Please Vote Wisely on May 14

We take a break from our Viloria Vacation series to think about something which may not be as relaxing or fun. May 14, 2007, this coming Monday, is election day in the Philippines.

All registered Philippine voters, aged 18 and above, will have to troop to the polls to elect their national and local candidates.

Please don't be lazy and think that this will just be a waste of time. This is one exercise where each Filipino will truly be on equal footing. Rich or poor, young or old -- we all just have one vote and what great power that is. I always say that I exercise my right to vote as it gives me the right to say what I like in the future; to criticize people or programs that may not be to my liking years from now. I liken the electoral process to that portion of "movie" weddings where someone says: "Speak now or forever hold your peace."

Have you already completed your list of 12 senatorial candidates? I haven't and am not sure that I would want to. As of today, my list remains unchanged -- it contains the 3 candidates of Kapatiran: Dr. Martin Bautista, Adrian Sison, and Paredes, as well as Sonia Roco of the Genuine Opposition. I still don't know whether names will be added to my list on election day and although there are candidates that I might vote for (e.g. Chiz Escudero) at the last minute, there are specific names that I know I will not vote for, no matter what (e.g. John Osmena, Tessie Aquino Oreta, Tito Sotto)

So if you still have not made up your mind, may I ask you to please consider the candidates whom I will be voting for? Some people have branded the candidates of Kapatiran as "quixotic," but if you are going to dream, you might as well dream big. You have to start somewhere for change to happen.

Some weeks back, I had an e-mail exchange with senatorial candidate Dr. Martin Bautista and I just want to share with you his message:

"Maraming salamat Angel sa lahat ng iyong tulong at sa iyong pananampalataya sa ating bayan. Matuklasan sana nating lahat na ang kapangyarihan upang baguhin ang landas ng ating bayan ay nasa ating mga kamay." (Thank you very much Angel for all your help and for your faith in our country. May we all discover that the power to change the fate of our country lies in our hands.)

In another e-mail: "Mabigat ang kalaban ngunit itutuloy natin ang laban. Nakasalalay sa atin ang kinabukasan ng ating mga anak." (Our enemy is powerful but we will continue with our fight. The future of our children rests in our hands.)

So on Monday, please take a moment to reflect, pray, and vote according to your conscience. Junk what the surveys say. Do not vote according to winnability but vote for people whom you believe can do a good job. Vote for change. Whether you are pro administration or for the opposition, I am sure we will all agree that the Philippines can do better and each Filipino deserves a much better life than what we see today.

What happens if the candidates you vote for (or that I vote for) lose? Whatever happens, I know that all is not lost for the Philippines and for all Filipinos. As I always say, we are a bright and talented race and I believe that the time will come when our country will be peaceful, prosperous, and progressive. It may come during my grandchildren's or great great great grandchildren's time but I know that it will come.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas at ang mga Pilipinong tapat!

[By Angelica Viloria | Friday, May 11, 2007]

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