I’m voting for them.



With less than a week to go before the elections and with social media becoming more toxic as the day approaches, I know that this article is a bit late.  However I’d like to share something that’s been in my heart since the election hullabaloo started.

I’m not telling you which candidates I’m voting for, but I’d like to share with you who I kept in mind as I went through the process of selecting my candidates: the poor and the marginalized members of Philippine society who I’ve personally encountered over the years.  These are the people who are most affected by whoever we put in power every election, and they’re the ones for whom I’m voting:

  • For the past decade, my line of work has been giving me the opportunity to go on immersions in the homes of the poor and underprivileged and catch a glimpse of the realities that they face each day. It both touches and devastates me how they choose to be happy despite their living conditions. They struggle to put food on the table and get medicines when they’re sick, and some of their kids had to give up schooling to earn money for the family. Still, they say: “Kahit mahirap at maraming problema ok lang basta magkakasama kami.”
  • At the same time, I’ve met OFWs in Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the US who have opted for lonely Christmas nights in exchange for decent lives of their loved ones back home. “Tiis tiis lang. Ang importante makapagpadala ako ng pera kay Mama at makaipon para makasunod na rin siya dito.”
  • Two years ago I went to Cebu for a vacation with friends.  It was all fun, adventure, food tripping and Instagramming — until we met a tricycle driver whose home was destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda and was still at the time waiting for financial aid that was promised to him.  I suddenly felt guilty enjoying myself in the lovely islands of his hometown while he painstakingly awaits a permanent place to reside in. Similarly, a company outreach activity in one of the public schools in Bohol has made me aware of how a single classroom damaged by an earthquake, if not attended to right away, can cause the deterioration of a child’s overall academic performance.
  • Just six months ago in the beautiful town of Sagada, I encountered mothers of special children who, in spite of their efforts to set up a SPED school, still can’t send their kids to school because of lack of transportation money. Double whammy — they are poor and physically-challenged.
  • For an institution that employs the best doctors in the country, the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) has the WORST charity ward ever. Whenever I visit my friend who’s confined there, it baffles me to see patients trying to recuperate in that hot, cramped, and grossly uncomfortable place. Unfortunately, those who cannot afford the luxury of private rooms have no choice but to convalesce in those wards.
  • Actually, I needn’t look too far: Back in college I had a classmate (a financial aid scholar) who missed a couple of group meetings “kasi walang pamasahe papuntang school”. Kids like him are brave, having to go through all that while trying to survive and fit in the world of their schoolmates who are either well-off or filthy rich. Our own household helper’s family of 10 is squeezed into a tiny house that’s practically just the size of my own bedroom.

Of course, we all try to help and empower these people however we can. I wish I could do more — hopefully someday I will, when I have enough resources to really make a difference.  So for now, the least that I can do for them, with my own imperfect yet sincere judgment, is to elect leaders who truly understand them, who genuinely care about their future, and who can actually champion them and not just use them to feed their own political ambitions.

Yes, I am aware of the figures, statistics, and economic reports, but the realities I’ve seen, albeit limited, are just too difficult to ignore.

I am voting for them — the poor, the marginalized, the common Filipino — because to me, nothing is more indecent and more immoral than our countrymen having such quality of living while the rich and only the rich get to experience the fruits of this economic progress.

Let’s continue to pray for our country even after May 9.

Image source: inquirer.net

7 Comments on I’m voting for them.

  1. Mike
    May 3, 2016 at 4:39 pm (3 years ago)

    With all the campaign clutter, its easy to miss out the people who we should be voting for. Nice pic! :)

    • Carmel David
      May 3, 2016 at 4:47 pm (3 years ago)

      Mike!!! Yes, exactly! Galing, thanks for that! :) The pic is a coincidence — I just got a random election-related pic from Google. :))

  2. Justine Galang
    May 4, 2016 at 11:26 am (3 years ago)

    This is very timely! I love your blog! :)

  3. Liezel Regidor
    May 4, 2016 at 11:59 am (3 years ago)

    I think this is not a late post but rather timely. Everyone seems to be distracted with the promises of these politicians but are blinded about their real intentions. It is very hard indeed to choose the right person to lead our country, but your post helps a lot especially for those who are still undecided. Thank you for sharing your opinion. More power to you!

  4. Joanna
    May 4, 2016 at 12:01 pm (3 years ago)

    It is very good to think about it and analyze the actions and background of each candidate. Most of the people don’t do this, they just listen to the promises from the campaign and vote solely based on that, which is wrong.

  5. Jen Villarosa
    May 4, 2016 at 1:38 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m thankful that I’ve read your post before election day. Up to now, I’m still undecided who to vote for PRES. Your article gave me the “yeap, she’s right” kind of reaction after reading it. Thank you for the reminder. Hoping other’s will see this through too.

    Jen Villarosa
    of Invest Manila

  6. Yan
    May 4, 2016 at 3:15 pm (3 years ago)

    I admire your compassion! I hope the poor votes for their future as well, and not just for supper.


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