So even though, from the looks of the results of this year's midterm Senatorial elections, 90% of the country still has no access to social media and half of those who has are confined mostly to Facebook playing Fruit Diamond Candy Farm Crush Saga, it is still no doubt that this year's elections proved to be a nationwide social media event.
Twitter alone has garnered much of the election-related discussions and debates 140 characters could offer as its timeline is least cluttered with unlimited selfie shots of that Facebook acquaintance or Valencia-ed #foodporn portraits. It was no wonder come election time that shots of dirty fingers with indelible ink (including a viral indelible inked nostril) were posted for all the world to see. And almost like clockwork, once the first news of election results came in, so did the hilarity.
I honestly tried not to laugh at all the Nancy Binay jokes but they just keep getting better and better. Almost everything was well thought of and timely delivered. Add to that the #ipasoksidick trending hashtag and I could just watch my Twitter feed and feel like I'm in a comedy bar.
But seriously, although it was not at all surprising, it was still interesting to note the polar differences in the mentality of those with social media privileges and those in the legitimate "masa" demographic brackets. And guess who holds the true electorate power.
It's the hard truth, one that I've recently accepted as I grapple with the fact that this beloved country has once again elected leaders based on anything but valid credentials. We can send unlimited tweets, blog all we want the information about candidates to inform the public for them to formulate an intelligent choice, but the fact of the matter is, we are preaching to a stubborn crowd still easily amused and convinced by popular surnames and catchy television ads and campaign jingles.
Nothing has changed. Except for several posters eliminated by the Anti-Epal campaign, the majority of the voting public is still the same, with their penchant for pity parties for the kawawa and naaapi and the unwavering belief that the courage, righteousness and the "defender of the people" image that they see on-screen transcends to real life, even to one's daughter.
Self proclaimed intellectuals were fast to display their self-proclaimed intellect mere minutes following the proclamation of the first leg of the results, including me, I must admit, my initial reaction was to blame all the voters for picking wrongly. But then, is there a right and wrong answer when it comes to a democratic election?
And who should we blame? The uneducated and poor electorate who puts into position inexperienced and incapable "leaders" or these leaders who abuses power and keeps the electorate poor and uneducated?
It's an unending cycle. One that is less likely to break anytime soon. But there is still hope.
As long as there are concerned individuals scouring for inconsistencies and incompetence of those in position, as long as there are bloggers/writers/bayan patrollers voicing out their comments and appeals to the public and as long as there are people posting dirty indelibly-inked fingers and nostrils on Instragram, there is hope. And however sometimes irritating, this I would want to gladly see in the next elections.