The results are disappointing, but that’s only because we expected better. Historically, those who have made it into the Senate did so mostly on name recognition. What does it matter if Diokno had the best resume of all the candidates, if many of the voters did not know who he was? How could he compete against someone who appeared on a hit primetime TV series right up until the start of the campaign period?
Sometimes I think, things were simpler before we were woke. For me, at least. When I was younger I didn’t care much about politics. Oh of course like everybody, I got riled up about Estrada’s impeachment trial and Gloria’s election scandals, but back then I didn’t have much awareness on who the senators were, what party they were aligned with, who were the senate president or the speaker of the house, etc. Not in-depth as I’ve done during the more recent elections. Even back then there was a general sense of how dirty the elections and our politicians were, but I didn’t have much outrage in me then. Not yet at least.
I think I started casting my vote in 2004, I certainly wasn’t legal for the prior elections in ‘98 and I don’t remember voting in the midterms in ‘01. At first I was like “Okay, I cast my vote, that’s my civic duty, yay” and was done with it, but as time went by awareness started to grow. As the PH internet has matured, information about the candidates became more easily available, and with that came the eventual and repeated disappointment with who our electorate actually gave the victories to.
Cut to today, and the vicious cycle repeats. Disheartening results that make no rational sense whatsoever. As if elections were ever decided rationally. And so it goes.
Many are being down on those who express an intention to migrate because of their disappointment. I can’t blame those who feel this way. It would be better to stay and fight the good fight of course, but it’s never that easy. People can get tired of politics, and I know that’s what certain parties would want - to beat us into submission by bludgeoning us with these terrible politicians and their dirty ways - but let people be tired and let people express their frustrations, it’s healthier that way.
Sometimes I’m envious of those who chose to stay “unwoke”, that is, unconcerned with modern-day political issues, and just stick to living their daily lives. Like I said, times were simpler then. You only worried about your own problems. You shook your fist at the taxman and the shitty government service but at the end of the day did nothing about it. It’s selfish, but it can be understandable. Life is not always easy, and not all are accorded the privilege of worrying about things greater than themselves. All the more reason for us who have that privilege to do so.
I am tempted to just step back from it all, back to those simpler times. I’ve spent too much energy worrying about this country, let others take over now. I won’t be personally affected too much - I’m not likely to be killed in a drug bust, I’m not one of the poor that his cronies can bully around, I don’t lose anything if they let China take our islands, I can survive any economic fallout (probably), I have enough sources of real information even if they choke the press, I have the option of migrating if things get too bad, etc. There is a part of me that is just like “bahala na kayo diyan, just let me watch my movies and play my video games in peace!” But who am I kidding? The odds that I can stay out of it for long are low, but perhaps a short respite is in order.
Things were simpler before we were woke. Unfortunately, that’s a genie we can’t put back in the bottle. Being woke is exhausting. Rest, regroup, recover, and hopefully have the energy to come back and fight again.
These rants were brought to you by the letters disappointment and frustration.