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The election frenzy has invaded our homes – thru social media, tv, newspapers, even the political jingles noisily aired by cars going to and fro in the streets all over the city. In our family, all but one are now voters and it can not be helped that we talk about politics and politicians, including who’s voting for who and why one’s not voting for someone. And I am amazed that even within our own family, we differ in opinion on a lot of things, and thus it naturally follows that we agree on certain matters and disagree on others. Normal, right? The only difference between our disagreements/arguments compared to what’s happening outside is this: we respect each other’s opinion and we don’t quarrel over who’s right or wrong. We listen, we process, we ask questions, and we ask some more for clarification, and we refer to what we know is true to rest the issue at hand.

This morning, as we were having breakfast, my eldest asked me 2 very thought-provoking questions re my choice of presidential candidate. Let me emphasize this: she asked me (maybe you will remember that a few months ago I have decided not to engage in any political discussions especially online) and so any political discussion was confined to the four walls of our home only. Maybe you’ve seen my post of me holding a 7 Eleven cup of one candidate. Behind the scene, there were 2 more cups of other candidates but I did not post them anymore; and I deleted the one I posted after a while with more than 100 likes from some of you, my friends. Because of that post my inbox was flooded with queries and it actually bothered me that some of my friends were ecstatic with the thought that I was for the one on the cup while some questioned my decision. Aguy! Gigubutan ko! Delete! Delete!

So I answered my daughter’s questions truthfully, from my heart. I explained why I am voting for my chosen candidate, not to sway her or influence her to follow me, but because she asked and I felt it was my obligation and my duty to explain my reasons to her. Again I did it because she asked, and I feel grateful that she and her siblings are open to discussions on the matter. I wish for them to grow up making informed decisions and then to apply what they know to be true regarding seeking confirmations on the choices they are about to make.

When I responded to my daughter’s 4 questions (at the breakfast table 2, and then at lunch another 2), I responded first as a mormon mother (always making sure that I am doing my best as an example, and speaking truthfully based on my knowledge, and being considerate of others, and not being judgmental and/or self-righteous), and then as a person who has been on this earth longer, one who has more experience, as one who is considerably well-informed, adequately educated, and as one who have the interest of the greater many in my heart. I am in so many ways a public servant! I have seen with my own eyes; heard with my own ears; talked with public servants; served with them; served them; helped some; listened to many; insulted by a few; disappointed by many; hurt by a few; BUT inspired by many.

No candidate is perfect, just like not one among us is perfect. I am giving my vote – trusting my sacred vote – to the one who promises to honor and respect my vote, to the one who has solid plans on how he will work hard to give this country a better future; and to the one who understands and applies RA 6713 and who pledges to put the interest of the people above himself.

You and I, we have made up our minds on who will get our votes this coming election. You have made yours based on the things you know and I, the same. Let’s leave it at that. I am writing this not to convince you that who I’m voting for is better than your choice, and I am not campaigning. That’s not the point of this essay. I respect other peoples decisions and choice and it is my hope that mine will be respected too! My point is this: there’s too much negativity already out there and let’s not add to it! Let us exercise respect, restraint, and civility. Let’s help stop the squabbles, the mud-slinging, the fault-finding, the bashing, and cursing by not clicking like, share, or by commenting to posts that triggers negative emotions. Let us be firefighters, better yet peacekeepers.

May I also suggest that we heed on the call to be engaged in a good cause by exercising personal responsibility. I have often said this and I know this is true: we can never change another person; but we can change ourselves! It’s time to say “let the much needed change begin with me …” Let’s start by examining our hearts, our intentions, our desires and hopes, and really ponder about the choices in front of us. I remember what Archbishop Soc Villegas said in his video regarding our choice of candidate. He admonished us to ask ourselves this question: “What would Jesus do?” He further invited us: “Ipasok natin ang Diyos sa ating boto”.

We will never know the REAL intents of the hearts of those running for the different government positions this coming election. All we can hope for is that they will one day answer for the things they have done and will do. Let’s all have faith that God is in control. That as long as we do our part with sincerity and faith, that we cast our vote with love of country and people as our guiding principle, He will help us. He will bless us. In the end, good always triumphs over evil. It is my hope and prayer that we, as individuals, will make the right choice.

May God bless us all.

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