Commentary: Drawing nearer to a new beginning
By Christy Carole Sanico
Tagum City (11 May) -- May 10, 2010 is a historical date for Filipinos, the day all have been waiting for. - first automated elections. Wild mix of emotions flooded voters' minds - excitement, doubt, fear, confusion, hope.
The extension of election hours has come to an end. All ballots were casted, all votes are in. Filipinos' have chosen the leaders that are yet to rule our country. It's over.
However, the outcome of the automated elections was not satisfactory, as what most of the people expected.
Rizza Uyanguren, 19, was both happy and excited to cast her very first ballot as she joined the queues of expectant voters, 7AM today. She woke up early morning to cast her votes. Rizza didn't mind the nasty weather and drizzling rain. The first-time voter enthused that she is hopeful that this whole new voting process will bring change for our nation.
However, 6 hours later, Rizza was still stuck in the polling place with other voters. The situation was a bedlam. People in all ages were waiting for long hours under the pouring rain.
"Dugay kayo ang proseso karon? Maypag gimano-mano. Wala'y sistema. Manguli nalang ta," one voter was heard complaining to himself.
Don Ricardo Briz Elementary School expected a total number of 8,112 registered voters from Brgy. Magugpo East to flock in polling places yesterday.
With 800 to 1000 voters assigned per clustered precincts, swarms of agitated people gathered inside the campus, forcing to fit in long lines of tired and annoyed voters.
Others haven't located their names in the master list which forced eager voters to leave polling places and verify their registration in COMELEC. Worse, some voters opted to go home, upset and resentful for the fact that they cannot vote.
Relon, a 48-year old pedicab driver, was not in favor with the new method.
"Unsaon nalang ang mga edaran na halap nag panan-aw? Maglisod sila og shade sa balota?," Relon voiced his opinion.
61 year-old Tatay Geraldo shared with Relon's lament, "Murag dugay-dugay ang proseso kay nabag-ohan pa ang kadaghanan? Nakulbaan ko kay basin mamali ko ug shade, masayang akong boto."
Tatay Geraldo is in favor with the automated elections but worrying at the same time. He said voters are still adjusting on this new approach.
As darkness clothed the city, many people were still waiting for their turn to vote in Tagum City National High School.
Voters lined outside the precincts in TCNHS were pushing against each other at around 7PM to catch up with the ballots.
In a positive note, the city is still fortunate because there had been no major reports of anomalies and serious grievances. So far, the elections went peaceful.
To sum, it has not been a'perfect' election. There had been flaws and misunderstandings. Yet, all is done. Let's learn from our mistakes and carry on.
May 10 is coming to a close end but hope is drawing nearer to a new beginning.
The 6 long hours of waiting in long chains to cast your votes is heroic indeed for it marked the change and progress yet to spring everlasting fountains on our homeland. (PIA XI) [top]