Hala! Halalan Na!

Are you an overseas absentee voter? If, like me, you reside outside the Philippines and are registered as an overseas absentee voter, then by now you must have received by mail the ballots and instructions on casting your vote. Voting of all registered overseas absentee voters commences on April 14, 2007 and will end at 3:00pm (Philippine time) on May 14, 2007. You may elect 12 Senators and a Party-List Organization/Sector. The Certified List of Official Candidates and Party-List Organizations may be viewed here.

If you live in Tsukuba or somewhere near Ibaraki, you may be interested to know that there will be a “Kapihan” event entitled, “Hala! Halalan Na!” to be held this coming April 22. Please read on below for further details.

A distinguished panel of speakers is expected to discuss significant election-related issues during the community forum dubbed “Hala! Halalan na!” (Kapihan sa Tsukuba), which will be held on April 22 (Sunday), 1:30 p.m. at Friends International Mart, Amakubo, Tsukuba.

Leading the list of speakers is political scientist and former activist Dr. Nathan Quimpo of the University of Tsukuba. His talk will revolve around “Elitismo, Showbiz at Partidong Pulitikal sa Pilipinas.” Two top diplomats from the Philippine Embassy in Japan will also discuss the absentee voting mechanism and other related topics. Consuls Gerardo E. Tamayo and Felipe F. Cariño III have confirmed their attendance to the said forum.

To provide an OFW perspective to the discussion, Tonton Hernandez, a leader of Filipino migrant workers in the Ibaraki area, will speak on “Ang Kahulugan ng Halalan para sa mga Migrante.” Socorro (Yuko) Takei, spokesperson of the Philippine Women’s League of Japan, co-chairperson of the Coalition of Enlightened Filipinos in Japan and convenor of the UP Alumni Association – Japan chapter, will talk about election-related cheating and electoral anomalies.

A mock election for senators and party-list groups is also being considered. The discussion forum, which aims to heighten the awareness of Japan-based Filipinos on the significance of the May 2007 polls, will be moderated by Benigno Tutor, Jr. of Uninetwork Inc. and Philippines Today Online.

The Kapihan is being organized by the Association of Filipino Scholars in Tsukuba (FAST) led by Benjamin San Jose in cooperation with Philippines Today Online and Uninetwork Inc. The event’s main sponsor, ABS-CBN, will provide promotional t-shirts and caps to the participants.

An access map to the venue is shown below.

Don’t miss this event! And most of all, VOTE WISELY. Don’t waste that vote. :)

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23 Responses to Hala! Halalan Na!

  1. julie says:

    Are you going to vote? I have somehow given up on having a government run by sincere and honest people. My husband and I vote every election. I am not sure about him but I vote because I do not want any other person beside me, voting under my name. Aw, you know how it is here, madaming gimik. So sad. Tsk.

  2. annamanila says:

    If expats like you are going to absentee-vote, this Philippine-based Pinay should to, ano? Oh well, I guess, we shouldn’t lose hope. This country can still get out of the pits .. somehow. Ay naku. Talkinig about this depresses me.

  3. vic says:

    If I’m not mistaken here, absentee voters can only vote for senators (party list) and not for their local leaders and house representatives in a sense not be able to exercise completely their suffrage. But then with synchronize election and so many posts instead of just one representative for every district like in a a parliamentary system, and the number of voters out of the country it will be too complicated to let everyone vote just like being home.

  4. herb says:

    yeah i dont want my vote taken over by a “flying voter.”

  5. verns says:

    what will happen to people na never pa nakaboto eversince? Binabaril sa Luneta? una siguro ako sa listahan ng babarilin hehe

  6. Zherwin says:

    sabi nga sa isang election awareness plug ng gma 7: ang isa kong boto.

    we should all vote, period. no matter how bad governance had become, we should never let this right to suffrage left unpracticed, eto boses natin. hala, labas na, bumoto! :)

  7. Wil says:

    i had no idea nathan quimpo teaches there in japan. last i heard, he was a post doc in australia. i’ve read some of his articles including one about renaming the Philippines since he thinks the country’s current name is a colonial name. anyway, would love to vote but i haven’t taken advantage of becoming a dual citizen just yet.

  8. kathy says:

    Oh yes, I’m making sure that this time I won’t miss sending my vote. But honestly, I haven’t given much thought to the election until this Kapihan event to be held right here in Tsukuba.

