It has been almost a year and a week ago since the 2010 Automated Elections, the first ever in the history of our country.
Prior to the elections, we have witnessed mudslingings and trash-talking from the candidates, failure and doubts with the PCOS Machines, the infectious campaign jingles, the too-good-to-be-true promises, and the bilog na hugis itlog PCOS Machine tutorial by the Sexbomb Dancers.
I consider the last election a war, and me, a war correspondent. As a PPCRV Volunteer, I was one of the thousand souls sent into the battlefield to guard the polls. The hazard is there but the fulfillment of having faithfully done your duty for the country is the irreplaceable reward.
I am now inviting you to join me in a trip down memory lane and recall the events and my unforgettable experience during the past election. I was not able to write some of these things last year because I was too busy tweeting then, recording the events as it happen.
Before the War
- I made a self-imposed 25-Day Tumblr Challenge to educate the voters and to inform them on how to choose the candidates properly and wisely. It’s difficult to write 25 things because I had no tenplate then to write my stuff. (You can check them by clicking these election and elections tags.)
- Jejemon Fever. It was also during this time when the viral jejemon spread like wildfire on the internet and eventually, became a part of Philippine Pop Culture.
- Red Hot Dick on RockEd – This was one of the most intense episodes of the now-defunct RockEd Radio. Then Presidential candidate Dick Gordon was on fire after being irked by Erwin Romulo’s questions.
- Thank you Tita Gang! Gang Badoy of Rock Ed Philippines mabuhay-ed meafter tweeting that I will be a pollwatcher. I was such a fan boy then. She’s one of my idols, you know?
- Almost a Failure! May 5, 2010, this was the headline and front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. With barely less than a week before the polls, the PCOS machines turned out to be a crap. No thanks to the defected memory cards that need to be replaced and reprogrammed. We thought then that the automated elections would be a total failure.
- Noy-Bi! Noynoy Aquino, on Twitter, denied the existence of the Noy-Bi group that supported the candidacy of Jejomar Binay. But we all know that there is such thing as Noy-Bi – and the opposing Balay and Samar group.
- At last! After the feared failure of elections, and after the cards were reprogrammed, the PCOS Machine were finally worked smoothly.Congratulations!
THIS IS WAR!
- Election Day, I woke up at 6:00 AM and went to the polling precinct at 7:00 AM. As expected, the line of voters is worse than the entrance to Willie Revillame’s game show. But after I wore my PPCRV uniform and identification card, I was given a priority to vote ahead of others. Naunahan ko pa ang mga matatanda at buntis. And this is my first photo after I casted my vote.
- Bumabaha ng C2! Do you still remember last year’s gimmick of Cherry Mobile of selling cheap cellphones on election day? And how about C2? They sold their C2 at ten pesos. And I literally abused that privilege when I drowned myself with green tea.
- I acted as a poll watcher at Lopez Elementary School – the biggest polling place with the most number of clustered precincts here in Los Baños. And I witnessed there how a poll watcher of the leading Mayorial candidate harassed the voters. And we, as watchdogs, were the only sumbungan of the people. But we remained diplomatic and vigilant and did not resort to violence and threat.
- Due to the lack of men, I decided to volunteer at the Municipal canvassing – but I ended up being the only PPCRV volunteer for the whole Municipality of Los Baños left to wait for the results and the election returns. there, I witnessed the wonders and speed of the PCOS Machine. Sobrang bilis ng results!
- I was the only volunteer equipped with Twitter via @tweetitow so I had thepower to report the details blow by blow. In face, I was the first to report the election results here in Los Baños on the web, and to ABS-CBN News. Thanks to the hash tag #halalan.
- I was awake for more than 24 hours during the elections and the morning after. But it was worth the sacrifice. I have done something good for my country. And this is my first tweet after the elections.
After smoke have parted…
- I was disappointed by the results, especially here in my beloved Los Baños. I even wrote a letter addressed to Maria Makiling. But I have learned to move on and face the new chapter of our nation.
- One of my smart aleck tweets during the elections was featured in an article by PEP.ph. I was so proud of myself, I can kiss my own ass. Ha ha!
- ABS-CBN and GMA-7 are nagpapatutsadahan over their hologram effect/ augmented reality/ virtual presence. Me? I don’t give a damn and watched Star Wars instead where I first saw that hologram communication.
- As usual, the trash left by the war was a disaster. I think we should come up with a law where candidates, and just the candidates themselves, whether they won or not, would clean their own trash/ election posters after the elections. What do you think?
Last year’s election was memorable and historical. Aside from being the first automated elections in the country, that was also my first time to vote. And I am proud that my single vote became a part of that history.
It is just ironical. The election results was fast – thanks to Smartmatic-TIM and their PCOS Machines – but the progress of this country is the exact opposite. You can call that a PCOS Machine irony. Progress in this country does not end with the elections and the inauguration of new leaders. It is just the beginning.
But I am still hoping. Still dreaming. Still waiting.
Last year’s election, no matter how violent and dirty, was fun. And if given a chance, I would still offer my free service as a PPCRV poll watcher.
PCOS MAchine, will I see you again on 2013?
During the elections, I was only armed with cellphone, a notebook to record the events, and my PPCRV guidebook, uniform, and ID. The photo above is the same ID and notebook that I used last year.