Some were there at dawn: Our voter’s registration experience

Do not be afraid! As a Filipino citizen, you are entitled to vote’

As the voter’s registration resumed on October 11 and extended to the 30th, here are some voter’s registration stories showing how people care about and feel they have so much at stake in the 2022 national elections.

Kyle Reiner Pineda, 20 years old, University of Asia and the Pacific

The voter’s registration experience was smoother than I expected. Heard that they improved the system this year and more with their newly integrated app. It took only 30 minutes, from going to the office, photocopying documents, and doing the biometrics, plus the staff was very accommodating!

Pro tips: 

1. Call your COMELEC office beforehand to check the needed documents, office hours, and other details you need to know! Some offices have a cutoff since the system closes at 4PM* exactly nationwide so they sometimes accept applicants only until 3:30. 

2. Go in the morning! You are never sure the offices will be full for that day so they can accommodate your application!

3. Keep your receipt and follow-up if you are an active voter by emailing them. This is just to make sure your name is encoded in their system and you won’t have problems come Election Day.

Gianna Therese C. Zafra, 20 years old. University of Asia and the Pacific

I registered in-person or onsite in the Municipality of Nasugbu in Batangas. Because I registered in the province, the process was smooth and the line was not too long. Overall, it was convenient for me and my family to register.

Any tips you can give to those who are planning to?

  1. Do not be afraid! As a Filipino citizen, you are entitled to vote and no one except yourself can deprive you of that right.
  2. Be prepared! If you will be registering in-person or onsite like me, have a pen and alcohol with you to avoid contracting COVID-19.
  3. Bring the requirements so that you do not encounter any problems while registering

Don’t have the mindset that you will just waste your time waiting in line because 5-8 hours of waiting in line is nothing, compared to 6 years of suffering.

Angelica Marie Campos, 21 years old, University of Asia & the Pacific

Registering as a voter was fairly simple! I researched beforehand the necessary documents I needed to bring and the schedule. I registered at Ayala Malls SouthPark and honestly it was pretty fast. Since I went in the morning, there weren’t many people. All I needed to do was fill up a form, and go through all the steps necessary.

Some tips I can give:

  1. Bring a pen! 
  2. Go early so that there’s less people 
  3. Encourage your friends to register also!!

Elian Medina, 20, Ateneo de Manila University

My voter’s registration was a lot better than I was expecting! The whole process took less than 30 minutes and there weren’t a whole lot of people. The places to go were numbered with steps so it was pretty straightforward with what to do and it didn’t really feel like a hassle. 

I’d say the main thing would be to go there early in the morning. I got there around 8 a.m. and there were few to no people so we were the first people to enter the building so everything turned out smoothly.

Justin Andre L. Avendaño, 20, Stevens Institute of Technology (USA)

My experience was pretty bad but fast. I went with the “rehistro” registration option, but the counter said it was wrong and I had to repeat all the steps again. I was wondering why and it’s because the file that “rehistro” gave had 1 flaw—the bottom of the page. After that though everything was pretty fast. It was very disorganized in the COMELEC office I went to, but the improvement shows compared to previous years.

Pro tips:

  1. Double-check your documents
  2. Check with friends who have done it to see if everything is exactly the same or you’ll end up like me. 
  3. Depending on the branch, don’t be afraid to ask what to do next. Even if there’s chaos, they’re very nice and considerate and will direct you to where you need to be.

Javi Del Mundo, 20, Ateneo De Manila University

 My own voter’s registration experience was great! I registered with my younger brother. We called in ahead of time to make sure that we had all the documents we needed. We then filled up the online voter registration form, and went to our local registration location. We got there by 8 a.m. and were in and out within 40 minutes. 


  1. Call ahead if you are ever unsure about anything, especially with your IDs. 
  2. Make sure you’re there the second they open, that way you skip any potential line, and get to finish registering asap. 
  3. Now is always the best time to register, because the closer it gets to election season, the more likely there will be a long line to register.

Registering means getting a chance to decide for your future. Your voice, especially the youth’s, deserve to be heard! Vote wisely mga mars!

Luis Licas, 17, San Beda Alabang Senior High School

I registered in Parañaque and was a walk-in applicant, for there’s no online Comelec registration for my district. They told me to come back the next day because the 100 slots were full that day. Just be early.

