Tuesday morning, May 10 2016, I woke up and realized I fell asleep sometime after 12 midnight and it felt good.
The Rabid Campaign
I didn’t sleep well for weeks, just following news and reading articles (good and bad), following the campaign of all the candidates. On an average, I’d doze off between 3-4 am, when I’m truly exhausted and then wake up at 7 am to get ready for work. A friend joked: “Campaign manager ka ba ni Duterte?” (Are you the campaign manager of Duterte?)And you know what, there were times when I felt like I was part of the actual campaign and I had to keep in touch with the goings on. I had countless chat rooms on FB and Viber that were either transformed to election threads or were formed for the elections. I talked elections with friends, colleagues and patients. Inasmuch as I could, however, I kept my Facebook (and other social media pages) hate-free. (emphasis on: inasmuch as I could), so I kept the heated discussions private.
Actually, it took me awhile before I actively participated. For months my feed was clean of election posts until the final week. For months I was silently reading, liking and stalking the campaign of each candidate. I watched all the debates, interviews–but all the while, kept quiet. The battle on FB went on and towards the end it had gotten from bad to worst so I didn’t want to add to the tension. Also, I was already getting irritated with all the hate and I knew if I started there’s no stopping me, but one day I saw a friend’s post (he was on the other team) and he said something like: “I’m not posting for you. I am posting for people who have the same beliefs as I do. To let them know they’re not alone”. And I realized, that’s true. Some people may be waiting for allies, so I decided to step forward and leave my chat rooms. More than liking posts, I started to share stuff too, and I started to talk about my CANDIDATE.
To explain my choice is going to be long, controversial–and this blog is no place for that. I am not a political analyst and I am not a historian, so I wont even attempt to go there. Instead, I will give you my “personal” reasons because you cannot argue this with a FACT, THEORY or BLACK PROPAGANDA. Funny thing, before the elections a friend dared me to blog about my dark thoughts about the elections and I laughed, telling him: “Given the archive I have here, do you think people will take me seriously? I mean, I talk about Justin Bieber, Clash of Clans and adult coloring books”. Anyway, I shared this conversation with another friend and she said: “You should do it and then you can change the name of your blog to… The Drama Queen Can Tell Theories.” Hahaha!
Anyway let me start explaining. My father was a retired military officer. For 21 years I lived in Camp Aguinaldo and grew up with men like Digong. As a matter of fact, Digong reminds me so much of my Papa. His loose shirt and corduroy pants—his hatred for crime and drugs. You know, my sisters and I were discouraged to go out to bars and to go to places like EMBASSY (the club) because he says people go there for drugs? In high school, I was hardly allowed out; and in college I had a curfew of 11pm that sometimes stretched to 1am, even though I was a constant dean’s lister. High grades do not justify one’s need to go out and unwind. He says it’s his duty to send us to school and as gratitude, we had to bring home good results. High grades were expected (a resounding “be sure” his favorite reminder). We grew up understanding that going out was a privilege, not a right–and how can you argue with that?
Anyway back to Digong, I grew up to a strict father with seemingly unfair rules (unfair compared to my friends), but beneath his tough exterior he was our funny, generous and thoughtful hero. He was tough on bad people, but always fought for people who are weak.
It was during the 2nd Presidential debate hosted by TV5 that I made my decision to vote for Digong. Just so you know, he was always my top choice (even before he filed his candidacy), and I remember having Duterte discussions with my dad before he passed away. That TV5 debate was crucial for me because although many saw it as disorganized and chaotic, the rawness of it all revealed more to me than anything did. There I saw a man feared by many, but I cannot forget how he spoke to Binay regarding the notes: “Just let the debate go on. You can just present your documents at a presscon” (not verbatim). Yes he is crass, he makes a lot of shocking remarks, and he’s surprised me with several “face-palm” moments, but have you ever seen him in a formal interview? Oh, in the right setting this man is profound, eloquent and very intelligent–just like my father.
Before the elections my sisters said I was making a sentimental vote, but I want you to understand that I thought hard about this. I am presenting this reason to you because THIS STAND is immune from criticism. In other words, I don’t want to invite negativity into my blog. But if you wish to engage in a lengthy conversation about this, send me an email or message me on Facebook.
Another personal reason is the need to feel secure. While cases are more isolated now, do you remember when there were back-to-back reports of rape and deaths of dentists? It scared a lot of people, even those outside the dental community, so people would message me to stay safe. It went on for a while, and I often feared it happening to me (while holding on to God’s faithfulness to keep me safe from harm), but what’s most painful is that the solution and safeguard provided to us is TO INSTALL A CCTV. People urged me to get a CCTV for my protection–and I answered: “Protection from what? Will the CCTV kill my attacker? Can I afford to connect my CCTV to the police station so they are on a 24/7 alert to keep me safe? What exactly is the CCTV for; so that they can watch the bad thing over and over–and hope to capture the criminal with it?” What the government is saying is that WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR SAFETY–and that pains me. My vote for Duterte is also a cry for help because I really don’t feel safe. Yes the CCTV is a responsible action, but please do not tell me that it is the ONLY SOLUTION you can give to me.
It’s Time to Heal: Embracing the Future
It has been a week since the May 9 elections. Duterte is now PDiggy and I look back at the rabid campaign (especially the final weeks). There are still traces of hatred on social media, it will take awhile for all that to go away. But just so you know, the hashtags were annoying; the irresponsible journalism was appalling; and like I said, I tried my very best to control temper–but of all that I encountered one post truly hit a nerve so I took a stand. Do I regret doing that, not really, because I wanted to tell her she hurt me by saying what she said, but I wont exactly do it again.
One of the first things President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said on May 9th was that it was “time to heal”. In a CNN interview he was asked to comment about what he thought about the black propaganda and the LP’s call to “return to decency”; and in another, they asked him about what he thought about the accusations and the negative claims, and for all of that he just said: “Forget about the hate… it’s part of the territory of politics”. He also talked about journalists working like garbage collectors, but he accepted that it was all part and parcel of journey–and he’s right.
Six years ago, I voted for Richard “Dick” Gordon for the Presidency and he lost. I imagined a world with him as a leader and I liked that picture, but I woke up the day after and I was devastated. Nevertheless, I supported the new President and remained hopeful for the Aquino government. That’s how it is. The slogan, “CHANGE IS COMING” is simple; often times used in a joke, but I can really feel people embracing it now. Within a week he has already presented us with good things to expect, and I pray this goes on. Just like in 2010, we wait for good things. And if I made a mistake; if my President turns out to be a failure–I promise to be the first one to SCREAM at him because believe me, I will feel very betrayed. The passion I poured out is too great, he should not let it go all in vain. So trust me, if he fails, I will GET REALLY MAD. But do not condemn me, and all the others who voted for him—that’s not right.
I am a dentist and in between patients I am a writer. I have been a blogger since 2004 and writing is something that is most natural to me, like breathing air... words are my sustenance and this blog, is my breathing space.
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