By Maila Laude

From May 9, 2016 Election Day

The C-Cimpel volunteers of the Redemptorist Parish were composed of young and mature, active parishioners from the different chapels. Months before election all volunteers were given series of training and awareness of tasks and responsibilities being Filipino citizens. We were also made aware of traditional politics, good governance and some reflections on the moral fiber of the Filipino people. In response to the challenge for a good governance we always take the lead to do the job of voters’ awareness to the different chapels.

During election proceedings, volunteers shared the tasks as support group for logistics, voter’s assistance for location of precinct and rooms, pool watchers for voter’s proceedings and coordinators to keep the job going.

We arrived early at our assigned school, the Barangay Camputhaw Elementary School. We occupied the area for Voter’s Assitance Center (VAC) in front the entrance gate of the school. Beside us is the place for the government personnel’s, the Comelec, the Tanods and the Police. They were deployed earlier than us to assure peace and order. And as one the coordinators I had to go around the precincts to check the needs of the watchers and to coordinate with the proceedings.

As early as 7 in the morning the school was already filled with people. Everybody wanted to vote early, but most of the precincts were not ready yet. I went around and saw volunteers working together amidst heat, congestion, noise and disorder and some complaints; good I had with me a copy of the floor plan secured by Flora, one of the parish staff, so I was able to help few voters.

At almost 10 in the morning I went down to the VAC area. The place was already very crowded with people asking for help. The government assistance area next to us were just relaxed because majority of the voters were at our place needing help. Then I saw a voter complaining and very angry to the staff of the VAC. Upon seeing him shouting at one of the staff I immediately approached him and asked in a low and assuring voice “Unsay problema sir?” Then he told me that he wanted his senior citizen mother to vote but the mother could not go up to the assigned precinct due to congestion.  He requested for the ballot box to be brought down because according to him it was already approved by the Comelec. I told him,”Sir we are from the C-Cimpel and PPCRB. You may go directly to the person in charge at the next table”. Realizing he was wrong he calmed down and said, “Ahh Dili diay kamo”. I immediately extended my hand to offer a gesture of friendship. We shake hands and before I left he apologized.

There was joy in my heart for I was able to pacify one’s anger. I remember that anytime and anywhere God needs us to be his ambassadors of peace. God has blessed me with that experience. In fact, I could have missed that experience because at first I was reluctant to join as a pool watcher weeks before election due to health reasons. I even told the organizers that I was already 63 and I might not be able to do the task; but when I finally said ‘yes’ God poured in me his blessings of strength. But I am not the only who was blessed. All those who were there working hard also received God’s tremendous blessings in various ways. There was an overflow of active sharing and assistance. A commendable act of voluntarism. God bless us all!

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