I recommend to fill up all the forms and bring all the necessary requirements listed in the Comelec website before going to the Comelec office to speed up the process.

Casey Merritt, 18, Angeles City Science High School

I had booked my biometrics appointment long ago, but by then the slots weren’t available until late July. I decided to do a walk-in visit instead to get registered as soon as I could. That meant long waiting lines in the heat but thankfully I had a fan and a book to pass the time. Once inside the office, the process went fairly simple. I had my photo taken and had to register my fingerprints, then I got to choose a precinct of my preference.

 For those planning to register, whether you’ve booked an appointment in advance or decide to walk in like me, you need to clear your schedule for at least half a day, bring a fan, an umbrella, and water (optional: something to work on or to read while waiting). Registering means getting a chance to decide for your future. Your voice, especially the youth’s, deserve to be heard! Vote wisely mga mars!

The view of the line at around 4 am Photo by Michael Librea

Mike Espiritu,18, De La Salle University

I had to go back to the city hall twice because a COMELEC official told me to go home, since the queue was already too long, and they had a cut-off time. I came back few days after my first try. I woke up at 4 a.m. and arrived at the City Hall around 5 a.m., fortunately there were fewer people waiting in line since I was early and after 5 hours of waiting I am now a registered voter. To those who are about to register I suggest that you go to your designated COMELEC office early, so that you will be in the front of the line, also don’t have the mindset that you will just waste your time waiting in line because 5-8 hours of waiting in line is nothing, compared to 6 years of suffering.

Fox Gaite, 18, San Beda Alabang Senior High School

I set up my alarm at 3 a.m. just in case I wake up late. I left the house at 3:40 a.m. but had to wait 15 minutes in the guardhouse of my village since there’s still a curfew up to 4 a.m. I arrived at SM BF at 4:05 a.m. and there was already a long queue for both cars and walk-ins. I was very lucky since I barely made it before the cut-off. At around 5 a.m., we were moved and seated at the parking level and they were handing out stabs; I got 490th.

There was lots of waiting before I was actually able to enter SM BF by 11 a.m. After checking of application forms which took less than 10 minutes, I waited and queued again inside SM Cinemas for biometric scanning which took another three hours of waiting. I was fully done and finished by 4 p.m. Even though the process was very tedious and tiring, it was all worth it as a teenager who fully realizes the responsibilities of a citizen of the Philippines.

Try talking to the people waiting in line with you! It’s interesting to see other people’s perspectives on the upcoming elections.

Cyrus Vilar, 18, University of Santo Tomas

I registered as a voter in the closest SM Mall, SM BF. We arrived at 5 a.m. and finished by 4:30 p.m. The long process made registration time-consuming and exhausting. Of course, it was worthwhile because the value of exercising your suffrage rights is immeasurable, and every vote has the power to change our country.

The only advice I have for those planning to register is to arrive as early as possible and to register with someone so that you can take turns buying food or have someone to protect your belongings when you go to the restroom.

Alen Gonzales, 21, Ateneo de Manila University

To be honest it wasn’t too bad! People were super nice and we all waited in line for our turn. Process was really straightforward. Well to be fair, the process could’ve been super hectic and stressful and I still would’ve enjoyed it because I can’t wait to vote for the right leaders come 2022.

Don’t forget to bring a pen and a water jug! Chances are you’ll be waiting for a long time. Better bring a book to read or better yet print out your modules cause the registration process will take a while. Lastly, try talking to the people waiting in line with you! It’s interesting to see other people’s perspectives on the upcoming elections.

Adlai Sayson, 18, FEU Alabang Senior High School

I just wished it had some sort of an online reservation to make it easier for the general public.

If you are planning to vote, be ready that your patience will be tested, because i was in the mall from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and I haven’t slept since 8 p.m. the previous night.

Alex Quirante, 17, San Beda Alabang Senior High School

My registration experience was fair. The officials are very organized and the security knows how to control the crowd. However, we should have more satellite registration offices so more citizens around the district may have the chance to register as well.

My tips for those who are about to register is to fill up the forms at home and arrive at the location as early as possible. 

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