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Voters dismiss fiesta-like campaigning barangay polls as ineffective, annoying

It’s October. People clad in vibrant colors of green, yellow and orange while wearing festival masks fill the streets, dancing to the merry tunes of a marching band. 

Behind them are throngs of people in political party colors holding liturgical banner-like posters of not saints but ordinary citizens. Dancing. Cheering. Partying.

Around them, streamers and banners beaming with portraits outline buildings, houses, and at times, electric posts and lines. 

Tricycles and motorcycles equipped with speakers boom and blare parodies of hit Original Pilipino Music songs and original campaign jingles.

No, it’s not the Masskara nor Ati-Atihan festivities --- it is the campaign season for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections or BSKE. 

This festive mood of these campaigns, a first for BSKE since the COVID-19 pandemic and after three postponements dating back to 2018, is not sitting well with some voters.

Voters lamented that the "new" fiesta style of campaigning by candidates, which involves marching bands and parades, is just "pure noise” and “hassle.”

“Actually, hindi siya [effective]. Lalo na kapag nakaiistorbo siya ng tulog. More of nakaiinis talaga kasi ang unfair din lalo na doon sa mga tao na nagwo-work-from-home, nagko-call center sa bahay,” said 22-year-old Czarina Macamus, who lives in Brgy. Doña Aurora, Quezon City.

“So, nakabubulabog siya para doon sa mga tao na nagtatrabaho o nagpapahinga lang sa hapon o in-e-enjoy iyong pahinga nila during weekends,” Macamus added.

College lecturer Angeline Pangilinan shares the same sentiment as Macamus. Pangilinan, who teaches at a university in Intramuros, Manila, revealed that she had to mute her microphone in one of her online classes last week since the “campaign bands” can be heard in her online class.

“And it took some time before I could unmute and resume our discussions,” says Pangilinan, who resides in Pasay City.

Mary Rodriguez, a resident of Pandacan, Manila, said the parades organized by the candidates caused unnecessary traffic on already congested roads. She emphasized that it complicated things for workers like her to go to and from her workplace in Makati City.

“Bakit kasi isasabay iyong campaign