AB Bonita gave a fantastic interview! She is the national director and head coach of the Philippine Memory Team. I was impressed how she went from competitor to coach in such a short time! I had the privilege of meeting her when I went to the World Memory Championship in 2013. She has a lot to share and is an amazing person. Have fun reading Anne Bernadette Bonita's memory interview profile!
How did you get introduced to memory techniques?
I have a terrible memory. I wanted to improve my memory a bit. Did some research, then I found out that there are actually ways on how to improve your memory. I also learned that there's a group in my country involved in memory sports, the Philippine Memory Team.
How did you get started in memory competitions?
Luckily, my classmate in college is a Memory Athlete, so I got to meet the other members of our national team who eventually became my good friends. I got to know them well, shared techniques with each other, then joined my first Championship in Thailand back in 2012. I got a gold in Names and Faces in my first champ, YAY! :) Then I got totally hooked on Memory Sports. :)
How was your first memory competition? What did you want to achieve when you went, how was the experience, and how long had you been training before you went?
Got a gold in Names and Faces. That became my favorite event since then, as well as Random Words. I just trained for a couple of months. My training was irregular at the time because I was involved in a different field of work which required most of my time.
How long have you been competing/training for memory competitions? Last/next memory competition?
I actively joined competitions for 3 years. My last competition was at the World Memory Championship 2014. But just after my 2nd year of joining competitions, I already started coaching. So, there was a point where I was a player and coach at the same time. Later, I realized that you can’t do both. One of the two will suffer because you can't focus on it. And whatever you do, you need to give your best shot. So now, I decided to be a full-time coach. There's a scarcity of memory sports trainers and arbiters. If I focus on being a player, the sports might die down in my country, and I definitely don't want that to happen.
How does your typical memory training session look like? How long do your training sessions last for?
Back then, I was just training during our lunch break and evening until midnight when I got home from work. Before, I normally sleep or watch movies on the computer during lunch time because my previous company allowed that. I then fell in love with Memory Sports. So every chance I get, I try to review my system. Time varies.
What systems do you use? (Cards, numbers, etc…)
P-A- for cards. 3 digit system for numbers.
What is your favorite memory competition event? Why?
The World Memory Championship 2013 held at London, United Kingdom. I met a lot of amazing and unforgettable people. Everyone seem to be happy and at peace. Memory competitions are not just about getting high scores, winning, or breaking new records. They are about achieving your personal goals, making new friends, and being united with people from other countries who share the same hobby.
The Names and Faces event is my favorite. There’s something with girls and N&F event. Based on observation, the majority of females can somehow get higher score on it without exerting much effort.
What event do you dislike the most? Why?
NONE. I used to be allergic to Spoken Numbers, but now I love it.
What are some of your memory training/competition goals?
I'm a full-fledged Memory Enhancement Coach now, so my goals are for my students. (I love them all) I just basically want them to be awesome and still be humble no matter what they achieve. I also want them to perform well during competitions and most importantly, be able to conquer their fears.
Where do you think memory competitions are heading? (Electronic, new competitions, getting popular, etc…)
I believe that the future of Memory Sports will be bright since it is starting to get recognized by the main stream media. New Memory Games will be introduced and electronic events will also be adapted in competitions.
What type of information have you learned with memory techniques (useful information)?
LOTS. I basically teach my students how they can apply memory techniques used in memory sports to their studies and their practical applications in daily life. Memory Techniques can definitely help shorten study hours, develop focus, gain confidence, be more efficient, productive and many more.
What are people’s reactions when they learn what you can do with your memory?
I received both positive and negative reactions. Initially, they were amazed whenever I demonstrated my memory skills. Then, I decided to quit my job to join competitions and discover more about memory sports, trainings, and other things related to them. Simply put, I fell in love with Memory Sports. At first, people around me were shocked and against it, thinking I was crazy for leaving a dream job for people in my field of work. But they eventually saw the positive effects of Memory Techniques and Mind Sports on me. What happened to me was a total change of career. I never regretted anything. I am more than happy now with the decision I made.
What was the most difficult barrier you faced when using memory techniques and memory training?
Lack of time (during those days I was still working in a different field). Sometimes you have tension and nervousness when you get a lot of errors and point deductions during training but that's how you learn.
What is your best experience using memory techniques?
Work seems to be easier, confidence level increased (I get to be "sweetly" bullied by some friends before due to my poor memory), and my focus is also higher now. But the best thing memory techniques brought are that I discovered a New Me. I feel like I'm a better version of myself now.
What would be the most difficult information to memorize? Why?
I can't think of anything as of the moment. I always try to find a way out of something.
What do you like to do in your free time when you are not memory training?
Sing, play with my dogs, hang out with friends, eat pizza and plan for world domination ;)
AB Bonita's interview showed me how much she cares for helping others and how she wants more people to get involved with memory techniques. If you haven't read Clay Knight's interview or Kevin Schulz's interview yet, go an check it out: Clay Knight Memory Interview Profile and Kevin Schulz Memory Interview Profile. Look forward for more memory interview profiles! And remember: Always keep learning!