Monday, May 10, 2010

ELECTION DAY - An Ode To A Successful Defeat

It has been a tradition of mine to listen to a particular song every election day, since 1998. I found this song as early as 1995, a 45-rpm vinyl record, stacked along with so many many "plakas" as it is called, in the then house of my grandparents in Kidapawan.

You have probably not heard of this song since it is not really that popular. It will never become popular. It is not catchy, lyrically weak, musically awful. But for nostalgia and the heck of it, I just need to play this every time of the season.

Some members of our family, for reasons unknown to me, are into politics. Some gained success, while most did not. Not really a big time politicians, but I would say, trying hard to be one. So the election of 1998, is one of the most memorable times of my adolescence-maturity (does this beginning to sound like Xerex? hahahaha).

In 1998, my grandfather, old and weak (relatively compared before) decided to run as councilor . Unlike before, It is obvious then that no party is interested on him anymore, none took him into the slate. So he ran as an independent candidate.

It meant making a campaign funded by our personal and limited pockets. It meant the absence of "professional" campaign groups and mga bayaran to actually do the campaigning. It meant having to do the campaigning, a family affair. This is then, where all the fun started.

Me and my brother went to Kidapawan only for our annual summer vacation, as we thought. We went there to get wild with our cousins and of course to help for the campaign sparingly. But as fate would have it and due to limited resources, I ended up as the campaign manager for the group. We were composed of the cousins, all unregistered and unqualified voters with ages ranging from 7-17 years old. I myself had no knowledge and experience campaigning except when I ran and won as President of the Student Council in High School.

We tried to be resourceful then. We were so proud of our election posters made of up old and used calendars, bond papers and manila papers with the name of our beloved candidate (our lolo) manually written using ballpens, pentel pens, crayons and water colors. Only to be dwarfed by the expensive and attractive paraphernalia of the seasoned politicians. The final product, our posters can barely be seen and noticed.

We only have a single jeep at our arsenal, a colored blue owner type jeep with a sitting capacity 7, there were 12 of us. Our gasoline allocation was sourced out from the tipok2x of our respective uncles and aunts, relatives, friends and supporters (this one I doubt). Despite it, we tried and were able to roam around the city, and actually went to places I never knew existed in Kidapawan.

We were able to meet and greet lots of interesting people. As in guapa, pangit, humot, baho. There were some who finds us cute (the team, not me) and there were those who would remark, "pila gi bayad sa inyo?". There were those whom upon given a fact sheet would remark "dili lang ko dong, di ko mo boto", and there was a time we gave someone a fact sheet and just smiled at us strangely, only to be told by a bystander, "ngano gi hatagan mo man na, buang man na".

But still every so often, the kid in us would also surface then. There were times wherein we didn't wanted to campaign. Instead, watch the cartoon network or just play computers and basketball. There was even a time, during the final meeting de avance at the public market that we were not able to hear and watch our lolo speak. The reason, we were at the other side of the palengke. Busy and fixated with the street magic2x salamangka, with all its bitin2x (as in snake) and what have you.

Despite the odds stacked upon us, and even if the obvious are staring on us, we never really felt that we were at a disadvantage. Such youthful optimism and probably innocence and ignorance made us believe that somehow, we are going to pull this one out.

The result? Since I am the campaign manager, what would you expect? Of course, we did not win :0. But the good thing is, we did great. We were number 13. The magic number is 8. There where more than 13 candidates, 35 to be exact. We gained notoriety as the cleanest group (ok we were neat and had good smell), and the only candidate who did not spend more than allowed, mainly because we have nothing to spend.

We did not win, yet the experiences and the memories made us all feel like winners. The bonding we shared, the many times that we were chased by dogs, the drunk who made fun of us, the laughs and other intangibles that makes us feel good to be alive, the things that we still talked of today whenever the cousins get together, thanks to the election.

There were other campaigns that came after 1998, for my other relatives. We still got involved and this time came up with relative success as far as getting the win goes. But nothing beats out defeat in 1998.

As for the song, I did play it on the old turntable at my grandparent's house , the first thing I did during election day of 1998.
Let's enjoy this if you can :)

1998 Campaign Team

Wild Kanapian
Kiko - Ni apas ka pa

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

cool! one of a kind experience.