I am not a politician. I am not a political analyst. My profession is not associated with anything that concerns politics. I am simply a citizen who has the right of suffrage, and by suffrage I mean “the right to vote using my own will, free from the influence of authority, and my absolute freedom to choose.”
Couple of days from now, the Filipino community will again exercise their right to choose the future leaders of the country. The campaigns have been a disaster for me, personally. The tune of the jingles of the politicians serve as my alarm clock every morning. The countless advertisements posted in every corner of the streets are my view on my way to the office. The paid advertisements on the televisions, the drama of every politician trying to persuade the Filipino community to vote for them have been in every commercial in the local networks. I have to understand that it is the campaign period, they are allowed to do the above mentioned, and I have no choice but to endure what’s happening. It will end soon, I told myself.
This will be an exciting year now that we have an easy access to news and current events be it via TV or social media where everyone can speak their mind. The interaction is one click away. Raising our opinion has never been this easy. I was happy that even the teenagers are showing interest and the whole world can hear our voices. I was excited… I was happy… I “was”.
I used to read news. I used to be updated with current events. I used to read blogs. I used to log in to Facebook to read the opinions of my friends about the aspiring leaders of the country. I used to see the election as a door to a “better Philippines”. I used to like the fact that we have easy access to media but now that this campaign period has become by far the worst campaign period I have experienced my entire life, the things that I used to do, my enthusiasm to be a part of the change, have faded.
We are looking for a future leader yet the candidates have been dragging one another’s names to the pits of hell. The closer the election day, the dirtier their tactics, the dirtier their mouths, the dirtier they get. Instead of builidng their platforms, instead of presenting a plan for the better Philippines, they present controversies and what not, against their co-candidates. One candidate rises and the rest will pull him down. Another candidate tops the survey and the rest counter by throwing stones against him; acting holier-than-thou, exerting the best effort in ruining the names of their opponents rather than investing more time in reviewing what this country really needs and creating the best platform to win the votes of the Filipino community. What this country needs is a leader, not a celebrity. Yes this is a serious matter and should be taken seriously. But how would I take this seriously if the candidates are presented in the worst way possible? Media fallacies, circus reports, bias news, where is the road to the truth? We are in the era where everything is being manipulated.
As for me, my method for choosing a leader has changed. I will not vote for the one who is the most deserving, but for the one who has the least baggage, the one who is the least evil of them all. It has become an elimination method. Ranking from the worst, not the best.
Just when i thought that the presidential candidates are the biggest jokes in the upcoming elections, it has come to me just recently that the Filipino voters have become the real disasters. I used to like the fact that they are taking part in the elections. We have the right to support whoever we want to, whoever we think is the most fit for the presidency. I used to like the power of the social media where we can express our thoughts, our views, our opinions. I used to like the freedom of speech bestowed upon us. The term is I used to.
Now that the people have seem to have misunderstood the real essence of freedom of speech or the term democracy itself, I am slowly developing fear for the future of our country. Where people can easily say whatever they want to say, however they want to say, whenever they want to say it, has come to place, the idea of “your rights end when the rights of other people begin” must have been forgotten. The use of the freedom of speech has been leading to what we call keyboard wars.
We have the right to support whoever we want to support. We have the right to campaign for whoever, paid or for free. But we have no right to judge people by their choices, nor have the right to curse people or wish ill towards their significant others. We have no right to attack other people, be it verbally or God forbid, physically, just because they do not share in our beliefs. We have no right to tell people what to do, or act superior for we all have the same EQUAL RIGHTS. We are wired to think, we are wired to act in our own discretion RESPONSIBLY, MORALLY, JUSTLY.
We may be divided by our choices but should we really fight one another? We are divided by our choices but should we really isolate those who chose a different candidate to support and call them stupid or retarded? Is it really that impossible to show support without shaming other people? Do we need really need to hurt our fellowmen and prey on them? Then if we cannot learn how to respect other people and their beliefs, we can never achieve a peaceful country. The new government has yet to start but we are already divided.
What have we become? Are we really the intelligent voters we describe ourselves to be? Is this how we show our support to the leader of our choice? There is too much bashing, too much derogatory remarks and too much bullying circulating in social media and i have reached my tolerance for this stupid shit. And I have come to the conclusion that it is easier to absorb things and become a pseudo political analyst/expert than to exercise Good Manners and Right Conduct. Yes, we are thinking community and it is apparent, we fight to what we think is right, but we lack compassion and respect to other people. If we all act this way, then maybe we should all be sent back to school to learn proper manners.
We need the government but the government cannot stand without the people. And to have a strong country, we need to act as one community regardless of who supported who. We share the same country and ultimately, we only want the same thing, a safe haven for the Filipino community. They say change is coming, I say regardless of who wins, changes will come. May God preserve this country, and as a member of the Filipino community, let the change begin with me.