What makes one worthy of public office? Is it experience? Years of service? The recent interview with actress-turned-politician, and now, senatorial aspirant, Alma Moreno certainly brings up the question, and while elections are still a few months away, it's not a bad idea to start thinking about our choices because the fact is, someone—right or wrong—will be voted into public office come May 2016. It's our job to carefully dissect every breath and every move of a candidate and not be overwhelmed by election paraphernalia, slogans, and promises.

Here are some quick tips to help you cast your vote!

Know thyself
Each candidate is bound to project what they believe is their "niche" in the market. They will come up with slogans and various tactics—both clean and dirty—to try to convince you that what they want and what you aspire for your own interests and for the rest of the country are one and the same.

But before you even touch on that, the process of picking a candidate to vote and champion for begins in knowing what you truly want for this country. Equal opportunities for men, women and the LGBT community? A genuine inclusive growth? Zero corruption?

From that aspiration, you can then begin to branch out and figure out the type of candidate you wish to vote for.

Stands on issues
Since it's election time, candidates are expected to say what they have to to get you to say, "Yes." What better way to know their stand on issues that concern you, your family, the advocacy group you belong to, than to look at their past deeds? How? With only about 160 political families dominating Philippine Congress in the past century, a voter is bound to get the "same names and same faces" come election time. It's difficult, but not entirely impossible for a voter to unearth sufficient information on a candidate's track record, the laws they authored and co-authored, press releases and news interviews, plus telling details from their respective social media accounts. Look for mentions of issues that you feel strongly about.

Integrity
Integrity may sound a big word in the Philippine political scenario; many would be quick to conclude that in the end, walang mapagpipilian and that everyone is corrupt. But in reality, there remain a few who are outside the machinery of a political dynasty and a party in power. If you do your research, you may find yourself walking away from the voting precinct with a big smile on your face, knowing that your vote—which may or may not save the country from its sorry state— did not go to waste.

SCREENCAP: Headstart with Karen Davila

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