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The color game | Inquirer Opinion

The perya of my childhood as soon as stood on a vacant lot of overgrown weeds and grazing chickens. No fairground journey runs in it—no rollercoaster, no carousel or Ferris wheel—however, as quickly as nightfall falls, this patchwork of painted plywood, lumber, and iron sheets turns into the brightest and liveliest place on the town. The blaring stereos make it the loudest too. My late grandfather, who lived simply throughout the road from the perya, at all times grumbled in regards to the noise. However what Lolo Oscar took as noise was really a rousing summon to me. As soon as I heard the bingo caller on the microphone, I knew even from a block away that it was the perya inviting me to play. In a single minute, I might be on the betting desk, together with the opposite youngsters, ready for Tiya Dulce, the banker, to flip open the colour sport board and begin rolling the cube.

The perya was the place I believed getting wealthy was simple so long as I had some cash in my pocket and a handful of luck (of which, I used to be blessed with solely the dimensions of a pinkie). There, I discovered that the colour sport was similar to another sport of likelihood the place shedding was at all times half of the gamble. That’s why I stored returning to the perya nightly simply to show the opposite half: profitable. I made certain to save lots of a portion of my every day allowance, so I might enhance my bets. Typically, I might search the home for free change, say, by the TV stand, on high of the fridge, and, if I’m actually determined, I even rummage in our silong for some dropped cash.

Enjoying the colour sport was easy. On the betting desk, there have been six colours: inexperienced, purple, blue, pink, white, and yellow. Three cube decide my probabilities. If my coloration seems on any of the cube, I win. But when I lose, I’d depart the perya with all my saved cash stacked up in Tiya Dulce’s cash basket. Nonetheless, my misfortune doesn’t finish there simply but as a result of a couple of whippings have been nonetheless ready for me at dwelling. The one-minute dash it took me to go to the honest felt like a tedious stroll again to our home as I agonized about whether or not it’s the rattan stick or the leather-based belt that’s hiding behind the door able to hit me. I at all times hoped it was the rattan stick although. It stings, sure, but it surely doesn’t bruise as a lot because the belt. And oh, the buckle. You’ll by no means actually know you’ve been on the perya far too lengthy till you get a whip of that silvery buckle in your again.

I can now chuckle fascinated about these numerous lashes I endured for coming dwelling late from the perya as a baby. However simply once I thought I’ve already outgrown the gaming behavior; a brand new model of the colour sport has made me suppose in any other case.

I’m speaking in regards to the Philippine elections. On this electoral coloration sport, each participant solely will get one likelihood. That one likelihood for me, nevertheless, was now misplaced. Why? My voter registration was deactivated. “You can’t vote this coming Could 9, 2022 elections,” the Comelec precinct finder mentioned, which apparently made me a default loser. And as I slowly accepted shedding my solely vote this 12 months out of supposed ignorance, a sudden thought hit me: Do common voters really get an opportunity at profitable this sort of electoral coloration sport then?

What the voters typically fails to acknowledge is that taking probabilities on a candidate’s phantasm of progress is the true gamble they’re betting on, not the political coloration. However irrespective of how irrelevant it’s and seemingly divisive to the voting inhabitants, Filipinos stay invested on this coloration branding scheme that politicians do. When politicians play the colour sport, we all know it’s severe enterprise as a result of massive cash is on the desk. We’re speaking crisp, bundled cash by the hundreds of thousands, not simply any of these crumpled paper payments that some drunk males on the perya toss onto the betting desk. From marketing campaign advertisements to bribes, it’s clear who makes the best stakes within the electoral coloration sport. It’s clear who’s prepared to take the favorable half of the gamble and twist the foundations. However profitable, for the good majority of Filipino energetic voters—myself excluded—doesn’t occur on the day when all of the ballots are counted and the profitable candidate is formally introduced.

Six years. That’s how lengthy a time period ought to take for nationwide officers to show their guarantees to be true. And that’s precisely how lengthy we watch for the true results of the Could 2022 elections. That’s, whether or not or not Filipinos had genuinely gained. We knew from earlier administrations that profitable doesn’t imply we get the prize we deserve, or what we have been instructed we deserve. As an alternative, we obtained to pay the worth anticipated of us via greater taxes and far greater hopes unmet.

As soon as this election is over, the secret is again to survival once more. If we win, we make a dwelling. If not, we’d lose extra lives. So make a guess.

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Christele Jao Amoyan, 27, misses the enjoyable of the previous perya, besides that one time she obtained bitten by a rooster tied beneath the betting desk. She walked dwelling early that day with a wounded leg.

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