Lessons of the 2010 Barangay Elections

Posted: November 3, 2010 in Election-related
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I am not a politician.

Neither I belong in an influential family nor we do not have enough resources to go extra mile in campaigning- the trapos’ way.

I run because of these three deciding factors that made me say yes to enter politics: First, having the best community organizers as my back-ups, who are campaigning for me (yes, for free!). They are concentrating in the depressed areas that consist the largest registered voters; Second, having the support of more than thirty organizations (this means majority since we have only 50 active organizations in our area) and Lastly, having endorsed by the Church as their official candidate. These three factors made me pretty confident that I will win as kagawad in our barangay this year.

But I was definitely, wrong. 

Yes, I lost the game. But not the lessons which I would like to share with you.


 1. If you want to win, make sure you team up with “CHEATERS”.

During elections, we can expect that cheating will happen, in every place. For sure the “desperates” will do everything to turn things around! Existence of flying voters, padded voter’s list, vote-buying, ballot switching, manipulation of tally sheets, threat, coercion, fraud and other forms of irregularities present during the casting and canvassing of votes. What a fair candidate will expect after such scenarios? Definitely, a sure lost!

So, if you want to win, team up with cheaters. Sad but true.

2. Collect friends NOT enemies during the election period.

It is true that election is a number’s game. The candidates with the highest number of votes are the winners. For sure your enemies will not vote for you, so collect friends! You can collect friends by treating people good or to trapos- by buying them! The highest bidder is the winner.

We cannot please everybody. But during election, this is the time candidates avoid arguing and they give their best to do others’ wishes even though it costs them high. Anyway, if they won, they will have more opportunity to outweigh all the costs they spent not just three times more but to the nth times!

3. Be VERY prepared in the battle.

Consider election as “war”. It could be a fight between good and evil, whatever you call it, but please never go to war unprepared. Plan earlier your time, your budget, your people especially your emotions. Focus on your weaknesses other than your strengths since your enemies will find it and will take advantage of it. Organize your schedule ahead of time. Never procrastinate. Remember, you only have ten days to campaign and get elected. Stretch your budget in its maximum. If you do not want to spend much, then quit at the first level.

4. Never take for granted people around you.

People around you  means everyone. It is a major rule NOT to make your people HUNGRY. If their tummy is empty, because you forget to give them snacks- it will back fire you. They will tell everyone that you are not a good leader since you cannot provide them their basic need- food. And by that kind of comment, who will vote for you?  No one. So, do not take for granted people especially small issues like food and drinks. People can understand that you cannot provide them “scholarships” or whatever, but food? Thuh! It’s dangerous!  

5. Learn to play the game.

Yes, you are a good citizen of this country that is why people must vote for you. So, you follow all the COMELEC rules and regulations. You did not prepare sample ballots during the 24th since that will be a violation of the Election Code. You did not hire vehicles to provide free ride to all registered voters. You did not prepare 50 peso bills inside the envelopes.

During the 25th, whaaat! You see barangay tanods leafletting! You see names of dead people in the Voter’s List! You see same faces freely  going in and out of the polling places casting their votes! You see candidates giving envelopes and foods to BEIs!

They say, we have dirty politics in the Philippines. In other places, violence is prevalent. This is very sad. I do not encourage readers especially aspirants to defy the rules. These were  reality check. Among the five points I mentioned earlier, this was the greatest lesson I learned:

 “Hindi baleng ala sa puwesto

mahalaga ang respeto at tiwala ng tao;

Aanhin ng sinuman ang kapangyarihan

kung ang kaluluwa ay masusunog naman”.


(It is better not to have the position, what matters is the respect and trust of the people. Who will ever need power, if his soul will be put to hell?)  

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