On the morning of May 10, 2010, I shot out of bed, threw on some clothes and walked to the precinct with my family. When we got there, the line was steadily forming, and some of our relatives and employees were already there. My number was 138. It took us about an hour and a half, maybe less, and the volunteers were really helpful and accommodating. I’m glad for that, but I also wish that it was like that in other parts of the Philippines.
Waiting in line. There weren’t enough chairs, so we stood in the sun for a while.
My cousins, Badge & Marc (who lent me his camera) were done by the time we got to sit down.
Success! Honestly, every time that panel came up on the PCOS machine,
the volunteers would congratulate you! Seemed they were more excited for it than we were. :)
My sister was the first in our immediate family to vote. :)
I’ve been hearing about all sorts of stories about the elections today, naturally. And even though we’re not really united in who we want to vote for as the leader of this country, it moves me so much to know that we are still united in that desire for change. Sometimes, I think that some people neglect to realize the power of their votes, but I’m glad that there are more people this year, who are risking their safety and their comfort to go out and make a difference for the future of this country.
We’re all tired of the crap that this string of weak and ineffective leaders has been putting us through, and I’m so proud of those who are moving and doing their part to make a change, to attempt and make the Philippines a better place. Good governance, I believe, will make such a big difference.
To the Filipinos, I really, really am proud of all of you. Despite election-related violence, rampant cheating and questionable candidates, we’re still holding on to the hope of change, beecause we can see it happening. It’s so frakking near us, we can taste it. I’m praying for this country, and I’m praying for the leaders that will be elected. And I’m praying for the grace to accept whoever wins, for greater faith in God, regardless of who wins. This is such a beautiful country, marred with moral bankruptcy, greed and the power-hungry politicians that seek to serve themselves over the citizens they are supposed to lead.
The world has so many misconceptions of Filipinos, and many, many ugly stereotypes, but we know who we truly are, and what we are capable of. Let’s prove the world wrong, because the battle isn’t over yet.
Today, instead of doing the work I should be doing, I watched a certain Teen Nick show and also I made a video blog urging my 51 YouTube subscribers (including my daddy) to register for the upcoming Presidential Elections (2010, baby!). Here I am, making a fool out of myself:
Seriously, though. Please, please, please take time to register. I really believe that if all goes well with the elections (i.e. if nobody cheats, tampers with results, et cetera), and if we do our part, as in to register and to vote, we can really make a difference towards the Philippines that we want it to be. So, go register if you know what’s good for you!
In other news, I am dying from my academics. Which is actually my fault, so I don’t blame anybody, really, I just enjoy whining and complaining and annoying other people with my unpleasant ways. However, this little video (yes, a video! again!) will never fail to cheer me up. I seriously watch it about five times a day ever since discovering it a few days ago. PLEASE ENJOY THE PUPPY THAT CANNOT ROLL OVER:
I, Carina, am admittedly one of the people who are least interested in general politics. I am concerned, however, about the upcoming 2010 Philippine elections, enough to go and register as a voter. Interest in registration stemmed from mostly from a) being so tired of the current government, and b) being (understandably) terrified for the future of the Philippines, given the roster of politicians who currently have their eye on the presidential seat.
Ever since they changed procedures (Before, you could register at your own barangay hall, whereas now, you have to go to your local COMELEC office to do so), I’d been apprehensive about registration because it seemed to be so time-consuming. I heard about so many horror stories from people looking to register and just really didn’t want to have to go through with the whole game.
The registration process itself is easy enough. You just fill out a form in triplicate, bring a photocopy of a valid ID (with address) and wait in line, after which you’d be asked to sign stuff, take a picture and record your fingerprints. Aaaand then, you are done. I wish I could tell you it was that easy-peasy to register. COMELEC uses DCMs (or Data Capturing Machines) to record your data, which sounds really progressive (as opposed to manual encoding), however:
Problem #1: Each machine can only process 200 registrants a day.
Problem #2: Each district COMELEC office has only one or two of these machines to do the deed.
Not to discourage potential voters, but I went to my local COMELEC office twice — my sister went three times — and still did not emerge victorious. Plus, I had to deal with this unsightly, not to mention SHAMELESS, poster:
Talk about subliminal. If you can’t read it, VICE MAYOR Bistek Bautista wants you to EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE.
The first time we went to Quezon City Hall, the COMELEC “wasn’t there.” Basta lang walang tao. They went to some barangay or something like that, and left their post, basically. The second time we went, we went before class, and went after a few minutes of waiting because the line was monstrously long and refused to move.
Fortunately, my barangay opened their office today for registrants and I went before going to class. (You might want to check with your barangay hall to see if they are doing this, too, because I kid you not, the COMELEC office lines are always long.) Please note my look of victory:
I promise, I’m happier on the inside.
Was it worth all the trouble to go through all those hoops that the government seemed to purposely make you go through? Absolutely. The way I see it, participating in the elections — especially if we can — is one of the best ways to do something about the things we are unhappy about. I learned from my professor that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo won because of only 11 million votes. The Youth Vote is made up of about 30 million Filipinos. You do the math.
Don’t worry about being cheaters during the elections. We’ll cross the bridge when we get there. The important thing is, by registering to vote, you are actually taking one step towards the government that you wish to have, instead of just whining about it. Action begets action. We are all unhappy about the country, but what are you going to do about it?
The deadline for registration is October 31, 2009, but you might want to register as soon as you can. COMELEC offices are open Monday-Saturday, 8AM – 5PM, including holidays. Here are some helpful links because I’m dumb at explaining things:
- COMELEC Website, where you can see the registration schedule and download the forms
- COMELEC Blog, for updates
- Important Philippine Voter Registration Information by Ganns Deen, which explains some of the different process like transfer of voting areas, update of information, etc.
- Information on Absentee Voting from GMA News.
- An article on Youth Vote Philippines
On a tangentially related, but funny note, when it was my older brother’s turn to record his fingerprints (they have a scanner, like the one in the U.S. airports), he pressed his digits on the cardboard diagram, declaring afterwards: “I watch too much Sci-Fi.” If only we were that advanced.