I am not ignorant of what politics is. I was elected as a councilman (kagawad) in the first barangay elections in the late 70s when the Marcos military was rampaging against those who opposed the regime of the dictator.Although barangay elections then was regarded as a non-partisan or not involved in political party ties, all the candidates on the opposite side, from barangay captain down to six councilmen were known as Marcos loyalists and carried the ruling party of the administration – Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) -with funding from the government.
Our group led by the late TIMES reporter Bebe Berlanas, who ran for barangay captain, was the only one that opposed the Marcos loyalists. We spent our own money for election propaganda while some of my friends in the media contributed for my candidacy.
Unfortunately, Bebe and five of his candidates for councilmen lost the election. Bebe took his defeat seriously and died few months later.
I was the only one who survived the landslide victory of the KBL bets then. I was in the last of the six slots. I was even surprised of my victory as our opponents were all known Marcos loyalists.
I was told later that even my opponents junked their own man just to have me in the winning column. The late retired city treasurer, then the barangay captain-elect Pacifico Arcenas of Barangay I-A admitted to me that he saw in me what true public service is – no fanfare, no promises. He observed during the campaign period that I even praised the good deeds of my rival candidates for the betterment of their constituents.
Take note of our candidates now for the midterm elections. Many of them from the ruling party, opposition, and independent groups act as if they are the best of best that the electorates should vote for.
For example, we notice a candidate feeding children free meals; one who is promising jobs for the jobless; one who even compared herself to a charcoal because of the color of her skin; one who portrayed himself as Robin Hood while protecting the residents from criminal elements; a candidate whose favorite expression, “Gusto ko happy ka;” two candidates who pictured themselves honest despite of their being ex-cons; a candidate who boasted as being close to the power-that-be, and more of these overacting but ending as laughable to the people.
If even only half of what they were saying to boost their candidacies will come true, okay na, wala nang gulo!
I want to believe that some of our candidates nowadays are undermining the intelligence of the voters. They believe voters can still be manipulated to vote for them. Very alarming!
This elections, choose wisely. Do not be deceived of their antics and comedy acts. Their campaign posters and other campaign materials are now everywhere. Likewise, their TV exposures almost compete with regular shows. I am not blaming networks for doing so. It’s part of the business. We can’t last in the media without commercials!
Finally, let’s vote for the best. Accept any offering just to tease you to vote for him, but then, junk him while already in the voting place. That’s what’s politics is to me.
Jin Lorenz will be a first timer as a voter. He is as excited as I was when I first registered my first vote in a precinct at Tomas Monteverde Elementary School along Ponciano Reyes Street many years ago.
He is voting in our new residence in District 2. I let him choose his own candidates and never let him be influenced by my choices. He’s now in his adolescent stage and the only advice I can give him is to vote according to his conscience and never let others dictate him.
Unfortunately, I will not be around when he goes to polling place. I will be in my new world where I will be availing the on-line voting of the Comelec. Good luck to all candidates then.
Private and public school officials must be busy by now preparing for their coming annual commencement exercises, respectively. Parents and graduating students are too excited for that memorable day to come, especially to parents of graduating college students who after so many years of sacrifices see their children acquire education.
Congratulations to fellow parents who have graduating students!
Before I forget happy birthday, Mr. President! May you have more birthdays to come! Sayang lang, malabo na talaga tayo magkita pa.