, Bobby and Bong, we occasionally bump into each other in the judging circuit. When I was an aspiring as well as a green horn judge I even stewarded for these guys.

The interesting thing about my relationship with Bong Nat is that at times, we have been at extreme odds when we were together in the board but managed to be good friends outside of it. He is the only one I get to bump into outside of the dog world, in this case during affairs of our alma mater- Ateneo. I’ve bumped into him during homecomings and most of all during the games. We’ve fallen in line, rushed to get good seats, and most of all cheered for the blue and white.

This particular time we talked about the Judges Development and Licensing Committee. I was told that our friend Mario Magsaysay was the chair of the committee. The Judges Development and Licensing Committee I believe is one of the important committees of any canine organization. This committee is responsible for the training of someone who will be representing not just the club but a nation when he happens to judge in a different country. The impression that one will give when adjudicating outside his country will be lasting and spread quite easily to the thousands. The demeanor of the judge as well as his judging skill will be for hundreds of exhibitors and dog owners to see.

Going back to the JDLC. Their has been 2 different thoughts as to how it is to be run. One is to teach and to judiciously screen and prudently issue a license. This particular manner has been something I also have followed when I was Chair of the committee.

The second is to teach and to liberally issue licenses and let market forces be the one to assess if a judge is good or not. The premise being that a crappy judge would not go far anyway because the word will get around  that so and so isn’t good. However, one argument in favor of this second one is that a judge continues to learn and go through a learning curve as he gains experience.

I’m partial to the first, this is what I followed during my term as chair of the committee. During my time I introduced the preceptor program assigning applicant judges to veteran judges for further seasoning. Coming from a medical background, I guess my insistence on a strict licensing process is expected. I have however worked for different chairs who had one or the other paradigm because the basic thing of both systems is still to educate.

Mario, being the first and only SV judge at one point in Asia knows the importance of paradigm number one. Like what I’ve said I’m partial to having a few good judges with sound basics produced in a given time than several that came off a cookie cutter and hope that one of them will learn as time goes by.

Way to go Bong! More power Herr Mario!