Monday, February 27, 2012

Another perspective on voter apathy

Math challenge: Without counting, how many paper hearts can be made
using the campaign materials during the election? 

Aside from the university fair that students zealously await come February, there also is the upcoming election of a new set of student leaders for the university. February could be the love month, but in my university, it's also the campaign period. Around this time, people don't only see red but also see other colors.

Blue, red, and yellow papers litter the campus. An aerial view of Palma Hall for example, would probably provide an interesting collage of colors. Some people start to smile more even if for the rest of the semester s/he didn't pay as much attention as glancing your direction. Sure, election is in the air!

I have so much respect for those people who had enough confidence to come forward and make themselves subject to criticisms and interrogations. It sure isn't easy to go out there and shake hands with people they barely know. They have to make use of the few seconds that they're given in order to establish a connection with the voter. Current strategies include;

1. Room-to-room campaigns/dorm tours
Here, the candidates along with their support group go to a classroom and speak to a population of about 20 to 30 students.

2. Distribution of campaign materials
This may come in the form of pamphlets, flyers, stickers, etc. distributed to students or huge posters and tarpaulins plastered around the campus.

3. Putting up of booths in every college
This is for anyone who wishes to ask some more about the party's GPOA. I think this also serves as a way for them to make themselves more accessible and visible to the voting population.

4. Handshaking
Candidates typically roam around the campus and shake hands with students.

5. New media campaigns
Supporters and/or candidates themselves create Facebook pages and invite others to like their page. Here, they post any information relevant to their campaign. Nice pictures, testimonials, and their projects are described here in detail. Videos that orient the voter what a specific party/candidate stands for also abound.

Aside from these, there are organizations that create a platform for the parties to engage in a healthy debate on a wide range of issues encompassing national politics, current events, and university-related concerns.

I recently got acquainted into another campaign strategy - the bedroom-to-bedroom campaign.

The idea is entertaining to some extent that with the more personal way of relating to the potential voter. But I beg to call it foul. The five campaign strategies they have along with several other talks organized by a third party is enough to say that they are in the air.

I understand the fact that they are driven by the need to make themselves more visible. I would go as far as saying that they believe that they have the best plan hence they have to be heard. I dare not question their sincerity, motives... Granted that they are all there for they believe that they can contribute to the improvement of the students, the university, the nation. I have but one sentiment, this tendency to unscrupulously expose themselves.

The bedroom-to-bedroom campaign, I find insulting as I consider the bedroom a private space where I relax, eat, and simply talk to my roommates. In the morning, we find flyers tacked on our door, that I don't have a problem. But to come to our room in the evening is too much.

The voter is weary. Yes, candidates lose their voice campaigning and the support group spend a considerable amount of time doing the best they can to be of help to the candidates. But it has to be acknowledged that the voter is exposed to a multitude of messages by different parties and individuals everyday. The parties need to be careful in their campaign as they're walking a very thin line.

I have heard so many complaints about low voter turnout during the election day. The voters are usually blamed for being apathetic. BUT, is this really the only reason? I admit that some students I know don't vote because of the lack of time, disinterest to participate, etc. This said, I don't think that the student didn't vote just because of that. It sure is a stock answer to the question "why didn't you exercise your right to vote", even so, parties shouldn't be content to simplify the low voter turnout by blaming the voter's attitude.

A self-check is timely. Did they engage the voter enough? Are their strategies really effective in making their message known? Is overexposure by saturating the environment with too many posters, flyers, and what-not a surefire way to introduce themselves to the voter?

Prospero Pichay didn't win a seat in the senate even if he consistently bombarded the voter with "Pangarap kong tuparin ang mga pangarap ninyo" (it is my dream to make your dreams come true). It helped for recall but it didn't translate to action.

The parties need to recognize that their work and purpose doesn't end in the announcement of winners. They need to be perceptive so as to answer the question what would motivate the preoccupied and weary voter to go out there and vote. A low turnout is not only a case of an apathetic voter, it might also be a case of ineffective, insensitive, and unimaginative campaign strategy.

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Ah! Monday good news!

We have finally reached an agreement after a month-long of fighting.  No better way to start a week than mend fences and restore friendships. I had a gut-feeling that this friend and I really can't stay awkward for long... which is a good thing, really.

