A Taste of the Philippine Elections

This has been the much awaited day for the candidates and voters alike here in my country. A lot of people were afraid that it might turn out to be disastrous and another EDSA Revolution hangs in the air. A few days before the election, candidates were exchanging dirty laundries and resorted to black propaganda on National Television. In some parts of the country, some people died fighting for what they believe is right. A lot of PCOS machines malfunctioned when tested for a dry run. We thought that it’s going to be a disaster, what, with only a few days to go before “the day”…

Today, May 10, millions of Filipinos went out and voted. More people wanted to exercise their rights, I think, than the last election a few years back. The youth were more active in voting, patrolling and assisting as Poll Watchers. I have never seen such dedication. That’s not only inside the voting precincts but also in major Social Networks on the net. It was a brilliant idea to set up official websites intended for people who wishes to report anomalies from different parts of the country. These young people were so active in reporting various complaints from election violations to minor interruptions. It really helped a lot having mobile phones to take pictures of the different faces of the election. Let’s not forget that with the internet, voices were heard and solutions were made.

During the last national election, a lot of people turned up dead. Official ballots were stolen, precincts burned so people can’t vote, high crime rate a few months before the election, banks all over the country getting robbed, vote buying..should I say more violence?

Today, the only major complaints I saw and heard, apart from the PCOS machines breakdown, was the long queue of voters. People were more interested,vigilant and active to vote, thus the long lines. But, one of the Filipinos characteristic is being overly patient when needed. Factors like intense heat, coupled with feelings of dizziness and being hungry while standing in line, didn’t discourage or hinder their desire to cast their votes. I was amazed still, by what my fellow countrymen have shown, the courage and patience so that their voices will be heard.

Tomorrow, is a new beginning for us. As the whole nation and neighboring countries await the final count and the result reported on national television and radios (and also let’s not forget the web), let’s pray that the truth prevails. Whatever the outcome may be, I do hope that the Filipino people will stay calm and united.

As we usher in a new era in our history, let’s just hope for the future of our youths!

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