An expats view of the Philippines polling station for the election

Im not normally in the Philippines at this time of year as I would head back to the UK for work until the UK winter hits but this year my wife is already 4 months pregnant and we are developing businesses here so it was more important to stay home. As well as the fact the UK recession has clipped my wings a little. So this morning we got up early or should I say I got up around 4-5am and then woke my wife April up at around 5.30am after going out and taking the dog for a walk. Jovie Aprils sister grabbed a ride on route as we headed down to a nearby school in our Jeepy. Upon arriving at 7am I was surprised at how quiet everyone was, I am so used to people constantly talking or loud music and traffic with so many people here it was more of a respected quiet as people entered the school gates to give their votes.

April and Jovie headed inside while I waited outside in the Jeepy the main reason I stayed outside was a respect thing as although I am here in the Philippines I am still an outsider and this was peoples one day in the next 5 years where they have a say in their countries political and historical future. As I sat there I noticed some of the political machines doing what the do best in things like pooling voters to the voting station with “free rides” as well as the various candidates coloured T-Shirts worn by different groups. You would have a group of 5 or 6 people arrive with an orange shirt quickly followed by some green shirts from another political faction. All in all it was peaceful although the reason some “watch dogs” were there was down to a simple fact that they don’t trust each other in the murky waters of politics and they were simply watching each other incase people will try and rig some votes. All in all though a peaceful local election but there has been some real horror stories arriving throughout the day from other areas of the Philippines, everything from paying people to not vote to ambushes and killings.