The temperature outside my window has officially declared summer to be here. The past weeks have gamely ushered in the gaiety and colors of Philippine fiesta season. Just recently I braved the crowds in my hometown to watch the Panagbenga street and float parade. Something I avoid yearly out of sheer pity for the carrying capacity of my city. But the mood and the exuberance was all it was hyped up to be. The beauty of Baguiio, the commercialism and the floats… well that will be for another article… less exuberant than this.
We have an uncertain year ahead of us. Jobs will be cut, relatives will come home from overseas postings that have ended, costs of education will rise in the new school year and we will be forced to tighten our belts. We may forget these in the weeks of festivities ahead… but perhaps in the midst of these festivities there is a way we could reaffirm our stake in our future…
We are a people of movement. Give us a beat and we will sway, we will bob our heads, we will dance. Give us a stage and we will perform, we will shine… heck we will even build our own stage. Give us a song and we will render it in as many versions as we have islands in this nation of happiness.
Pretty soon, school will be out, young (and not so young) Filipinos will head home to our provinces. For vacation, for summer work, to visit our families, to escape the city for a while, or simply to go home. The festivals will welcome us, the beats will resonate and the cheers and songs will fill the summer air. It is in this exuberance that we hope all young Filipinos bring one message home… We have to register to vote in May 2010.
The COMELEC has cut the registration period to October 31, 2009 from Dec 15. This means students and young working Filipinos will not have another chance to go home to their provinces to register after this summer. Not sem break not Christmas. This is it. This has to be our Festival!
The steps are simple enough… 1) invite your friends, barkada and neighbors from the same voting district. 2) download the 4-page registration form from the COMELEC Blogsite or the official COMELEC site. 3) fill up the forms but do not sign yet or put your thumbmark (you need to do this in front of the Election Officer). 4) Go to your local COMELEC any day from Monday to Saturday and holidays from 8am to 5pm (or to announced satellite mobile registrations in schools and barangays) and submit the forms with a valid ID for validation. 5) Have your photo, fingerprints and signature taken by the data capturing machines (DCMs) 6) get your receipt to claim your voter’s ID 7) HAVE FUN!!!
For those who would want to organize satellite registration centers, registration awareness activities and summer gimmicks to encourage the youth to register, get in touch with us through this site, through YouthVotePhilippines, or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly link you up with other youth groups in your area. Celebrate summer! Celebrate with your kababatas and kababayans! and lets all make this a SUMMER REGISTRATION FESTIVAL to remember.