I’m not referring to the Laetare (which is the mid-Lent Sunday happening next week). Our Sunday was actually a Sunday on the streets.
There was a political rally in Ortigas to show support to a candidate in pink running for the highest position in the land. Frankly speaking, we only had the time to go to the event around evening. We had to drop by the Mall of Asia (MOA) for lunch and an Ikea run. Still, Mon and I decided to don our best and only pink and white dri-fit, and show our support.
We managed to scoot from our place to the venue at around 30 minutes. It has been awhile since we had been in Ortigas, but it was not easy to miss the throngs of pink-clad supporters to lose our way.
Was it a serious case of FOMO? Negative. We had always wanted to attend one of these sorties since the campaign period started but they were either quite far or with bad timing. We were honestly already a bit tired for the morning to afternoon filial duties in MOA, but somehow, we felt the need to be there. Some of the attendees in the event were there since around lunchtime!
The atmosphere was festive, mixed and very energetic. It may just be where we were located i.e. at the back-end of the makeshift, flower explosion entrance, but it was quite a young crowd. Many of them were likely first-time voters.
There was a notable politeness in the air. Even those who do not know each other were chatting, helping each other out. When I was busy taking photos, a near-senior woman in her bicycle tapped my shoulder and asked if I can take a photo of her with the flowers in the background. I guess I did that request justice as she was overjoyed with the photos when she was reviewing it. =) As we were also almost next to those orange street barriers, some young ladies had difficulty climbing over them. We told them to feel free to use our scooters as ‘boosters’ to cross. That eventually became the shortest route to cross to the other side without having to go to the far end of the street.LOL
The last time I went to some political-related event was around August 2013, when I attended a protest at the height of the pork barrel scandal. Prior to that, it was against a supposed tuition hike at UP in my last year at university.
It is worth noting that I have not even attended any of these election-related gatherings since I started voting. The first presidential elections I participated in was in 2010, and I barely lifted a finger except to show up in the polling precincts. On the other hand, I just felt there were a lot more things at stake this time, prompting me to be physically present.
The best part of the event was seeing all those witty placards, ranging from the tongue-in-cheek to the in-your-face:
It was a big crowd. While we were there I saw on my Facebook feed that I have a LOT of friends, acquaintances, former colleagues, and schoolmates in the event. It was, however, difficult to even find one given how big the crowd was. (Official numbers reported to be around 137 ,000 at its peak).
Funnily, I know that my parents are supporting the last candidate in my list. I may have shared this somewhere, but our family had a long, troubled history with the late dictator. If the stories I heard were correct, my grandfather even died defending and debating with their neighbors for the former president. How can I even work around that? I am honestly conflicted, and also very disappointed with their choice. I even recall I have a baby photo with both me and Mama gesturing an ‘L’ hand sign in 1986. What happened?
So I just bit my tongue. It is bad enough that I cannot reconcile how they strongly feel about the greatness of the father, and yet feel how that will, somehow, translate to the capabilities of the son. Last time I checked, I am not a mechanical engineer like Papa. That’s a baffling logic that I could not follow at all.
But, of course, they are avid consumers of well-targeted and curated set of information that ends up in their screen. Luckily, I don’t see my parents posting any of these on their respective walls, but I caught them several times glued to their devices, watching such materials. I could go rogue all the way and force reason. That, however, won’t do any good at all.
There’s still a long way to go and a couple of weeks left. I am hoping that they finally come around by the time they have tos sit down the voting precincts and shade a circle in the elections. This election is not for them, not even so much for me or my generation. They are voting for their grandkids. That alone is a big responsibility to live up to.
I feel that I may be one of the last people out there who keep a blog like this. Vlogs and video contents look to be the most convenient ways for people to document their lives. I feel, though, that they have an audience in mind and to satiate. This space, which is turning 10 this year, remains to be for personal use.
(A space I started to get ready for comprehensive exams, which is surprise, surprise, coming again soon in the following months if I get lucky to battle my demons and pass this semester— reason why I may be writing here again). If you end up here, congrats. If not, this is still here for me to fondly look back to. =)