Political Will

One day, Diego will peruse through my stuff and see my driver’s license and voter’s ID. Innocently, he’ll go to me and ask me: “Ninong, why do you look like a raccoon here?” Then I’ll tell him the story of how I got them.

I’ll tell him how I got my license first.

It was easy really, I just went to the Land Transportation Office in Quezon City and waited in line. Then I filled up some forms, took a written test with the answers posted next to me (road signs and traffic signals). I then took a driving test with an old owner-type jeep which, according to the friendly test person, was there since the Marcos regime.

All that in… 4 hours.

I’ll then tell him how I got my voter’s ID. It’s as simple as 4 steps.

Step 1: Get a form. Easy.
Step 2: Have your form checked. No sweat.
Step 3: Have your form recorded in a tome-like book which seemed to look that it was there before the beginning of time. Ha! Is that all?
Step 4: Have your picture, fingerprints, and signature taken. Yeah!

All that in… 12 hours.

Diego asks: “Ninong, why did it take that long?”

Well, it’s a sad truth nephew, but there was only one computer taking the pictures for a room full of waiting people, there were people who cut in line, and the woman at the tome-like book just talked instead of writing. So that’s why your Ninong looks like a raccoon there.

“Ninong, was it worth it?”

Ah, yes. Was all that waiting worth it? I’ll look him in the eye tenderly and tell him that yes, all that was worth waiting for. Despite the heavy air full of cigarette smoke, the heat from the lack of ventilation, and the mixture of aromas from the bodies of people rubbing elbows and shoulders, it was all worth it.

“Why?” he asks me.

You know nephew, when I was in line, I heard someone say: “Ok lang yan, pag may tiyaga, may boto!” It’s weird nephew, but people will go to great lengths to exercise their right to be citizens of this country.

He’ll look at me with an open mouth. He does not realize what I have said, but one day he shall. By this time, Diego would have found something to busy himself with, excuse himself, and scurry away.

I would look at my driver’s license and my voter’s ID and think of how lucky Diego is. I admit, it was a challenge to wait for 12 straight hours in a room packed with a hundred and more people with only one computer to process everything.

Now that I look back, there was something good behind the obvious lack of resources and the laxness of its organization. I saw that the Filipino has the political will to sacrifice his own interest and time for the greater good. Another noteworthy group were the Commission on Elections personnel who were there since the very beginning of the registration. If they didn’t have that political will, would they have chosen to spend a day in their life in a room full of strangers?

I often hear people in the radio kicking up a fuss on how the Filipino has lost his political will. I would admit that I believed in what they said. But now I know that people aren’t as apathetic as I once thought. I was wrong to think that no one cares about this country anymore.

Despite the decrease in the number of protests and rallies and demonstrations, I saw with my own eyes the lengths to which people would give just to exercise their civic duties. The spirit of political will is not dead after all, rather, it has just evolved into something more abstract. In our own ways, we have the political will to do something for a better tomorrow. A tomorrow not only for me and for you, but a tomorrow for my nephew and for yours too.

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  1. I think I’ll be sharing a similar story to my nieces and nephews – about the Voter’s ID nga lang. No driving for me. 😛

    Although, yes, I will admit that registration for a voter’s ID in June isn’t as exciting as one a few days before the deadline. =))

  2. jian5

     /  October 31, 2009

    Haha, you missed all the fun! But it’s really my fault for not registering earlier. I think I’ll tell my nephew that when this happens.

    No driving for you? Haha, you’re just going to miss not crashing your dad’s car to the street gutter. It happened to me. Are you sure you want to miss that? Hahaha!

    Oh, and a happy sembreak to you there! 😀

  3. I might run over someone when I’m on the wheel. My temper isn’t my best friend and I’m still under anger management. 😛

    Maybe when I’ve gotten a bit more control – THEN I’ll change my mind about the licence. :))

    Happy sem break to you too, Jian! ^_^

  4. meeyamia

     /  November 5, 2009

    Woah, that was fast.I, too registered to vote recently. The only difference is, as I was waiting for my picture to get taken, a man asked the personnel there when he would get his ID. She said “Matagal ho, years.” without even looking at him. And the smart girl that i was, I didn’t bother to ask. hehe. Just thought i should share.. ^^

  5. jian5

     /  November 5, 2009

    I knooooow… As Tres always says (another classmate quote, hahaha): “Kaya hindi umuunlad ang Pilipinas e!”

    But the personnel.. person was right, we won’t get our voter’s ID’s until after the election. Yay. XD


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