A beginner's guide to the Philippine elections
Elections in the Philippines are never dry. This campaign has been no exception with a presidential candidate who made a joke about rape, another the adopted child of film stars and a boxing legend running for senator.
Here is what you need to know.
Who is getting elected?
In the Philippines, the president can serve only one six-year term. So this poll will choose a new one.
On 9 May voters will cast their vote for outgoing President Benigno Aquino III's replacement. They will also vote for a vice-president, 12 senators and other representatives and local officials, such as mayors.
It's a huge election
More than 54 million people are registered to vote across the archipelago of 7,000 islands.
So what are the big issues?
Money and who gets it
The economy, crime, corruption, poverty and territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea are all major issues.
Although the economy has performed well, poverty remains stubbornly hard to stamp out in rural areas. Population growth in cities has often outstripped gains in infrastructure spending.
Corruption remains a major concern, exacerbating the sense that economic gains are going disproportionately to the powerful.
Gay rights remain a talking point
Senatorial candidate and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao caused a storm by saying homosexuals were "worse than animals". He later apologised but it drew ire from gay Filipino celebrities and rights groups.
Conflict, inside and out
Tension with Beijing over disputed islands and reefs in the South China Sea are a big issue. All the candidates support the Philippines' claims to territory in the disputed waters, but are not united in their stance towards Beijing.
There are also differences over how to end the long-running conflict in Mindanao, where some rebels have pledged allegiance to the group called Islamic State. Some candidates oppose proposals to enlarge the autonomous area, while others say concessions should go further.
An alternative look at the election campaign
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Voting technology (and its failings)
The election will use automated voting technology, in a bid to reduce fraud and speed up the count.
But in one of the biggest data breaches the country had ever experienced, personal information, including the fingerprint and passport data of around 70 million people, is thought to have been accessed by hackers. Authorities insist most information was in the public domain anyway.
There is often violence around elections in the Philippines, hence a nationwide ban on private citizens carrying firearms outside homes or workplaces during the election period. Candidates are also not permitted to use security personnel not approved by Comelec.
Elections in the Philippines are typically battles between powerful political families. But the dynasties have also become a liability.
Critics say a disproportionate amount of the Philippines' recent economic growth has gone the country's oligarchs, so those unhappy with this are increasingly turning to leaders from outside the traditional elites.
Who is running for the top job?
Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte
Leading the polls at the moment is Rodrigo Duterte, nicknamed "The Punisher" for his tough crime-fighting approach, which he credits for making Davao city relatively safe during his 22 years as mayor. He promises to eliminate corruption nationwide in six months.
The most controversial candidate, he recently joked that, as mayor, he should have been first to rape an Australian missionary murdered in a prison riot. He later apologised.
Adopted by film stars, Ms Poe moved to the USA where she became a nursery teacher in the 1990s. This almost derailed her bid until the Supreme Court ruled she could run. But the perception she is close to oligarchs has dented her appeal.
Manuel "Mar" Roxas III
Mr Roxas hails from one of the country's political dynasties - his grandfather was the first president of the Philippine Republic.
A former investment banker in New York, he developed a reputation for supporting small businesses during his time as secretary of trade and industry in the 2000s.
A former judge and now senator, Ms Defensor-Santiago has been dogged by rumours of ill health. She once turned down an offer to be a judge at the International Criminal Court because of lung cancer, but insists she is now fit.
Controversially, she picked Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr as her running mate - the son of President Ferdinand Marcos, ousted in 1986.
Orphaned aged nine, Mr Binay became a human rights lawyer and was imprisoned for defending political prisoners during the rule of Ferdinand Marcos.
He became vice-president in 2010, but has been linked to several corruption scandals, which he says are politically motivated.
And thousands more...
Voters will chose 12 senators; one party list representative; one district representative; provincial, city, and municipal officials - thousands of officials nationwide.
But surely the biggest name among them is world-famous boxer "Manny" Pacquiao, running for a seat in the senate.