Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Last Day of The Circus

Today is the last day of the circus.

The early morning air is still with a waft of excitement. Along with my mom and younger sister, we were at the gates of our assigned precint at about 6:30 AM. We anticipated that the turnout will be thick so we went there as early as we could.

A crowd is already gathering when we reached St. Michael School of Cavite. The place is teeming with banners and posters of candidates wooing voters with their toothy smiles. At exactly 7:00 AM, the gates were opened. I prepared myself for a sweaty and physically-challenging morning.

We immediately proceeded to the 2nd floor of the school building where our precints-127 Q and 127 R- are located. Our precints were clustered with 3 other precints O, P, and S. As a result, there were approximately 1000 voters in a cluster group who will be sharing one PCOS machine.

The trip going to the second floor to our cluster group 222 was a feat in itself. Sharing the floor with cluster group 221, you can just imagine how the walls of the rooms are bursting with voters, all eager to get a feel of the "efficient and reliable" SMARTMATIC machines.There, as sweat trickles down my face, ideas of a smooth and orderly voting were all gone. And it is just 7:30 in the morning.

At around 8:00, a nameless Board of Election Inspector ordered everybody from the 2nd and 3rd floors to proceed to the school's quadrangle. He said that number stubs will be distributed and will not be permitted to enter the polling precints unless we have with us a number stub. I have no problems following instructions, so being the obedient citizen that I am, I lined up and waited to get a number stub under the scorching sun. This is where the fun starts.

As we waited for our number stubs so we can exercise our frigging right to vote, I see some PPCRV volunteers giving away number stubs to individuals who were not in the queue--a perfect picture of the good old "palakasan" system at work.

The eight-hour wait I spent lining up to get inside the precint was just equivalent to 10 minutes inside the polling precint. This included finding my name in the masterlist, shading my ballot and feeding it to the PCOS machine.

I was able to cast my vote at 3:45 PM after a gruelling 8-hour wait. I stared at my inked forefinger as we walk out of the school vicinity, then fatigue started to set in.

I came to realize that automating the election is a significant step for the Philippines' electoral system. Making the people utilize the system is another thing. For the people who got so used to antiquated manual polling system, we still have a lot to learn and unlearn.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I Know What You Shared in the Internet

You'll never know what you'll find in the internet nowadays. I was just absent-mindedly browsing through GMA News website, when at the corner of my eyes I saw a familiar name and face. There, at the corner labeled as "Recent Activity", my FB profile is winking at me. It even stated the date I shared the g*ddamn link.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Tale of the Unfortunately Misplaced Comma

There are instances in our life when we have to stop and pause for a while – like a comma within our life’s lengthy and incoherent sentences. A lot of these pauses can happen along the way – sickness, losing a job, failed relationships, which are somehow beyond our control.

I used to believe that I can write. Then, when I was an editor in the student publication of my university, when I was winning inter-college writing competitions and when I have all the time in the world to waste daydreaming. I was sure that I will be pursuing a career in writing/literature or in a related field.

But life took an expected turn. I woke up one day with the realization that I have son to raise and I am doing it on my own.

You see, these pauses can also be life-altering. Instead of following my dream, I had to turn to posts that will put food on our table and provide for my son’s needs. No, I can’t afford to live the struggling artist’s life. I just had to put my pen down and set aside romantic dreams of being able to produce a worthy literary piece.

Now, my worst fear is happening, my writing skills are beginning to atrophy. Creativity has deserted me, inspiration seldom visits and if it does, it is gone before I even had the chance to realize and capture it in word form. I am even beginning to forget the rules in grammar, my vocabulary is thinning and I am being uncomfortable with my use of punctuations.

If I may quote my friend, I think I am unfortunately mis,placing a comma here.