There’s a clip from the TV series Parks & Recreations where the lead character Leslie Knope was talking to Campaign Manager Jen Barkley. A portion of the conversation went like this:
Leslie: ” How do I lose to a guy like that? It’s a great idea, right?” (to run for elections)
Jen: “It’s a terrible idea”
Leslie: “I knew it—wait, what?”
Jen:” First of all, you could lose to a guy like that. Terrible people defeat great people all the time. I should know, ‘coz terrible people have paid me so much money, I have a condo on every Virgin Island. Now, you might win. You’re smart, Ben (Leslie’s husband) is smart. You might win. But why would you want to?”
Leslie: “Because it’s my dream job”
Jen: “The dream bigger! Look, you love this town. It’s being run by monsters and morons. Get a better job. Rise above their heads, effect change at a higher level…” (it continues).
As I write this, It’s been 24 hours since the partial and unofficial election results in the Philippines began to transmit. It was a very painful defeat for us who side with The Opposition. While a lot of people online continuously doom posted, I tried to sleep. There was hardly any sleep done. Today, I cried. They were ugly tears. I felt grief for what we have lost, and what we could have had. I felt devastated that all the efforts, the momentum we created went in vain. I felt devasted to realize that we really were just a minority. I felt anxious over the future of my home in the hands of these devil incarnates.
I was told I did a Fool’s Errand for having invested myself in this election; Maybe I did. After all, I really won’t be affected because of my privilege. I can watch everything unfold from a safe distance. I also wonder why I, like many other privileged lots was so knee-deep into this election? Why were we so determined to put these men and women in the opposition to power? For me, I suppose it’s because what truly gets my goat, above everything else in this world, is injustice. If I had the power, I want to take part in resolving injustices. Additionally, perhaps we minority who are so sick and tired of the system, in the midst of a global pandemic and disinformation, found light and inspiration from a woman who demonstrated servant leadership, humility and love for the country despite getting all the hate she did not deserve. Having been inspired by her, a movement was made. Our sense of altruism and patriotism were revived. We may have been a minority but it was a loud and proud one. The movement was something that people found comfort in. It gave us hope that we can break the wheel, “love radically” and act in the spirit of volunteerism. However, we lost. We lost not only the candidates we campaigned for, but we also lost the remaining faith in trust in the institutions that now seemingly railroaded the way for these monsters to win.
Life goes on, they say. That’s true. As for me, I’m not in the pink of health at the moment so I need some time to care for myself. Part of that is to revert to my hermit ways a drastically reduce my social media use for the time being. There is a lot of doom and uncertainty ahead. Who knows if it will last for just six years? Again, selfish as it may seem, I can only watch these things unfold from a distance as my destiny lies on a different path. What do I bring with me from this election? A few learnings: 1) We should maintain steadfast in our beliefs, even if there are only a few of us standing up for the truth 2) We may not have a lot of power, money, or machinery but we can make things happen 3) We continue to fight for the rights of the people even if those people we fight for despise us.
To friends and family who voted for the ruling party, my love is radical, I will not disown you. haha! To my fellow “Kakampinks,” I know it is a difficult and painful time right now but let’s take comfort in all that we have done and stood up for. We will rest but we will soldier on, for there are still more battles ahead of us. Love and hugs to all of you.