I have a confession to make. And probably it’s very obvious in the title of this blog post already.
I’M 20 YEARS OLD AND I’M NOT A REGISTERED VOTER.
I did not emphasize that statement because I’m proud. I put much stress on it because it is such a bittersweet fact. I was unable to register for this year’s election. It was entirely my fault. School became too much to handle and there was just too much going on especially during the last month of voters’ registration. I’m an unregistered voter not because of complacency. So please don’t tell me I’m an irresponsible citizen of the country because I know well how much I want to vote.
The reason why I’m blogging about this is not to tell you that the national election isn’t important so don’t get registered. I’m posting my sentiments because the national election is an important and serious matter and I regret being unregistered. For years now, “Vote wisely!” has been the undying echo of people around the world most especially during elections (whether it be small or large scale.) People go on and tell others how wisely they would vote, but when “unexpected circumstances” come, they forget what “wisely” means.
I have no plans of meddling with government politics. Yes, I used to be the campaign manager (for two consecutive years) of my political party in our university, but I believe that what’s outside the university is not for me. I may go on and kid around how I want to experience being a real campaign manager. Real in the sense that you do it for actual candidates. You know, government official candidates. But I don’t want to be involved in what has been tagged one of the “dirtiest” ever. No, I am not trying to defame my own country. No, I am not trying to solicit any attention with this blog post. No, this isn’t for anyone. This is for me. I’m posting this because I want to express what my sentiments are with this year’s election.
I admit not being really that updated when it comes to the candidates. And again, let me point this out, not because of complacency. Because I know that ranting (if ever) what I hear about and know about each candidate won’t help. Scour through my different social network accounts and you won’t find anything against or for each candidate. I choose not to comment in anyway about each candidate I don’t personally know. I mean, ranting about how I hate their jingles or how cliches their platforms are won’t change a thing. And I know keeping mum about something may most of the time mean complacency, but again, let me point this out, it is not because of complacency.
For the registered voters, I think you know better. No, let me rephrase that, I think you should know better. I just don’t see the point in voting for someone who bought your vote, and then complain that there is no evident progress in your place or country. I don’t see the point in complaining, ranting or posting what your negative sentiments against a certain candidate(/s) just because he/she has no enough credentials. I don’t see the point in badmouthing someone for his/her flaws and shortcomings. There is always a proper way to express something. There will always be a group of right words to say something although truth be told, most of the time, they are hard to find. But I firmly believe in CREDIBILITY over charms and credentials. Just because someone looks good, doesn’t mean he/she should win. Just because his achievements could be listed in a thousand pages, doesn’t mean he/she should win. We should look deep within each candidate what their plans and motives are for running.
We should read between the lines and not let ourselves be blinded with sugar-coated words and promises. We should keenly observe how these people live both in private and public places. We should strive to be informed of things that these candidates have done, what they really want to happen and why they chose to run in a certain position. It is our responsibility to vote. You may say that your vote doesn’t actually count with the millions of registered voters the country has. But let me tell you, you won’t really see the importance of one vote, you won’t know it’s value, you won’t know how crucial one vote is, until you’ve actually experienced it. I tell you, I know someone who lost because of one, just one vote, who people thought was not important because they were too caught up with their personal lives. He lost because of one vote, just one vote, and I believe he still deserves the position over the other one who won because of a toss coin. If you are a registered voter, do your part. Don’t let yourself be named among those people who chose not to vote because they were too lazy to wake up early in the morning, who chose not to vote because they were too impatient to wait for the line to move on so they could shade the circles in the ballots, who chose not to vote because they just felt it and who chose not to vote because for them, it’s useless.
For the candidates, I have only one thing to say. Please watch Bayan Ko. All six episodes of Bayan Ko. Why? Because Mayor Joseph Santiago is an example of an ideal leader. Not that I am saying that you should do EVERYTHING he did in the series. But what I admire most about Mayor Santiago’s character is how he actually put to life the quote “Be the change you want to see in this world.” He started with himself no matter how small or big his actions are. He wasn’t selfish, he was selfless. He really made sure that everything was done in the right way, and if you would watch the series episode by episode, you will evidently see how he affected others in a positive way. They were encouraged to do good instead of doing “tradition”. He wasn’t afraid to fight for the truth. He was very firm with everything that he doesn’t mind how much threat was in his life because of striving to do good.
You may tell me that Mayor Santiago is just a fictional character. That his being a mayor in Sibil is nothing but a figment of imagination because in the real world, that’s impossible. Go on, tell me everything you want to say about me being an idealist. But I stand firm on my belief that idealism is not wrong as long as people can make it into a reality. It’s not hard to reach for the stars because the moon itself has been reached already. I say that it’s not impossible to have a leader like him. I bet there would be more progress soon if each barangay, province and region have their own Mayor Santiago. Not that I am saying that we have no progress today, but some people don’t even feel the development in the the different aspects of our country. I hope that the platforms laid out in every campaign will not be mere words but will be transformed into actions should they be elected.
I purposely posted this five days before the election. Had I been able to register, I think this post would have been something else. Had I been able to register, I know that on May 13, I’ll be doing my responsibility. But I wasn’t able to. And because I wasn’t able to doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t have something to say. I hope that the previous years have taught us(especially the registered voters) lessons very well on how to select the rightful candidates for the position.With all this said, with all my sentiments laid out, let me leave you with a quote from Sir Winston Churchill:
“A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.”
I hope we have this kind of politicians as soon as voting is done on May 13. Vote wisely. One vote can affect not only your life but the lives of others.
Disclaimer: Image not mine. Got it here. [x]