I wrote this article long before the May 10 2010 elections. Decided to update and upload.
Filipinos overseas have trooped Philippine embassies worldwide to cast their votes. There were reported glitches in some areas however the overseas voting went well smoothly, generally.
As an overseas Filipino, I participated in the absentee voting through post. I received the official ballot early March. Some of my friends decided to post it right away while mine gathered dust as I contemplated on this hard decision (yet again) to vote for the person/s who, I think, will be good for my country.
If taking a multiple choice exam, which only has about 4 choices the most, is hard enough, try choosing from almost 10 candidates of presidential candidates. Add to this we have to choose 12 senators from about 61 candidates and choose one out of the 187 sectoral parties. While some might just choose their candidates based on convenience, that is, who is the most popular or trust what their mates say about this certain candidate or just give everything to lady luck, well I tried, as much as I can, to research more about the candidates and the party list. I reckon some Filipinos in the past have made their decision out of convenience and not out of an informed choice.
As most paid surveys showed, there were some candidates who easily appealed to me, at least in name recall, that is–Noynoy Aquino, Manny Villar and Erap Estrada. As the news coverage about the potential candidates dragged on, names of other aspirants knocked on recall zone–Gibo Teodoro and Dick Gordon. Then there’s the pervasive Eddie Villanueva and first time (but not nuisance, according to the COMELEC) candidates Vetallano Acosta (who was later disqualified), Nicanor Perlas, JC De Los Reyes and Jamby Madrigal.
My initial shortlist: Teodoro and Aquino. The former appealed to me because of his performance in the forums hosted by a number of organisations while Aquino appealed primarily because of the possibility of change. While Teodoro might have acted ala Obama in terms of presenting himself and even coming up with a sensible platform, it seems that his cousin is also gunning for the Obama strategy playing the change rhetoric.
Generally, all of the presidential candidates have learned a thing or two from the Obama election strategy. Some of them claimed to use grassroots volunteers while others claimed of using new media to reach more people.
Now let me give you a quick overview as to how I came to my decision to pick MY candidates.
I initially thought that I will be deciding for the top two posts the last however it proved that the convenience of inspecting their background and platform online was easier than I first thought that I was able to arrive at a decision even before the official OAV started.
As if catching up with the automated system of the election, most of the candidates had their platform and other information posted online. It made comparison among the candidates more easy and intensive.
After a lot of contemplation, research and prayers, I have decided to vote for Eddie Villanueva. It might be late to explain at this stage but for most of us, our respective candidates is the best for the country. To put simply, most candidates have promised good things and have a track record (whether good or bad) to boast of. Most of the candidates have presented mostly a wide-ranging platform which their respective supporters deem is best for them. Past presidents had them and they, if they did, tried to deliver. We had an economist as a president yet the economy barely survived the global financial crisis and the standard of living in the Philippines never really improved. I believe that Mr. Villanueva is perfect for the post not because he believes that he is the one but because of his proven sincerity. His spirituality also influenced me, while for others this might not be a prerequisite for the presidency however for me this meant a lot as to how my candidate will decide for his country–not that he will go to a crystal ball to consult but I’m rest assured that it will be decided upon with conviction and with the people’s welfare in mind.
As we all know, Aquino overwhelmingly triumphed while my candidate did a fair showing during the election. The turnout for the OAV was low but still was a success, I reckon. Whether it is an indication of how Filipinos abroad feels but there were some surprises in the OAV results. The election will be concluded and Filipinos will have a president, my apparent president-elect, Benigno Aquino III. I hope everyone moves on and work hand in hand as we Filipinos abroad do our share, as we always do.