It is alive!
Despite the Otso Diretso and several other worthy (according to my personal judgment) candidates not making it to the Senate as of the latest vote count, there was something about their running. There was something in the recent election campaign that was palpable because of them — the spirit of dissent against what ran counter to the national interest. It is alive!
For that, I am rejoicing. I see that as a different kind of triumph.
Instant political analysts, self-styled election experts, pundits and what-have-you are coming out of the woodwork to say their piece about what the election results mean or do not mean. That is all fine. As punsters would say, “The more the many-er.” But the cacophony of it all could be annoying and one could get drowned in the soupy mix of saliva, sweat and tears (of joy and grief) from both the victors and the vanquished.
So, what next?
For THAT that I said is alive, the long and winding road ahead beckons. May the road rise to meet you, as the Irish blessing goes. Nothing is considered lost for the best, the brightest and the bravest, along with their supporters and believers, who tried to rouse the electorate to realities that need to be addressed with hammer and tongs, candidates and voters who hearkened to a different drummer.
It is alive! Individuals and certain groups of people not only voted, they campaigned openly, enthusiastically and tirelessly, offering their widow’s mite for the candidates whom they knew to be financially strapped but worthy to have seats in the once-august halls of the Senate. Citizen Me personally did her part in the parking lots, market and malls. Winning was the immediate goal, but losing does not mean weeping and gnashing of teeth—and then nothing more.
It is alive! The spirit of dissent and the fire it has generated have stirred up the many who have slumbered for too long in their comfort zones. May that spirit be long-term and sustainable. Another kind of battle has begun.
To members of Team China that won, may you come face to face with the Chinese dragon’s fiery breath and become happily crisp by it, your weeping Motherland be damned. I hope you can redeem yourselves.
Be warned: IT is alive!
Some accounts of disturbing incidents at the polling places:
An election day Facebook post of Phebe Gamata Crismo, a friend of mine whose first husband was among the desaparecidos during the Marcos dictatorship: “The worst thing — the ultimate insult of my life — happened to me this afternoon. I did not vote for Imee Marcos but her name appeared in my ballot receipt!”
Phebe voted in Precinct 297-A, Kaypian in San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan. She did file a complaint.
From Rebecca Demetillo Abraham, of Inang Laya fame, whom I know personally: “I went early to Precinct 104 at Judge Juan Luna High School in Barangay Bungad in QC. Had to climb to the third floor. I was given a ballot which seemed okay to the naked eye. I marked my first two senators, when lo and behold, I noticed that the ballot was all filled up! I complained. Medyo pinagdudahan pa ako. After a while they decided to give me a new ballot. I asked if I could take a photo of the first ballot. Bawal daw so I went out and complained to the watchers, a lawyer and a PPCRV. Diyos ko, may milagro na naman ba dito?”
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