MANILA, Philippines – Presidential bet Grace Poe cast her vote on Monday, May 9, ending a 90-day grueling campaign.
Poe admitted she was feeling nervous days before the elections. But that anxiety, she said, turned to peace on Monday.
“Kahapon medyo may konting kaba kasi parang ito ‘yung kauna-unahang pagkakataon na, siyempre, ngayon lang ako tumakbo bilang pangulo. Katulad din noong 2013, may konting kaba bago ‘yung eleksyon, pero ngayon mapayapa katulad din ng sinabi ko sa inyo ng mga nakaraang araw at masaya,” Poe said in an interview after the voting.
(Yesterday, I was a bit nervous because this is the very first time, of course it's just now that I ran for president. Just like in 2013, I am a bit nervous before election day, but now I'm at peace and happy like what I told you in the past days.)
Shortly before noon, Poe and husband Neil Llamanzares trooped to Santa Lucia Elementary School in San Juan, where she finished a meeting in just a few minutes.
“Talagang isang madamdaming araw ito sapagka't natapos na rin ang ating dapat gawin para sa kampanya. Naging maayos ang aking pakikitungo sa abot ng aking makakaya dito sa eleksyon na ito. At para sa akin inaalay ko ito, inaalay ko ito sa Diyos, sa aking ama at sa ating mga kababayan,” she said.
(This is really a very emotional day because we already finished the campaign. I've been clean in all my dealings in these elections. And I offer this to God, to my father, and to our countrymen.)
She went to Quiapo Church on Sunday, May 8, or a day after she held her miting de avance in the same venue. Not only for her victory, but for fair and clean elections, she said.
On the eve of election day, Poe also had a "sentimental" talk with her mother Susan Roces, her number 1 campaigner. The senator dedicated her fight to her late father Fernando Poe Jr, who ran but lost to then president Gloria Arroyo in allegedly fraudulent 2004 polls.
Prior to voting, Poe visited FPJ's tomb to pray and say thanks.
Photo by Poe-Escudero media bureau
“Nagkwentuhan kami hanggang inumaga na kaming dalawa. Puno ng samu’t saring reaksyon. Magkasama kami ng nanay ko, merong konting sentimental, maraming tawa, maraming ano… Ganoon naman talaga ang mga babae ‘pag nagsasama-sama,” Poe shared.
(We talked until midnight, full of various reactions. My mother and I were together. There was a bit of being sentimental, a lot of laughter...that's how women are when they get together.)
He added: “Dahil naman talaga sa kanya (FPJ) ito e. Hindi naman ako makikilala ng ating mga kababayan kung hindi dahil sa kanya, kaya nga hinahandog ko rin ito sa kanya.”
(This is really because of FPJ. I would not be known by our countrymen if it weren't for him, that's why I offer this to him.)
Win or lose, Poe said what’s important is that she never lost her “self” and “principles” in the tight presidential race.
While Poe seems to be on the road to acceptance whatever the people's decision is, she still urged her supporters not to lose hope. The senator, once the consistent front-runner, is now trailing Davao City Rodrigo Duterte by at least 11 percentage points.
“Huwag kayong mawawalan ng pag-asa. Malakas ang pag-asa natin. Masaya tayo at maraming salamat na sa lahat ng mga black ops na ginawa sa atin hindi kayo nawalan ng pag-asa, tumindig pa rin kayo para sa akin, salamat,” she said.
(Don't lose hope. We have strong faith. We are happy. Thank you for not losing hope despite all the black ops (operations) done against me. You still stood for me.) – Rappler.com