Wednesday, October 31, 2007
My Vote is Worth Four Dollars
The barangay is supposed to be the smallest unit of the Philippine government. You would think that fewer people would make a mad scramble for smaller positions of governance. The recently concluded barangay elections however has yet again proven me wrong.
Three days ago the dark side came by in a motorcycle handing out bunches of paper. From one bunch I was handed a P200 bill ($4.53). I may be hugely ignorant of the ways of this world but there was no mistaking what the bill was for. Now, whenever I pass that candidate’s campaign poster I seem to hear it whispering, “Luke I am your father. Come to the dark side with me.”
The encounter changed my perspective in more ways than one. All of a sudden, posters of candidates began to look much like western style WANTED posters to me. It also occurred to me that our bills should stop bearing the faces of heroes and past presidents who were honorable men and women. They’re probably turning in their graves right now, knowing what their images and names are used for.
The incident also gave me my first glimpse of the real state of affairs. Here I was ranting and raving for months about the corruption and poverty that I never really personally experienced. The small temptation that was momentarily dangled in front of my nose to convince me to turn to the dark side was the first time I felt I finally knew what I was talking about.
It’s just like what Jose Rizal, the national hero, implied. Society is afflicted with social cancer. If he could say that about his society a hundred years ago, I wonder how he would assess our society today. By all means we should be dead by now, having been afflicted this long and this severely but it seems we have mutated into those Hollywood type zombies who never seem to stay dead even after getting whipped by the corrugated bottom of Mila Jovovich’s boot.