For the entire two week period of campaign, most of us candidates, and our campaign managers, stayed at the campaign headquarters where we would retire to at midnight (after long and heated dormitory assemblies), sleep for three hours (or less!), until we wake early enough to prepare and go to school and campaign at the 7 AM classes. That was the routine for two weeks. It’s a welcome treat that I get to sleep longer now that elections are over. I find it weird sometimes that I’m surprised I do not wake up from sleeping on the floor and seeing a co-candidate’s face (or foot!) beside me. I feel weird not having to wear a big nameplate the entire day anymore, or not having to wear black leather shoes all the time. Or going all around the vast Diliman campus to every nook and cranny of every college building to reach out to as many fellow students as possible.
I miss the ice cream store and the pares carinderia near our headquarters that we frequent during training and meeting breaks, or at midnight before we retire to sleep. I miss the rooftop of our headquarters, and the balcony. Even the idle moments, I now suddenly recall with fondness. I know elections are all about issues and not about candidates’ personalities. But for candidates like me, there are such humanizing moments that I now amusingly recall. Behind all the candidates packaging lie much more than the smiles and speeches that students get to see. I wouldn’t call it superficial. Delivering the campaign line and the message has always been done sincerely. But really it becomes a performance sometimes. Energy drinks were a staple. Every single day I had to pretend to be alive even if I truly feel like I’m going to fall asleep the moment I lean on any solid object. It’s that exhausting. An indispensible part of the elections experience for me and my co-candidates are the unguarded and private moments with each other and other party members, much of which the public don’t see, most of which I now fondly miss. I have some video footage of such unguarded moments, but I doubt if my friends will allow me to post them online. In any case, I’m grateful most of us will still get to work with each other in the student council.