The Filipino Voter
Oh my, I feel like my mother died all over again. Oh well…
What can we learn from these events?
I learned that the Filipino voter does not care about personal, family, historical and/or professional background. The Filipino voter does not care who you are and your familial relations. You could be brother or cousin to the bully who caused the bankruptcy of your family business or the unjust termination from employment of your father; you’d still be okay. You could have no accomplishments from your previous employment, but the Filipino elector is ready to disregard that. You could be considered qualified. You could have a long list of unpaid items in the neighborhood sari-sari store; and he would still approve your million-peso loan. What a pure heart! The Filipino voter is ah so ready to forget everything, and is so ready to accept you for who you are, whoever you are.
Now that I think of it, the Filipino voter is a Filipino lover. As the love song goes, “Mali man na ika’y ibigin ko, ako’y isang bulag na umiibig sa iyo. Mahal kita maging sino ka man.”. Now, that’s love. He’ll forget about everything, throw everything away. He’ll be voting for you. That’s Pinoy love, the kind that would defy parental approval and social acceptance, and would elope with the boyfriend who does not have a job and not much of a chance at a good one because he had just dropped out of school because he’d rather be with you. Then, months later, sooner than you think, the couple would be enjoying the bliss of a single room bedspace while waiting for the baby and the man’s next shift at work which comes once a week. Oh, what pure love! But the Filipino voter would not care, he’s so ready to go through pain and pleasure for you.
I learned that the Filipino voter does not care about intellect and aptitude in argumentation. You would be highly qualified. An aspirant could ignore political debates which would open discussion of platform and plans. The Filipino voter would not mind at all. You could even respond to interview questions with a smile, you would still be the brightest contender. To the Filipino voter, a job applicant could not show up at his job interview and he would still be hired over those who prepared and showed up for the meeting. (If that’s the case, all those debates which even COMELEC says would be the voters’ reference for choosing wisely had all been just a waste of time, effort and money, because the Filipino voter does not care about them anyway. So, let’s throw responsiveness to issues and logical preparedness to address national concerns out the window. Those are not really very important. As, the song goes, “Kahit hindi guwapo, kahit hindi matalino.”, so are the qualifications that the Filipino constituent seeks for.
I learned that the Filipino voter seeks security in promises and pledges. It does not matter if those promises are discreetly unrealistic, what is important is for the time being, the elector has been emotionally embraced of the promise of bright tomorrow, unmindful of the lack of pragmatism of the promise. It does not matter if the promises disregard the real consequences of inflation, of supply and demand, of appropriations of government services. Those do not matter.
I learned that the Filipino voter wants candidates who walk the talk, who practice what they preach. The Filipino voter longs for practical support. Despite admonitions against acceptance of cash for vote, those bills and/or goods remain to be the highlight of the eve of election day. For the Filipino voter, you don’t just have to proclaim it, you have to provide it.
I learned that the Filipino voter still cares so much about personality. I mean, TV or movie personality. Just when I thought we have left such values behind, the frontrunners in the senatorial elections are tube personalities. If the Filipino voter consistently sees you in that box in the living room, or in that device in your hand, you have already passed the qualifications. It would not hurt if you look good. That would be a major plus. So, the ideal preparatory and prerequisite professions for public service would be onscreen television talent, or TV media broadcaster. The Filipino voter wants you in his/her life. He/She would want to see you all the time. So, if you have that familiarity, you already have gained a stronghold in his/her heart. No one could easily take that place away. You’ll be assured of a comfortable position.
Such is the Filipino voter, if the results are indeed true.
“As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly” -Proverbs 26:11