Relationships and people could be transient, yes, but there are ways to keep them! Have you made an effort to maintain good relations with people in your life or were you so passive you could be mistaken for a slug? Reevaluate, reevaluate!

Spread good vibes!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

LINsanely LINspiring JLin

He's all over the web and it's very difficult to ignore him! Jeremy Lin is becoming a big name in NBA. A week ago, then relatively unexciting New York Knicks played against the LA Lakers. Lin, a Knicks player surprised the whole world by contributing 38 pts. in their win against the Lakers. Sounds like a sports fairytale, noh?

JLin's epic face after a smooth shot

Terrific form, yummy biceps
Epic face #2

Proof of his rising fame

I found a game analysis video, specifically commenting on Lin's performance, and I thought that the sportscaster speaks some truth that we can draw inspiration from;  
"Everybody will tell you, keep working, keep working hard... now you have a story that shows proof [that] if u work hard, and if things are gonna happen to you... and you never know when you're going to get that opportunity... and you get that opportunity... He got it and now he's making the best of it." 


Want more Lin? Check these out! 


Pictures in this entry came from all sorts of websites, right-clicking will give you an option to see the site where I copied the pictures from. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday soundtrack

Sara Bareilles and her songs (and her cover choice) never fail to summarize how I feel. Happy Sunday! :)

Friday, February 17, 2012


"Scars remind me that the past is real." (Papa Roach)

I remember when I was about six years old. My beautiful aunt, her friend, and I were walking towards the nearest market. It was hot that day and the town road wasn't cemented yet. I remember feeling very jealous because my favorite aunt was happily talking to her friend while I had to be on the side. I recall not understanding what they were talking about and feeling very stupid for not being able to interject smartly or just plainly contribute to the conversation. I was wearing my slippers then and the road was dusty and rocky. I tripped. I still carry the same scar today. At the center of my left knee, shaped like a squinting eye.

I was about four years old then. I liked wearing shorts so a mosquito bit the back of my right thigh. It was very itchy so I scratched it until it bled. My grandmother was a frustrated doctor and I was her first patient. She treated the inflamed mosquito bite with a sticky white liquid from a jackfruit. She also boiled leaves she found in the backyard and applied it to the wound. It got so big and probably very infected, she had to take me to a real doctor. I remember the pain I had to bear when the real doctor injected the huge wound with an antibiotic. Today, whenever I wear shorts, a prominent one-peso coin is embossed at the back of my right thigh.

I was in a different place, with my parents for the first time, and I was about five. I was at the living room. My mother was gently rubbing a warm towel all over me. We had to go see a real doctor. I was sick with chicken pox. I wasn't worried then about the spots until it began to heal and I saw that I looked like a dalmatian. My mother told me it will heal well. But a scar remains on my face; the one at the bridge of my nose. I carry it proudly today because my mother has an identical mark.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Loser baby

Me and my sob stories again. I vowed to stop using this space to talk about trivial things about me and my smashed heart. I have barely gotten over otl and now something that hasn't even started yet came to an abrupt halt.

To celebrate this, here's a song...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dickens x Dylan x Cyrus

Charles Dickens celebrated his 200th birthday yesterday. He has a body of work that remains relevant until today and not one of it I've read. Sure I'm familiar with the plots of A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, and what-have-you... but I've never actually read a Dickens.

I wonder how many people around here's like me. 

For the auditory,  I found some audiobooks in Jessica Zafra's blog. It's a pretty neat collection with Hugh Laurie lending out his hotness in Great Expectations. 


Now that I'm done attempting to be litera(ture)lly relevant, I got a pleasant surprise. Miley Cyrus can sing! A friend introduced me to her cover of a Bob Dylan favorite, You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go. Both the recorded and the live versions rock! If she takes care of her voice, she might stay in the music industry longer than any other Disney star. 

Where does she get all these haters from when as far as I'm concerned, this rendition did justice to a Dylan favorite?

The song's a perfect chill-out company after a long day's work. 

Screw stigma, Miley can sing. I'm honestly looking forward to whatever album she's coming up with. Here's to hoping she doesn't disappoint.