like many filipinos, we are feeling very tense about tomorrow's elections. it will be the first time our country will be using the automated system to vote and we are hoping that everything proceeds as smoothly as possible and that nothing goes wrong with the machines. especially when you realize that many of our countrymen have never touched—much less, seen—a computer. we're quite computer-literate and, hell, WE'RE nervous about voting via computer! so when you think about it, we are all first-time voters this way. we have to remember to be patient tomorrow because voters and volunteers (manning the precincts) alike may struggle with this new process.
since campaign season began early this year, we have never been vocal about who our candidate was. that was because we didn't have one. none of the candidates is our personal friend, parents' friend, family friend, or whatever kind of friend. none of them is related to us by blood (maybe by affinity—but aren't we all "related," one way or another? ;-) we have no "utang na loob" to any one of them. we don't owe any of them any favors. we don't know any of them, not even on a friendly level (we've met several of them, but that's it).
so our choice for president will be based solely on what we've heard them say on TV and in print (we've never attended a rally). in the middle of the campaign season, we narrowed our choices down to two, so it was these two that we closely watched. we want to say that our choice is also based on what other people have to say about these two candidates, but most of the time the discussions are very emotional; it's always about "why my candidate is better than yours, and why yours sucks."
as a citizen of this country, we can talk endlessly about all the things that are wrong about this country and how it's been this way for decades. and just like everybody else, we are sick and tired of it. we want a president that we feel confident has a sincere agenda to change all that—or at least, has a realistic and sensible plan to BEGIN the change. it ain't gonna happen overnight. it will also take decades to undo the damage; to alter people's mindset to forget the past administrations' sins and to work for a better future NOW; to educate (or re-educate) filipinos about laws and respecting these laws; to REALLY be proud to be a filipino (how many times have we lamented about how difficult travel can be because we hold a philippine passport?); and so much more. so we want a president whom we can be proud of.
so we've made our choice. the man we chose is articulate, but not in the bullshit kind of way. when asked a question he answers forthrightly. he doesn't beat around the bush and doesn't pussyfoot. he knows what's going on and is aware of the issues. the man we chose is educated—he is book smart, but he is also street smart. he may not have grown up "poor," but he's been around the block and isn't clueless. the man we chose is a worker. we admit we didn't know much about him (had never even heard of him), but we boned up and were impressed by what he has achieved before and during his political career. and the man we chose is who we believe best represents the new age of politics, who we can say is the president of our generation, and who we want to begin the road towards the philippines we can truly be proud of.
our choice is gilbert teodoro.