Thirty five minutes past ten in the morning, starving and deprived of sleep, I headed straight to Quezon City to cast my vote. Last registration was not favorable for my schedule that I wasn’t able to transfer my voter’s details to my current residence, which is Mandaluyong.
For the past few days, I’ve been working grave yard; it’s a whole new world for me but I’m starting to adjust and I would say the fun have actually started (lol). So despite the fatigue factor, I’m still very animated to travel back to my voting place.
Whoa! The sun was rejoicing, her smiles penetrating the skin. I found my precinct number in no time and my name was on the list. I travel my eyes inside the room and wondering why they were idle, (the voters). I thought, the voting has not started yet, maybe the PCOS machine assigned to that precinct encountered a problem as it always the usual cause of delay in this first ever automated election - in my mind.
It was nearly twelve noon and my stomach keep on reminding me to have it filled, so I vacated the place took a tri-cab and went to the nearest McDonalds. I have done eating my lunch in 15 minutes flat, but I felt sleepy. Then Starbucks was smiling to me, so I smiled back to her. I ordered Coffee Jelly Frappucino; I thought it was perfect while waiting.
Then I’m back to my precinct, the room was still full and people still not doing anything aside from the fact that they were in the room. I was curious, so I asked one of the guys outside and he told me that the people were waiting for their numbers to be called.
Ah what? What number? My replied to the guy and he politely explained me the process. He said that a number tag was given to each voter before they can actually cast their vote. And that the process of getting these number tags was to submit yourself from the never-ending queues of lines. I entered the room slowly while blushing because I am the only one with a starbucks in my hands.
And here comes the yelling election personnel. She asked me if I have the number and I told her that I haven’t one. So she commanded me to get the left-side of the room. I am very obedient.
While waiting for my number, I noticed the lady in my left; she was an old lady, dozing-off while her husband beside her keeps on texting. And here comes, another bad news the guy in my right smells of sweats and the way it smelled, it’s good to assume that the sweat was on his body for more than 24 hours. The ceiling fan that was actually a wall fan keeps on bringing me the smell of the mama (guy). The horror!
The yelling comelec officer again resurfaced and this time asked us to fill the seats emptied by those left the room. We followed, and I noticed that the arrangement was changed, some of the guys in my back were actually ahead of me in the line but lo and behold they were now in my back. I played it as if I am not aware, but for sure if I’m in their shoes I would have gone ballistic and declared Jihad that instant (lol). The yelling officer distributed the number tags with a smile in her face.
After 30 minutes, the yelling officer entered the room with still a smile in the face while telling to our batch to vacate and go to room 105; I thought it was the voting room, only to realize it’s one of the Comelec annoyance, another waiting area. The adjacent room was the official voting area for clustered precinct 308, composed of five combined precincts that include my precinct; two elections officers guard the room.
I am carrying a number 10 tag, minute later one of the election officers that guards the voting room shriek and calling numbers 51 to 60. The tags were composed of 100 numbers, meaning I’ll be waiting till 100 is called ayayayay!
With perseverance, while carrying hopes that my vote will make a difference and that in my hand I’ll find a new Philippines. But after hearing the results waaaah I wish I have 10 million hands lol.
Atlast, numbers 1 to 10 were called. The two gladiators guarding the door, advised us to give immediately the number of our precinct and the sequence number of our names as to speed-up the process.
It’s my turn. In an intimidating manner yet charming way, I animatedly gave my precinct number to the BEI. She’s all smiling with me and said, “Sir, what’s your name?” But instead of giving her my name, I confidently exclaimed my sequence number. “My sequence number is 97”, I told her. She’s turning the pages of the voters’ master-list and found the number 97. She asked me, “Are you Mr. Blah blah?” (not my name). “Uh no, I am blah blah” (my name), I answered. Then she said, “Sir your name is not in the master list”. “But my name is posted in the lists outside Room 101”, I reacted. “Uh wait”, as if I have awaken from a dreams. “I am very sorry, it should be 79 and not 97”, I said apologetically. The BEI said, “Sir kakainis ka dinadagdagan mo mga problema namin dito" (Sir your annoying you’re adding burden to our problems here), while she’s smiling.
My misadventure doesn’t stop there. I found the guy beside me placing his hand at the thumb sheet, so I followed him. The BEI caught my action and shriek, “Oh no, not yet only those who have finished voting could have perform the thumb mark sign” and gave me the basahan (cloth). “Excited ka sir” (You’re too excited sir), she added. I just laughed with her, along with the other BEI and PCOS operator. Then one of the BEI gave me the shading pen and the ballot, I am quick to find a seat and once again the BEI yelled at me, "Sir, your secrecy folder don’t forget". "Ah okay". Again, we laughed.
Voting was easy it’s like taking an NSAT exam without having to guess what should be the right answers (lol). At 2.12 P.M., I am the 510th voters of Clustered Precinct #308.
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