One of the letters I received was from William S. of California USA. His letter merits attention, because he suggests I write about something he finds important.
Part of his letter reads:
“I am one of your avid readers in the Ilocos Times Online. Based in the west coast USA, I make sure I read your column on a daily basis during my free time at work. It is a matter of principle that we really need to give you due recognition for providing enlightening information on the various social issues in the provincial and national levels. The issues you tackle span the judicial system, social economic system, political system and educational system. I admire some of your articles when it bites the “status quo” of those people in power, whether in elective or appointive positions, who are holding and discharging their duties for their own and circle-of-friends’ benefits. I also came to believe that the Ilocos Region seems to be the “Wild-Wild-North” of the entire archipelago since it is all the same since I left to this date. The conflict resolution in the political arena undermines the rule of law.
“The reason for this email is to suggest that we educate the local voters for the upcoming 2010 local and national elections. I was wondering if you could mention in your column how to value their votes for the right candidates in the upcoming election. There has to be a way to gauge budding political figures versus those who would like to perpetuate the political family dynasty. The electorate has to realize that there is always an alternative, a fresh start and new faces to select from instead of the “traditional.” There is always a political process to use if we elect the person who does not meet the people’s expectation. We also need to address those folks in the rural areas to stay home during election day if they are not aware of the issues affecting them and if they do not know the political agenda of the candidates. We need to emphasize to the rural folks and others that a few cans of sardines and a couple kilograms of rice should not subvert the voice of the people during elections.”
Here’s good news for you, Apo William.
The Social Sciences Department of MMSU-CAS, where I belong, is sponsoring a series of activities on political education and election volunteerism, September 7 to 10, 2009, at the MMSU Batac Campus.
With the theme, Agtutubo: Preparing the thumb for the stains of politics, the weeklong affair shall engage the public, especially the youth, on issues surrounding political education and election volunteerism in light of the national struggle for emancipation from traditional politics, transactional leadership, and morally-bereft governance.
The activities kick off on September 7 (Monday), 8:00 a.m., with Tita Lita (of New Hampshire USA, but currently on vacation in Batac), Riknakem’s most ardent follower, cutting the ribbon at an art-exhibit-cum-election-precinct at the College of Arts and Sciences Lobby. The exhibit shall showcase students’ artworks interpreting the theme.
In the exhibit area, a mock poll shall also be held to feel the pulse of university students and employees on their preferred presidential candidates for the 2010 elections. Immediately after the precincts close on September 9 (Wednesday), at 3:00 p.m., the ballots shall be appreciated by student volunteers, and the results analyzed by our Social Sciences faculty. We hope to be able to do the mock polls periodically until immediately before the May 2010 polls.
Capping the series of activities is a forum to be held on September 10 (Thursday), 8:30 a.m., when speakers, led by Prof. Ruel F. Pepa of Trinity University of Asia and our very own Steve Barreiro of The Ilocos Times, shall tackle the national and local political climates, and how the youth can help institute reforms. The results of the mock polls shall also be presented and dissected in the forum.
ABS-CBN has been invited to recruit volunteers for their Boto Mo, i-Patrol Mo campaign, which promotes a vigilant and proactive brand of citizenship, especially among the youth.
When Steve survived an assassination attempt recently, I told my ruminant colleague that he emerged unscathed from the incident because there are still a lot of things he should do, speaking at our forum included. I am actually excited to be with him in the event. Two heads are better than one, but two balding heads are brilliant. Just imagine the amount of reflection (no pun intended) it would lead our audience to.
When you have time, dear karikna, come attend the forum, and/or visit the exhibit. Then let’s have coffee (or beer) after, my treat.