The first time I actually participated in the elections would be last 2004, but that was when I had to assist my Lolo Abner (who had some walking and eyesight difficulty then). I was just 15 years old then and legally speaking, I have no real say on my choice of candidates. While I finally became a legal (and registered) voter last 2007 and 2008 local elections, this year would be the first time I get to choose top leaders at a nation-wide scope.
Voting for me is sacred, and I made discerned for five to six months. From the nine aspirants, I was down to three: Senator Noynoy Aquino, Senator Dick Gordon, and Secretary Gibo Teodoro. (Heck, I would never vote for a convicted plunderer and an allegedly corrupt ex-Senate President.) I was close into choosing Noynoy when his recent attitudes made me decide against him. He was uttering immature words he never spoke before. It was then Gordon-or-Gibo for me. I looked at their platforms and track records and I came up with my choice — Gibo is my president. While some may say that he did questionable things before such as going against the impeachment of Plunderer-President Joseph Ejercito-Estrada, I’ll say that wha he has done lately (especially in light of Ondoy/Ketsena) made me look up at him. All in all, the whole discernment process made me much aware of my enormous duty and right as a Filipino.
2010 is also the year in which elections in the Philippines becomes automated at last. Hurray for science and technology! While a few people have their doubts about this new system, I say we give innovation some chance.
After him, I got to choose my other candidates. All was set until at last, it’s May 10, 2010 in the Pearl of the Orient.
This morning, I went to San Juan Elementary School here in Malolos City, Bulacan with Mommy, Lola, and Auntie to vote. I’ll share some events (which you may have actually heard/read from airwaves, TV screens, news tweets, and other blogs) that took place before, during, and after I took part in this big day that will forever be carved in Philippine history.
- My precint number actually changed. From 0429A to 0445B. Well, what’s more important is the cluster number actually.
- The new automation system resulted to long waiting lines under the sun. Voting precints were grouped into clusters, which means that around 1,000 people need to vote in a single classroom. Everyone was getting irritable already, and some immature ones were even cutting in line. Some seemed to have taken all the negative vibes their body can contain and just went home fuming. I am glad that a great majority still chose to be patient just so their voices will be heard.
- There was a special line for Senior citizens, sick persons, and pregnant mothers. This really helped, since Mommy’s head was about to burst already, no thanks to the forty-plus-degrees-Celsius ultraviolet solar rays. She asked me to vote for her so I joined her in her special line. Lola Ninay and Auntie Gett were also with us (Auntie assisted Lola up to her seat). Thus, we were able to save time by not joining the regular line.
- I think there was something wrong in our ballots here at Malolos City. Now, here’s some quick story first. The province of Bulacan has four districts, and Malolos City belongs to the first. Now that it has progressed throughout the years, it was proposed in the Congress that Malolos City be separated from the other towns and cities of Bulacan and thus be declared as lone district. This proposal for the first ever Philippine capital was rejected by the Lower House though. There were aspirant candidates for this new district already, so they just did not pursue their candidacies anymore. I was thus expecting to see candidate names for Disctrict 1 Representative today. I was so suprised then when I can’t find them. Instead I saw the old candidates for the hypothetical lone district. What suprised me more is that the provincial board members in my ballot are those for District 1. Whatever happened to consistency? I can feel special elections for the post of congressman rolling out this October already (or probably board member, if they choose to reconsider the lone district proposal instead). Nonetheless, I felt as if one of my votes was wasted. 😐
- My ballot was rejected the first time I put it inside the scanning machine. I ACTUALLY PANICKED THAT MY VOTES WOULD NOT BE COUNTED. But then I flipped it over and the much-anticipated Congratulations! Your vote has been counted! message appeared.
- I can’t believe that some people are actually considering voting for Erap. Come on guys, are you sure you want that Plunderer as president again? Maybe (read: maybe) I can understand Villar with some, but Erap?
- So guys, this is just a test-run year — let’s not be all-out pessimistic and give the new system a chance. While there may be news about some scanning machines going haywire, let’s be patient with this innovation. As a scientist, I’ll ask everyone to stand tall and be proud!
- Voting made me feel empowered as a responsible Filipino. I love this country to bits! 🙂
Congratulations in casting your vote today, fellow Filipino. Your simple deed makes you a true hero. Voting is now over but election isn’t. Let’s all be vigilant and hopeful. Sulong Pilipinas!