Duterte surrounded by crowd and cellphone cams as he arrives to vote at Daniel Aguinaldo High School in Davao (Shot by Dong Plaza, ABS-CBN News)

Waiting for Digong

Crowd waiting for Rodrigo Duterte to cast his vote in Davao City Daniel Aguinaldo High School (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

(Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

DAVAO CITY— The Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School hardly saw a crowd in its grounds like the one that descended outside Precinct 216 on the afternoon of May 9, election day.

It was like a mob waiting for a rock star. Many of them dressed in red and raising fists and cheers at broadcast cameras, people were jockeying alongside media and police for a view.

Precinct 216, a room labeled Aster (after the flower), was one of 14 clustered voting precincts in the school where 90,000 Davaoeños would vote.

As the noontime heat gave way to afternoon shade, fewer voters came to vote in the precinct. Still, the rush of people who wanted to see the precinct’s most famous voter did not end. The rest of the school gradually emptied, except for the area surrounding the bungalow classroom.

Some had arrived since morning, others after they cast their own votes. They were pointing cell phone cameras at the scene, on themselves, or on familiar faces from the national media, hoping their angle would capture the moment they saw him.

Couple waits for Duterte in Davao City precinct before he casts his vote (Shot by Dong Plaza, ABS-CBN News)

(Shot by Dong Plaza, ABS-CBN News)

The people here were waiting for Rodrigo Duterte, the man they believed would be president. And as the minutes of that fateful day passed, it was not just in Davao.

Everyone across the nation awaited him.

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#Halalan2016 starts here

By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan

Live from Comelec Main, Day 1 of COC Filing 
209 days before Halalan 2016

Media flock the Comelec main office on the first day of COC filings for elections 2016 (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

(Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

This week officially begins election season in the Philippines. It’s also the general elections–that time every six years where all posts from councilor to president of the republic are up for grabs.

It’s part-celebration, part-chaos, all-challenge.

The best preview of the atmosphere and the stakes is seen here at the Comelec main office in Intramuros, which opened its doors this week to people filing their certificates of candidacy (COCs) for national posts.

Despite efforts to put a sense of order, the road to 2016 still opened with drum bangs, hyped crowds, unruly shooters and comic cameos.

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