I was browsing around some forums from random links I found, and this one comment on Sulit.com piqued my interest:
“Kahit wala akong bilib pagtitiyagain ko na lng din si ninoy e… kahit hindi pasado sakin sige lng…”
In blissful reminiscence, this kind of attitude reminded me of my earliest voting experiences – back in elementary school, where we had to elect our class officers during the start of the school year. We would often choose the class president based on looks, on charisma and confidence, in stature, or in speech. And if you personally knew that classmate, there’s the popularity and kid-version “kumpare” factor.
In aghast realization, I observed that most of us never outgrew that kind of attitude. Filipinos are born intelligent; I fervently want to believe that. But sadly, the past elections as well as the present one embarrassingly shows that my belief is merely an ideal, not real. Or maybe it’s not a question of intelligence, but of wisdom. And laziness.
Amusingly, we do love to debate – especially about politics. Just try eavesdropping on a drinking session and sooner or later you’ll be observing a heated discussion spiced with off-handed heckling about it.
But I guess I would prefer that to those humbugs who prefer to not comment at all because “they don’t want to be dirtied by getting involved in such talks.” That’s simply being socially apathetic. And pathetic – because whether we like it or not, the election results – unlike our elementary, high school or even college elections – affects the entire nation. And if you’re a true-blooded Filipino with a real heart and soul for the nation, you should be aware, alarmed, and passionate about the ongoings of each elections. Because believe it or not, you are part of the decision of where our nation will be headed to in your generation, and your children’s too.
On the other hand, I am quite fired up with the slow change happening among the Filipinos; maybe it’s because of social media, or maybe we are getting smarter. But nonetheless, it is an encouragement to those who are losing sight of hope for our nation – a hope that maybe we can elect a worthy leader, that maybe we can bring back integrity and ideals into our government and its institutions. And that maybe, we can again be proud of being a Filipino – not because of millionaire athletes or popular celebrities, but because of who we are individually and collectively: a true Filipino race and a true Filipino nation.
We still have several weeks before that fateful day. I won’t hollering my choice in this post (though it’s very obvious to all my friends whom I prefer), but I challenge you to take some time to really be into the issue. At least 15 minutes of your life each week: dig up what you can find out about each candidate, be open-minded, give them respectful and due consideration (even Erap). Discuss your ideas openly yet courteously. Pray for wisdom, for guidance. And in the end, vote wisely. Everything is worthless if you don’t show up at all, or fight for your right.
I love the Philippines. God gave it to me, and gave Philippines me. May I deserve this nation by using my similarly-God-given brains, and grow up from our elementary ways of choosing a leader.