IN PHOTOS: Elderly arrive early for BSKE 23 election

Nov. 01, 2023

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The elderly are among the early birds in the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on Monday in Davao City, defying their age, health, and heat.

In Santa Ana National High School in Poblacion, vendor Gloria Hurtado, age 86, is the first to cast her vote in clustered precinct 239, as she arrived one hour before the voting started at 7 a.m. Despite her age, Hurtado was able to fill out her ballot in a few minutes with the help of her assistant. She hopes the next officials in her barangay 22-C will devote time to community concerns. “Ang ako lang kanang makabuhat sila og mga programa para sa kalambuan sa amoang baranagay. Mas mapahugtan ang seguridad, kana,” (I hope they can make programs to develop our barangay, and tighten our security) Hurtado said. 

Gloria Hurtado,86, proudly shows her finger with indelible ink indicating that she has already cast her vote for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan election. (Kath Cortez/

At cluster precinct 288 still in Sta. Ana Elementary School, 71-year-old Manuel Illian, a resident of Barangay 27-C, also arrived early and waited patiently in his wheelchair for the Board of Election Inspector to allow him to cast his vote. Assisted by his children, Illian believes that his vote is just as important as anyone else’s and that it is essential to support the candidate of his choice for the betterment of the community. “importante nga makaboto gihapon ko bisan tigulang nako. magpili gyud kinsa ang magdumala sa barangay” (It is important that I cast my vote even if I am old, I want to choose the leaders for my barangay) Illian said. 

Manuel Illian, a 71-year-old resident of Barangay 27-C patiently waits in his wheelchair for his polling precinct to open early morning at Sta. Ana Elementary School. (Kath Cortez/

Though senior citizens arrive early, some have difficulty finding their assigned precincts in some schools. Most of the voters’ list in schools were simply hung in ropes and were already crumpled or scattered on the ground in a matter of hours, which caused problems for voters to locate their names and assigned precincts.

A senior citizen voter is trying to find her designated polling precinct through a file of papers sitting in a Monoblock chair in Cesario Rosario Villa-Abrille Elementary School. (Kath Cortez/

In Cesario Rosario Villa- Abrille Elementary School in Bucana, Mercy Natividad, 61, and her son struggled to find their polling precincts in papers posted in the bulletin inside the school vicinity. Natividad said finding their precinct in the national 2022 election was easier. “Wala gyud. Ginaisa-isa namo na karon ni (mga papel) basin naa akong pangalan pero kana lagi o mga gisi-gisi na,” (Not here. We went through every page to find my name, but look, the paper’s torn) Mercy’s son exclaimed. Natividad managed to find her precinct through the help desk of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) which used the COMELEC precinct finder, but her son did not find his name online.

Adolfo Inacio, 56, did not mind his sweating body as he checked his name on the voter list at Don Francisco Dizon Sr. Elementary School during scorching weather. (Kath Cortez/

Adolfo Inacio, 56, also had to scan every voters’ list outside every classroom in Don Francisco Dizon Sr. Elementary School in Bacaca and he had an hour left before the voting schedule ended. He also asked PPCRV volunteers to help find his name. “Hapit na gyud unta ko muoli na lang kay nagsakit na akong mata pinangita sa akong pangalan kay sa una dire ra man to nga room,” (I almost thought of going home because my eyes are getting sore looking for my name, because I voted in this room the last time) Inacio said, pointing to one of the classrooms. (

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