02B2B: The Day After

Tuesday Sinigang

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 787

With almost 99% of precincts reporting, the "unofficial partial results" from the COMELEC transparency server clearly indicate a landslide victory for Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte as our next President and Vice-President respectively. They each have over 31 million votes is pretty much double what Duterte managed for himself during the 2016 elections. Leni Robredo hasn't officially conceded the race yet, but she has asked all of her supporters to accept the results of the elections, whatever they may be.

It goes without saying that this is a pretty bitter pill to swallow. But there's not much that can be done at this point unless evidence of wrongdoing somehow comes up. So we're all waiting for the official results, but it is unlikely that the outcome will be different.

Today at work, an overseas peer asked if I seriously thought Leni was going to win. And on an intellectual level, I knew this entire race was an uphill battle for anyone facing the Marcos juggernaut. But like many other kakampinks, I think I felt like I had sufficient reason to hope for a different outcome - or at the very least a much closer race. But instead, we experienced some of the fastest election returns in Philippine history and had to face a Marcos-Duterte victory without more time to mentally prepare.

My social media feeds have been less than great. People are either very angry or very sad about things and the spectrum of people's emotional responses to all this remains valid. But it doesn't make it any easier to go online because what else is there to say? 

The best thing about the Rebredo campaign is how it inspired so many - myself included - to get more involved in the electoral process. Beyond the amazing turnout at the rallies, just look at how many people engaged in house-to-house campaigning efforts and all the first-time voters who came out on election day for her. She really managed to tap into something powerful and I hope that we find a way to direct that energy into something constructive that will aid the country moving forward.

If social media is any indication, it does feel like we're going to lose that positive energy very soon. Many are going back to feeling jaded about our electrical process and are questioning what was the point of everything. Others have already abandoned the "radikal na pagmamahal" rallying cry in favor of furthering the divide between "us" and "them" in terms of political alignment and whatnot. And I can't blame people either - I feel the same hurt and anger and there's a desire to lash out, to do something to vent all this frustration. 

For now, we wait for the official results and try to keep going. After that, we get to wait for the end of Duterte's presidential term before we really have to deal with the next administration. And once we get to that point, we'll figure out another milestone that we need to get to without going crazy. 

We're going to eat this elephant one bite at a time.