More Important Than Any Candidate
Dare I say it? It’s strange to ponder after having gone through plenty of disappointment in Philippine governance.
As I type this, it’s a day after the second Presidential Debate of 2016, this may be one of the most watched debates in Philippine history. A peek online shows no shortage of critiques on how each candidate fared. Many of the critiques are clearly biased and/or meant to be funny (Binay’s “documents”), but you can see a clear passion towards who will lead our country.
Gone are the days of campaigning just to get people to vote. If my social media feed is any indication, people genuinely care about the upcoming elections.
What has stood out is the number of opinions shared. You don’t need to look very far to hear someone voicing out about the presidential race. There’s even a video making the rounds of a Taxi driver eloquently explaining his vote for Mar Roxas.
It’s strange to think, but can we entertain the thought that the Philippines may be in good hands? Regardless of who wins the elections?
Is the Philippines in good hands?
Now calm down. I say this because of the Philippine people. We’ve been accustomed to think of the Philippine voter as widely uneducated and poor. That may still be the case, but there are signs of the changing landscape.
The advent of the internet in the Philippines is an easy factor to point to. Even kids who live in poor rural spaces have access to the internet. Pinoys from all walks of life have shown the capacity to show reason and intellect.
I don’t expect the votes to go to whoever can spend the most. This was debunked in the 2010 elections when Manny Villar ranked third after allegedly spending half a billion for his presidential bid. This year, Duterte is famously running with a meager campaign budget compared to his rivals. That hasn’t stopped supporters for spending their own hard earned cash to support their candidates.
The Filipino people care about the Philippines.
This is somehow lost in all the outrage and angst whenever we talk about our beloved country. The sentiment is everything is going to shit. There are problems for sure, but every country has problems. Even the richest most powerful country in the world is lamenting about their short comings (Listen to the first minute of this podcast).
Whoever wins, I can live with that. I haven’t decided who I will vote for, but I wouldn’t be crushed if my candidate doesn’t win (if Binay wins, I take everything I said back). It’s time to put our faith not on one single candidate, but on the Filipino people. Can we do that? Can we trust the people to make the right choice?
Even if that choice differs from yours?
Originally published at zerothreetwo.com on March 21, 2016.