Random Thoughts: My Election 2016 Experience

I know that I’ve been quite late in posting this, but sometimes real life takes over and you need to do those first. Now that personal thing is already finished, I thought that I can share here a picture of the election day based on how my experience went.

Just like in the past election days, we as a family woke up early and went to the polling precincts before its opening at 6:00 am (in our local public elementary school – as most of the precincts are). We did not brought our vehicle as we know that there is now a construction at the said school and that parking space is now a luxury there. What we did not anticipate was that because of the construction, almost all precincts were moved from their previous locations and we have to look a little bit for our precinct. We (three of us family members) found our precinct and fall in line. We were fortunate as the line were  short (unlike my other family members) and the precinct were a one floor two classroom building (I think it was the specific classrooms for the Livelihood Education Subject) with flower pots in front.

A few things to note:

  • We finished relatively quick and everything seems to run okay as there wasn’t any major problems. The one thing is the indelible ink (a proof that they put in your right index finger that you voted) is in the cookie monster shade.
  • A lot of people in our precinct wore red t-shirts that is associated with a candidate. The poll officer kinda jokingly commented that it was red tide.
  • It is really hard to vote if you’re an illiterate person. The first person that went inside was still there when I entered and the polling assistant is telling this person verbally the names of the candidates one by one (the horror of telling all of the party list candidates- 115 of them!). The said person said a name and I swore some of the other voters inside kinda gave an eyebrow raised reaction (that candidate is some sort of polarizing but unpopular figure).
  • The controversial receipt thing is an okay thing and it added personal security that your votes are counted but to be honest there will always gonna be somebody who will doubt every process there is.
  • The flower pot thing is significant in our precinct because it forced everybody to be in a straight line and thus eliminating those “singits sa pila” .
  • My brother is  in what I called “stressful polling place” precinct. The lines were already long, the ‘singitan‘ is common and there were already verbal attacks on each other and a huge percentage of those voters in said precinct were seniors! (let’s just say they’re passionate about our electoral suffrage system).
  • There was a exit poll thing happening outside. My other brother was approached and he gladly participated. I know that our area is the largest population in one of the most populated municipality in the country but to see one in action is cool as I always complain that the survey groups methodology were flawed (for another topic altogether).

Now as to the results and how I voted: More than half of whom I voted actually won and I were/was happy about it. To be honest I had a hard time picking candidates to vote and I now hope that they will do their job and not disappoint their voters which gave them most of their trust to run their respective areas. I were disappointed by some press releases saying that their candidates won by a majority of the populace. First and foremost unless there were only one or two candidates running for said position (most of their aren’t) they will never win the majority as the definition of the very word majority provided by Merriam-Webster as a word used for election purposes states “a number of votes that is more than half of the total number”. They did not won the majority but they won by the greatest percentage of the total number of voters. That already put them in a wrong foot in my personal opinion and will now watch them carefully.

As thing are now settling down, I hope that the nastiest things said and done this election cycle will be put aside (let’s remember, this is the Philippines: most people may forget it for a while but it will come bubbling in the surface by some form in the future) and work hard and honestly to make this country better for all of us.


Random Thoughts: My Pangasinan Vacation

In my previous post, I specifically said at the start that I am not going to make some sort of travelers’ review about the resort that we checked in during the last vacation but I must admit: I want to share something about that trip so I decided to do this series of posts and this is the first one.

How does this works? Well judging by the title, I will give seven thoughts that I have regarding a certain topic(s) I like to put here plus some other thoughts that aren’t necessarily numerable (is that a word?). There aren’t necessarily categorize (for now) but I believe you can distinguish the positives from the negativesOkay so here it is:

  1. Just like in every other part of the country,  it seems that a major road that is a named highway, road expansion is a thing. While it is a good thing especially since the influx of new cars into our roads in recent years, but for a highway (on Google Maps it is called Pangasinan-Tarlac Road but I believe it is a “named-from-a-person Highway” officially) where there is little road activity going on even during a weekday, I think that the expansion can held off for a few years as evident by, for now, the expanded lanes’ main purpose is to dry corns to become animal feed.
  2. The Agno River is so clean. It almost looks like an ocean! I am not a fan of river swimming but I think that if I only had one river that I’ve seen to swim into for the rest of my life, I will choose this one.
  3. As I mentioned previously, I personally don’t care about white sand beaches. The beach on that specific part of Lingayen is huge (in width terms) and untouched. Granted that it is a gray beach and I believe most part of it goes from shallow to deep in a matter of a meter but I’m shocked to see on the map that there is only one resort on the vicinity and that unlike other seaside cities, there a few houses and establishments by the beach. I think there is some potential for this area as an alternative beach area (Or better yet do they sell properties for those like me who wants a house by the beach?).

    Can you see on the right image where those kubos are located? (Right image screen grab from Google Maps)
  4. As you can see from the right side of the picture above, the resort we stayed into has pools! One of them is a wave pool that is not deep so even the 10 year olds can enjoy it. The thing is that below those pools are the rooms of the resort and they are separated. You need to go out of the property, have tickets (when you checked in to the resort they will give you tickets)  and enter the pool area. Now I understand that the pool area is mostly for the daytime swimming crowd and caters predominantly to the local population but they could have had a separate entrance for those that are checked into the resort. (To be totally fair, the resort is seems to be in a re-planning of the area sort of thing so they might be sorting their layouts as of today).
  1. There is such a thing as the Hundred Islands Festival in Alaminos City that I believed started in 2012 (Be honest: have you really heard about it?).  We have to be rerouted so that we cannot be bothered by the traffic in the city proper (trust me we were not novices about being stuck in traffic). The only activity that I saw was a massive zumba session and I thought to myself “This seems to be unrelated to their supposed thing they are celebrating”. A quick glance of the activities on the internet confirms this to me.
  2. I guess in keeping up with the influx of tourists, the infrastructure and organization seems to be better than before (I went there last in 2013).  There is already an office to pay everything and not talk to as many bangkeros for the best deals (everything is now being payed equally on a per person basis), the life vests are now better (Thank God), and there are new things to do: There is now a floating bridge connecting Governor’s and Virgin Islands,  at least two zip lines (one on the previously mentioned two islands) and better cottages and gazebos for tourists plus Solar Panels to boot!
  3. There are also negatives from the sixth item namely that the cellphone reception seemed to be weakened, the amount of cement they use on the stairs, railings etc. destroying the natural formations of the rocks and on Quezon Island there is now a multi level canteen that produces a lot of trash that can be hard to deal with (Quezon Island is one of the farthest island and they have to be mindful of where to put their trashes) . Plus the shower area on the mainland is still the same old mess with longer lines.

And now for the mini random ones:

  • How few are the vehicles in that area of Pangasinan? even that one massive bridge repair in Lingayen is not causing any traffic on a Friday.
  • My specific line of work is very evident in there (Ang daming ebidensiya).
  • I was not happy when the resort gave me a three-in-one coffee: I was expecting something more black and not in a sachet that I can just buy from convenience stores and still be cheaper.
  • I was trying to do something really cool using my phone but the end result was bad (maybe next time).
  • We weren’t able to do snorkeling properly because of very strong winds.
  • There is a hokage moment (how very 2016!) that we saw in Lopez Island. What’s more funny is that somebody from one of the boats passing by, decide to shout out loud HOKAGE MOVES!” and everybody end up laughing. (Those persons in question were foreigners: German I believe).
  • When you cannot find local restaurants, Fast Foods are your way to go.
  • We randomly ate balut at Mangatarem, Pangasinan.

Well, that was fun! I hope this “Seven Random Thoughts” will become a mainstay in here. Until next time ! Ciao!