By By Pablo A. Tariman
DAY OF RECKONING
posted 12-May-2019  ·  
315 views  ·   0 comments  ·  
The columnist with his grand children in Balacay Point. This election will decide the future of our loved ones in the island.

When the islanders go to the polls on Monday (May 13), it will be a day of reckoning for the local officials and the island electorate.

The campaign period allowed us to see the credentials of the candidates and how they conducted themselves in the campaign trail and in social media.

The social media can be a tricky indicator but they allowed us to see what the candidates stand for and what they have done in the past.

When the election jingles stopped being played along the island thoroughfares, you finally enjoy moments of quiet and reflect your possible choices.

It’s true the island is a small place and almost everybody know each other. What you missed in the campaign paraphernalia you will see in real life and see the candidates as human being and fellow islander. It’s true you can’t please everybody and it is also true you will see your share of supporters and bashers. They make the elections interesting and yes, it is also a time to see if those promises are for real or just one of those election scenarios.

They say that in the end, many things can decide the result of any local election.

When you are done with looking at political advertisements and done with attending those campaign rallies, you need to know what your obligations are to the province of your birth and to the island of your affection.

Catanduanes is the 12th largest island in the country and its natural resources and homegrown attractions make it truly distinct from other island provinces. Truth to tell, it has nothing to fear from the tourist attractions of Batanes and Palawan.

If you have left the island for many years and come back years later, you will realize you were born in a virtual paradise.

But as they say, paradise has its temptations and sadly, the most disagreeable things have started happening to the island of your birth.

Out of the blue, the island hit the national headlines as one of the many with shabu laboratories.

You are also in for a shock when the anti-drug campaign yields thousands of mostly young islanders who were promised rehabilitation. Our only one local paper regularly reports of shabu peddlers caught making good business in several discreet outlets.

And to make things more alarming, fishermen of Baras and Panganiban (and probably other towns as well) report floating cocaines which you thought can only happen in Boracay or Siargao or Olongapo.

When drugs are peddled on land and water as easily as that, then you realize the island is at the mercy of those out to destroy it.

In one of my outreach concerts in the island, the cultural event was hit by not just one but three brownouts. That the concert ended well with everyone enjoying the show was a major consolation.

This coming election is the chance of the islanders to address the pressing problems facing the province.

If you want certain problems addressed with competent leadership, you need leaders you can trust.

These are things islanders can reflect on as they study the backgrounds of the candidates.

To be sure, there are many pressing problems facing the island.

The subject that one dreads to discuss in public is that some election practices point to that sector that believes money can buy you anything. Yes, including precious votes    You hear of candidates who like to boast they can figure in every election with enough cash that can tilt elections results in favor of the moneyed ones.

One can only voice this.

This is the only province we’ve got and if your attachment to the island is for real, you have to make a stand in the coming elections.

The quality of leaders you elect also determines the quality of the future you will want for your children and grandchildren.

The so called “cash flow” on the eve of elections can only do so much.

In the end, who you will elect on May 13 will determine how this island will fare in the next many years to come.

But for someone who has lived seven decades in and out of the island, you can only look back to that time when everything about the place was idyllic and smells of paradise.

Like what the island poet Jose A. Tablizo has written in the distant past --

   

There are many things we do not have

A few things we do have.

We have no hustling, wide, cement boulevards

With glittering streetlights; no sinful women

on the boulevard under the street lights,

We have no traffic jams, no ticket fixers,

We have lazy narrow roads and lazier streams

We have devastating typhoons and generous seas

For what we do not have, we are proud:

For what we do have we are humble.


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