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I am Anthony Gaupo, your Vice-president for External Affairs

This is my first time to be part of a political party in student council and I really didn’t know anything about the goings around election campaign. And for the two days we have spent on, so many challenges are hindering our way. However, I am not feeling hopeless about it. Instead, it only made me feel keener to show students that Bagong Benilde Party deserves victory!

The group was campaigning in Angelo King International Center (AKIC) campus to market ourselves to HRIM students when a professor stopped us from exiting the classroom to tell something. Since that was the first time it happened for how many classrooms we’ve been through, I felt, and maybe my other mates, anxious to its highest extent. she said, “Narinig ko na yan!” That is the exact phrase she started on. She continue telling her experience when she was still a student while campaigns were on during her times. In short, she was telling the bad image of student council.

I understand why she told that to us. Kahit sinong pulitikong magsasalita sa harap ng mga tao, ang iisipin e ‘meron yang bahid pulitika’. At ang bahid na yun ay hindi maganda! Everyone knows the kind of politics we have mapa-national man yan o local o kahit pang university lang. Iisa lang ang tingin ng mga tao– na lahat ng kumakandidato ay puros salita lamang!

Even we claim that we are not politicians, I know not everyone will agree that we are statesmen. Kaya I was really challenged on how will I win the votes of my fellow Benildean. I asked myself kung ano ba ang kaya kong ipakita sa kanila that will somehow help me and my party with this campaign. Ayaw kong umasa na lang sa mga kasama ko. I know I’m not physically charming, not appealing, forgettable, and can easily be ignored. I am not degrading myself nor discouraging my own hope. But the fact is, the easiest way to get their attention is through appearance. However, I know there are still more other ways to show them that I deserve the position. More than material things, greater things can be seen inside! And what I always told my friends, it is my passion that drove me to walk this path.

My goal is to be a role model to my fellow students. My goal is to achieve the true objective of student council because over anything else, my goal is to contribute in bringing back the good name of student council with the help of my Bagong Benilde family.

Dirty Politics? (that I do not know!)

I thought that was the only challenging part of election campaigns. Hindi pala! Ang akala kong nangyayari lang sa mga presidentiables, senators, congressmen, mayors, etc. ay nangyayari rin pala kahit sa student council! Kung may mga complaints at political propaganda ang mga national and local candidates, ngayon nalalaman ko nang uso rin pala yan kahit sa mga estudyante pa lang! I really wonder if they were influenced by our nation’s politics or ‘unfair’ politics really started during adolescence.

my tweets to two of my friends.

The party received letter of complaints from the competing party. It was handed to us by the Commission on Election commissioner. Attached there are the three violation of rules the competing party effortly made against us. First was the violation of involvement of one Bagong Benilde Officer in student organizations. Second was the alleged early campaign of Bagong Benilde when we had our second general assembly. This General Assembly is composed of Bagong Benilde Party Members ONLY! Wala kaming hinilang tao para sapilitang sumama sa aming meeting. Kung sino man ang nag-imbita sa kabilang partido yan ang hindi malinaw sa amin. Third was the alleged early campaign I did using my twitter account. I supposed it was not campaign. I just told my FRIENDS to SUPPORT Bagong Benilde not VOTE for us! I believe those are two different terms! [ Humihingi ako ng sorry sa mga pangalang nadawit sa isyu na ‘to! :( ]

The question is, are they really monitoring our actions and movements? Even my personal twitter account alam nila. But I do not care! Because if I focus myself thinking about them, I may lose the time of thinking about us!

Here’s the funny thing. When we were having our general assembly, the few competing party members are outside the classroom where we were having our meeting. When I went out to go to men’s room, when I opened the door I saw one of them looking at us from the door’s glass slit. Natawa na lang ako kasi she is one of the executives of that party. HIndi lang yan, nasundan pa yan ng isa. When we were having our prayer for a peaceful election at the LRC lobby, she was also there standing not far from us.

And then I ask myself, ganito ba ang isang student leader na pinili ng Benildean community? I’m really sorry for the question. That was just the first interrogative that popped up from my mind. Then suddenly I felt sorry. Parang gusto ko siyang lapitan at tanungin kung bakit niya ginagawa yun in the very polite way I can. Being a leader you should know how to be professional. Being a leader you should know how to act like a leader. From that day, sorry for this, bumaba talaga ang tingin ko sa kanya. However from that same day, naramdaman ko rin na dapat ko pang pag-igihin ang pangangampanya para maipakita sa kanila na hindi mali ang ang pagpapakita ng suporta sa amin.

Hindi namin gusto ng away. All we wanted is to have a peaceful and friendly student council election. As a peace advocate, I should initiate peaceful doings! And I assure myself that I am doing it first within myself. Kaya kahit na anong complaints ang ibato sa amin, hindi ko yun tinatapatan ng kahit na anong complaint laban sa kanila. In fact, I do not have any idea about their campaign strategy because I have never focus my eyes to them.

To my Bagong Benilde family, let us not be discouraged and lose hope sa kung ano man ang ibato nila sa atin. Hindi mahalaga kung anuman ang sinasabi nila laban sa atin. Hindi mahalaga kung sino ang may ayaw sa atin. Dahil alam kong lahat tayo ay pursigidong manalo para sa pagbabago. Sana hanggang sa huli, manalo man o matalo, buo pa rin tayo! Nasa posisyon man tayo o wala, sana ipagpatuloy natin anuman ang nasimulan na natin. We know our mission, therefore we must know where to lead our way.

Whatever happens, I believe we deserve greater things. That is why claiming for the position and for the power is not our goal, but bring back the genuine servant leadership in student council of my school. As a Benildean, I should practice the Six Benildean core values this institution wanted us to comprise– Professional competence, Socially responsible, sense of nationhood, Creative, Appreciation of ones unique identity and Deeply-rooted in faith– because a Benildean student knows his identity guided with this Six Benildean Core Values and the LaSallian Guiding Principles.

May the Lord be with us always as we lead our way to this parade of change. Godbless Bagong Benilde!

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