Para sa Mga Botante

Vote

Heto na ang araw na pinakaasam nyo. Ngayong araw, ginawaran kayo ng karapatang bumoto kung sino nararapat n mamuno sa susunod na administrasyon. Sa inyong kamay nagmumula ang natatanging pagbabago na hinihintay niyo. Kaya, bilang patnubay, pagktapos nyong magboto, sana ay itatak nyo ito sa isip: sa kahit anumang resultang lumabas, TAYO ANG MAY KAGAGAWAN NITO.

Kaya’t lagi lumalabas sa mga patalastas, paskil, polyeto at ibang paraphernalia na “vote wisely”. Totoo naman na kailangan ng pagkilitis pagdating sa pamimili kung sino ang dapat tumanggap ng posisyon sa gobyerno. Bilang pangutya, “vote responsibly” tayo. Maging mamamayan tayo ang may integridad at katapatan para rin sa paggalang sa pagtakbo ng bansa natin. Sino ang gusto ng bansang namumunuan ng mga pinunong boto ng bayan pero takwil pag nasa posisyon na?

Maging matapat at responsableng botante tayo. Huwag lang tayo aasa sa mga susunod na lider natin. Magtiwala na makakamit ng Pilipinas ang kasaganaan na ninanais natin. Nagsisimula sa bawat isa ang kagustuhan nating umunlad. Alam kong paulit-ulit ang mga pahayag na ito. Naging kasawa-sawa na ang kasabihang “tayo ang pag-asa ng bayan.” Ngunit kung ganoon, bakit hindi natin ipaglaban? Nagsismula lahat iyan sa boto niyo.

Sa ngayon, nanalig ako sa bayan na makamit natin ang pinakaasam nating pagbabago. Pero sa ngayon, saludo ako sa inyo. Ipagpatuloy natin ang pag-usbong para sa kaunlaran ng Pilipinas. Salamat po at pag-asa ay dadating.

Tumutugon po,

Ang Atubiling Katalista

Para sa mga Ina…

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“Nasa palad ninyo ang haplos na hanap

Pagmamahal na kasing taas ng ulap

Giliw ko ay tuon sa iyong alaga

Mas nakamamangha kaysa sa hiwaga

Mula musmos, alaga niyo’y nagkukupkop

Aral nyo’y naging gabay nang mundo’y sakop

Sa pag-alis ng bahay, hindi wawala

Ang mga masasarap na alaala

Tuwing madilim, ikaw ang nag-iilaw

Sa bawat aral, ikaw ang nagpalinaw

Anumang lumbay, ikaw ang nagsisigla

At hanggang sa tanda, ikaw ang suporta

Sa araw na ito, sa iyo ang puri

Sa pagmahal na walang anumang uri

Salamat sa Diyos sa mga nanay saanman

Bilang lubos, sa inyo ang karangalan”

Isipin ang Kabataan, Isipin si Bunso

Isang araw nalang at pagkakataon na ng mga Pilipino upang piliin ang mga natatanging pinuno para sa mga posisyon sa pamahalaan. Habang nakababad tayo sa mga kampanya ng mga kandidato sa bawat sulok na pinupuntahan natin, malimit nating naiisip ang totoong makikinabang sa mga boto natin: ang susunod na henerasyon.

Bilang isang Pilipino, naniniwala ako sa potensyal ng kabataan. Nakikita ko marahil sa balita ang mga kwento ng tagumpay, gantimpala at karangalan na naabot ng mga nakababata. Mula sa mga patimpalak na nilahok ng mga estudyante hanggang sa mga maimpluwensiyang tao sa larangan ng sining, hindi duda na malaki ang mga naiambag ng kabataang Pilipino.

Kaya’t nararapat sila ay pahalagahan sa susunod sa eleksyon. At hindi lang yung basta-bastang pagtanggap sa katotohanan na “kabataan talaga ang pag-asa ng bayan”. Mas higit pa sa ganoon.

Nasisilayan ng kabataan ang mga kilos nating nakatatanda. Hindi sa minamaliit ko sa mga musmos pero talubata pa ang pag-iisip nila. Marami pa silang mapag-aalaman sa paligid nila. Nakatuto sila sa bawat kilos, gawi, asal, isip at pananalita nating mga nakatatanda at sa kapwa nilang bata. Kaya mula pang pagkabata, lagi nandyan ang mga palatuntunan sa mga paaralan na nagbibigay-pagkakataon ng mga bata para makilahok bilang mga lider. Dahil gusto natin silang sanayin na maging maaasahang kalahok sa lipunan.

