Who was cool? Who was not? Who just had 14 glorious hours of sleep? And is Lacoste really the preferred clothing brand of presidentiables?
The five leading presidential candidates of the 2022 national elections showed up in their respected voting precincts today to participate in a democratic process that’s the culmination of one exciting, tense, uplifting, sometimes disheartening, other times puzzling, a lot of times funny campaign season.
Mining ABS-CBN’s coverage of the day’s proceedings, here’s a summary of what happened when Manila Mayor Isko Domagoso, Senators Manny Pacquiao and Ping Lacson, former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr, and Vice President Leni Robredo came out to cast their votes.
Isko Moreno Domagoso
It was like a fans’ day at Magat Salamat Elementary school in Tondo, Manila this morning as the outgoing Mayor made his way towards his polling precinct.
The Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer arrived around 11AM looking like his usual freshly scrubbed self—already a political veteran at 47 but still in possession of his youthful looks. He was in a white Lacoste short-sleeved polo shirt and dark denims, his face mask dangling on his chest. He was in his usual jovial mood, flashing his pearly whites and acknowledging supporters greeting him.
He told media he had a good night’s rest the day before—he slept for a good 14 hours, which is likely why he looked so well-rested. He also had a chance to hear mass that morning and say a prayer to Sto. Niño. Asked what he prayed for, he said, “Secret!”
He thanked the volunteers and supporters who stuck it out with him throughout his campaign, and wished for a peaceful and successful elections. “We did our best, let God do the rest. Yung atin namang team sa Aksyon Demokratiko nakabantay naman sa headquarters,” he said.
Inside the polling precinct, Domagoso remained upbeat, fist- and elbow-bumping with the election board and voters and flashing the “two joints” hand sign for the media to capture. It took him about five minutes to finish casting his vote.
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson arrived earlier than expected at Bayan Luma Elementary School in his hometown of Imus, Cavite to cast his vote. He was already seen inside the vicinity of the school before his 7AM ETA. Dressed in a crisp light blue polo, he seemed to be in good spirits while waving to people and shaking the hands of voters. It was a homecoming of sorts for Lacson as it was in Bayan Luma that he finished his grade school education.
A swarm of reporters, bloggers, and supporters greeted him as he made his way towards the queue of his cluster precinct. While he waited, he accommodated questions from the media. He said he and Senator Tito Sotto, his running mate, remain upbeat despite the low percentage they’re getting in the surveys. He told reporters that he relies more on the feedback of his campaign organizers, volunteers, and supporters. “No, I never lost hope,” he said.
Asked if he’s nervous about the election results, the former police chief shook his head. “No. Wala. I’m at peace actually,” he said calmly. “Sabi ko nga e, dalawa lang ang pwedeng puntahan—pwedeng pumunta ka ng Malacañang o umuwi ka ng bahay.” He said he’s served the government for the past 50 years, did what he can and feels fulfilled. “At least for the past 50 years, I have managed to keep my nose clean. Ni minsan hindi ako tumanggap ng suhol.”
Lacson said he won’t be needing any kodigo while voting because he had memorized the names of the people he’s voting for. At 7:08AM, he was already queueing at the vote-counting machine (VCM). Afterwards, he proudly flashed his stained forefinger towards the media, followed by a thumbs-up sign.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
The survey frontrunner cast his vote very early today. He was at the Mariano Marcos Elementary School in Batac, Ilocos Norte as early as 7:15 AM—double masked (or was it triple?), wearing glasses and a white Lacoste shirt with blue and red trims. Marcos Jr. was with his son Sandro who is gunning to represent the province’s 1st district in Congress, as well as nephew Matthew Marcos Manotoc who is aiming to get re-elected as Ilocos Norte governor. There are 434, 114 registered voters in Ilocos Norte, hometown of the presidentiable’s father, former chief executive Ferdinand Marcos.
