Politics just like any other politics around the world varies with culture. I guess Westerner such as yourself cannot fully understand the system or how the system works here. The media is otherwise a failure in terms of delivering the news because they always put the situation to the understanding of the Westerners. There are things even though ugly and bad in the eyes of foreigners can only be the proper solution to solve some issues or problems. It does not mean that giving money during campaign is already an act of buying votes. Sometimes, people do need money to vote because that is the only literal means to get to the voting precints. Of course, they have to pay for the fares and they have to eat along the way. For a poor Filipino who does not fully understand the meaning of economics, benefits the effects of GDP, or comprehend jargon of the stock market. Voting is not only a right but a struggle. But this does not mean that it is a norm of the entire country. Even though I myself is a Filipino, some parts of the country like Mindanao has their own respective practices also that I myself cannot fully understand. But this doesn't mean that we have to be judgmental or hasty in our conclusion. Cheers!