Level Up

FEU Advocate
May 09, 2016 18:00

By Bea Kirstein T. Manalaysay
Editor-in-Chief (2016-2017)

As you check out your screen, you read the following set of words appear right next to a glowing question mark, ‘Quest I: Find a leader that will unite the people to the path of change.’

What a sweet thing to look forward to, young adventurer! You are now equipped with a handy beginner’s kit to not just survive, but find convenience in the first steps of your adventure. Added in your inventory are scrolls containing the history of each of the candidates for this coming elections, including their stands on various issues, and even the attitudes they have presented thus far. Your index finger is squeaky clean, ready to accept that drop of indelible ink, just like your thumb which is also prepared to imprint its unique mark. You have also completed the tutorial on the mechanics of how to vote for your supported leader, which firstly includes that you must attain the status of being a registered voter. You have not just learned, but mastered the skill of shading the circle beside your candidate’s name. You have also obtained an artifact called Voter’s Identification Card (I.D.), by completing the mini-quest called ‘Biometrics.’ Indeed you are now ready to embark on this quest!

While I could say that I myself am equipped for this same adventure, though I have my own views, I am the type not to be that open and involved when it comes to politics. Especially now. This era of the elections just shows how there is more access to everyone’s insights compared to the previous years of showing support through assemblies and campaign apparels. Somehow, anyone can be a political analyst now as long as he/she manages to form his/her own opinion on the government or on the candidates and manage to share it to a lot of people.

If I were to be asked, I seem to find it ironic that the ‘quest on finding a leader that can unite us to the path of change,’ is the quest that actually divides us. While we have one aim of completing this quest, we are actually dealing with it individually like it is some kind of personal fulfillment rather than a social responsibility. While we exercise our right to vote, I think we should not forget that having a right equates to gaining responsibility.

I suppose people would agree with me when I say that I am quite fed up with all these political posts on my feed. I never saw it as a drag to scroll down my feed and read whatever is in it, however the vast amount of posts related to this coming elections just made me remember that aftertaste of what used to be my favorite snack (which I now hate). As I mentioned a paragraph ago, anyone can just become a political analyst like it is some kind of unlockable character – just equip yourself with a social media account, some good grammar, and well strong words that can persuade people to believe you. Oh, do not forget to make this post really, really lengthy.

While I must commend that at least people now are given more sources to strengthen or change their stands, I think they are also losing themselves in the process of placing their bets on their favored candidates. We are totally forgetting the essence of the elections - to elect the rightful persons to fill the positions. However, right now, people are more inclined on labeling themselves according to who they support. Somehow, even intellect has been a subject dependent on who you would vote for – which makes it really disappointing.

As much as I value that this election and the social media have ignited the flame for people to speak up, and stop the trend of apathy, I believe one way or another that this has turned a lot of us into lifeless non-playable characters (NPCs) rather than active and dynamic heroes. Some just abide by the system like blind followers, when as the people who wish for change, we should be the ones who should strongly change. We should not keep up with the trend, that whoever you vote for defines who you are. Instead we should focus on our reasoning on why we would vote a candidate. We should know that this is the time to level up our standards; achievement unlocked – a better Philippines!

But the thing is at the end of the day, you realize that you are not staring at a computer screen but the future of this country. No, a wrong vote will not be equal to a failed quest that you can redo the next time. No, a wrong vote will not bring you back to a save point. In fact there is no save point in reality. Once the game says it’s “Game Over,” you can always repeat it from the beginning. But once the Philippines spells these words, there is no guarantee that the ‘good ending’ will be unlocked.

What you have now is the power to change how this country will be in the next years. And as you go back to the title of your main quest, you notice that this is just the first, for the adventure will not end just because you succeed in choosing who to vote for. This is only the beginning, and there is more to come than just voting. But if there is one thing that you and I should be minding? It is that this game is not for only you and I to play – it is a responsibility for everyone to take.

We may not be in a role-playing game, but we really should know the gravity of the roles we play. Stop being an NPC and level up at beamanalaysay@yahoo.com.ph