May 13, 2013 was mid-term election day in the Philippines. Of course, I went out to vote.
We were pleasantly surprised not to see long lines at the voting precinct. I had registered only in 2009 and ended up in a different precinct from the rest of my family. But because Comelec implemented a cluster system since elections were automated, we still vote in the same precinct.
Barangay Kalusugan Voting Precincts
Just like in the 2010 elections, we went to vote as a family, except for my brother who went there straight from work so he was very early. Since the line was short, I decided I didn’t need special treatment (recovering from an operation and all) and waited patiently in line. We were all done in perhaps 15 or 20 minutes. My cousin says we’re lucky because they had to wait a lot longer. They were already done when we arrived. I guess the rain, and it being lunchtime, discouraged people from voting at the time we did.
But we really had it good. There were apparently many places in the country where voting didn’t go as smoothly as it did for us. I pray this is the last time it happens. We seriously need to have improved systems and a COMELEC who will work on it all the time, not just the year before the next elections.
Two days later, we still don’t have any of the senator-elects being proclaimed. I only voted for 9 candidates, and not everyone made it. But that’s democracy. And instead of complaining about Nancy Binay making it to the top 5, we should focus our energies on mapping out how we’ll make all 12 accountable to the people in the next six years. Instead of blaming an uninformed electorate for making Grace Poe number one and Dick Gordon teetering from number 12 to 13, let’s look at what we should do to ensure that the people can become better informed.
Political ads on TV, and the campaign sorties, were mostly how the people got to know their candidates. But those shouldn’t be the only sources of information. Netizens had some online resources, but not all of us actually took the time to review 3rd party profiles and analyses of the platforms or fact-checked debate responses. I’m just saying that no matter how sophisticated or un-sophisticated we are, the resource first has to be there, and then we need to take the time to refer to it. There needs to be an uninterested party (not affiliated with the political parties) out there who would do round-table discussions with the common folk, or maybe bring out laptops and tablets so the people can browse at material available online. But who would do it?
A group of child-rights NGOs came up with Bata Muna which was a campaign to engage with candidates to find out their stand on child-sensitive issues. That’s a good idea, I think. But then they would also need to distribute the information they gathered. In the end they did not seek to endorse any particular candidate, but they did present the candidates’ responses on critical issues. I took note of that and it helped frame who I would vote for.
Leading up to the elections you would see a lot of push to go out and vote. That’s good. COMELEC sees voter turnout at 70%. So 70% of registered voters cared enough to make their votes count. Kudos to us. But it’s not just how many people vote; what’s important is the thought-process behind those votes. Sorry, but do I make sense?
As for me, I continue to be hopeful for the country. I did my best to vote for the candidates that I feel would ensure that the future is secure, and that we learn from past mistakes. More candidates who didn’t get my vote are actually winning but that is no reason to be sad or jaded. That is democracy after all.
Last Sunday, kids at Church had the culminating activity for their theater arts workshop which was held the week prior. A niece and two of my nephews attended the course. I didn’t get to see them perform live, but thanks to technology, this video has already been posted in Facebook:
I am so proud of the kids. They performed more after the Mass, during coffee time for the congregation at the Cathedral Hall.
When I was their age, starting at around ten years old, I was also active in theater arts activities. I must say I wasn’t that much active in our own Church, but I did sort of represent us in a group of children from various churches. I belonged to the Ecumenical Children’s Theater group of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. We performed at events of the NCCP, and we also participated in PETA’s children’s theater festival for three consecutive years. I loved that time of my life.
The song featured in the video above was a theme song that the NCCP used many many years ago. We interpreted it too, and performed at the UP Church of the Risen Lord. Our teacher/choreographer at the time was also from PETA. He was very strict, and rehearsals were like workouts. It wasn’t the first time I performed (in fact, I think it was one of the last times I ever danced onstage), but it was the first time I had done anything like it. He made us crawl, not just on the ground, but over and on top of each other. Talk about loosing inhibitions. Those rehearsals were probably the most exhausting ones I’d attended ever. I wonder if anyone had bothered to take a video of us? I don’t even recall having any photos from then. Oh well.
The message of the song, Buhay na Kasiya-siya,seems to be quite timely. Election season is when national issues are at the forefront. This is when we focus on what’s to happen in the future. What’s to be left for our children, and our children’s children. It’s also the time to think about how decisions in the past (when choosing leaders) affect the quality of our lives now. The song tells us - Kung uunahin muna natin, ang kailangan ng lahat. Ang masaganang lupain ay higit pa kaysa sapat.Kung uunahin muna natin, ang sa Kanya’y mahalaga. Sama-samang daranasin, buhay na kasiya-siya. My rough translation: If we prioritize the people’s needs, an abundant land is more than enough. If we start with what’s important to Him, we will all enjoy an abundant/happy life.
It is nice to be reminded that if we focus on what’s really important, we would learn that most of the time, if not always, we have more than what we need. We just need to look around us.
I was doing some research for a new post for Between the Covers when this ad was played in YouTube:
How do we really see ourselves? I used to think I had a pretty healthy self image, but then I got more and more into photography and more and more people also got to toting cameras everywhere and I realized that I didn’t want photos of me taken.
Do you remember that shampoo commercial where the girl would hide behind her friends because her hair was less than lustrous? Or those series of commercials for Lesofat, tinatago ang taba? That’s exactly what I do. I don’t hide behind people though, I normally just take myself out of the photo. I refuse to have any taken. Most of the time.
But I’ve tried to do that less and less. I’ve allowed others to take my photo. I’ve even started taking selfies. And my profile photo on social networking sites is already an actual photo of myself. I am beautiful in whatever shape or size, I know that. I may be trying to lose weight these days, but that is because I have become too heavy for my bones (being bionic now doesn’t guarantee that another slip disc won’t happen). Let that not overshadow the truth that I am beautiful. \
Thanks Dove for reminding women of all shapes and sizes, that we need to be kinder to ourselves.
Making videos or staging plays is a fun way to learn some things. I love this Olive.us production of The Little Red Riding Hood. You will too. Narration is in French but they provided a side by side English-French text on their blog. And you already know the story, so you can surely follow along without reading it.
My nieces and nephews are still on vacation, I wonder if they can be convinced to take on a project like this? Maybe not. Unless I drive them to it.
Speaking of summer. With the doc advising at least one more month of ‘taking it easy’ at home, I wonder if I’d ever get any swimming done? I don’t even dare think of going to the beach, just take me to a pool! If we had our own pool that wouldn’t be a problem, and I would also be browsing poolsupplyunlimited.com for whatever needs to be done…
Currently testing Scribe Fire as an alternative to WP’s native editor. I’ve been using Window’s Live Writer but it all of a sudden kept on crashing on start up and uninstall/reinstall has not done me any good. I would prefer an offline editor but Microsoft Word 2010 isn’t a very good replacement.
My Internest Service is very poor lately. My Between Covers blog, along with other Blogger-hosted blogs are inaccessible. I get this error most of the time: