As you may have known or heard, this year my Dad ran for Councilor for District I of Makati City. This was the first-time he ran for public office, and with no support from a party, he rode his campaign independently with only us, his immediate family, providing the needed support.
The missus, my boy, and myself joined his final motorcade last May 12. I pictured his motorcade as having a long parade of cars, supporters, and other antics that government-hopefuls would do just to entice the voting public to add his name. Maybe a street-band perhaps coupled with ati-atihans?
But it was totally different.
The motorcade was composed of only 4 cars: 3 of which were from us and 1 was from my Mom's friend. 4 cars filled with 4 dozen balloons, scotch-taped posters, and several packs of Stork candy as giveaways, and we were off.
I had several realizations during that motorcade:
- You cannot win an election in this country without proper machinery. Although your motives are very noble, without sufficient machinery you don't stand a chance. My Dad, for example, had less than 10 poll watchers throughout the 13 Barangays in District 1. That's definitely under-staffed.
- Related to number 1, some people WILL sell their votes/souls for money. This was very evident when the motorcade reached the afternoon of that same day when some people from the depressed areas shouted, "Ay, walang kalakip na pera!" when we handed out my Dad's leaflets to them. It was really disheartening to have seen outstretched arms asking for money in exhange of votes when all they need to do to better their lives is pick their sorry asses up and find work!
- Although some people will ask for money, most people still have the brains to choose wisely on election day. My Dad and one of my sisters even went to as far as going door-to-door in San Lorenzo Vill to put the campaign-leaflets in the mailboxes of the posh houses there, much to the chagrin of the SanLo security guards who called the attention of my Dad. Being resourceful at that scary moment, my Dad got a couple of campaign shirts to appease the angry guards (btw, those shirts were bought for a cheap-cheap price at Divisoria so much so you can recycle it as pamunas after its "shirt-life"). It turned out to be a good move later on, when, as the counting at Brgy SanLo progressed, my Dad was working his way up to the top8 Councilors in that area.
- There are so many poor people in this country. When the motorcade toured District 1, we went through the depressed areas for the primary reason that voting population was well-concentrated there. It was a mind-opener to me since, not having lived in Makati for quite some time, I've been made aware again that there are still a lot of people out there who are not as well-to-do as I am. For that I hope to remind myself now to give more to the less-fortunate and share my blessings.
My Dad was in McDo Greenbelt at the time when we told him the sad news. The "dipstick-team" went to meet him and ate merienda/dinner to pass away this sad part of his life. If the people only knew my Dad more, they would've known that he had done so much work in Makati more than the other Councilor-wannabees had ever done.
But such is how some things are in this world. Not everyone who's sitting there is supposed to be there.
For my Dad, my hats-off to you for taking this campaign to the finish line even when all hope was lost. I admire your persistence and patience in going through this without the political-muscle. If I can speak for my Mom, my sisters, the missus, and my boy, may I say that you have already won a landslide-victory in our hearts.