Nagsisimula lagi sa maliit ang pamumuno ng isang bansa. Hindi lang sa pulitika tinitingnan ang salaysay natin sa akademiko. Syempre pagdating sa trabaho, tintingnan rin ang haiskul at kolehiyong pinag-aralan para madaling makilala nang husto. Pero, pati rin sa pamilya, sa kaibigan, sa ibang tao, sa ibang bansa at sa pagtingin ng lipunan sa mga may nakatanggap ng edukasyon. Bagamat mabuti ito, hindi ito nakatutulong sa iba. Kaya nga tama ang salawikain  na nagsabi na “pag makitid ang kumot, magtiis kang mamaluktot”.

At nakikita sa kabataan ang kultura na gusto nating ipahiwatig. Sa kapanahunan ng Internet, Facebook, Snapchat, Dubsmash at selfies, nagiging malinaw na may malaking papel ang ginagampanan ng kabataan sa ating lipunan sa pagpataw ng katuturan sa buhay. At kahit sabihan natin na nababase ang kultura mula sa ibang implikasyon (i.e. katutubo, probinsya, wika), may kapangyarihan ang mas nakababata para ipataw na kung anong kultura ang pwedeng itakda sa bansa. Kaya kung marahas na pamamatnugot ang ilalahad ng ating mga pinuno, marahas na pamamatnugot rin ang makakaimpluwensiya sa liderato ng mga nakababata. Huwag nating imaliit ang potensyal ni bunso.

Talagang responsibilidad natin silang ipaglaan ang mas nakakabuti para sa kanilang paglaki. Dahil diyan, mahalaga ang ating mga boto dahil tayo ang magtatampok ng mga pinunong magsusulong sa mga lupaing ipagkakaloob natin. Kaya paulit-ulit na pinapaalala sa atin, mula sa salita ni Gat Jose Rizal, na “ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan”. Huwag nation pabayain si bunso.

Behavior Spotlight: Bandwagon

Is the “Aldub” phenomenon still fresh this year? Well, there are Twitter trends. But those aside, it cannot be denied that the accidental love team between Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza was one of the hottest stories the previous year. Every Filipino gets hooked on Eat Bulaga’s most trending hook. From jeepney drivers to college, “Aldub” was an inescapable trend. Even I felt the surging phenomenon that I became vocal about it, under the guise of “studying” its cultural implication. So, whenever a non-conformist spoke against it, I frankly argue back in efforts to justify its run.

Now, I am not saying that the Älden-Yayadub phenomenon is a bad thing to follow up on. The classic case of justifying its social impact being the “best” is where things can get overboard. A social implication has an audience. The bigger the audience, the more chances it will increase. And the more it increases, the more it becomes a harmless trend. The more open it gets, the more it creates a bandwagon effect.

For those unfamiliar, the bandwagon effect is a social behavior wherein an individual or a group of people follow what other people are doing, regardless of its moral, cultural, intellectual and social implications. In our country, the bandwagon effect is pretty much apparent in every area of living. From business to entertainment to Internet trends, bandwagon applies in topical areas of the Philippines. And of course, this effect applies to politics.

Generally, the bandwagon effect is an efficient way to take hold of an audience and to assure that the majority inclines to the selling point. Industry players regard this as a “cash cow” to ultimately win the trust of the target audience. This is the reason why bandwagon effect applies everywhere in the Philippine context. Nothing bad to seek a large audience and make it grow, right?

Well, here is the thing about bandwagon effect: it is leading a mass of people to the “absolute thing”. So, regardless if the trend is moral or immoral, there will be a large audience to get attracted to. And it is non-dismissive for other audiences to follow the trend. If I say “trend”, I mean any trend, whether Internet memes, teleseryes or celebrities. Again, trends are not bad; it is defining trends as the “absolute”.

The bandwagon effect is pretty much an advantage for this elections. If a majority of the population has their hearts won by a candidate, pretty much others will follow. With all the strategies for candidates to win the votes of the people, it is still crucial to win the majority’s win. Among this “majority” is the masses, which take much subject to a candidate’s TV ads. True, the masses embody the definite Filipino. And in any instance that a candidate proved the definition of a worthy candidates, the mass celebrates and others follow suit. This is not always helpful.

Now, we do not want a spoonfed nation, where its citizens swallow everything that is fed to them, regardless if it is safe or harmful. Just like “AlDub” (an already outdated reference, by the way), we need to be aware of the implications of trends as this maybe the general stand of our society. It starts on us if we believe in the flow of the bandwagon. For elections, our definite choices should always come from us, not growing trends that others find amusing. A take home from this, a bigger audience does not always mean a better audience.

Source:

Further Reading:

3rd PiliPinas Debates: A Week Afterthought

Presidentiables

It has been a week that the last presidential debate happened. (Unprofessional statement commencing.) I was supposed to write an article the night after the debates. But I was left aghast as to what final notes I can give for one of the crucial moments of our country’s elections. So apologies for the belated post.

