May 13 was like a do-or-die day for me. After my election day duties in the office, I went to my precinct near my house to vote.
Like millions of Filipinos, I was one of those eager to exercise my right to choose our leaders. I was aware of the surveys showing that the candidates I knew deserved win would likely not make it to the Magic 12 in the Senate race. But I believed in miracles that at some point, at least one or two of them would make it. I had hope because I listened to these candidates and I know they had what it takes to help the people.
But as expected, it was not enough. None of the candidates I voted for made it to the list. Although I expected the results, I still cried because I felt like I failed my nephew. Although he may only be 4 months old, he will one day ask me, his aunt, how this happened. He is after all, part of the new generation whose lives would be affected by the laws these elected leaders will craft. ([OPINION] Should we be optimistic after the 2019 elections?)
How can I explain to a young child that Filipinos elected candidates who lied, stole money from the people, and whose backgrounds are questionable? How will he understand that those sitting in office just danced and sang their way to voters' hearts? How will he and the rest of the future generation understand that many Filipino voters are not mature when it comes to choosing leaders?
Yes you're right, not mature in choosing leaders.
But even with my frustration and tears, I found a reason to be hopeful.
In the past elections, I always voted in the hope that this country will wake up and realize that the leaders they vote for have huge responsibilities. This time it was different. I was fighting not just for myself but for my nephew and those who will come after him. I do not want him to experience what I've gone through, and I will fight it through the ballot in the next elections.
Although I'm upset and angry over the outcome of the Senate elections, it was a different case in the local polls. I rejoiced for the people of Manila, Pasig, and San Juan. For the first time, a number of political families have been dislodged from lording over these areas, where voters elected young dynamic leaders as mayors. Change is slowly coming.
If we can't be mature in the national elections, then the next best thing is to make the change in the local elections. Start small and move from there. ([OPINION] To the successor generation: ‘To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield!’)
There's hope, there was a miracle, after all.
I voted for my nephew's future and felt I failed, but I have not given up. I hope for the best as I do my work, but I will be watching just like everyone else how the new elected leaders will buckle down to work for the country's sake and not for their own special agenda.
I will not stop being a journalist, not stop being a voter, and most of all, not stop being a Filipino who will keep an eye on the country's future. – Rappler.com