Inside the classroom, Marcos Jr. sat front row and took less than five minutes to complete his ballot. After a short while, sister Irene Marcos Araneta, wearing the Uniteam campaign color red, sat beside him to fill in her votes as well.
According to ABS-CBN reporter Joyce Balancio, Marcos Jr. did not have a hard time making his way into the school (which is named after his late grandfather). He was smiling and waving to members of media “bagamat kami’y nakadistansya sa kanya dahil meron lang kaming designated area.” Balancio would later tweet that while reporters were able to go near Marcos after he cast his vote, he did not reply to the questions thrown at him. After voting, he went straight to a church in Batac where he met with his mother Imelda before accompanying Sandro to vote in Laoag.
One of the world’s most famous boxers and now presidential aspirant caught the crowd’s attention as soon as he arrived at Kiamba Central Elementary School in Sarangani province past 11AM Monday.
The 43-year-old Senator—the youngest among the presidentiables—looked cool in his printed blue polo shirt, Lacoste khaki jacket, jeans and sunglasses. He smiled (he wasn’t wearing a face mask) and gave a thumbs-up when asked how he’s feeling, occasionally waving to people and raising his fist to those chanting his name.
There was a long line when he arrived so he made his way outside the waiting area and indulged fans and supporters who wanted to have a photo with him. Reporters noted the Senator didn’t have to fall in line because after a few moments, he was already ushered to his assigned polling precinct. He was already sporting a face mask when he began working on his ballot. By 11:54AM, The Pacman was already feeding the all-important sheet to the VCM. This was followed by a quick photo-op with media.
Pacquiao said he only voted for 10 senators. “Sampu lang ang pumasa sa aking qualification na tinitingnan,” he answered when asked why he undervoted. One of the 10, he revealed, is former Olympian and taekwondo champion Monsour del Rosario. “Kasi gusto kong magkaroon ng representative ang sports sa senado.”
Pacquiao said he’s relieved the campaign period is over. Despite the unfavorable survey results, the latest of which ranks him at third place, the presidential aspirant continues to believe he has a fighting chance. “Naniniwala akong mas maraming mahihirap na mga tao kaysa mayayaman,” he said. “Yan ang tinitiyak natin sa kanila—ang majority ng mga mahihirap ay nagkakaisa para ipakita sa mga mayayaman na marami ang naghihirap dito sa ating bansa.”
VP Leni Robredo
Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo waited almost two hours before she got to cast her vote in Carangcang Elementary School, a small public school in Magarao, Camarines Sur. It was in Camarines Sur where she got her biggest chunk of votes back in 2016 when she ran for the second highest office in the land.
Robredo’s followers didn’t miss the chance pointing out how simple and humble she looked in pictures that made the rounds online. She was wearing one of her signature blue Rhett Eala tops, awaiting her turn to enter her precinct just like everyone, never demanding special treatment despite her stature. Memes sprouted just from snaps of her standing and looking at her phone. One has her typing instructions to one of her three daughters about how to cook the day’s “sinaing,” another pointed out the phrase “Line Starts Here” written on the tarp behind her—the meme said it should have read “Leni Starts Here” instead.
After she cast her vote, she agreed to answer a few questions from the media. She said she was happy the campaign is over. “Pumunta ako dito ngayon sa botohan na tahimik, panatag ang ating loob,” she said. Another reason for her calm disposition is because she chose to vote in Magarao, away from the city. “Iba yung buhay sa labas ng lungsod. Mas tahimik, mas nakakapagpahinga.” Her neighbors, she said, have been treating her like family. “Nakakapanibago siya pero masayang nakakapanibago.”
Of the reports that vote-counting machines have been malfunctioning in different precincts in the country, she reminded media that her team have put together a hotline for concerns of this nature, and they have lawyers on standby. “Kailangan lang ma-advice lahat na lahat ng napapansin nila na outside of the norm, kailangan ireport at i-document.” In true Robredo fashion, kailangan may resibo.