I live in a country where everybody wants respect so much to give it

Today is May 14, 2019. Weeks prior, I so wanted to have a manicure but since I had to make way for a more important color to touch my fingernail, it might have to take another week or so. Until it disappears naturally, I can only wait. Because not a nail polish, but a sign to avoid electoral fraud, a mark which shows that a citizen already cast a vote at an election, an indelible ink is what’s visible on my index finger as of now.
Figuratively, it is a symbol of one’s right being exercised. And yesterday, the Philippines held its mid-term elections for 2019.

Naturally, one would always wish for a clean and peaceful election especially here in the Philippines. Had it ever happened? Let us just wish again.

And it’s saddening that the stronger our desire for a positive and healthy election, the more it brings out the toxicity we so openly toss at each other. A never ending purge of emotions.

Even long before the campaign period starts, difference in opinion creates an invisible line between the pro’s and the con’s —no matter the point, no matter the idea, there will always be a “You’re right.” and “CAN YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE SAYING?” side.
As the election period progress, the lines start to have colors encompassing its own corresponding sides.

Having an opinion is inevitable, standing your ground for it is just what’s right. But sometimes, we value our own opinion so much that we overlook others’. The sad truth is we listen to respond not to understand.

We value our own opinion so much, we forget we are Filipinos under the same fight.

Along with the election results are friends degrading a friend because his political views are different, hurting a co-worker’s feelings because she decided to follow their religion’s practice. While we should be supporting one another in this journey, we call each other “Bobo,” “Tanga.” Filipino after Filipino hating each other. Truth is, nobody won, with this mindset, with the nation being this divided, we all lost.

Until we can overcome this kind of mentality, we can only hope.

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