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Emmie Joaquin      Philippine election - May the people's will prevail

Less than one month from now, the Philippines will have a newly elected president. At this time, we can only speculate and wish that whoever takes over the presidency will provide the country and its people new hope and inspiration.

I had voted a few times when I was still in the Philippines. My parents instilled in me a sense of civic duty and I did not want to waste it. I remember the first time I voted. We lived in Kalookan City and during those early years, Election Day was like a fiesta. Campaign teams were all over the streets distributing pamphlets and election promotional give-aways like pens, t-shirts, bags and more. There were jeepneys on the streets with loudspeakers reminding people to go out and vote, playing music loud enough to wake up and annoy anyone who may be taking his afternoon siesta. It was a fun day. As the hours passed, the fiesta atmosphere faded with the setting sun.  The precincts closed and the manual counting began.