Are YOU Ready for May 9, 2016?

Are You Ready for May 9?

Six years ago, I voted for the first time, and I voted for someone I thought would be a great leader for the Philippines. I’ve even attended his miting de avance (see photo above). Heck, I even voted for his Vice President (VP) — even though a lot of people told me it would be “a waste of my vote” because he was a celebrity and inexperienced in politics. I still voted for my President’s VP thinking that since my presidential candidate chose to be “partners” with him, then my candidate saw him as the “best” person he could run the Philippines with. Why vote for someone who doesn’t share the same “vision and mission” of my President, right? But that was in 2010.

For my non-Filipino friends reading this, my President and VP back in 2010 were Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro and Eduardo “Edu” Manzano respectively. They both lost, by the way.

But even if they both lost, I don’t have any regrets. I don’t regret voting for them because in a way, I proved to myself that I could stand for what I believed in, regardless if many people were against my decision/s or told me otherwise.

Of course some will say that “standing for what I believe in” is also a dangerous mantra, especially if it’s something “wrong” in other people’s eyes. That’s where discernment comes in. And it’s always a case-to-case basis. I’m only talking about the elections here, capisce?

So yes, a couple of days from now (May 9, 2016), Filipinos will once again choose “leaders” who they think will bring the Philippines “improvement.” This is probably the first time I said anything about the 2016 Philippine elections (at least publicly), and man, I’m not liking the way how things have been diirrrty and uuugly.

Unlike in other countries who “benefit” from a two-party system, in the Philippines, that’s the exact opposite. Currently, we have five presidential candidates — and these five also endorse their own vice presidential candidates (unlike in other countries that whoever wins as President, his Vice President of choice automatically runs the country with him). So yes, you can say that Filipino voters carry a lot of “election weight” on their shoulders. Given the number of candidates, it’s also no wonder why the Philippines is now “divided we stand, united we fall.” 😦

We’re all divided right now because of the different candidates we support. Check at least the social media feed of one Filipino (voter or not), and there’s at least one election-related post. Some even became “friends to enemies” without realizing that at the end of election day, whichever candidates win, we’re all going to either rise or fall as one nation. And then these people will think, WAS ALL THE SOCIAL MEDIA DRAMA WORTH IT?! Let me be the one to answer that: NO!

It’s clear that WE, Filipinos, are NOT yet ready for May 9. Or maybe that’s just me. But since we don’t have any choice, we must act on that day.

Coincidentally, May 9 is also the death anniversary of my mother. This year’s election day marks the Philippines’ 16th presidential election, and also the 13th year I’ve learned to live without my beloved mother. And although the pain of losing a loved one, especially a parent, never really goes away, I can at least continue to try to honor them.

Right now, one of the ways I can honor them is to fight for what I believe is right — just like how my parents raised me. I’m not gonna bash other candidates. I’m not gonna fight with my family and friends who will vote for other candidates I’m not voting for. I’m not gonna try to “convince” another person to vote for my candidate/s; that’s the candidate’s job. (Who are we to think that we’re better than others just because they want to vote for a different President/candidate? Don’t you think that doing so just makes you the “worse” person, trying to hold their free will and whatnot? So just don’t.) Heck, I’m not even gonna “blame” the next leaders of this country if the Philippines doesn’t change (and God forbid, gets worse!).

All I’m gonna do on May 9 is exercise my right to choose and vote. After that, I’ll continue to try to be a better person (and not just “a better Filipino”) than I was yesterday.

me, after voting in 2010

me, after voting in 2010

I’ll start by NOT throwing trash at inappropriate places. Simple, but effective. Maybe you have a different idea, and that’s okay. But come to think of it, maybe we should exert more energy on tackling climate change considering how HOT it has been in the Philippines lately. (Now don’t say that that’s probably a reason why people are also hot-headed these days. Seriously, how do you expect the Philippines to change for the better if YOU can’t change for the better?!)

For what it’s worth, I’m voting for a female presidential candidate. There are only two of them, but I’m still choosing not to disclose who. What for? Even if you knew and try to convince me to think otherwise, I won’t budge.

I’ve already decided who I’m gonna vote for this coming May 9, albeit not being “ready” in the broadest sense of the word.

How about YOU, my fellow Filipino voter???

For Some Reason, I Found Myself Listening to THESE

“Call Me Maybe”
by Carly Rae Jepsen

“Payphone”
by Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa

And for some reason, they both have something to do with A PHONE.  Hahaha!

On a serious note, it got me thinking why these songs are hits…  And I guess just like every song, it’s because people can relate to their lyrics.  Not to mention, groove to their melodies! 😉

But let’s start with “Payphone.  How exactly can people relate to it?  Okay, the music video’s out of the question.  The whole concept of it and its relation to the song are still a mystery to me!  This version is actually better, in my opinion:

But anyway, if you’re going to ask me, the part that really got my attention was this:

“If happy ever after did exist, I would still be holding you like this.  And all those fairytales are full of s*it; one more f*cking love song, I’ll be sick…  I’m at a payphone.”

