ANHS Freshies Go to the Polls

Today we held elections for freshman representatives at school. In intramural politics, there are six duly elected representatives for each year level as well as seven national-level officers. The sophomore, junior and senior representatives and the national officers were elected last February, towards the end of the previous school year. Being a COMELEC representative, I was in the heat of the action.

2

The COMELEC seized the recently constructed Supreme Student Government (SSG) office and converted it to Elections HQ.

1

COMELEC officials hard at verk. Or so we think…

3Meanwhile, outside, the underlings make merry at the receiving table. The dude with the cap, in the right half of the picture, is in charge of accepting election returns and ballots from COMELEC representatives who in turn are entrusted with the task of conducting elections.

4COMELEC members momentarily disregard their responsibilities to pose for a photo. To the left of the guy with the cap is our commissioner whom I will refer to as “F” from here on in.

5Other COMELEC representatives crowding over whatever’s being displayed on that cellphone screen. Is it a racy photo of a schoolmate? A videotaped performance from a recent school singing contest? Text messages from an unknown person to Commissioner F?

6Here’s a short walkthrough on the responsibilities of the COMELEC representative. After conducting elections in the section to which he is assigned, the COMELEC representative will take the ballots, ballot box and official election returns to Elections HQ. Seen above, a COMELEC member affixing her signature to an election return.

7COMELEC officer Ms. A dutifully finishes filling out an election return.

2aThe sample ballots (which are confiscated before ballots are handed out) like the ones pictured above, and unused ballots are removed from the ballot box, leaving only the used ballots inside.

8Miss MJ, the big, formidable woman pictured above, then takes the ballot box and election returns…

IMG_0044-r40…and gives them to the bigwigs waiting beyond this sign, who will add the results reflected in the election returns to the Grand Tally.

17After conducting elections in a room of 60 students, a COMELEC representative is bound to want a bite to eat. And what better snack is there to enjoy than the chicken dog of unknown provenance! Its name makes it sound like something manufactured by a gray-haired wacko scientist in a top secret government facility than anything else, but no matter. Php5.00 for five pieces! They’re cheap, they’re delicious, buy them now!

12Since we’ve finished conducting elections for the first half of the day and have nothing better to do, let’s take pictures! Seen here is Miss KZ, the COMELEC’s undisputed muse, striking a pose.

13Commissioner F is threatened—err, tightly protected—by Ms KZ and MJ, our sergeants-at-arms.

14Commissioner F and Miss K sneak up to Mr A, the Commission’s heartthrob, for a photo op. Mr A was feeling tired from conducting elections but genially acquiesced to his loyal fans’ request.

15JCDM hasn’t enjoyed Mr. A’s amount of success with the ladies, but he has his share of admirers, too. Commissioner F and Miss K walk up to an already smiling JCDM to have their photo taken with him.

16Meanwhile, I sit in the sidelines, content with the somewhat aromantic life I lead. Siyempre naman I don’t miss out on any photo ops, noh. When I’m not taking pictures, I’m posing for them. Shown above, me with Miss A and Miss K.

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That afternoon, a disturbance of the peace! A big, shiny red tank enters the school premises.

19One can safely infer from the siren, hose and black-and-neon jacket that this is one of the city’s fire trucks. We are instructed to imagine an earthquake when its sirens start blaring.

20*weeeeeee wooooooo* Nakngtokwa, earthquake! COMELEC operations grind to a halt, pertinent papers are secured in HQ, and representatives duck for cover.

22OK, the coast is clear. COMELEC officials move to safer ground, hands over their heads. The ground is never too wobbly for a photo op.

24Students from adjacent buildings move to evacuation area. Someone—presumably a fanatic of Counter Strike or some other warfare computer game—screams “soldier down, soldier down!’

23This looks more like a massive raid than an earthquake drill.

Eventually, the drill ended and students hurriedly retreated back to their classrooms. The official results of the elections were revealed shortly thereafter.

25Sino kaya nanalo? Landslide na naman ba? and similar questions pervaded the otherwise unremarkable revealing of results.

26Screw the results, let’s take more pictures! From left to right, Commissioner M, Miss A, Mr. N, Miss KZ, Mr. JC, Mr. L, Miss M and Miss K.

27Mamaya na ang results, mamaya na yang recount, pikshur muna! Miss A, Miss K, Miss M, Miss KZ, and Mr. K.

***

The following are the Official Results of the Agusan National High School Freshman Elections for School Year 2009-2010. A three-vote gap between Binongo and Rosales forced a recount. Original numbers (before recount) are indicated in parantheses next to final numbers (after the recount). Names of winners are underlined. Political party is indicated in parentheses.

  • Bernales, Kristine (LEAD) – 932
  • Binongo, Glyssa (SURE) – 863 (846)
  • Borres, Rodnie (LEAD) – 531
  • Calo, Sebastian (SURE) – 950
  • Diolata, Cheyenne (LEAD) – 618
  • Dominguez, Judy Ann (SURE) – 1, 211
  • España, Lino (LEAD) – 825
  • Gamboa, Kim (LEAD) – 1,028
  • Maban II, Jimmy (SURE) – 668
  • Maglajos, Jorome (SURE) – 855
  • Rosales, Jul (LEAD) – 840 (849)
  • Zaballero, Rommelyn (SURE) – 721

***

For years now, SURE Party has been the dominant political party in the school. At one point, all but two positions in the SSG were occupied by SURE members.

The domination of SURE in fact began with my batch. When I and my former partymates ran under the banner of SURE (it was called STAG back then, actually) as freshmen, we were the minority, the underdogs. But when we surprised everyone with a landslide 7-0 victory over the ruling majority, we brought about the winds of change.

The most recent elections’ results may not be as lopsided as when I was a freshman, but they are just as telling. SURE’s preponderance may have been glorious, but it may also be short-lived. The party leaders need to prepare heavily for the February national elections if they want to keep their power (or at least some of it) so that they at least leave the school and the party intact.

Still, no matter how hard they try, the opposing party will still sooner or later rise back to the top and take their turn in the carousel of supremacy. SURE will become the minority and lead the majority; everything old will be new again. That’s just how politics works. How soon that will happen is uncertain, but if the freshman election results are any indication, we won’t have to wait much longer.

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