ELECTIONS 20 – Juan – 0!

A normal pinoy’s tongue-in-cheek misadventures in the royal rumble of Philippine politics…

Walking around after our group’s party-list was denied its inclusion in the ballot list, COMELEC says they’ve already finished printing the ballots but have forgotten to buy the UV scanner, a friend comments on the various posters strewn around the Metro. She says, “Doesn’t Gordon look too fat in that poster?” I mumble a silent acquiescing, yes and say, “Who knows, with all the superstition in Philippine politics, that’s a way for them to convey a message of prosperity?” “Ok, but he should get a better stylist!,” she exclaims.

I cannot really fathom even its a need of better stylists or of better art/creative directors that our politicians need, because personally I don’t know if the skin deep face-lift will ever change the state of the nation. Even the tagline Get to Know Your Candidates, fails to make sense – we know them in a matter-of-fact way, people would kill during drinking binges just to let you know who they think they know and want to win. But, knowing your candidate means maybe an off chance of seeing him once, singing in the basketball court campaign gathering and never ever again interacting with him, this method of representation is by far a representation incognito.

“Representation?” another friend asks. Continues, “So we should choose the candidate which best represents our country and that includes how they look?” I reply. “I guess so, a friend of mine volunteered for GIBO and at first she just thought he looked mabango but found out he was really mabango! So in a way if we want to smell good for the international community, we should choose someone mabango, right?”

I notice another guy friend silent to all these, so I asked him, “Who are you supporting anyhow?” He said, “Erap dude, cause the wife’s from San Juan, eh.” Surprised I had to ask him, “So if the wife chooses to sleep with another guy as long as the guy’s from San Juan you’d support that too?”

It’s true; a lot of our nation’s choice is colored in presupposition, even in the illusion of being lost and living a father’s (forefather’s) dream. The yellow can be blinding, a lot still sees Ninoy and Cory not the actual person running, fortunately/unfortunately it won’t be those two who’d be in position after the votes had been cast, counted and the carnival has once again come to town.

Between gulps of ale, a friend says, “I wish I knew the candidates as well as I knew my San Mig…” “That’s wishful thinking!” I said, which seems to become a mahabahabang usapan (long talk). “We can’t even agree on Pale Pilsen, Lights, Negra, Super Dry, Strong Ice… right?” Surprisingly, a stranger quips in, “At least San Mig, will always be there, they’re true and loyal companions. They are there when you are down and they are there when you celebrate the joys of life!”

Most of my friends aren’t even registered voters or couldn’t renew (you know how the system here in this country is!) their registration but the election was really a good topic to talk about and hidden between the lines is a little hope for each pinoy that his/her country will be a better nation. It is also true that democracy allows you the freedom to choose to not vote, sometimes it is safer this way. It makes me happy though to see even those unregistered voters or those who just couldn’t renew their registration still actively guard their God-given right to exercise their freedom and volunteer for leaders who they believe can actively allow our country to be better.

I said, “Doesn’t GIBO remind you somehow of the odd man out? Much like Obama, somehow a favourite underdog, people know he could be a good choice but a lot still doubt that he could actually win?” Friend says, “Why? Is this because of the conspiracy theorists saying things about the CIA backing-up Noynoy? Will he really be the sure win?” I replied, “Well, for sure Noynoy is a main contender, most people I know are either going for Noynoy or GIBO, and a lot are planning to leave the country if Villar wins. Oh, and Gordon has a lot of housewives ganging up behind him! If you really want a conspiracy theory, I have the oddest feeling that Erap will fall out of the race and people will support Noynoy but maybe that’s too late now.” Friend reacts, “What!? They are simply wasting money like MILLIONS were nothing?” I said, “To be honest, we are still arguing about Hydro powered electric plants when we have so much sun, wind and ocean thermal energy available! I guess part of this whole electoral process is for the benefit of our entertainment, don’t you think?” Friend chiming in, “Well good thing GIBO didn’t use the Otso-otso song!”

Maybe, in our own small way, like Quiboloy, we are all waiting for a sign from God, unfortunately we don’t have the power to move masses like he does. All I know is that the politics in this country has a new avenue, from social networks to fashion, they have all tapped into that – but alas, politics still for the most part, has the same old face, the same old pockets and the same old effects.

Receiving a forwarded article regarding how Obama and Washington DC is worried about the failure of the Philippine polls, how a misrepresented picture of the Philippines was painted by the previous US ambassador, I often wonder how far we will take the Election of 2010. Will we really pave the roads to hell with good intentions or will we finally make a clear-cut change for the better? It is a true carnival (a peryahan), we mix and match our future with our choices much like our beloved Tapsilog (Tapa + Sinangag + Itlog [cured meat pinoy style + fried rice + egg]). For those who like atsara (pickled fruit/vegetable relish), it will not come as a sour surprise that all this mixing will really result in a refreshing tangy result that might just give you the desired effect or a sudden letdown.

2010 is for you and me, for the juans before the EDSA take three, I am as much lost and ranting as I ever was but maybe it is a long way now from the little kid wanting a Ninoy shirt – this kid just want the juans to once again have their time under the sun. No more blinding colors, no more loud noises, just the plain facts that when we anoint them in purple the next few days we will still have the candidates who we’ve tried to know, who also tried to know the juans and promised to carry the burden of leading this country. All the candidates promise the same change, a change for the better – some of us will pick our candidates by their looks, maybe their smell, their fame, their bribe or what the wife/partner/friend/lover/etc. has chosen for us, but we will all be left with one certainty, the certainty that it will impact this country for years to come.

Sanay naman daw si juan sa hirap at mayaman sa tawa’t ngiti… The only question is: how much more hardship can we laugh and smile through?

Why are we even talking about politics after years of let down and during a downtime at that? Maybe because we are political beings, it allows us the freedom to express ourselves, our potential and even our failures. It allows us to be with friends, to call someone a family, a neighbour, to enjoy good food and most importantly for a lot of other pinoys, to continue enjoying San Mig whenever they please.

Purple Power is People Power

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3 thoughts on “ELECTIONS 20 – Juan – 0!

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