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Saturday, July 14, 2007


I went home in our little barangay in Pangasinan to participate in electoral process. I woke up early in the morning to catch the bus from Quezon City and go to the five hour ride. It was long ride back home. It was Sunday and election day will be the next day. They call those times “Dark hours,” it was the time were all candidates give all they can to win the seat; even doing the worst of worst things.

My family has been in politics for a long time. My father was the barangay captain in the past, my uncle was appointed Mayor of the town after the EDSA Revolution, my cousins were barangay captain in nearby barangay, my other cousins were councilors of the town, my two brothers were SK chairman successively of our barangay and the older brother even became the SK President of the our town thus gaining a seat in the Municipal council as an ex-officio, and my brother in law serve as the Vice mayor and three consecutive term as mayor. What is my point in enumerating all this; that I am fed up with politics. I have seen the worst of it and the worst that it can do to people.

Voters then in our town were dignified person. You can’t easily buy their vote. As the time goes on I have seen politics grew its sharp fangs. Back then when I was young all candidates do was to go to each house shake hands to voters giving their “tarhita” and ask for your vote. It is usual to attack the opposing candidates during the “meting de avance.” That was all but as I grew up there came the 2 kilos of rice per household, the 4 payless & 2 cans of sardines per voter, the bag of groceries per household, the Php 50 per voter, the 200, the 500, the 700, the 1,000, the 1,500 and to this point your life just for that seat.

Politics is the ultimate facelift, it does not only change your face, it also changes the personality not just that of the candidate but also the voter as well. The voters themselves are the one dictating the price of their vote. Sometimes they even have the guts to approach you and demand Php 1,000 for their votes. They never knew the value of their vote. Violence comes during election just to have power. Sometimes Families never wanted to relinquish the seat to others thus every member of the family has already run into the same position for the past decade. This term for the father, next for the uncle, next will be the son or daughter, and when everyone has run and can’t re-elect the wife will be asked to run.

They say Filipino voters are already wise voters. They have already learned and that they have better discernment. But what I saw back in our little barangay makes my blood boil. People are still double faced and easily bribe by money. I see no sense of patriotism. I hated to imagine that this same people that voted for the corrupt candidate will be the one to lead in complaining that their poor and the government is not doing anything to make their lives better. The problem lies not in the person who is in the seat of government but in the minds of each and every Filipino who have done nothing to alleviate and uplift their life and put the blame to the government who they voted. Maybe you’ll say that you never voted for those in power in government but truth is your not doing anything to make sure that the right leader be elected causes all that we see today.

The change we have been waiting for lies not in the hands of those in government, it lies on us who make the whole nation. We make the difference; change starts on us.

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