Campaign on the high gear

The recently concluded Campaign 2010 trade exposition last October 21 to 22, 2009 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City was a glimpse of a unique trade fair that focuses on the needs of every aspiring politician who would seek public office.

Infomercials, posters, streamers, radio and television hosting are just a reminder that election season had already begun.

Huge banners and colorful balloons greeted every visitor to the expo site. With over 150 stalls of different companies vying to catch the attention. Every stall had their own gimmick from giving free candies, ball pens, stickers, key chains, memo pad, mugs, calendar, button pins to colorful leaflets. These are the traditional giveaways during campaign sorties.

COMELEC booth

The daily paid seminar series sponsored by COMELEC were jam-packed with people. There were different topics from elections rules and regulations to basic election protocols in which if properly observed and enforced by the election officers would mean that a lot of politicians would surely be disqualified in the upcoming election.

People who trooped to the expo site wear political colors, Some wear blazing red color reminiscent of Marcos regime, Some wear yellow color with Ninoy and Cory embroidered on their t-shirt, some wear collared shirts with the map of tricolors of Philippine flag while a handful of students wore orange colored t-shirts.

According to Mr. Reynaldo Reyes the event manager of ICE, Inc..“ What makes this event unique, is that is the first automated election to be conducted in the country’s electoral history ”. People are fascinated to know and learn on the rudiments on the upcoming elections.  Unlike before, people are left out of the limelight.   COMELEC exhibit booth with their representatives was there to explain the queries of the public.  A sample of a counting machine was also displayed by SMARTMATIC Company in order for the public to see and even scrutinized.

COMELEC gave away pamphlets on basic election rules and guidelines to the visitors.

Samahang Kartunista ng Pilipinas gallery exhibit

Galleries of political figures drawn by some of the country’s top cartoonist were on display. Their display adds humor to the political satire and climate of the country.

Philippine Free Press with their gallery of political personalities which included late Presidents Ferdinand Marcos, Corazon Cojuangco Aquino , Manuel Quezon among other famous personalities.  Serious magazine collectors consider some of the covers as collectibles.

The exhibit booth were a memorabilia corner where supporters from different age and ethnic groups converge and served as a photo opportunities for their die-hard supporters.

Other media partners included Manila Bulletin and Studio 23 “ Y Speak” sponsored a forum in which youth representatives from different political parties were given a chance to debate on which aspiring candidates

Aside from traditional campaign paraphernalia’s, there were also companies that provides high tech campaign services like sms, software, websites, on-line surveys, data management, geographical information system (election bulwarks) and even mock election results. With election going high tech, selling these kinds of services is keeping up phase with the trend.

Today, about 60 million Filipinos subscribe to a mobile-phone service. Software allowing communication with cell-phone users are also now available, Tan points out, making the ubiquitous mobile the closest one could get to a killer campaign tool.

Still, it’s not the only high-tech device being employed in the current campaign. The decidedly younger voters are making sure the new technologies of their generation are spicing it up, and that means going beyond a popular hand-held gizmo. Indeed, in recent years, the benefits of technology have managed to turn the political exercise less of a throwback from the first-ever held local polls in the country more than a century ago, resulting in campaigns that have become more and more wired.

The Internet age has even encouraged online campaigning not just by candidates but also by individuals and organizations wishing to contribute to voter awareness and education. Bloggers, forumers , networking sites among others….

But innovative ways does not come cheap. Some software packages runs from hundred of thousands of pesos to even millions of pesos!!!

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