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I am torn what to write... So many thoughts are running through my mind, it's getting crowded up there. Still thankful I have them, even when they are somehow stressing me out.
In nine days, I and my countrymen will be trooping to polling centers to elect a new set of leaders. With COVID-19 still a threat even if cases have been low in the last two months, there will be changes in how things are done.
Here's hoping it will be more efficient, organized, and people won't have to wait in line for long. If there will be glitches, let's pray these will be minor and easily resolved. Most of all, let it be a peaceful exercise, devoid of violence.
This year's elections are crucial. And very heated. A lot is at stake, the country's future first and foremost. It would've been easier if there were only two candidates running for president. But there are 10, five of whom are working hard to win votes, but the fight will likely be between two.
Purpose and motivation for seeking the position are important. Qualification is next. The campaign has been grueling. But it is heartwarming to see how one camp has been inspiring Filipinos in every way - creatively and humanly.
On the other hand, it is disappointing and frustrating how myopic many voters still are, who only choose to see what is being done in the present, and not learning about the past, which will impact the future.
What type of leader do I want?
Someone who understands that while every community, town, city or even province will have somewhat similar issues or concerns, these cannot be solved with a single solution for all.
Needs vary. Challenges, too. So laying down one way to address these regardless of location, culture, and resources is never going to work. That has been our government's biggest loophole.
And problems will persist if 1) the root causes are not addressed; 2) data or information pertaining to the problem is incorrect; and 3) solutions are not tailored to suit the particular area or sector.
I want a servant leader.
Someone who knows they are there to serve the people, look after their and the country's interests, and engages in consultation so those to be affected by any decision made will have inputs so the outcome will truly be beneficial to all, and not just a few.
Statesmanship is integral to a nation's leader. It's part of the job description. Being a head of state is no walk in the park. But no matter how difficult and demanding the job, it is expected that a leader acts with dignity, integrity, and respect. It is the only way to instill pride in the people they represent.
In this campaign, it has come down to a battle of what each candidate has accomplished. And a voter who refuses to look at this "receipt" of services rendered does not care for a competent leader, nor a brighter future.
And no, referring to the accomplishment of someone else and owning it does not count as a receipt. How can you claim something you had no hand in doing?
Finally, a good leader doesn't mind being in the trenches with those who suffer. After all, empathy and understanding can only come after living someone's experience.
How can one who lives in a mansion, with servants who cater to their every need, truly claim to understand what the common folk face every single day to survive?
It's mind-boggling how there are voters who say they don't want to vote for a particular candidate because their supporters are of a higher economic class. They forget that the candidate is more like them, and not necessarily of the same 'higher' class they seem to be allergic to.
The election is not just about candidates. It is about YOU, the voters. What you aspire for, what you dream of, and what you want for the future.
I pray for that day when the Filipino voter truly matures. When they can look at prospective leaders and see not just their qualifications or what they offer during campaigns, but their sincerity, work ethic, and motivation.
Get your list ready
It's a lot of names to remember come voting day. At the national level, there are 15 names (or numbers), while at the local level, it's plus nine or 17, depending if you reside in a town, city or the province.
Don't just put down names. Make an informed choice. There is still time. And even if you've been a beneficiary of some cash 'assistance' or something in kind, choose according to your conscience, based on what you learned and know about the candidates.
DO NOT SELL YOUR VOTE. It is a vote for your future. Even if you receive 5,000 pesos, divide that by 2,191.5 days (the equivalent of six years), and it will shock you that it only amounts to 2.20 pesos per day. Is that how much your person or future is worth?
Your vote will reflect how much you value yourself. So think long and hard how much you are worth.