This is Coppertonic, our svelte Christmas tree at home. This year I decided on orange as the motif to our Christmas decorations. And because many Christmas tree trimmings are metallic, Copper became the dominant color of our Christmas tree, off-set by a bit of silver here and there.
Even our miniature Christmas tree got into it. Here’s a bonus pic. I call him Lil’ Copper.
Christmas is really around the corner, even if we cannot feel the cool weather yet. Blame that on El Nino and on climate change. A few days ago I went to the mall to buy a bit of ornaments for our tree. I have already decided on a color theme. I was looking for ornaments that would fit my theme. While browsing I took a few shots of the trees in the mall. I call this the Katy Perry Christmas Tree because it reminded me of her sugary confection-filled music video.
Yesterday I finally went and submitted my application to reactivate my voting status. Last June I filled out my application online only to realize that I would still need to appear at the nearest COMELEC (Commission on Elections) office to submit said application and to have my image and finger prints captured. The last time my biometrics was captured was back in 2009, when I was still living in Cambodia. Back then the Philippine embassy was a couple of houses down the street where my flat was located so making the trip required no effort at all.
This time, however, the prospect of going to this government agency’s office in my district wasn’t such an attractive idea. The office, after all, is notorious for being dilapidated, dirty, and crowded. A friend who had completed her registration in this office recounted how dirty, hot, and unruly the proceedings were. There was not enough space to sit down and accomplish the forms, the queue was disorderly, and the staff were harried and rude.
So when I learned that COMELEC was holding voter registration in malls, I decided to just do it there. However, I failed to register when the event was held in SM City San Lazaro. As the deadline (end of October) loomed, I grew resigned to the fact that I will really have to venture to their office if I really wanted to participate in next year’s elections.
Then I was pleasantly surprised that another voter registration event was to be held for my district, this time at Lucky Chinatown Mall. This mall was a bit farther from my home than SM City San Lazaro but it’s a much better option for me than going to the COMELEC office.
I arrived at the mall at about 11: 15 AM and I was directed to the fourth floor. The event was in an un-used part of the mall, but they dressed it for the registration by installing glass doors at the entrance, carpet over the concrete floor, and air conditioners that kept the room cool in spite of the increasing number of people. There were also adequate number of chairs for people in the queue to sit and tables for those who were filling out forms. Most commendable past of this set-up was the presence of a security person, who was very polite in answering questions, managing the queues inside and out of the room, and maintaining order.
My process was a bit shorter because I had accomplished the forms online. The election officer only later asked me to fill out a page (out of 3) because the paper they used was much thicker than the paper I used to print the form at home and therefore would last longer in their non-digital files. By 12:30 PM my image and prints were already being captured and I was done.
Whoever thought of holding voter registration at the malls should be commended because it is certainly convenient for us. I suppose it is convenient for COMELEC also because aside from the normal stresses of organizing events outside the office, working in a comfortable environment (like a mall) is less stressful than working in a cramped, humid office.