My sister Alex and I were anxious last night because we couldn't access the COMELEC site...we still didn't know what our precincts were. It was a good thing our dad's memory is a supercomputer when it comes to numbers so we went to bed feeling confident about our country's newly automated voting system.
Come morning, our entire family couldn't stop arguing over which senators to vote for. -_-;;; Our household -- except for my mom, who's in Mindoro and is trying to vote my uncle Thaddy Venturanza into Congress -- were all for Gordon. One of the maids went for Gibo, another for Erap and my mom is for Noynoy. No one dared touch anyone's presidential choice, but we kept bickering over the rest.
Paulo: These are Michael's choices? Blah blah blah blah.
Alex: Many of his choices are good. And he is a student. You come from different directions.
Me: At least he did his research and did not copy from his dad's sample ballot! (Which my brother later did. -_-;;;)
Both Alex and I had picked some candidates from our cousin Michael's well-researched list. I got some from my friend Elvert, too. The only ones I had decided firmly by myself, due to my own research, were Risa Hontiveros, Pia Cayetano and Miriam Defensor Santiago. Let's just say, all my choices were based on their support of the following: farmers and fishermen, environment, education and women's rights. All those who were in favor of junking the RH bill were quickly removed from my list; they are automatically elitists and structuralists to me. I'm not even going to delve into the hegemony of patriarchal society here. My stand is plain and simple: To deny the RH bill is to deny women's rights. (It also adds to the burden of population explosion...when our education system cannot even cope. Bad education leads to ignorant voters. Ignorant voters nearly put Erap back into the Presidency. Gad!)
Anyway...the voting process was pretty straightforward and fast. It was getting to the precinct that had the Amazon Warrior in me going up in arms. We were in line for a good forty-five minutes and the ushers were close to useless. They weren't organized. There was a point when I was asked to fall into this line, when my name was on the other list's queue. I spoke out loud: "Pwede ba tanungin ng usher kung 337A o 337B yung nakapilang tao? Kung san san kasi napupunta eh!" (Will the usher please ask each person if s/he belongs to 337A or 337B? These people keep ending up in the wrong line!) Signposts and huge written instructions would've been extremely helpful.
It was only AFTER we finished voting that those queues have been fixed. Moral lesson: Please make sure your ushers and watchers have eaten breakfast before sending them out to duty. I think this will improve further in the next election, though. This automated system is new, so I will just attribute these annoyances to birthing pains.
Oh! Oh! My sister has a rather hilarious experience with what she calls "The Senior Citizen's Coalition". There was one senior citizen who was insisting that she be prioritized so she was ragging on one of the voters. The other voter responded with, "Eh senior citizen din ho ako; nagpa-tina lang ako ng buhok!" (I'm also a senior citizen; I just had my hair colored!) And they began fighting until all the other senior citizens in the line sort of joined in the fray. The most reasonable one spoke up, in an attempt to break such blatant display of immaturity (second childhood?), "Pare-pareho lang po tayong nagpapatina dito kaya wag po tayo mag-away. Maiksi lang naman po ang pila." (We all have our hairs colored so let us not fight. The queue is rather short anyway.)
Alex did not look anyone in the eye. She was the youngest in the group and was afraid she'd be forced to move to the end of the line. Haha! Seriously, though, there has to be a separate precinct for senior citizens. Some of them actually fainted from waiting in this godawful heat!
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