Tuesday, May 15, 2007

dirty finger chronicles

aling glecia went to yoyong early in the morning on that monday. she was determined to exercise her right to suffrage that day. she has been a long time resident of paang bundok for nearly 50 years now. since the day that she married her (now deceased) husband, she has lived in that barangay. she has observed all of the kids in the neighborhood grow up along with houses and apartments that sprang up like mushrooms themselves.

so to speak, she has actively participated in almost all political exercises ever since she can't remember. the only year in which she was absent was in the year her husband died in 1998.

imagine her horror when she could not find her name in the certified voters' list. she was holding the comelec id supplied by her barangay to supposedly help her find her precinct faster, thus a more convenient process of voting. but it was no use. she felt confused and frustrated knowing that she cannot participate this year.

she left the ppcrv clutching her black bag and shaking her head. "sayang," she thought.

upon entering the yoyong building, there is a door just at the right of the stairs. it seems to be the busiest room in that polling place. busier than precincts combined. when my bladder seemed to be full of excess water, which i did not sweat, i know that this door would lead to relief.

no doubt, it is a men's room. there's urinal on the wall, the type in which a ditch is fashioned to catch the piss and in which men would as much as possible face away from each other. but what is this i see? women emerging from the cubicles. so we have become unisex today, i thought.

at the end of the day, it has been so stinky! and yet the line does not seem to vanish. how can this door be so famous? when all it has to offer is basic relief, and the perfume of ammonia. what does it have that makes it so special. i guess, people have no choice.

i hate that this happened not only in that restroom but in the quezon city mayoralty race. sb, was the only candidate credible enough to win. there are other "unknowns" who took the cudgels. but the point is, quezon city residents have no choice. i mean, he's not bad. but he is not fantastic either. there were still a lot of things that could have been better, like fixing quezon avenue for example. or solving the squatter problem.

yeah, he is still smells like that restroom in the morning, but later on, he would have to stink for all that he is not doing, or doing for that matter.

i wish there was a choice.

as a matter of fact there was! i did not vote for him.

emy is an old guy. his hair is almost white. he wears two pairs of eye glasses. one to let him see far objects, the other so that he can read. but today, he looked at the vote in a deeper and more respectable way.

he got invited by pareng bing to join the ppcrv. a volunteer group of lourdes parishoners who simply wanted more out of the electoral process. sounds exciting for him, plus he'll get to do different and something patriotic (if there is such a thing) for a change.

so he donned his ppcrv shirt and marched to the polling places at 6am.

for the next 18 hours he only left his assigned precinct to vote (30mins), to have lunch with his kids (1 hour) and to pee (a combined 1 hour and 15 mins. est). he watched the vote, and waited and watched and waited. and he realized that it is important for people to do this. because it shows the enormous power of the citizen to make the votes count.

he left yoyong at around 1am. where other ppcrv volunteers still sit and wait for all ballot boxes to transport to city hall. "fine young men and women" he thought.

we might actually have a future.

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