Gave Up But Holding On

It’s amazing how colourful this season is in this country. With all the revelry and festivities that matches our tourism campaign, our elections are something to behold. That is why it should not surprise us that the whole world stares in awe. Unlike our predictable local primetime drama themes, Philippine elections almost always ends in a shocking twist of events that even Olivia Pope herself would be drawn into.

Amplifying people’s voices. 

If there’s anything that this political phase will prove, it is that it has been a people-driven election. After some articles that you can find online, you will realize that Filipinos are social media savvy (despite having the most expensive broadband and crippling internet speeds as per Rappler infographics). Regardless of societal class since we have affordable prepaid data offerings including Free Facebook and China smartphones, more and more people have gained access to information and have filled where traditional media has ceased to feed: live, raw, and unfiltered crowdsourced news and in contrast, tabloid materials and memes. That is why PR stunts has no place in this country anymore, because ordinary netizens can now be heard, information can be verified real-time and posts can be shared with unimaginable reach especially if it is entertaining in nature (very cultural I guess).

 We’ve been poor too long to have enough of BS and I know our frontrunners could’ve done better and must’ve kept it real. Social media managers must be on their knees by now scrambling at such colossal numbers and I could never be more proud for we have definitely achieved the pinnacle of democracy. Everyone has the right to be heard (and I’m looking at you Daniel Padilla).

I’m not saying we should boycott traditional media especially that people have been trending biases lately. We need curated information every now and then but we just have to keep on looking out and choose what should seep into our consciousness and be heedful for it always affects our decisions in life especially as big as national issues.

I am actually proud of the healthy discussion that happens in Facebook comments since people have something passionate about. And I was that same type of person last election when I helped campaign for Gibo and when he lost, I’ve realized that either the Filipino nation has been influenced by the media demonization of the predecessor or they are just not that ready for a visionary leader. It’s a popularity game, I get that and maybe he was just ahead of his time. He should’ve tried Senate just to get his name on the door.

Anyway, I still mourn for his loss and maybe that may have unconsciously sabotaged my decision not to vote this year or campaign anyone for that matter.

The hassle of defending your work leave despite a critical workday and the costs of booking flights was just too much to bear, and even transferring precincts is a mess in itself.

Change starts with me. 

I just want you to realize that while you give so much of your hope to the candidates of your heart’s desires, please know that the change we want for this country starts… with... us.

After travelling abroad, I have come to realize that people in developing countries need no intimidation from power figures just to abide the law except if you’re North Korean. For even as simple as not littering or smoking in designated areas only, ordinary people have incorporated civil obedience and common courtesy to their daily routine. Don’t even get me started with traffic rules for the motorists and pedestrians. I’m no saint either but we’re just so bad at that.

I may have lost faith in the electoral process considering I am so statistically insignificant but I have never lost faith in the people of our country. We have good hearts. Strong ones even. And we have proven that time and time again. We just need to do way better.

The leader we need. 

We are currently reaping the economic structures that were the unpopular measures that Gloria did and we see such growing numbers in the papers and I’m just not sure how it translates in terms of the average Filipino since the social division here is so wide, we can place EDSA in between it. I don’t even know what PNoy did to claim all credit.

We just need the smartest governance and everything else will fall into place and knowing the types of people here, we also need an iron fist, and there is a reason why such had worked for Singapore.

Whoever you decided to support, just think about the vast discrepancy of having the leader you want versus the leader this country needs and that should put your thoughts into perspective. This world is bigger than us and the challenges we face.

And I’m glad that our major networks have aired and organized their own debates much like the US elections and it makes me tear up a little that we are learning from our big brothers in the west. Their character, vision, and platforms have been properly laid out and I watched them all in YouTube and I was more entertained than informed because their words are just close to heart, tackling issues that we all or someone we know is going through.

 We just have to keep tabs on how they answered such, so that we can help our leaders achieve it when they have taken their seats. Yes, you heard me right, help. We help them get there but we are in no place to wait for them to do their job since the government comprises of the officials and the people. This is a partnership as much as marriage is for couples. We commit. We must deliver. We may not have direct influence to them but by being working hard or positively winning over those around us, the change we always wanted might just be around the corner.

Treasure real relationships. 

These candidates don’t know who you are so why jeopardize your relationships with your family and friends. It’s just not worth it. So raise your white flags and make amends to people you have offended knowingly or not, and let’s get our hard caps on and get this country back on track.

And for your information, get your buy one take one treat in Starbucks if you will vote.

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