philippines mid-term elections 2007

May 16, 2007 12:53am CST
ELECTIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES IS LIKE RELIGION (written the night after the elections in Cavite City) It's been said that there is a first time for everything. Tonight, it was my first time to witness how the ballot boxes were transported from the polling precints to the city hall. The people involved in the process did take it seriously. The vehicles transporting the ballot boxes were escorted by several volunteers on motor bikes and police sounding the sirens as they pass by. I never really thought it was done that way. I was like 6 or 7 years old when I had my first experience on local elections. My neighbours took me with them in going around the polling precints. But that was all to the experience. The next election experience I had was when I was already working at RADIO VERITAS for the 1992 Presidential elections. It was also my first time to cast my vote...and unfortunately, was also my last. I was a participat in the radio coverage...from the station. I never really went out in the field. And it would be the same experience when i moved back to television news. It was only in this year's mid-term elections that I got a chance to feel it from the ground. However, I stayed away from the day part---the voting part---first because I couldn't stand the summer heat, and second, I chose to just monitor the events on television and radio. But I soon realised, the media coverage was wanting. It didn't satisfy my interest as nothing was reported anything close to home. So I ventured in the middle of the night to check out the situation my city. And I didn't get disappointed. I was even entertained by the manner the ballot boxes were being transported. Escorted vehicles would be coming to the city hall almost one after the other. Although, there were also quite a few without escort and there were those which came on a tricycle. I also saw a few who came on foot as the polling precint was probably just walking distance. But what really hit me with the sight was the way most of the citizens were really adamant in guarding the ballot boxes in transit. To them, it really was like a matter of life and death. It was then that I realised that elections in this country, or at least in my city, is not something one should just watch on television or monitor on the radio. It is a personal experience, just like religion.
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