Beat the Political Heat this Summer 2016

Ice Cream on a Summer Day

The summer of 2016 in the Philippines will be extra hot. For several months now, most of the country grew bone dry from El Nino. Rain has been evading us for a little too long. (However it has been raining consistently in Lanao del Sur for two weeks already. Alhamdulillah! Did you know that last month all the aleems in Marawi congregated in JMM to pray for rain?) In some parts of the Philippines, the heat index goes as high as more than 40 decrees Celsius. Even Baguio experiences elevated temperatures. Not only is it hot under the sun, everyone's head is hot as well as the Elections grow nearer. I have read of Facebook statuses of some friends claiming to have been unfriended or to have unfriended some in their friends list due to differences in political affiliations.

Here are my recommendations for staying cool this summer:

1. Unfollow social media accounts and pages where trolls abound

There are many popular accounts wherein the comments section of the posts are literally battle zones for keyboard warriors of different politicos. Some of them regularly post black propaganda against your favorite candidate. Fighting with the trolls is pointless, because like you, they are already adamant on who they are supporting. You'll be wasting your time replying to them.

2. Don't unfriend, unfollow instead, your annoying friends

We all have that friend who is a die-hard supporter of a certain undeserving candidate. Yung alam nang kurap, yung alam nang drug lord, yung alam nang killer, iboboto pa rin niya. Nakaka-P.I.! Perhaps you are totally judging your friend for being an idiot, but remember, that friend of yours can actually be really a good person if you remove the political inclination from the equation. After May 9, when the dust settles, you wouldn't want to have a significantly diminished friends list after. If they become too annoying, click unfollow, they won't find out you unfollowed them unlike when you unfriend them. Thus, you get to dodge their stupid posts. Win!

3. Read news only from unbiased networks

Nothing is more nakaka-highblood than reading a malicious news article about certain candidates especially when it's coming from a network that clearly supports another candidate. Simple retaliation: don't patronize them. Don't watch their shows, don't visit their sites, and don't share their posts on social media. Ignore them. The less you pay attention to them, the weaker they grow. Their power is in the number of their audience. Without you, they have one less customer. Patronize news organizations that are more credible.

4. Take a break from Facebook and Twitter

There are days when Facebook and Twitter becomes a primary source of stress. The moment you scan the feed of both social networking sites, you can't help but get bombarded by mudslinging, name-calling, and black propaganda. If you can't live without oversharing online, thus the need for Facebook and Twitter, how about you try to lurk in Instagram and Snapchat? I guarantee, in IG, no one puts up a profile picture that states which presidential candidate they are betting on.

5. Focus on relevant issues and platforms

As a citizen of this country, you should not neglect your right and obligation to vote. Despite the efforts to not make this summer cooler despite the mainit na eleksyon, you will still have to face the fact that you will vote, therefore you will not completely avoid the whole election circus. Just don't make patol on merely paninira. Right now, so many scandalous allegations have been trown to popular candidates. It's bound to get worse as May 9 approaches. They will hang each other's dirty laundry in public. However, do not lose focus. Remember who the candidates were prior to elections. Remember what they have done while in service. Track record, track record, track record. Platforms, platforms, platforms.

And with that, I bid everyone the best of luck this May 9. I pray to Allah SWT that we will all be safe from violence on that day. I pray that the elections be clean and honest. I pray that everyone, the candidates and their supporters especially, will uphold the law.

May the Filipino people win this time!