Today the Philippines chose its fate, for the next six years, and quite possibly far beyond that.
It’s unnerving, overwhelming, disheartening and encouraging all at the same. Somehow misinformation ran rampant, and the emotionally charged posts got pushed to the tops of the feed in the name of engagement and subsequently, ad revenue.
As a digital marketing and social media manager, I can only hope that Facebook and TikTok algorithms have not done irreparable damage to the country.
Clearly, the last few months were rife with name-calling, choice shaming, and heated debate, backed by both logical and illogical reasoning. Friendships were ended, familial ties severed as people chose sides. Or insisted on not doing so.
It’s disappointing to see learned individuals support twisted politicians and deny the events from history. I feel deeply sorry for those who have been victims of a dictatorial administration who may now be on the verge of reliving their nightmare. I feel angry at those with vested interests who orchestrated this mind conditioning of the masses through social media — just because they could do so, and just so they could regain power.
I feel hopeless seeing so many people who don’t care and would rather waste their right to vote.
But then again, there’s another side to all of this.
Volunteerism had also emerged and a spirit of duty to the country and its future also ran high. Where it used to be that celebrities didn’t speak up unless they were paid, this was clearly not the case anymore. From actors, artists, influencers, industry experts and religious leaders, so many took a stand. Some even took to the streets in the hopes of making a difference.
I can remember wishing something like this for the Philippines when I noticed last year how much Singapore celebrates their National Day. Having supported a local brand there, I noticed how grateful its citizens are for their country. You only had to check your Instagram feed on this day to understand to know how much.
As much as now is a time of alignment, it’s also a time of disassociation. Here in the Philippines, there is such a thing as bloc voting and leaders have always been followed. This has apparently started to change.
Also, with the Filipinos’ intense love for the family, it’s unprecedented how many individuals took a stand to offer their own truth, even though it may run counter to the stand the surname they have always carried.
That in itself is something huge because it tells us that the cycle of corruption can be broken.
And so it is with hope that I end my first post here, all the while patiently waiting in line for my turn to vote. I cast my ballot in faith and gratitude that my voice, however small, is heard today, on this platform and in the electoral one of my beloved country.