It was as a very young woman, living without family and under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, when I became a patriot.
That experience changed my world view and my life, forever.
There, in Davao city, I learned the value and privilege of voting by secret ballot. (There was no free vote, press, or speech under martial law.)
I have lived, collectively, over 10 years outside the USA and while I miss it, and often prefer life overseas, I remain a patriot.
(Even today, I become emotional when I stand alone, pencil in hand, to cast my ballot.)
This means that no matter who is elected today, the next president will be MY president and I will hope and pray that she or he will be the best president for us all.
So vote thoughtfully.
Vote with pride.
And for those of you who have never truly understood that voting is a right and a privilege not enjoyed by all, vote with gratitude.
But by all means, vote.