To Vote or Not to Vote

3 09 2009

by Tobit Cruz

“Tara pare, parehistro tayo!”

“Kayo na lang dude, busy ako eh.”

One of these two characters would be you. Before you make a final declaration of who are you among the two, better think a thousand times and from then you’ll have the right to choose. But first let’s continue their story.

“Pare, mas busy na tayo next week! Midterms na kaya natin. Sabi nga, the best day is TODAY!”

“Dude, we still have next week, and next next week! Up to October 31 pa naman ang reg [registration]! Kailangan ko mag focus sa assignment ko..”

Well then, guy number 2 has a point. As a student, we need to prioritize our studies more than registration and voting. To think of it we won’t be scolded by our parents if we do not register, compared if we do not do our assignments. Besides, we won’t be graded by our professors if we do register.

“ U**L! Kailan ka pa nagseryoso sa pag aaral mo? Haha.. Hindi mo naman siguro 24 hours gagawin yang assignment mo ‘di ba? ‘tol mamaya mo na yan gawin sayang yung satellite registration sa SM..”

“Pwede pa naman sa munisipyo next time. Dude di rin ako pwede mamaya. May date kasi kami ni Badette.  Bakit ba ang kulit mo? Tatakbo ka ba sa 2010?!..”

If you were to choose between your girlfriend and registration, what would you choose? With your girl, you could just chillax at the mall, holding hands while walking.  At the registration site, you have to queue up for hours. That is indeed boring.

“T*do! Hindi ‘no! gusto ko lang ma-experience bumoto sa 2010.”

“What for dude? E pare pareho lang naman ang mananalo. Tignan mo ‘yang Mayor natin, kahit walang nagagawa nanalo pa rin.”

The second statement may sound cynical but in reality, it is becoming real. Same faces, same speeches, same platforms, same old ways of cheating. It is our POLITICS, it is our culture, it is our way of life– it is US. As Aristotle once said, man is a political animal by nature. We could not exclude ourselves in the world of politics because whatever we do affects it and whatever affects it will surely affect us. If we choose to be static and cynical like most of the population we let the negative things as it is. So there are no excuses.

“Pare, kaya nga tayo boboto eh. Para mataanggal na yang mga trapo na yan!”

“Asa ka pa! Sige na, marami pa kong gagawin. Next time na lang ‘tol.”

A lot of us would be guy number two with an attitude caught between procrastination and wrong prioritization. Good academic standing, healthy relationships, happy family, bright future, all of these are our priorities but do we not think of what could happen will all these if we continue to vote for the wrong person? Or worse, if we do not vote at all and waste our right. We may not be graded by doing some action for our country, but every action we will do will surely pay off and it’s not just in a form of numbers. We may not be graded by registering and voting, but what’s the point of getting good grades if there is no opportunity that awaits you because of wrong leadership? If there is no clear future for your aspirations and dreams? It feels much better when you know you did the right thing, than the feeling of great regret when you know you could have done it but you simply don’t. Let’s put an end to the endearing cynicism in our hearts. Let our desire for a positive change rule over our apathy. Let us begin it NOW.

***Tobit is a student of San Beda Collge, an SK leader and an FTV volunteer.




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