Well, to recall, here are some of the highlights of that night’s proceedings (or essential parts for the Luzon leg):

  1. Town-Hall Style: For this moment, the Luzon leg adapts the town hall-style of a debate by letting the audience members ask the questions for the participants. ABS-CBN even incorporated taped video clips, circling around the member’s backstory.
  2. Discussion about Contractualization: Now this is where ears are lent. Contractual workforce is a controversial one in our labor status. Being the initial topic for the debate is a great catch for all candidates to find alternative ways to counter endo or end of contract.
  3. Discussion about Healthcare: The Philippines has a polarizing status with regard to healthcare. PhilHealth becomes the main point of circulation. And each candidate lent their proposals to improve the status of the country’s health system. Open hospitalization is a common ground for the candidates.
  4. Fast Talk: In the official third round for the debate, each candidate were asked questions of issues they faced alongside their campaign period. And they all justified their stands on those issues. Along the way, some candidates exchanged arguments to each other.
  5. Closing Statement: The closing statement was the climax of the debate. All five hopeful candidates gave their last lines to the people. While some summarize their platforms and vision statement of their campaign, the majority acknowledged the full support of their followers and attested their conviction on their run.

Other topics were brought up during the debate like the West Philippine Sea disputes, the OFWs, the Bangsamoro Basic Law in Mindanao, the traffic flow and project proposals.

Program-wise, the debate was not as excellently handled as the Mindanao leg. But it is still grandiose and well-executed. But as a recovery, this must be the most comprehensive debate out of the three, thanks to the informative exchanges.

I can say that there is less variety than it has previously (which is a relief). But there are still moments with pop culture sprinkled that are not limited to:

  1. The exchange between Roxas and Duterte concerning a PhilHealth in Davao
  2. Binay moving out of his podium
  3. Santiago sitting during one round
  4. The calm exchange between Santiago and Duterte (concerned about Santiago’s health)
  5. The heated exchange between Santiago and Roxas (being sniped by Santiago’s argument for Roxas’ elitist background)
  6. Poe’s matriarchal perspective as a recurring theme
  7. Poe acknowledging her father

While I may release a whole article about the variety that this debate has reached, I can only stay and watch as every candidate pour out their best impressions. It become a fulfilling reflection of their character that will surely last till the 9th of May. It is not yet the end for the candidates but there is an obvious people’s choice for president, based on polls. Even by that, the challenges kept coming, especially for that people’s choice.

After analyzing more on this debate run, I still remain open to here more from the candidates, not to remain unsure but to remain critical of the next moves that our next leaders will do. If either get motivated by an opponent’s challenge or dodge those challenges, it only adds up that this is going to be a polarizing elections.

So, as for last words, this is for all the registered voters. May your choices to lead the nation be a definite statement of what you want best for the Philippines. Our votes are not just numbers. They are reflections of what society we have built up in this country. Filipinos are worth fighting for. Though we may differ in our choices, at the end of the day, we are still Filipinos, stewards to mother Philippines and servants to its people. And if either our next highest leader comes from a living legacy, a polarizing administration, a prestigious institution, a peace-mongering domain or a powerful kinship, we must all strive for the one thing we want most: CHANGE.

Sources:

Isang Liham Para sa Mga Manggagawa

Para sa manggagawang Pilipino,

Magandang gabi sa inyong lahat. Panibagong simula naman. Isang linggo na balik sa trabaho. Balik sa paggawa. Balik sa produksyon. Balik sa pagkayod. Balik sa paghabol ng mapagkikitaan. Balik sa paghahanapbuhay para sa kinabukasan ng pamilya.

Alam ko mapagod. Tinitiis rin ko araw-araw ang mga pagsubok sa pagpasok sa trabaho, pagtutupad ng trabaho, at pag-uwi mula sa trabaho. Alam ko ang hirap na dinarasan ng mga nagtatrabaho. At alam ko rin na mahirap magtiis mula sa maliit na natatanggap na pabuya mula sa mga oras na kinakayod niyo.

Alam ko malungkot. Kahit lumalago ang ekonomiya natin, malimit na nararamdaman ng nakararami ang mga benepisyo na ganitong paglago. Para sa iba, tumitiis sila sa mga dyip, sa mga bus, sa mga tren, sa mga lansangan, sa mga opisina at sa mga pagawaan. At kakulangan pa ang naibabalik sa kanila.

Alam ko mahirap. Sa panahon ngayon, ang mga pangarap ay kathang isip lamang dahil nasa isipan natin na mahirap siyang maabot. Kahit mga simpleng pangangailangan ay hirap makamtan. Kahit mga panandaliang bayad sa mga singil sa tubig, bahay, kuryente, matrikula at iba pa ay hirap mabayaran. Sadyang hindi kaya ang laman ng bulsa upang maisakatuparan ang mga kabayaran nyo.

