Philippine Presidential Elections May 10, 2010

It is election day in my one and only, beloved country, the Philippines, and I have already cast my vote for whom I think will make the best leaders in the next six years. My husband and I were at our precinct at 9:15 am and from the time we lined up to the time we left the polling place, it took one hour and ten minutes.

Not bad if you think about it. And despite all the kinks leading to this very day, I am just glad that the system works (or seems to work so far), at least at our place.

The whole process will require you (the registered voter) to line up three times. First to get your ballot. Second to feed your completed ballot in the PCOS machine. And third, to sign and have indelible ink placed on your finger.

Were the circles on the ballot easy to shade? Not really. The circles were quite small and my eyesight, not being what it used to be, had me squinting and looking closely at the ballot to make sure that I was shading the right circles. It also takes a certain amount of skill to shade the circle properly so that the shading will look neat. I felt like a little child, coloring her coloring books for the first time and thinking: dapat walang lampas (I shouldn't go out of the lines). While doing all of this, I was very careful and mindful not to lean on the very long ballot, lest I create any fold, crease, or mark which may lead the PCOS machine to reject it.

The line to feed the ballot into the machine was quite short and after my ballot was fed into the machine, it only took a few seconds for me to see the Congratulations message. I was happy my ballot was accepted that I actually clapped before I left the line. It was then time to move to another line for the marking with indelible ink.

Generally, things went well in our precinct. Some aspects could be improved on though. Like the way the lines are formed and the over-all lay-out of the place. There is a lot of criss-crossing from the lining up for the ballot, to the filling up of the ballot, to the feeding to the PCOS machine, to the lining up for the indelible ink. The lines and lay-out were not arranged in such a way that there would be one smooth flow of people.

Second, no one asked for any ID from me when they gave me my ballot. I just mentioned my name, they looked for it on the list, and then, they gave me my ballot. How could the person there be sure that the person about to vote was the one who was on the list?

Third, no one really monitors who comes in and out of the polling place. I probably could have left the place without having indelible ink put on my finger.

Still, the important thing is, it appears that people are indeed going out to vote and that's good. After all, all these candidates can promise us the moon and the stars but in the end, it is really not just up to government or our leaders to change the way things are in this country. It is up to every single citizen to effect change wherever he may find himself daily. Saang daliri nga ba matatagpuan ang tunay na pagbabago? Wala sa Laban sign. Wala sa check mark. Wala sa thumbs up. Wala sa kamaong nakataas. Ang tunay na pagbabago ay matatagpuan sa daliri mo at sa daliri ko na may indelible ink pagkatapos nating bumoto.

May the best candidates win. And may the losing candidates accept their fate gracefully. God bless the Philippines.

Angel Gordon

[By Angelica Viloria | Monday, May 10, 2010]


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