Those of the generation before me, except for a handful, have passed on. The rest may have joined the silent majority, who might yet come out in full force at the last minute.
True, a number have become weary or perhaps disillusioned, or just too weak or sick to bother. But young or old, healthy or infirm, can anyone really afford to not involve himself in this election, as critical as it is? Surely not when it’s beginning to look more and more like a sequel to Edsa, with only slight variations: It’s another moral fight.
I thought I’d make a quick random poll of fellow seniors on how the whole idea of elections, especially this one, strikes them.
Delia Rosal, former ambassador
Shortly after I retired from the diplomatic service where I served for 43 years, I was approached by a group of young leaders in my community to help fight corruption in our own backyard. The only way was to defeat them in the local elections. I was no stranger to politics; my mom was active in her time. So the group decided to put up their own barangay candidates. It was hard work, but our candidates won and took over the barangay and the corruption stopped.
I became active again in the 2010 presidential elections, which brought back memories of Edsa. I joined a group of equally passionate ladies and found myself out in the streets, a place unknown to me as a diplomat. Once again the experience gave me a high. I felt fulfilled in many ways, most of all, morally.
Well, what can I say—I’ve resurrected all my campaign paraphernalia: hat, sunglasses, earrings, watches, shirts and shoes, and am at it again with even more enthusiasm for this year’s presidential election. I love a campaign, especially against corruption!
Renato ‘Butch’ Santos, retired banker
Since the Cory vs Marcos snap elections, every presidential election has become important. My wife Bingbing and I have campaigned in every presidential election thereafter.
I could say our efforts paid off; we unseated Marcos and saw macro-economic gains under Ramos and Noynoy. But in another way we failed; the economic growth has been impounded by the rich and urbanized sectors only, and the Marcoses are back gunning for power again.
If I had to do it over, I’d change the focus, but not the degree of involvement in elections. I would have liked to have learned the dynamics on the ground level of local government and observed more closely how the processes involving the quality and the delivery of services work, and how they can be improved.
I have full confidence in automated elections. In fact I’m glad we’ve done away with manual voting.
I hope to see more patriotism in the electorate and lesser vested interests and opportunism in candidates running for public office. I dream one day to see a more demanding, more critical, more informed and more empowered electorate. Only then can we say our elections are truly free!
Remedios ‘Dada’ Moreno, retired businesswoman
Elections are still very relevant and I am doing my share of campaigning, though quietly. I’m older and not as driven as I was in my younger days. But to make up for the slack in my energy and mostly to allay my worst fears, I am praying a lot for our country, especially this election. And of course, I’ll vote.
I have different priorities now, not the least of which is visiting sick classmates in different hospitals. I also happen to be in the process of moving from Magallanes, where I’ve lived most of my life, to Alabang, in a house I’ve just finished remodeling.
I’m also in the middle of turning over my responsibilities in the Ministry of Greeter Coordinator in Magallanes church. But never for a minute do I forget how crucial this election is for all of us.
Alex Y. Pardo, retired insurance executive
Elections are a necessary exercise to give people a voice in the choice of qualified leaders to run our country. To me, the most important factor to consider in choosing the candidate is the person’s character.
Simply put, “Tingnan ang pagkatao ng kandidato.” To win votes, many candidates will make promises that most likely will not be fulfilled. A program of government is also important, but it is only as good as its implementer.
Our coming election is most important because we need to preserve and even improve on the gains made by our country in the last six years. We cannot afford to retrogress. We should therefore elect a leader who is honest beyond doubt, with experience and competence in governance, with the desired academic preparation and who always conducts himself with dignity and proper decorum.
Results of some surveys disappoint me because the good candidates are often seen lagging behind the bad ones. My disappointment is not so much in the candidates but in the unenlightened electorate.
I am not a technical person but, I suppose, automated elections, as described, are more difficult to tamper with than the manual kind.
My minimal involvement in the current election campaign is to attend forums and distribute campaign materials to friends.
I certainly will cast my ballot on May 9. White Plains is still my polling place. The day is near but I believe with prayers and God’s grace, the leaders who will bring progress and prosperity to our country will eventually prevail.
Aurora ‘Nene’ Asistio-Henson, former Congresswoman of Caloocan, widow and mother of 10
I come from a political family in Caloocan. Politics is very much a part of my life. It’s in my blood. I grew up with it and now even my children have joined in as candidates themselves.
As such, I cannot see myself ever retiring from it. I’ve been actively campaigning house to house in every election ever since I can remember, but I now limit myself to Caloocan.
In 1993-1995, I was elected Congresswoman and had as a colleague in the House my friend, Mar Roxas. Indeed, through the years in politics many friendships have been formed, some stronger than others. My ballot, therefore, will have to reflect all colors, I’m afraid.