I’ve never been, will never be, a fan of an Aquino. One word: CARP. Did not vote for Cory’s scion last presidential elections even if all my family was under the Liberal Party because I AM ENTITLED to vote whoever I deem deserving. Just like everyone else. What we call the right to suffrage — availed to each of us, citizens of this godawful country due to democracy.

Like most Negrense families, we also depend largely on sugarcane farming and it is not an unknown fact that this already subverted industry during the Marcos era collapsed when a devastated widow stepped up, formed a revolution and became President of the Philippines. But I’m not gonna dwell on that.

The present administration, undeniably, has had lots of unforgivable gaffes but I’m not gonna enumerate each one as majority I believe, is already aware of these considering the amount of mudslinging going on in this elections. (If you don’t know where to look for mud, go to your Facebook feed, mine is literally saturated in shit.)

I was skeptical when it came to the yellow zombies (slash yellow army, as what they were or are so popularly called). I too was also quick to criticize and blame because I also came to believe that our government was a sensationalized mess as what was broadcasted everyday on primetime news and read daily on newspapers. But come happen an unexpected paradigm shift, I was thrown into a line that allowed me to experience first hand what it was like to belong to the marginalized multitude and honestly, there was a time I felt ashamed to be privileged. Here I am complaining about worldly things oblivious to the fact that there are actually people who exist to only survive one day at a time.

The platform I was on gave me the opportunity to immerse myself into the vast communities of the indigent, the hapless farmers, the impoverished fisherfolk and the daunted former rebels. Each person I’ve had a chance to interact with had a unique and despairing story to tell and that the government was not helpful at all. When the 2010 elections concluded, the said oligarchs assumed position and somehow, all hope flew out the window. For some, the trauma of the failed agrarian reform program still loomed heavy over their tired and hopeless lives. At this point I knew, me and the people I work with knew, our provincial government knew that we had to do something, we had to get involved.

These concerns were aired to our local chief executive who had the initiative to echo to national and after so long, they listened. We were heard. And slowly, the province thrived. Accessible roads were built; livelihood assistance were given; programs were created for the indigents, the small farmers, the fisherfolk, the former rebels; economic zones were established; endless job opportunities; district hospitals constructed, the existing ones improved; provision of comprehensive crop and health insurance; progressive agricultural development; the list goes on.

And the most heart warming part is the sincerity of the beneficiaries when you check on them and they come up to you and profusely thank you and tell you stories of how these government programs has made a significant impact on their daily lives. The most rewarding feeling I’ve had next to childbirth.

This 2016 elections has been the worst and most divisive elections I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been bashed, ridiculed and judged because of my choice of candidates; accused that we endorse these candidates for our own personal gain.

Today, I will be voting for the most misconstrued candidate for President not only because I could relate to how it feels like to be misunderstood but also because I’ve personally experienced what it was like to be under their governance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all up for change just as the rest who are crying for change, and I am proud to say that our nation is gradually changing and I want to keep at it. And as to personal interest, true. I’m not going to wash my hands clean and be a hypocrite. But if it’s any consolation, my personal gain is to be able to sustain the support we’ve given to the beneficiaries of the programs we have already established for our underprivileged brothers and sisters.

Today, I will be voting for someone who I believe has the most fundamental and rational vision for this country. I believe that we do not have to resolve to violence for things to get done.

I will be thinking of my children, the less fortunate, the whole nation and my God today when I cast my vote.

And lastly, President Noy, I may not be your biggest fan but I’d like to thank you for all that you’ve done for the Negrense. This administration may be flawed but I am aware that no government is perfect. You were able to reach the grassroots and I hold that with great respect. We are truly grateful to you and your government for sharing with our vision, believing in our legislative agenda and supporting its implementation and sustainability.

Regardless who wins this elections, I fervently hope that us Filipinos will not concede to a revoltion but instead unite as one and pave the path onto a better Philippines. Let us respect one another and uphold the rule of law.

Probe. Think. Choose wisely.

May God bless the Filipino people.



Obsession Election

This 2016 elections is so intense, it has brought more division rather than unity. Everybody is at each other’s throats trying to prove some logical point why their choice of candidate is the rightful choice. Suddenly, everyone has become so concerned about a nation, everyone has become some expert political critic and social media has conveniently become fuel for hate. My feed is amazingly overflowing with negativity. Amidst the social media war, the heated exchange of quips, the cursing and mudslinging, some respond with tact and diplomacy while others, with their overwhelming passion for whatever cause they are fighting for, morph into rabid bullies.

The development of the campaigns has become chaotic, comical and unpredictable, it’s kind of embarrassing and plainly annoying.

But isn’t it, supposedly as one people, our aim is for the progress of our country? That is if we are genuinely concerned with the development of our country and not just riding with the sensationalized bandwagon because it is the social media trend.

Change. Everyone is screaming change. WE WANT CHANGE. The overused “change” has literally been the undying promise of every running or aspiring politician every election season. (And honestly, to be fair to the past and present administrations, there has been change, it’s just that most of us are just too naive to notice. Change is gradual, not drastic. Even Charles Darwin believes so.)

But change happens with us. Discipline starts with us, not with some government official, not with some political aspirant and definitely not only during elections.

We are all so quick to judge, to conclude, to blame and to complain. No government is perfect. It will always have its fair share of unforgivable gaffes but I do hope that as educated citizens, we could give credit where credit is due. It’s just sad, human nature as it is, we are bent to see faults rather than acomplishments.

Let’s try to reevaluate, what have we actually done to contribute to the progress of this country besides clocking in to work and paying taxes. Have we actually immersed ourselves in the community and experienced first hand the hell of a country we live in as what some are relentlessly claiming? Have we gone out of our way to find out facts to alleviate our ignorance and not solely rely on mass and social media? Are we adherent to our nation’s laws as simple as following traffic rules, lining up and waiting for your turn at the grocery counter or disposing your trash in the right receptacle bin? Have we grasped opportunities to involve ourselves in helping the homeless, the neglected and the abused?

If we really want to see real change, we have to be a part of the process.

Five days left of the campaign period, six days left before election day. By now, most of the voting population has already decided whom to vote so let’s show each other respect as what civilized people are supposed to do for it is our right to root for whoever we feel deserving. Regardless of who will win the elections, local and national alike, all of us will have to deal with it.

After May 9, most of us will go about our everyday lives like we normally do. But let’s not be insensitive to the marginalized multitude who’s become victims of abject poverty; let’s not be insensitive to the underprivileged youth, let’s not be insensitive to the abused women and children; let’s not.

All of us yearn for a better government so choose someone with integrity, someone with a clear vision for this country, someone with tact and wit and consistency, someone who is respectful and considerate, someone who values transparency, someone who upholds the rule of law.

Choose someone who complements your principles, values and beliefs.

Enough of being a circus. Stop with the drama. When you exercise your right to suffrage, think. Think of your countrymen, think of the children. Six years is a very long time.