Competing without Combat

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BY THIS TIME, while everyone is perking up for a lounging Sunday, it can’t be helped that today should be just like past Sundays when life is at its leisurely bonding best, when getting out of the day-to-day grind had to give way for routines earmarked for days like Sundays, when life had to take a weekend reprieve like no other.

Homes are astir at the drop of the barest hint. The young ones are immersed contentedly on their chosen gadgets, actually toy stuff when playthings were just that, mostly stuffed ones. As for the once young, they scurry about in measured laggardly steps towards their usual pondersome locations.

As for the masters of the house, he and she just mill around amid the routinary turmoil, exchanging nifty glances each time a voice, usually from the kids, would rise a notch up.

Those were Sundays of old. But not today.

Beginning today, all roads are leading into far-flung communities, far because these are situated away from the nerve center of life, the so-called business and government center where community services are planned, re-planned, funded, and dispersed to where roads today will lead to.

Today happens to be the third day when the local competitions for elective posts are now legally allowed, subject to regulations that are often breached than obeyed. Today happens to be a better day for community elders are sought out, asked for advice even for once, given all proferred attention even for once. This is local politics in full swing, all the way to the grassroots if only to showcase in full battle regalia heartfelt attention and fullly spirited endearment.

It is the time for competitions to blossom, decidedly in these parts of the community, where the battle is usually intense. In days of old, local politics is deadlier matter. Fatalities rise up as temper and tantrums erupt. Everything flows freely — food, liquor, entertainment galore in sorties like no other.

Today may not be an exception, despite the so many Do’s and Don’ts that have become the hallmarks of confusion, all because of the pandemic that seems to refuse being beaten.

Those competing with each other may well take serious note, especially since an emerging variant, the Deltacron, has become a V of interest. Covid may just be lurking here and there, ready to leap into waiting host bodies.

At the same time, political violence is better be restricted to the verbal, more than the physical. Let the force of language be the norm. Let the language of force be eschewed.

Right in our own midst, the local campaign season may not be at its fullest force, given the lack of sheer audacity that had been heard resonating through the social media networks. But take stock just the same, for those raring to give local politics the ol’ battle cry.

Can’t we be competitors without being combatants? Can we just be rivals for coveted choices, without having to wish the foulest of the other? Can’t we just be contenders, while maintaining conviviality to each other?

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This is where incumbent Benjie may have taken the initiative to call for a clean campaign amid the smoldering hostilities erupting in socmed sites. Already, he has invited fellow aspirants to actively conduct their respective campaigns in gentlemanly fashion.

“Baguio politics has always been done in true gentlemanly conduct, more verbal than physical, just a friendly joust among rivals who happen to compete for the voters’ support. Let’s keep it that way,” he appealed, stressing that after the political season, the contenders remain convivial to each other!”