AT 83, Caridad Andrino still did her duty as a citizen yesterday.
Pearly Ann, the wife of Andrino’s grandson Aljon, said the widow even reminded them to vote.
“Ganahan gyod na siya mobotar (She loves to vote),” she told Sun.Star Cebu. “Wa na siya’y palta-palta og botar (She doesn’t miss an election).”
As early as 6 a.m., the Andrinos arrived at Nailon Elementary School in Bogo City.
“Misayo mi diri aron makasayo pud mig uli (We wanted to vote early so we could go home early),” said Pearly Ann, 21.
Andrino sat on a wooden armchair while the vote counting machine and ballots were prepared by the board of election inspectors inside the precinct that catered to senior citizens.
“Gipagawas man ko. Ganahan na ta ko mobotar (I would have wanted to vote already but I was told to go out),” she said with a smile.
Despite her advanced age, Andrino can still hear and read. Her only struggle is the writing and shading part of the voting process.
“Hinay na akong akong kusog (I’m very weak now),” she said.
The old woman was assisted by Aljon.
When asked about what the elections can bring to her life, she said choosing good leaders is one of the ways she can help the country.
“Sukad pa sa akong pagkabata mobotar nako (I have been voting since I was young),” said Andrino, although she could no longer remember her age when she first voted.
“Sa sunod morag dili na ko kabotar kay tiguwang na man ko (I don’t think I still have the strength to vote in the next elections),” she said.
In Dumanjug, Cebu, two mothers braved the crowd, heat and an hour-long wait to vote in Bitoon Elementary School, hoping that a good leader will make life easier for them.
Jebby Carueva’s mother Elyosi and 48-year-old mother Novelita Torregoza hope the best leaders win.
Torregoza’s husband Rene, 49, had to carry her to the polling place in Bitoon Elementary School yesterday. Torregoza has paralyzed in the lower half of her body for 16 years now.
Elyosi and Torregoza are voters in cluster precinct 17-A and B; and 18-A in Barangay Bitoon.
As a person with disability, Torregoza didn’t have to wait hours in line to vote.
Her husband, a construction worker, lifted her from their motorcycle and carried her to a seat inside the polling precinct.
Board of Election Inspector (BEI) chairman Rowena Walog assisted her in choosing her candidate while Rene waited outside.
Her son Julius Torregoza, 20, is the eldest of her five children. Rene said that after his wife gave birth to their fifth and youngest child, her condition deteriorated until she could no longer walk.
For Elyosi’s case, her son Carcueva waited for her outside as she cast her vote. Elyosi is a weaver of native products.
“Makaayo ni sa among kinabuhi ang pagbotar ni mama kay mopili man ka og tawo nga tarong (Mama’s vote will help us choose a good leader),” Carcueva said.
“Motabang ang tawong tarong sa among kapobre (Good leaders help the poor),” Jebby said.
The youngest of seven siblings, Jebby finished Grade 5 without honors.
“Kay sige man kog absent (because I’m always absent),” he said.
Jebby had to skip school to help her mother produce bags at P7 each and hats a P15 each.
Her mother produces 10 bags and three hats a day.
In Cebu City, Christine JOnes, 88, would have wanted to feed the ballots herseld to the Vote Counting Machine (VCM), but she was not able to di it yesterday because her clustered precintct is at the second floor of Guadalupe Lementary School.
Jones, a senior citizen, wa on her wheelchair, so it woul dnot be easy for her to get to the second floor. Most of the public school buildings in Cebu City don’t have a special feature that will make it easy for persons with disabilities to access the upper floors.
Because of that, Jones just filled out her ballot outside her precinct.
Virginia Poe, board of election inspectors chairperson, allowed Jones to fill out her ballot outside. Poe said that under the policy of the Comelec, such consideration is allowed, as long as she is accompanied by the BEI and the watchers. Poe said that a family member accompanying the senior will be then allowed to feed the ballot to the VMC.
“As long as this will be taken down in the minutes, it’s alright.