Philippine Elections 2016: do Filipinos have to get burned again?


While keeping abreast of the developments leading up to the 2016 Philippine national elections, one particular conversation from the past with a relative came to mind:

RELATIVE: Let’s go to the venue using our normal route.
ME: But, there will be a lot of traffic there. Why don’t we try instead an alternate route?
RELATIVE: We won’t know that until we try. [In a raised voice] Ah basta! We’re going the normal route because I want it that way!

[After several minutes in the car…]

ME: Told you there would be traffic here.
RELATIVE: Eh, nandito na tayo eh… (But we’re already here, we can’t do anything about it.)

He wouldn’t listen to an alternative point of view, or what I thought was carefully considered and analyzed thoughts on the matter. It was frustrating. The only thing I could really utter once we were caught in the traffic jam was: Told you so.

The relevance of this story comes in when you consider that talking to Filipinos about making sound analyses and decisions when it comes to electing their government officials – among other things – makes me feel pretty much how I felt talking to my relative at that time.

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When Filipinos elected Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino to the presidency in 2010, despite incontrovertible evidence that he was unfit and unqualified for it, pundits could only shake their heads. Well into his term, after a period of non-performance and worsening public services, Filipinos could be admonished only fittingly with those three words:

Told you so.


Definitely, making a decision on whom to vote requires a lot more logical and analytical rigor than choosing a route to get from point A to point B. And definitely, the impact of the electoral choice is a lot bigger. But the basic tenets at work are the same: you have to have data. You have to be observant and critical of the details that matter, and analyze them carefully. Most especially, you can’t decide based on a whim, or just because “this is what I feel like, wala lang.” And really important: you can’t just say, “let’s try this one out, malay natin (you’ll never know)” and expect good results without even discussing and scrutinizing your choices beforehand.

There’s plenty of room for hindsight; that is true especially in the Philippines. What is truly lacking here is foresight and the much-needed more substantial discussion on platforms, visions, and strategies of the candidates. That is the stuff that no doubt can help Filipinos make better, more well-rounded, and beneficial in the long-term, decisions once they get to the polls.

Filipinos have touched the hot kettle of detrimental electorate decisions more than once; that they’ve gotten burned more than once is seemingly indicative of what is an inability to learn the lesson. Only they can tell us and the rest of the world if it is going to happen again soon.

[Photo courtesy: the fifth wave]

3 Replies to “Philippine Elections 2016: do Filipinos have to get burned again?”

  1. Well said the lack of data or experience of every candidate…did the Filipinos even noticed that all this present and past president before they we elected..did say they will do…Does anybody remember what this candidate promised to the people on what direction they are taking and what is their objective to make Philippines progress and better the lives of its people?????the latest one I remember is Pinoy saying he will fight corruption…and he did..but only the opposition , he’s allies was exempted from prosecution…I give him credit for a least exposing the modus operandi of stealing by this corrupt politicians even it is on opposition can imagine what is the modus operandi of his Allies that was not being exposed yet…I’m pretty sure they have their own and now they are being careful to protect it..
    Now that the election is getting closer the actors or candidate are being picked . Watch and listen to what are they saying that they will do , and what direction they are taking…essential for them winning the people’s vote……..are these what the people looking for and wAiting to hear before they cast their vote….to my observation the candidates are focusing on popularity, drama, and the blame game of things that went wrong…where are the talk for a better future,,,, better way to get its population employed ..changes for the things that not working and most of all eliminate if not exposed and control corruption…….BIGGGGGGG NADA….nobody is talking about those as if these candidates are afraid to tell the people what are they planning to do…..they are afraid …and the people falling again for the popularity and the drama of elections…even the media are focusing on this drama ..away from what is better improvement for the country . Saluting the 44 Saf murals….what drama is that for election…wow it stirrs the people worksssss Binay style..Poe her innocent looks, and honest face and low tone language when she speaks..what are those?????? Does it wins elections…yes you bet in the Philippines it wins election.for people get moved by emotions and not by their intellectual better for the country judgement..The people must take the lead on taking the direction to better the contry to this politicians,,, for they will not win if they don’t do it….do not fall for emotional acts…they are only for actors….Let them know that those days of winning election by vote buying and dramatic actions are over…use your vote power to put the qualified one in office..

  2. “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over, expecting different result, everytime…” from Theoretical Physicist Albert Einstein…

    I think something is wrong in the mindset/culture of Filipinos. They cannot learn, or refuse to learn from their mistakes.

    It is easy for them to put on an able candidate with good education, experience and track record. Instead, they rely on the Propaganda Media of those Trapos. They are like carabaos with tied noses, pulled to where these TraPos, want them to go.

    Filipinos have no initiative to solve their problems. They let the problem solve itself…

  3. The best way to keep something bad from happening is to see it ahead of time…and you can’t see it if you refuse to face the possibility.

    How you look at it is pretty much how you’ll see it.

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