But It Keeps On Lingering...

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Perry Castro, the occasion's busiest planner, made a hustling signal to a group of pretty young girls to gather on the center stage. They were dressed in uniformed gowns. A fun, innocent Polca frock accented by a carnation brooch belt with a variety of colors: white/navy, lilac, red and pink. They wore the same white handcrafted closed toe shoes and as they arranged themselves forming a circle with one at the center, they bowed their heads and the lights were slowly fading out until only a beam highlighted the focus of everyone's attention.

Everybody rose from their seat and the hotel's orchestra started to play the music background while the girls sang the prayer for the invocation. Their angelic voices swathed the entire ballroom in silent contemplation.

Little Chelsea was at the center of the circle made her solo piece. Like her dear cousin Dane, she had an astounding talent. She captured the hearts of her listeners as the cluster resonated the last three words of the song then the little girls gracefully found their exit.

The lights were on again and Dane moved towards the stage looking so amazed and feeling sanctified at the same time. Her audience, mostly consisted of familiar faces that expressed a tremendous amount of joy and excitement.

Dane's decision to fly over to Portland and be the guest host of that special celebration made her realize that her life was not merely to entertain people she didn't even know and make a fortune out of it but most importantly, to make her beloved family smile because of her presence.

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Successful Turnout

The first ever fully automated political exercise in the country
held last 11 August 2008 has marked a historic event in the Philippines. COMELEC said that 60% of the 1.5 million voters in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao or ARMM were evidently motivated to elect new leaders by using the electronic voting machines making it a milestone in the country's electoral reform program.

Although there were still irregularities like the usual things such as vote-buying, the ARMM election was generally peaceful and orderly and voters considered it as more convenient and easy to use than manual voting.

Digital Recording Electronic (DRE) machines were used in Maguindanao where voters simply pressed the images of their preferred candidates on a computer screen. While in some provinces, Optical Mark Reader (OMR) counting machines were used to quickly determine the results of the election.

The two mentioned technologies were provided by Smartmatic-Sahi Technology, Inc. and Avante International Technology, Inc. respectively.

Commission on Election proclaimed the winners in less than 36 hours.