At alam ko masakit. Bawat parte sa katawan ang inaalay para lang sa trabaho. Sa pagbuhat ng mga kasangakapan, sa pagtiis mula sa init para may mabuo, sa pagwaksi ng sariling kalusugan at kaligtasan para magawa lang ang pinapagawa, sa pagdiin ng sariling lakas, liksi at lukso para sa pagserbisyo sa mamamayan at sa pag-alay ng buong pangako para sa pagbibigay-tulong sa iba. Kasakitan talaga ang bunga.

Pero heto ako, isang mamamayang may buong tiwala sa kaya ng mangagawang Pilipino. Kaya’t inanyayahan ko sa mga kapwa kong manggagawa ay sikapan na itupad ang mga tungkulin sa trabaho. Nasa paggawa ang kagalingan nating mang-usbong. Lagi sinasabi ng ating magulang na “magsikap lagi upang matupad ang mga pangarap natin”. Hindi haka-haka ang mga binubulas ng ating magulang. Naranasan nila ang hirap sa pagtrabaho. Pero nagsumikap sila upang maipadala tayo sa kung saan tayo ngayon. At tutungo tayo din sa pinakaasam nating pangarap.

Mukhang imposible sa ating mata. Nababatid ko iyon. Pero heto lang. Ikaw lang ang tanging tao sa mundo ang pwedeng makatupad sa pangarap mong mag-unlad. Huwag gawing balakid ang pagod, lungkot, hirap at sakit para hindi maabot. Kailangan ng Pilipinas na mga taong matiyaga. Nasa sa atin ang katiyagaan na iyan. Marahil, mahirap lang sumikap dahil may mga mas magagaling sa atin. Hindi totoo iyan. Bawat isa ay may tinatagong galing na kailangan lang ilabas.

Huwag tayo mapadala sa kapanglawan, katamaran, kahilian at kawalang-interes. Mahihirapan lang tayo bilang isang masipag na bansa. Tayo ay ginawaran ng pribilehiyong magsikap. At dahil diyan, tayo ay nagiging parte sa katatagan ng ating bansa. Kaya nanawagan ako sa lahat ng mga manggagawa, sa mga naghahanap pa ng hanapbuhay, sa mga panibagong manggagawa at sa mga nagsisikap para sa bansa na MAGSIKAP, mapahirap man o maginhawa. Saludo ako sa inyo.

Malugod na nagtatapat,

Ang Katalistang Atubili

Why Vote for a Relatable Leader?

Remember that social network feed that strikes a chord at you because you somewhat personally connect to the culture presented in the said feed? I guess a majority of netizens may experience this situation frequently when they login to their personal social networking accounts. This state of relatability happens in any slice of life. It is not somewhat a characteristic or personality. It is a personal response to situations.

In a context of consumerism, relatability is an easy way to attract people to buying products or acquiring services because people can identify with the way that consuming goods are presented (via commercials, advertisements, promos). This applies as well to elections. Candidates wanted to grab the voters’ attention through any tactic available or perhaps akin to selling products. They may empathize with the public’s circumstances. They may reach out to the lower class and show their compassion to them. Or, they may relate their life story to that of the mass demographic. From that, it becomes clear that candidates with relatable qualities is a sure win. But, one thing remains: is relatability enough?

Like I mentioned, relatability is a response to situations, if it either strikes a chord to have it mirror our current lives or not. That is why relating to people is an obvious tactic to win the voters’ choices. But still, this amasses a great amount of votes. The problem of relatability is how far it goes. Leaders possessing relatable qualities will easily win the hearts of their followers, but will also place them in an inescapable pedestal of fulfillment since relatability can be referred to as “representation”. Meaning, if we identify ourselves to leaders, we thought of them as the person that best represents the leaders’ area of coverage. That way, we become biased on who to base on for the “best”.

Now, relatability is an amoral concept. The reason why relatability is the best hook for voters is that it gives the impression that candidates were able to take note of the people’s circumstances. It does not matter whether the act is good or bad, as long as a connection is built to the people. That is where relatability crosses the line.

But to be fair, having a quality of being relatable is an incentive. It means that there is no line to draw between the government and the people, depending. But in retrospect, relatability eliminates the boss-to-employee relationship and regards the leader-to-follower mindset to his or her countrymen.

In any way, I still recommend relatable leaders, in a stasis revolving on encouragement, volunteerism and initiative. So, as an encouragement to running candidates and to leaders anywhere, don’t just be relatable; be relational. By that way, you will be able to carry the weight of the people easily and to attain the goals set in your way. As American industrialist Andrew Carnegie puts it, “Teamwork is the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”