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Mike, miles away, reminds me I haven't posted anything new here. I said I've been preoccupied. It's not that I haven't written anything, but most of what I write these days land in my journals, which end up inside the baul Nanay had commissioned to be built for me. The trunk, which doubles as a coffee table in the living room, is made of old mahogany. Nobody suspects that it houses my journals, laptops, and paperwork. People in the house complain that my things land everywhere. I have a general idea of the  geographical location of where, say, I left my bottle of ink, or my copy of a Michael Chabon novel. It becomes problematic if people attempt to clean them up for me. My geolocation then fails. The solution: create a single space where I can dump my things, out of everybody's sight. The baul is the perfect solution.

What else have I been up to? 

Yesterday, I saw my students in the flesh for the first time. We met for their in-person long exam for biochemistry. The transition from virtual meetings to face-to-face was seamless. I was glad to meet them. I hope they did well in the test. 

A few days ago, I attended my first political rally. My clinic staff, all dressed in pink, waited for me to finish seeing my patients so we could go together to Rizal Park, where the Vice President was speaking. The afternoon was stifling, but people from Koronadal and neighboring towns gathered under the shade of the trees and tents. It was not the biggest crowd, but it was sizeable, given that there was no local government support. There were many young people, many of them first time voters. I met some elementary and high school classmates there. I would later read about my friends' experiences of joining her rallies all over the country, often volunteering as medics.

Democracy is fragile; we could lose it if we do not actively participate in it. Nanay would have wanted to go with me, if not for the heat, which leaves her skin burnt. She had become extremely photosensitive after the treatments she had received many years ago. 

I did not receive any remuneration for my participation. I even paid for my own printed t-shirt, which the doctors from city had designed and printed. On my way back to the clinic, I saw two old women in pink t-shirts and flip flops hail a tricycle to take them home. Bayaran? Likely not. They came out of their own love for God and country.

In this election, the choice for the best candidate for the job is clear—she who has an impeccable track record, honorable personal and family life, excellent mind, generous spirit, and compassionate heart. She who shows up when it's most needed. And so it baffles me how so many people can choose the alternative.  

I pray Leni wins! 


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