I’M NOT sure if my mother’s sad that she didn’t make it anymore as councilor here in Barangay Princesa where we live. She’s No. 8 in today’s Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan election result, but the councilors needed are only seven.
After dinner at Neva‘s with Malou, we went to Puerto Princesa Pilot Elementary School (my elementary school) to check how her votes were doing. We haven’t reached the door of any precinct yet when Michelle, a relative of my aunt who’s running for barangay chairman, came and told me the news about mommy. Aunt Neneng made it, but mommy didn’t.
I honestly didn’t see my reaction, it was dark (hahaha!). Actually, it was even funny because it was Malou who went inside to check the tally sheets. I just stayed outside to talk to my cousin Limbo (candidate for councilor also, and yes, it’s a family affair!) and to congratulate him on his victory. Apparently, he’s No. 1 in the list of winners.
From pilot, I went home with only one tremendously large thing in mind — cheer up my mom in case she’s unhappy. To my surprise, she’s smiling and talking to my father, telling him that it’s okay and that finally, she can concentrate at home. I had to laugh at that. It turned out my father’s more upset. Weird!
We joked that it was him who should have ran since he’s the one pretty keen that mommy should win.
I felt a bit guilty too because I didn’t help my mother campaign so much. Five years ago, when she informed us that she had been convinced to join Manang Estring’s (God bless her soul) ticket, I was the one very opposed to her candidacy. I wish I can count how many times I’ve argued with her not to join, discouraging her that politics (even at the barangay level) isn’t where she would want to be because it’s often an eccentric realm.
Mommy’s never a politician; not even at home. In the house, she says what she wants to say; speaks her mind frankly believing there’s goodness in expressing true feelings and opinions. I agree, but maybe not when you’re a politician. There’s that unwritten rule that even if you can, people get hurt easily — are sensitive when what you honestly tell them is for their own good.
Even if it’s killing you, you have to be all nice and accommodating. If you don’t, they’ll take it out on you the next time they get the chance. This is probably one of the reasons why “vote buying” has been conceived — so that when certain politicians embarrass you, when election comes and you’ve decided you don’t want to vote for them anymore, you still would because they have Ninoy in all his “pangalumbaba” glory to hand you to change your mind.
But am not saying that the reason why my mother lost in today’s election is because she’s that “frank.” It’s my justification why I was opposed to her running for councilor five years ago.
Talks (or should I say gossips?) circulating after this early evening’s counting informed her that she didn’t win anymore because some of our ehem relatives (I can only cough) withdrew support from her at the last minute because they’re mad at my aunt. In political parlance, that means they “laglag” her.
Some of our relatives supported Manong Edwin, my Aunt Neneng’s rival. So maybe they did “laglag” my mother, but she’s not affected — we’re not affected. Di ba nga, politics can divide even the strongest of families? If she’ll allow gossips to rule over her good judgment, then she’ll feel bad and she’d take it out on them. Better not be affected.
My aunt won by a small margin. Nonetheless, she won, and that’s what’s important. Not why she lost. What’s notable too is that the election went well without major glitches.
Despite the fact that I had to bite my tongue really hard this afternoon inside precinct #122A in order not to get annoyed because ballots and voter’s list were insanely delayed, and election inspectors were terribly slow, I’m pleased that we won’t have awful front page stories about the election next issue.
I’m opposed to my mom being a barangay councilor, yes. However, I still want to raise my coffee mug to her for I know she did a good job. It’s not winning or losing that matters, it’s what she’ll leave behind that would. Cheers, mom!