"Here is a concrete way to influence the course of our nation in the way we see fit."
Facing several trials on numerous fronts, Filipinos are quick to express their dissatisfaction and complain about how this or that official should have acted otherwise.
Those who dare criticize their incumbent leaders are often chided for complaining too much and not doing much else. Those who are noisy on social media are challenged to just shut up and show their contribution.
Those who have the audacity to hold officials accountable for their misdeeds are branded as rabble-rousers and terrorists, if not tagged communists.
It is easy to feel helpless especially when one is actually none of these things. What if you are an ordinary Filipino, with no interest in political gain whatsoever, but who are sad about what is going on in your country and who genuinely wishes to see a difference and imagines a better Philippines for the next generations?
You can, of course, continue to air your advocacy and even suggestions on the usual traditional and online channels. You can try to be different from those who parrot rehearsed lines given to an army of profiles with coordinated inauthentic behavior.
To help those in need, for example those whose lives were upended by the recent typhoon, you can choose an organization you trust would connect you to legitimate recipients, and who would make an honest audit of all funds. If you have the time, inclination and good health, you can volunteer to repack or distribute.
Or you can set your sights on voting, and voting well, in the next elections.
On September 1, the Commission on Election resumed the registration for voters in areas under general community quarantine. Registration forms may be downloaded from the Comelec website beforehand. Appointments for registration at Comelec offices have to be made beforehand; the accomplished forms have to be signed then and there, in front of an elections officer.
In May 2022, Filipinos eligible to vote will exercise their right and duty to choose their national and local leaders. They can only be exhorted to choose candidates they believe would be good for them, based on merit and past performance. They must be able to trust these candidates to be prepared for the job, to have the fortitude to resist the temptations of high office, and to place the nation’s interest ahead of their own.
The first step to ensure that such candidates win is to place oneself in the roster of voters. Lapsed voters, those who changed residences and young Filipinos on whose shoulders our future rests should get themselves on that list. Collectively we can make our voices heard and determine the future of our nation. Collectively we can assert what is good for us. Let’s not shirk this supreme duty.