Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Just the second time in 4 elections since 1986
that my index finger was stained with
indelible ink. Let's see how long it will stay.

Change?

As of 10 pm today, May 10, 2010, the "partial, unofficial" results reported by networks show Benigno Aquino III leading the presidential race, followed by former president Joseph Estrada, once ousted for plunder,  judged guilty not by the Senate tasked to look into his alleged wrong doings (e.g. coddling family and favored friends, for instance) but by a popular uprising he refers to as a revolt of the rich and the few.

For vice president, Jejomar Binay leads. Coming into power as the late Pres. Cory Aquino's appointed officer-in-charge of Makati immeditalely after EDSA, Binay had since been running the city alternately with his wife for the past 20 years.

The 12 slots for the Senate are filled by actors and politicians whose names and faces had done the rounds once before, not all of whom did anything significant and meaningful towards the upliftment of the lives of the 50 million or so Filipinos in terms of laws that firmly put in place their rights and privileges, strengthen institutions and benefit society at large.

Change, "pagbabago", is the most used, most abused word throughout the campaign season. All candidates wore a badge that screamed "pagbabago!", short of having this badge enlarged such as to make it look like a speech bubble stuck to their heads wherever they went, in case anybody missed it.

Change! they screamed. Change from our current situation, they say, of widespread poverty and corruption. How that would be, however, was lost on many of them because it did not matter how  change could be achieved. It mattered more that they said it the loudest, the most frequent, the angriest. "Change" became, to me, the promise that weighed the most, yet, little by little, transformed into the most hollow.

Change! For a Filipino public that they say has matured, grown tired of corruption. Change! For the Filipino hungry for new leadership! Change! Towards a path of a better tomorrow.

In the weeks before election day, surveys upon surveys showed that, for the Senatorial slots for instance, the popular names were constantly topping the lists; popular names of actors and scions of politicians who themselves were not [known to be] agents of change. Back then were glimmers of hope, however, albeit hidden in the pockets and linings of robes that, on the outside looked crisp and untainted but were actually reused or recycled rags sewn together haphazardly.

As election results are becoming apparent, the face of what will become the next Philippine government is slowly revealing itself as being too familiar for comfort. The surprise in all of this is not that our collective hopes for real change was to be realized promptly, with a little help from technology, but that the nightmares of the past we thought we had buried are coming together taking a life of its own.

Change? Wait, where are the agents of change? They're there, midway down in the list of candidates as voted by the "mature" Filipino voters hungry for a new leadership that will lead them to the path of a "better tomorrow". Yes, the "mature" Filipino voter slung by mud or thrown into the slime with the candidates throughout the campaign, no thanks to the power of media and its mouthpieces.

Anyway, who did they kid?

The "only" mature thing the Filipino voter did in the last 24 hours was to trust an unknown system, prepare their journey to the polls armed with a lot of patience and brave the unforgiving heat, some goons and a lot of glitches. For that, they, and all election volunteers and workers, are to be commended.

(continue reading here)


[This topic is related to the Philippine elections. All my election-related posts can be read on my other blog, pedikabpolitics.blogspot.com]

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