And it wasn’t just the “happy ever after” and “fairytales” that made me press the replay button again and again, it’s the way it was written — in second conditional (excuse the grammarzilla in me) and with straight-to-the-point-no-excuses swearwords!  It’s as if the writer really tried to express both the LOVE and PAIN he/she felt, feels, and will feel!  And for me, he/she succeeded in doing that exactly. 😀

As for “Call Me, Maybe, how do people relate to it?  Hmm…  To make it easier, let’s make the question how do I relate to it?  Hahaha!

Well, I’ll let you in on a secret: Ms. Jepsen‘s hit song is actually one of my fantasies when I travel!  You know, go to a foreign place, spot that kind of guy, approach him, give him my number even though we both know it’s craaazy, but then what’s done’s done, so the ball’s already in his court and it’s up to him whether or not he’ll do the next move.  Call me.  But maybe.  Tapos ang kanta! 😛

That.  And well, the song’s truly catchy!  Even YOU can’t deny that!  Mwahahahahaha!

And there goes another rambling from yours truly. =))  To end this, I just want to say that I also found myself WATCHING these.  Enjoy!!!

my fellow Lasallians‘ take on “Call Me, Maybe”

ANIMO!

Alex G‘s sweet rendition of “Payphone”

I wish she stuck with the original swearwords, though.
Instead of changing them to “it” and “stupid” respectively…  If you know what I mean! 🙂

WHAT and IF

If you’re a fellow lady and you’ve watched the movie Letters to Juliet, then you’ll understand why that’s my favorite movie (even Titanic takes only second place!).  I also bought and read (of course!) the non-fiction book it’s based on:

“Letters to Juliet: Celebrating Shakespeare’s Greatest Heroine,
the Magical City of Verona, and the Power of Love”
by Lise and Ceil Friedman

Because of this book, I found out that Shakespeare wasn’t the original writer of “Romeo and Juliet.” He simply had his own version… Or not?

Anyway, I swear that it’s ALWAYS my go-to movie whenever I want to feel “in love” at any given time (mostly during weekends), and it doesn’t hurt that it’s set in Italy and stars an Australian actor with a British accent!  HA HA HA

The movie was released in 2010…  so you can say that for the past two years, THIS memorable line has never failed to put a smile on my face and a frown in my heart both at the same time:

“…’What’ and ‘if’ are two words as non-threatening as words can be.  But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: What if?  What if??  WHAT IF???  I don’t know how your story ended but if what you felt then was true love, then it’s never too late.  If it was true then, why wouldn’t it be true now?  You need only the courage to follow your heart.  I don’t know what a love like Juliet‘s feels like: love to leave loved ones for, love to cross oceans for, but I’d like to believe if I ever were to feel it, that I’d have the courage to seize it.  And Claire, if you didn’t, I hope one day that you will…”

Beautiful words, aren’t they?  Well lately, the words “what” and “if” have been occupying my mind too.  And today, it truly hit me when I saw these words in the book I’m currently reading (how timely!):

“…I realized the Fates really were cruel…  For the rest of my life I would be thinking about her.  She would always be my biggest what if.”

Except that when it comes to my own story, replace “her” and “she” with “him” and “he.” 😛

But the thing with “what” and “if” is they don’t only apply to love.  They are present in most aspects of our lives.  Or in my life.

What if I said “yes” to that guy from my high school?  What if I realized earlier my love for writing and took up journalism instead?  What if I applied to Ateneo, too?  What if I didn’t become friends with him?  What if I acted differently toward him?  What if I chose the other company instead of my now-former company?  What if I answered this and that during my interview?  What if I didn’t do this?  What if I didn’t say that?

Ugh.  Don’t you just hate THAT feeling?  Of asking yourself questions that start with “what” and “if”? @_@  According to my friend Mr. Longman, “what-if” is a countable noun that is defined as “something that could happen in the future or could have happened in the past.”

Unfortunately for us, most of our what-ifs are the latter.  Am I right?  But if not, well I guess it’s up to each one of us to make sure that our what-ifs are “something that could happen in the future.”  Period.

Wala lang.  I just hope the next time you have to combine the words WHAT and IF, you can finally think differently.  Instead of going crazy, try reminding yourself of WHAT IS or telling yourself of WHAT WILL BE.  At the end of the day, believe that everything happens for a reason.  And that you, my friend, are the author AND editor of your own life.  So gooo, write your own story.  If you prefer a love story, why not?  Just do it. 😉  And just don’t let me write any more words on this post or else our household will run out of cheese!  Mwahahahahaha!

Oh well.  Luckily, Colbie Caillat was able to sum up my “what if” in the love department with just one song!  It’s also a good thing that it’s the theme song of my favorite movie — Letters to Juliet (see introductory paragraph).  Anyway, take the time to click “play,” listen to the song, and read its lyrics…  and again fellow ladies, you’ll know WHY:

“…In my heart is where you’ll be / I’ll keep waiting till we meet…”

How about you?  Care to share your biggest what if in life?

Here’s hoping to turn my what if into what is or what will be,
Mikhaela Georgette ♥♥♥