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Have you registered yet? Have you checked if you’re still valid? Do you think your voice counts?

As a Filipino, we do have some certain responsibilities that are innate – it is a must. And then there are some responsibilities that are important but we just shrug our shoulders off.

One of these responsibilities that we just shrug off is the responsibility of voting; technically it is a right but, as the world turns, it becomes a responsibility.

As a young lad who grew up in a very political state, I was born knowing how voting works. You vote a person vying for the title who you think is right for said position; that is so simple yet it is intricate. There is lot to be considered in voting.

My experience with voting started with the para-elections during my schooldays; it is where you choose the classroom officers. I remember during that time that the most popular student wins; it’s a battle of popularity. This election told me that if you want to win, you must be the darling of the crowd. Who needs skills of leadership or talents? Being an eye candy is enough.

Fast-forward to my years in high school. I still hold on to the connotation that if you are popular, you’ll have a great chance of winning. With that embedded in my mind, I never participated or buy the title; how will I win if I’m just a wimpy wallflower?

But as I saw first-hand, this so called ‘popular’ who won the election did nothing to make some significant changes to the quality of life we have as high schoolers. They just rely on being pretty, while I’m here being petty.

As my years in high school progressed, I’m more pressed on why we elected this dingus, did we really elect them just because they’re well-known? This has to change. I want to be the change that I want to see in the world.

I started joining buying the title. Can I just say something? I love saying “buying the title” ‘cause aren’t a lot of you just sell your votes to these buyers? Anyways, I had a mission and a goal. I want to practice the skill of leadership. And with this, I leaped into another year with a mind-set that a leader should have a leadership skill.

Now, unto my senior years in the glory days of high school, I became part of some organizations where I tried to showcase my leadership skills. I was outgoing, lively, and bossy. Yes, I thought leadership skills mean that you know how to show your superiority to others but the truth is, it wasn’t. Thinking about it, I do know now why my peers hated me that time. I wasn’t a leader, I was a boss.

It’s my last year in high school and I want to still be the change I want to see in the world, or at least, in school. I became the president of my school’s student government. And this time, I’m not just a leader, I’m a servant-leader. I did still command for things to happen, but not in a way that I sit on the throne watching them work while I crack my whip when something goes wrong. I was with them. True leadership is being the lowest, who carries the whole team.

This is not to glamourize my name of any sort. This is my experience that taught me how to vote. I will not vote because they are popular, pretty but do not have substance. I will not vote a bossy leader, we are not slaves. I will vote for a true servant-leader, where they prioritize us before themselves. I will vote for a leader with capacity, and not a puppet. And I’m not an apologist.

But well, who am I to judge? I’m just a simple boy, using my voice to raise awareness that reciprocates as rants and raves. – NWI