Finally, I was able to cast my vote today at the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah -- that quick as I was able to complete my list only the night before. I couldn't be more excited trooping down to the Consulate to exercise my right to vote, but upon seeing those compatriots camped outside of the Consulate under a scorching sun, that to me was just heart-breaking.
Outside of the Consulate premises, hordes of people huddled under shady spots, most of them holding papers or sort of forms in their hands. Some even struggled to fill out the forms against the wall, noticeably women while ferociously fanning themselves with improvised hard papers. Conspicuously around were Saudi policemen at the entrance, maintaining peace and order as those who wanted to avail of the amnesty have basically occupied the the right side leading to the entrance.
Few days ago I had already written down my voter's number culled from the Consulate website so that I don't need to look like a helpless neophyte with a puny brain to boot while desperately looking for my voter's number in the official list. Due to a few voter's turnout today, I was able to double check my name in the list, in fact I had it photographed as proof :)
What made me excited even more was the manner of voting, understandably I wouldn't be able to write down the names of my candidates, instead I would have to shade them. The fear of my votes not being counted because of botched shading took me 10 minutes to complete my ballot. I think if there was an award for having done a perfect shading, I should get it. :)
As the election personnel slid my ballot down the PCOS machine, I got nervous when it was spewed out, I thought it didn't get validated. Or perhaps the man was more nervous than me as he slid it down the wrong way. Then lo and behold the second time it was validated and confirmed with the machine screaming a big congratulations! Yes, my votes were counted finally!
If you ask me who did I vote? I think that's pretty given :) I voted for God-fearing candidates who could make a difference in the lives of the Filipino people. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord! God bless the Philippines!