    I guess in some way we are fortunate to be away from all the hype during the campaign period and somehow see things from a different perspective. Ok yang bumoboto kayo Julie – exercise that right! :)

  9. kathy says:

    Oh Anna, I know exactly what you mean! I feel like banging my head on the wall everytime I hear of an actor/actress running for position. But then again, like what one of my friends is fond of saying, “For evil to succeed it is enough that good men do nothing.” You’re right, we shouldn’t lose hope, so let’s try to do our part while we can. :)

  10. kathy says:

    You’re right, Vic. Actually I’m happy to be given even just the opportunity to vote for the leaders at the national level. I could imagine how chaotic it would be if OAV would even include those for local positions. And obviously, expats like us who have been away from the Phils. for a long time would have difficulty discerning whom to vote for.

  11. kathy says:

    Hmm, mukhang madali ngang madenggoy ng flying voter yung OAV votes ano. But oh well, I guess once we send the ballots it’s entirely out of our hands.

  12. kathy says:

    Wow, you’ve never voted even once? Ako I remember the first time I voted was way back in 1992. Ooops, give-away agad na more than 18 years old na ako noon hehe.

    Akala ko yung binabaril sa Luneta ay mga martir? 😛

  13. kathy says:

    Amen to that! :) Actually non di ko pa feel magregister, but my hubby persuaded me. Pinoy ako! May karapatan akong bumoto. :)

    Isa ring paraan na maspread namin itong election awareness dito sa Kapihan sa Tsukuba. I’m sure maraming mga kababayan natin ang mabibigyan ng mas malalim na pananaw ng proseso ng OAV.

  14. kathy says:

    Wil, Prof. Quimpo is currently teaching at the University of Tsukuba. He just came last year actually. Oh if you’re interested, we’re going to post podcasts of the event. Stay tuned. :)

    Dual citizen? Hmm, I don’t get it. You mean you’re not a Filipino citizen anymore?

  15. vic says:

    By the old law of the Philippines, we automatically lost our Citizenship as soon as we took up another citizenship. And it took only 3 years of continuous residency in Canada as landed immigrant to become one. Canada in the other hand has only one class of citizenship and the only way to loss it is to renounce, or if for gross misrepresentation (fraudulent) in the process of acquiring.

    To regain our Philippines Citizenship, we have to again swear the oath or allegiance and many here in Canada just refused to do it because we didn’t not give it up in the first place and if our Canada would allow us to have multiple citizenship without prejudicing our Canadian Citizenship, we believe it is just unfair for any country to treat us differently…

  16. ann says:

    hi, kathy! wow! tuwa naman ako na you’re still going to vote kahit di maganda takbo ng government at economy ng pilipinas. ako kasi i haven’t given it much thought this time. parang ayoko na bumoto coz same people lang din naman ang mga kumakandidato.

  17. Wil says:

    Like Vic says, Philippines didn’t allow dual citizenships then, so when I became a US citizen, my Philippine citizenship became void. Since the Philippines now allows dual citizenship, I can re-apply to get back my Philippine citizenship. My mom took advantage of this and she has both US and Philippine citizenship. Me, I still just have the US citizenship.

  18. kathy says:

    Vic and Wil – thanks for the explanation! I didn’t know that dual citizenship was a relatively recent change in Philippine law. :)

    Vic – now I see why Canada is “friendly” to immigrants. I mean, you can be a citizen after three years! Wow! Here in Japan, one can usually obtain a permanent resident status after about 10 years, 5 years if you are married to a Japanese. I’ve heard of some Pinoys who became naturalized Japanese citizens. I’m not familiar with the process, obviously.

  19. kathy says:

    Hi ann, thanks for dropping by! :)
    I’d be honest with you – I’m not yet decided about which candidates to vote for, but anyway, I still have ample time to think this over. Kahit naman siguro pare-pareho minsan yung tumatakbo, kahit papano merong nasisingit na kandidato na karapatdapat. Ano tingin mo? :)

  20. snglguy says:

    Ah basta, huwag mong iboto ang mga artista! Hehehe 😀

    Seriously Kathy, the votes of the OFWs are as important. I believe they have the power to swing votes towards a certain candidate, kaya some politicians go out of their way to go abroad in the guise of work and campaign among the Pinoy expatriates…

  21. sexy mom says:

    i told my kids that i will not vote this time–i have given up! but seeing your enthusiasm, i think i should reconsider. besides, it will not be a good example to my kids if i do not exercise my privilege to suffrage. if i still feel that it will be useless to vote, maybe just the same i will go to the polls, and cross out my ballot.

  22. mitsuru says:

    we should exercise our right to suffrage always.

    wala tayung karapatan humusga o tumuligsa sa mga nahalal/inihalal na opisyales at sa gobyerno kung sa simula’t simula pa lang ay di naman tayo parte ng halalan at proseso ng pagkaka luklok ng mga ito.:)

  23. kathy says:

    lol snglguy
    Vote for them? Not in this lifetime! 😛

    OAV has truly empowered Filipino OFWs and expats all over the world – it gives us a chance to participate in one of the most crucial processes in nation building.

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