i did it! i have never missed exercising my right to suffrage ever since the day i turned 18, when i voted for the 1997 barangay elections. i personally believe that aside from this being a right, it is also a duty–to one’s country and family because voting spells that kind of future that we want and deserve through the way citizens vote. and so, i again braved the outside summer heat and dust as i fell in line to cast my ballot at the first automated elections in the philippines. i patiently waited for my turn as the queue progressed on. compared to those in the news who had to wait for hours and hours on end, my whole time at the voting precint took about an hour at the most. there was a lot of bickering about the inefficient system, no lines for senior citizens, and a gamut of complaints, which was to be expected. i ignored them all, instead i tried to fan myself like crazy to dispel the atrocious heat. i didn’t go inside the designated waiting area, instead just stood at the hallway of the classroom where i was enlisted in, and awaited the time my number would be called. that was it actually. i knew who to vote for, except for the locals for which i asked for my parents’ advice so i had an easy time shading the appropriate blocks. i knew my choice for president was for naught. he was far, far behind them all. but of all, i believed he was the right choice. and though it would not matter, my conscience told me otherwise.