The Race Begins

by Seneca Moraleda-Puguan

My husband and I have witnessed the transition from one Philippine President to another in our more than three decades of existence.

Most, if not all of them, had great plans for the country but most fell short in fulfilling their promises to the Filipino people. Some even left the nation in a sorry state.

No one has really satisfied everyone’s expectations. This has caused many to lose hope for the welfare and betterment of the country. This has left questions in our hearts and minds – will our beloved Philippines rise up and will its people have the better life that they deserve?

We are aware that the answer to these questions does not lie solely on who will win in the elections but the results will surely have a big impact on the future of the country.

For the past few nights, my husband and I have been discussing about something that keeps us awake until the wee hours of the morning – the candidates who will run for the Philippine Presidential elections in May 2022.

Now that we know who are the aspirants for the highest position in the land, we can’t help but be intrigued, excited and frustrated all at the same time.

Though we have been living outside the country for almost a decade now and we have no plans of going back there yet, we know that the result of the upcoming elections will surely affect our family in many ways.

When the Presidentiables, one by one, have filed for their candidacy and their names have been revealed, my friends on Facebook began to air their thoughts, write hashtags, change their profile pictures to whatever color the candidate they are rooting for represents.

Facebook is alive again with discussions, essays, stories and debates. And it is the same inside our household. My husband and I started to share our thoughts with each other leading to long but fun discussions.

I am not here to persuade whoever gets the chance to read this to vote for the one I am in favor of. In fact, until now, I am still weighing who I think is best to lead the country. There’s this leader I look up to but I don’t like the political party they belong to. There’s one who I think is capable of leading, but I am not sure if they are ready to take on the whole archipelago. There’s another one who has the desire to lead the country but is haunted by the family name he carries.

Each one of them has abilities and strengths, each one has flaws and weaknesses. No one is perfect to be the head of the nation but who among them has the best intention, the right conviction, integrity, and the heart to serve to be called the President of the Philippines?

My husband and I still have a lot of discussions and research and definitely, a lot of praying to do.

The upcoming Presidential elections will once again, possibly, divide the nation. Everyone will fight for the candidate he or she is rooting for. There will be a lot of words that will be exchanged that can either inspire or hurt one another.

This is my plea – that we will choose unity. Let me borrow the words of a Pastor I look up to. He said:

“I hope that we will learn to choose our words carefully so that we do not come out as inviting others to a heated dispute. Let us be extra careful with our words so that respect and gentleness can still be seen in how we express ourselves. If we can’t persuade each other, let’s agree to disagree amicably. We want the best for our country, after all.”

As for me and my husband, we will go to the Philippine Embassy in South Korea to register and be able to cast our vote seven months from now. Our votes will count.

We will pray for every candidate. We will pray for wisdom upon the electorate. We will pray for unity. We will pray for God’s will to prevail in our country. We will vote. We will pray.

Let the race begin!

Read More Personal Reflections:
Binge-watching K-drama: Finding Respite from the Pandemic
Memories Linger

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