The Internet, the Philippines and Internet in the Philippines


By S (

I was a virgin. Last May 11, 1998 was my first time. Like any other young adult, I was brimming with excitement. Finally, I had the power, albeit a small but still significant one nonetheless, to have a hand in the course of one of the most important events in every person's, and nation's, life. I was enthusiasm and youthful idealism personified.

Proof of my being of age was that May Monday. It was a heady experience. It was liberating, exciting, exhilarating, taut, suspenseful, disappointing and everything else. It was all I hoped it would be; it was all that I hoped it would not be.

It marked the beginning of something I'd be doing as long as I breathe. After all, I have turned 21 and it was high time for me to do it. No one was going to stop me, not even the Church or the State.

I had been preparing myself for that day for months. Thinking about it, mulling over my decision to do it and how to do it kept me awake every night before that big day.

I pored over books and newspapers for hours until my fingers were blackened by the printer's ink, until the books were dog-eared and I was in danger of getting tetanus from papercuts on my fingers.

I kept the television on way into the early morning hours, frantically switching from one channel to the next like a madwoman hungry for information as vital as what I was looking for, trying to keep my eyes open as long as I could in the process. Thank goodness for remote controls!

I turned on the radio thousands of times; tried to find those stations that could offer me insights and help me reinforce my decision, until the numbers on the dial ceased to be visible to the untrained human eye. Even the bandwidths surrendered to me and gave me their unconditional servitude.

I devoured every pamphlet, every booklet, every flyer I could get my hands on. I wanted to know all that I needed to know about what was to happen that one particular day in May. I needed to know everything about it; as much as possible because I was going to take a very active part in it.

I talked with my friends about the merits, the faults, even the positive and negative consequences my decision would entail once it was done. It was during those serious hours with my friends, none of the giggling and the usual light-hearted girl talks we often have, that I found out they were going to be doing it too. They were virgins, too, like me.

It was of such great significance that I even discussed it with my parents; arguing and disagreeing, agreeing and assenting with them. It was hard reasoning with my father, having known him all my life to be every bit as strong-headed, strong-willed, and resolute as me, but it was worth it. In the end, the decision to do it and how I was to do it all depended on me.

I did all of this just so I'd do it right the first time. I wanted everything to be perfect. I even timed myself days before the actual date I was supposed to do it. I wanted to know how long it was going to take me to do it because I'd read somewhere that the average person can do it in four minutes if he or she comes prepared.

That period was the most exhausting, mind-stimulating and mind-boggling phase in my life.

Armed to the teeth (it was more of a list, actually) and prepared to undergo it, I got up at around six in the morning that May 11th, full of hopes and anticipation. I would've gotten it over with first thing in the morning if not for my father taking a long time to wake up, have breakfast, shower and get dressed. I would've gone and done it by myself but I guess I believe that a family stays together if they vote together or something along those lines.

There was a pregnant woman behind me, and a couple of voters up front. There was another woman who was due to deliver her baby at two in the afternoon that very same day. It was hot and sweaty and humid. It didn't help at all that the two teachers in charge of checking we weren't flying voters were frequently interrupted by voters who had finished voting and were a step nearer to accomplishing their national responsibility once the indelible ink was visible on the forefinger.

Looking at the two teachers, I thought that they were a poor example of multi-tasking. It only made the wait unbearable, the line longer, the voters more irritable.

When my turn came, I was no longer enthusiastic, I just wanted to get it over and done with. So in four minutes flat, I got done writing and turned in my ballot. I dreaded going to the guy assigned to put the ink on my finger. I had just had my nails done and the ink would surely ruin them. Good thing it was erasable.

I had a rude awakening, that hot day in the voting precinct.

So yeah, that historic day in May, I was a virgin. A virgin voter, that is. Not anymore though. Give me a voter's list anytime and I'll see if I'll be able to come up with the same enthusiasm and excitement as I did last May elections. Can't say I'm eager to go through it the second time six years from now. It'd take more than indelible ink on my forefinger to bring back the old virgin voter that I was weeks ago.

Actually, it'd take a more impressive line-up, none of the brouhaha, and celluloid-free politics to make me feel like a virgin voter all over again.

And now, months after I've cast my vote, I ask myself, "What was it that got me all hyped up?"

It was probably because I thought that one vote from me would make all the difference in the world. I guess I was harboring this insane idea that I could save the country from a fate worse than death by not voting for the one with the tough-guy pose, camera lights and bogus intelligence.

"Virgins," I can't help saying, as I shake my head at my own naivete.

Well, at least I voted wisely. But that's another story.

ISSUE 17 MAY - JUNE 2000
I S S N   0119-7088

Caught in the Net
Assaulted Online
by Angela Giles Klocke

Men, Relationships and the Internet
by Brett Krkosska

The Top Net News In May

Newbie 101
Are You In A Communication Rut Or Are You Getting Your Message Across?
by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta

Web Tips
by Deborah Anderson

How To Sell Your Website or Domain Name For Big Money
by Kevin Nunley

Is Your Domain Name A Trademark Infringement?
by Shelley Lowery

The Importance of Having Your Own Domain Name
by Sumantra Roy

My Blue Room
Alcoholics Anonymous
by Meg R

by S

The Dollar Stretcher
Secrets Save 25% on Groceries
by Gary Foreman

Pay Yourself First
by Gary Foreman

This Month's Secret Assets
Angela Giles Klocke
Colleen Moulding
Deborah Anderson
Kevin Nunley
Shelley Lowery
Sumantra Roy
Meg R
Brett Krkosska
Gary Foreman
Shery Ma Belle Arrieta

We're looking for contributors and section editors. Interested? EMAIL us.

Philippine Guide to Entertainment Your Only Filipino Entertainment Resource

We would appreciate getting your feedback, comments, suggestions or reactions.

Please take a few minutes to SIGN our guestbook. Know what others think by VIEWING our guestbook.

Subscribe to receive every month the W!P newsletter directly to your mailbox. Send us an EMAIL to subscribe.

Article Archives
1998: Oct, Nov, Dec;
1999: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug-Sep, Oct, Nov-Dec
2000: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr


Articles in WIRED! Philippines are copyrighted by the authors.
WIRED! Philippines is a monthly online magazine published and hosted by
Copyright © 2000 All rights reserved.