October 4, 2023


Aside from the day itself – May 9, 2022 – being considered a history for the conduct of the first presidential elections during a pandemic, we, the 65 million Filipino voters, should realize we are also sharing a page in this history for having the chance to craft the next golden age of our lives and that of our country through the choices of leaders we are making on election day.
That is if all eligible voters would go out and have their votes counted, and not just be mere spectators of the unfolding of a new era.
Our current generation of voters is a mix of formidable number of young and old Filipinos, who have led and currently leading a lifetime of more generations than before. We have lived through the worst earthquake in Philippine history, seen one of the worst volcanic eruptions in this century, and suffered the strictest lockdowns never before experienced due to a still ongoing global health crisis.
This eventful life we have had and still living with, among other events in our turbulent past led by some controversial leaders, is something we can look back to with nostalgia and, rightly so, see as a golden age as we made it through it all to reach this point.
Question is, have we really moved forward, or at least reached that level of maturity in choosing people who should be leading us to better circumstances for us to become better citizens genuinely proud of their country and their leaders?
Our knowledge of the past, coupled with the plethora of information at our disposal now thanks to limitless possibilities offered by online media platforms, should have made us better equipped, such as in deciding which political candidates are qualified and capable of governing us, and in choosing those who have genuine leaning for public service, not personal interests.
If nostalgia is a teacher, we ought to be well educated enough of what we need now, what kind of leaders should we let to take the reins of government and are capable of realizing these needs for us.
Our experiences should have also taught us that vote buying will get us nowhere beyond a day or week of relief, but probably a lifetime of nagging thoughts that we have let our votes and the future of our children be bought.
The past should have also made us realize mudslinging between candidates and their supporters does not produce good results but resentment, with real issues and concerns ought to be tackled relegated to the sidelines.
We salute those who are voting based on the dictates of their conscience, and we hope every eligible voter would do so, though it is unfortunate that our country’s educational system, the foundation of our upbringing, admittedly is in question based on recent assessments of our children’s quality of education. Now we wonder where most of us, especially the young ones, are basing our principles on.
Based on our past, we should know by now that public vigilance should not only be observed during the election period, but more so during the term of those we sent to the halls of power. If there is such thing that must be done in exchange for our votes, it is for those we voted for to do their job as promised when they were courting for our votes,and for us to monitor and make them accountable for their actions.
Then and now, poll surveys being done to get to know the frontrunners in the election race have been a practice, but we should bear in mind it do not reflect the real score, because the only final and official survey that we should believe in is the day of the election itself.
With our past and conscience as tools in making the right choice on May 9, we believe we could make a history of our own which, for once, can make the future generation look back on what we did now for the right reasons, not just for the sake of nostalgia, not because we are choosing the lesser evil because it has become a trend, but choosing the good ones simply because it is the right thing to do.
Let us make them proud of the way we decided for them in the future, they who shall inherit the country we shape for them now – through our wise and conscientious voting.
To end, we share a story about a moralist who protests the put-up of a red light district in a once family-oriented town. He is disheartened about what’s happening to his town, why his town is favoring this over things like playgrounds, daycare center, or libraries.
So, he got a placard and wrote “Keep our town clean and family-oriented,” and walked all over the town with the placard. After a year, he failed to sway his town mates; it even got worse.
Still, he continued protesting, leading people to ask him why he keeps on when nobody listens to him. He answered:
“When I started doing this I did it so people would change. If I can’t, do I join them? I’m still doing it so that I would not change. I’m taking a stand that this is what’s right, even when I continue being the lone voice in the wilderness. If I have to, I will shout out what’s right, what’s true, and what’s moral even if no one believes me, because I believe me, and that’s all that matters.”