This article was first published in Atenews’ 2016 election issue.
We know the cycle. Someone decides to run. Someone else runs. And another. And another. Then an issue about a candidate is brought up. Which will be followed by another candidate’s issue. Followed by another. And another. That’s just how it goes. Politicians know how to play—or at least, ideally, they should. Some games are too entertaining, though, that they only get talked about pathetically. Their games don’t make them look appealing. They only make them desperate.
We can critic any national candidate we want to, for indeed, if their strategies earn them more haters than supporters, how can the Filipino people give them their votes with confidence? It only shows how they (and their campaign managers) implement their plan/s. They only risk their credibility to hold the position they’re running for. However, more than getting our thoughts in the national scene, now that the 2016 Samahan Central Board election is here, we can expect familiar scenarios. The question is, how should we see school politics beyond the national scene today transcending mere personal attacks to be better-looking for competition?
This isn’t about who to vote or who we shouldn’t. It’s about our attitude during the campaign period. How are we different from candidates and supporters who use bad blood to get attention or clear their names? Schools serve as training grounds for us to be better Filipino citizens. Our being students in this university will pass. The real deal is when we are outside. The real deal is when we have already graduated. What do we do to still lead? Will we be contented with a secured life our resume has given us?
We all want good leaders. Those who are not just after good resumes. Those who we see are for genuine servant-leadership. Those whose principles lead them to have advocacies they have passion for. Those who we see are truly for the students and the people. Those who show they want to bridge the gap between the school community and society. Then show it in action. That is, after all, how a leader is.
Many will attempt to judge candidates, but the best to do that will always be those who have seen them lead and serve the best way they know how. Which makes it more complicated since most Ateneans have not worked with all of them to have well-thought out comparisons. The majority can only depend on platforms. Hopefully not for mere familiarity of names.
A teacher once told me that winning an election is not the big deal. It’s about a continued alliance among the candidates who took the risk. Those who lost can always support the winners for their vision to be realized—if ever they really do have. It’s not about names, but the intentions. It’s not about who they are, but what and who they stand for.
“Losing, but supporting—that is true leadership,” he said. I only hope to see that after this election.