Preface by Ana de Villa Singson

Responses Collated by the Trustees of the AAA Board and the AAA Website Committee

Cloud diagram generated by Gladys Santiago – Zafra through Mentimeter

In the run-up to this year’s presidential and national elections, we asked fellow alumnae, their friends and family to list the 5 top characteristics our next Philippine president should have.  The Mentimeter app then generated a diagram which showed the concentration of responses.  The characteristics which were listed the most often are found in the center and with larger fonts.  In this chart, respondents exhibit a strong preference for a President who is HONEST, COMPETENT, WITH INTEGRITY.  Honorable mentions are COMPASSIONATE, GOD-FEARING, of GOOD MORAL CHARACTER, HARDWORKING and INSPIRATIONAL.

With elections just around the corner, we may want to reflect on whom among the nominees have the characteristics that will lead our country and our children and their children to a brighter, kinder, more hopeful future.  The characteristics we look for in our President and all our future leaders may differ.  They are as varied as the different perspectives, beliefs that we all hold.  We pray only that we vote with discernment; that before we vote, we list down the characteristics we are looking for and then measure the nominees against the personal standards and benchmarks that each of us hold.  Election is our most direct and potent way of participating in our country’s growth and every single vote counts.  When you cast your vote on May 9, cast it for yourself, your family, your relatives, your friends and for the multitude who do not have a voice.  They need you to raise your voice so that through you, they too can be heard.

As the nation treks to the polls on May 9, we pray that the mandate of the people is made manifest and respected; that violence is abated and no blood is spilled, especially in the Southernmost parts of the country where violence and strife have characterized past elections.  We pray that the winners stay true to their campaign promises and lead as servant leaders, not serving for self-exaltation but for exaltation of those who need livelihood towards a dignified, peaceful life.  We pray that the losers accept the people’s mandate with grace and continue to serve, unmindful of titles or nomenclature.  We pray too for our citizenry, that they value their vote beyond pressing short term needs, the “padrino culture”, the system of vested interests that can cloud judgement and true nationhood.

In PPCRV, the Comelec’s accredited volunteer citizens arm, where I guarded the vote for almost two decades, we prayed for CHAMP elections:  Clean, Honest, Accountable, Meaningful, Peaceful Elections. 

To CHAMP elections on May 9! And to CHAMPion voters too!

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