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ESSAY: The day after the 2010 elections

The blistering heat of the hectic election campaign period under the summer sun had abruptly mellowed for good. At long last the election fever is over, finally. A new day has dawned. This dawning compares to a whiff of fresh air following an abbreviated downpour after a long dry spell. It is a much-needed comfort to everyone especially those who ran for elective posts. Remember, they had religiously crisscrossed the length and breadth of the land or areas of concern for the elusive votes. They had rubbed elbows with people they promised to serve faithfully and well.  And the votes were cast, finally. The thousand PCOS machines strategically posted  all over the land, specifically from Basco, Batanes in the north to Jolo, Sulu in the south  finally yielded the Smartmatic shaded results of May 10, 2010 election. These votes were minutely counted. So the lucky winners from the highest office, that of the president of the Philippines down to city councilors (hold your breath) are…

But who among the losing candidates would accept the hard truth of the election results, HOPED to be: honest, orderly, peaceful, effective and dependable? Remember, the ballot voting this summer was the first-ever automated election in the country. Who could possibly question the results without battling an eyeglass now? Look again. It was not manually operated like the previous years. It could be recalled that more often than not after election period then nobody lost, or so we were always made to believe. That once a candidate failed to make it, his/her immediate reaction would likely be: “I am cheated!”  (Obviously, not for the lucky re-electionists to echo the same line though not necessarily say, “Happy days are here again!” Or for the first time winners: “This is our time also.) It’s anybody’s guess if this early the victors would ever prioritize lined up projects promised. Or will it be strategizing ways and means in order to recoup huge expenses? To exact vengeance and/or sow fear to those who had made things hard for them during the election period? To repay/accommodate those who stuck through thick and thin?  Anything goes now within the 6-year in power at hand.

Yes, goodbye yesterday. Everything had been said and done now but the attending parties that normally capped hard-earned victories, described as “sky is the limit” expenses-wise. Similarly, today starts a new beginning to cast moist eyes towards the land of milk and honey that were promised to electorates by the then candidates. Going by the hard-boiled assurances made during the campaign period, there are no valid reasons for everyone to be pessimistic.  Non-delivery of the expected goods and services even before the end of six years of public service would be a disaster where electorates have but themselves to blame. That unwanted reality would surely be a sad refrain of the irritating political speeches, self-serving jingles and posters that earlier polluted the environment during the prescribed election period.

Indeed, the people had spoken.  It is time to forgive and forget. To extend both hands towards reconciliation to the losers. Really? Honestly, it would not be that easy especially for those who could not accept the election verdict. They were made to believe still or so it seemed that they were cheated. They felt betrayed, even by their relatives, close friends and loyal supporters.  Their expenses were no peanuts. More so in some isolated cases where the unfortunate few lost their loved ones, including earthly belongings if not both. Better luck next time or similar words to that effect by those who really cared and still do would not be enough to placate these disadvantaged souls in these times of lonesome grief. It would take quite sometime for the wounds to heal. And the scars will always be there to remind them the uncooperative year that was when downed, temporarily?

While it takes too long a time to wait there will always be a second, nay, nth time around to cross swords with the political enemies. If really serious to serve, another try would be lovelier the second time around, financial resources permitting. But that would be another story for the expected blessings of lady luck. If ever she would be kinder or (still be) the same is anybody’s guess this early. Meantime, it helps to consider the following words of comfort: “The true nature of a man is not measured by the number of times he falls but by the number of times he gets back after each fall.”#