Volunteer Nicole Anne Olequino Revita shares her own campaign story.
I can’t simply tell myself, “I want a better country” and do nothing. So I told myself, “I want a better country and I will elect the right leader. No shame, no fear.”
My clock reads 5:18 am, I am officially home from postering in San Andres, Pasig Line, Divisoria and Tondo. It was quite strenuous; this is my first time to be up this late working my butt off for elections. While heading the underpass awhile ago feeling a little tension on my feet and simultaneously resisting the temptation to walk asleep, I asked myself, “Is my country worth this trouble?” I thought I might personally ask Pao. I am dead tired and I want an answer. So I said aloud, “Is our country worth this trouble?” Then he replied, “Our children deserve this.” I smiled.
Yes, that’s what I needed to hear…
I can’t actually bring myself into writing this article, for some reason I am having it thoroughly cooked inside my drained head, perhaps waiting for the right mood to finally pen my thoughts without the fear of not making sense. So today I am taking chance into penning down my frustration without sounding outwardly freakish. Anyway, we only have 2 weeks left and I might as well maximize the election hype. So here I go.
I am introvert, selectively shy, and a self-professed semi-apathetic. I was never active in school politics, more so with national though I am vocal about being a Filipino, whenever there is a chance to be proud to. I have a problem with expressing my thoughts; I’d rather pen it down. I never demand, I never complain, I wince from time to time but that’s the best whining I could do.
In short, I am nice- too nice. I guess I really am your typical low-esteemed Pinoy.
So the hype of campaign season is creeping all over the media in as early as October, I guess. I have no slightest intention to be involved. I am doing fine anyway, bunch of TRAPOs running again for the office; it is the same old Philippine story.
So Pao introduced me to Richard Gordon (I used to address him as Richard, err- Dick didn’t sound too decent, I thought.) and had me watched him on You-tube. I was hesitant, I was skeptic, I was afraid- perhaps afraid that I might find someone who will make me believe, I am afraid to fail. I took courage to watch him, how he brags about Subic, Olongapo, Wow Philippines and Red Cross. I saw what he did in Olongapo, how he turned it into a Model City, I saw what he did in Subic, how from scratch he made it a business hub in Asia, I can testify to the success of Wow Philippines because I used to hear a lot about how cool Intramuros was and I know the Wow Philippines song, “Tara na byahe tayo! Upang ating Makita ang ganda ng Pilipinas ang galing ng Pilipino.” (See?! ) I saw how he modernized Red Cross how they have more ambulances and rubber boats than our government can possibly provide. Then I thought, “Wow. He irrefutably succeeds in every field he’s on.”
So to be fair I tried to know the other candidates and this is the problem when you started with someone so successful you now set a standard, you won’t anymore settle. So no one compares as far as achievement is concerned. So I started as that, I thought it was drastic enough to find myself and Pao engaging in debates with people from the net that we don’t even know, I thought it was even more drastic to make our own flyers and distribute it to people in our school then we notched a little further by going to the Bagumbayan headquarters requesting for tarpaulins and campaign materials. Until we found ourselves in streets meeting incredibly passionate people, giving stickers, flyers, posters and saying, “Gordon at Bayani po, bumoto po tayo ng tama!”
In my perfect little world, I would never do that. I never beg to people, I never insist what I want, I never trust my judgment, I would settle for what is convenient. That was me, until someone made me believe that Filipinos are always worth the effort.
It would be so easy for me to just settle for the other candidates. At the end of the day, I would be fine with whoever would take the position. I graduated from a good school- I sure can make a decent living, I sure won’t eat from people’s scrap, I can go abroad and start a life there. But no, even if I change my surname, dye my hair, wear colored contact lenses and earn a greencard, I am still a Filipino and I can’t simply chicken out and run away. I’d rather stay here and see this country of mine progress. I want my children to grow up in a nation who has redeemed itself from constant failure, because it has matured, it has grown smarter through experience. I want a nation that is proud of itself. I no longer want a low-esteemed Pinoy, who only wince when offended, who cannot reason out because of lack of education. I want a nation that is well-aware of the rights, obligations and potential it has. I want a Singapore, I want a Lee Kuan Yew. But I chose to be stuck in the Philippines with impeccable hopes to whoever the electorate will hail victorious on May 10. I can’t simply tell myself, “I want a better country” and do nothing. So I told myself, “I want a better country and I will elect the right leader. No shame, no fear.”
Sometimes, after a long day of campaigning, Pao and I would joke about how we are supposed to be bar-hoppin’ instead of getting cheek-to-cheek with the poste around the metro. But as Senator Gordon has said, “Nothing good is easy to get.” I told Pao today, “If we only chose Noynoy and moreso Villar (or even Gibo), we could have been sleeping now, malakas naman yung makinarya nila e.” True enough they won’t be needing our service, they could simply hire people to do postering for them, they could easily inform people through their expensive commercials. It was so convenient. But if that happens I guess we are being deprived of knowing the beauty of volunteerism, I guess we would never be this passionate had we chosen the others.
So, if you suddenly had a new-found dignity in being a Filipino, you don’t let anyone deprive you of your rights, you try to be as competitive as possible, you believe in leadership by example and you do not please people just so they believe in the same way that you do.
Well, you have just been hit by the Gordon Effect.
Keep aiming high my well-loved Philippines.