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One thing I believe most people do NOT understand about this process is that it is a process and it is LONG.

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illustration by glenzkie tolo

My apologies for staying away from this column for so long, but I was out helping in the campaign efforts of my brother, Bongbong. It feels like this is a normal part of life already, that every three to six years, there will be a need to help and really want to help, in any small and limited capacity I can.

I am very proud to take part in these exercises of our freedom as citizens of this country, and I have been lucky enough to see the underpinnings of its machinery as a whole. I’ve seen all sides — the bad, the good, the ugly and the uglier still — from the campaign period, all the way to past the election day.

PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF FB.COM/bbm10officiAL
EXUBERANCE of youth brought the energy level up each day at the HQ.

One thing I believe most people do NOT understand about this process is that it is a process and it is LONG. You see, it takes literally weeks, months even, to come up with a campaign strategy and what manpower and resources are part of the plan.

What is the strategy? What is the overall theme? What will be the platforms and why? And now, in the world we live in — which digital platforms should we be in, and how do we express ourselves at our best on those?

Deciding on the colors, the name, the tagline is more or less like trying to put together a massive ad campaign, and by massive, I mean encapsulating everything — every detail and making sure each part of the cog runs smoothly. If it does not, you can be consoled that you at least have put a person on it capable enough of being able to put that fire out.

This particular campaign for me was different from others, as I am not really someone who likes to be out in public and exposing myself or who I am. The closest is the Instagram account I have on public, and boy did that blow up.

With this campaign, I really got involved. I supposed being further away from the epicenter of the campaign was a big factor, as I wanted to help in my little way and contribute to what could possibly be this country’s future. I did it because I believed in the platforms of my candidate, who so happens to be my brother, and know that he is the best man for the job. But hey, I *may* be biased here.

They wanted to find a way their voices could be heard over the noise, the news, the fake news, the slogans and the statuses online.

So, I, along with my friends and husband (who are CDO natives), got the word out and scheduled meetings with whomever wanted to meet with me and just talk. The primary idea was to talk to people face to face, like a town hall, wherein we could discuss what their specific problems were and what’s happening on ground, and what platforms were being offered nationally as a way to possibly address these issues. They wanted to find a way their voices could be heard over the noise, the news, the fake news, the slogans and the statuses online. These were not just a tagline, a generalization, not just votes but people, and to me stories, every single one of them.

That is what we did for a good two months. I was inspired by those who were working here in the HQ — these exuberant, amazing kids who were so excited and hopeful for a future that they only heard could exist from generations that came before, that you couldn’t help but bring the level of energy they brought to everything that I did. Doing any less than that would have been an insult to the amount of work and smiles they brought daily.

Meetings, interviews and tours plus a crazy rally, 48++ hours of no sleeping whilst counting and monitoring returns, and here we are.

I had the pleasure of meeting a lot of people, hardworking ones that headlines usually miss, the ones who are faces in the crowd, the people who are given collective names to help generalize them and define them easier to those who didn’t have the time to learn who they are. All the individual souls that taught me about how rich our stories are that make us up as a people.

And on 9 May, 31 million — and then some — spoke through their ballots, each individual voice spoke and made a choice for the future they envisioned for this country. The possibilities. The potential. Their president. And with an exhausted and grateful heart, I would like to thank you all for casting your vote and being part of the process that is a little crazy sometimes but, in its essence, wanting to ensure ALL our voices, our stories, are heard.

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