Surprisingly, promises are not monopolized by men during courtship days but by politicians. Philippine politics has evolved from being simple and unembellished to being colorful and hyperbolic. Politicians are getting creative just to get the voters’ yes. Numerous strategies – charismatic aura, witty personality, funny lines, dramatic stories, rags to riches impact, celebrity endorsers and many more have been I must say are the most anticipated scenario during the campaign period. Actors turned politicians, convicted yet re-electionist legislators and husband and wife running for the same position are just some of the remarkable aspiring public servants. However, after getting elected and having served their term, voters have this question in mind: “Where are your sweet promises?”
The right to suffrage was a milestone for the country. Many lives were sacrificed just to achieve this freedom. It took a long time before women were allowed to vote. We have come this far, a manifestation that democracy works; but are we utilizing the freedom that we have? Citizens from other nations have to flee from bullets while attempting to go to voting precincts. Others were already killed before reaching the polls. Others have no chance to elect their leaders because there’s already a successor (in the persona of the prince) while others have to accept the fact that their nation is ruled by a few elite. Election day is a special non-working holiday here but in other countries, every day is a struggle between life and death. Ours is a democratic nation; however, why are we wasting this chance?
Despite being tainted with corruption, politicians are still able to reverse the story in their favor. We tend to like their melodramatic turn-of-events approach. They claim to be victims of political persecutions, and we believe them. Evidence? We still write their names on the ballot and they are still sitting there as legislators. We like charismatic personalities, those who can make us laugh. We tend to ignore others who speak with intelligence. We don’t examine their records, we look at their character.
Politicians have become masters of rhetoric. They love giving abstract statement about a particular issue so that the audience can be pulled away from the facts. Eloquence is their weapon. They already promised to do those things, yet none was fulfilled. We said that we’re tired of hearing those promises yet we still vote for them. We are delighted to see goods and other commodities with their names on it in times of calamities. They care for us, we say; but have we ever thought of this: Do they do this because they want to help or they just want publicity? Will we vote for those who work in silence? A lot of projects were done, but does every cent (from our taxes) was spent as it is supposed to be?
I am a Filipino. I take pride for being one, but is this all we can be? We’re too tied up to traditional point of views. We’re afraid to break the system. Our country still deserves to have the best, why are we depriving her of that? Do surnames of traditional politicians really reflect the brand of service they can offer? Should we become contented of what’s there when we know we can be better? Why are we limiting our choices between who’s famous and accustomed individuals?
Before casting your vote, pause for awhile and think thoroughly. Why am I here?
Not everyone who seems to care, really cares. Not everyone who helps does it without expecting in return. Be careful with the intentions. Choose wisely. Weigh the consequences of your choice.