On RJ Aquino’s Campaign
Moments before the results of the #vanelxn were released, COPE’s campaign headquarters was buzzing with excitement and anticipation. We were proud of our campaign efforts and I was optimistic that they would be rewarded. When the first wave of polling results were released - and RJ Aquino and the other COPE candidates weren’t in the top 10 – the room was winded. Crowding together to see the results being refreshed on the main screen, I heard one diehard dispair, “Oh my God, oh my God” as it looked like COPE wouldn’t have a single seat on council.
As the polling stations slowly (and cruelly) released their results, it became more concrete that RJ would not be elected. The initial buzz was wearing off and we became quiet, reflective, and accepting.
But, gathering together near the back, Team RJ Aquino was in good spirits. I found it similar to dying from hypothermia – immediately before the end, you hallucinate and begin to think it’s incredibly hot so you take off all your clothes. I’m not saying that we were out of our minds, but looking around at each other, we were all smiles. My support of RJ Aquino at the onset was due to shared passions and goals to build the Filipino community in Vancouver. While the symbolic step that we wanted wasn’t realized, our goal most definitely was.
I genuinely believed that Vancouver would be well served by someone like RJ Aquino on council – days after the loss, I still believe that. Thank you to all of my friends and family who listened to me and supported me in supporting RJ. Our first foray into politics was a memorable one, and while we didn’t take the step that we had hoped for, the Filipino community most definitely did take a step forward. Next time, we will be back, we will be better prepared, and we will take another step. Congrats to RJ and the rest of our team for a memorable campaign, a solid fist step, and the start of something good!