June 6, 2023

I looked up the list of potential candidates for various elective positions in the forthcoming elections and I noticed that it includes more than enough movie personalities that can produce a movie.
What I am saying is that the 2022 national and local elections is unprecedented in terms of the participation of actors and actresses. There are enough of them to fill up all the available positions from president, vice president, senators, congressmen, and to a certain extent, even of sanggunian members.
Thus, if I decide to make their popularity as the basis of my roster, I will have an all-star cast. Maybe it will make an exciting list. Who knows, it might be the right combination to finally stir our leaders to overachieve.
For president is Isko Moreno. Before he became the mayor of Manila, he was a fixture on television. He was a product of “That’s Entertainment.” During his younger years, he danced and sang his way into the hearts of teenagers and had them “kilig to the bones” with his lovey-dovey pairing with, if I am not mistaken, Kristina Paner.
For vice president is Tito Sotto III. He was and still is a comedian. He starred in several box office hits and television sitcoms, notably “Iskul Bukol.” He also hosted the longest running noon time show “Eat Bulaga.”
Together with his brother, Vic and bosom buddy Joey de Leon, the three of them formed the incomparable and riotous “Tito, Vic and Joey” that made the nation laugh. With the laughter came the votes and with the votes came the political positions. Well, nobody is laughing now because Sotto is poised to capture the office of the vice president.
For senators, Robin Padilla tops them all. The “bad boy” of Philippine cinema has since changed his ways and is probably the most saleable actor. In movies, both in action and comedy, he is as versatile as he is entertaining. They say he is a playboy having been linked with several women. Who cares? What matters is his sincerity. A few probably do not know that Padilla has the pedigree of a politician. His father was a senator during the post-war era. He is no stranger to politics.
The second most popular action star during the 1990s is Jinggoy Estrada. Before entering politics, he was on his way to stardom inheriting the throne vacated by his father, Joseph Estrada, who, by then, was making a name for himself in politics. When the older Estrada became president, it became obvious that it was only a matter of time before Jinggoy followed in his footsteps. Thus, the younger Estrada rose from becoming the mayor of San Juan and later, a senator. He went missing for a term, but this time, he is in a perfect position to reclaim his seat in the Senate.
Noli de Castro is, of course, the lead man in TV Patrol. He was the elected vice president of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and, if only he pursued his political career earlier, might have been president. According to him, he returned to his first love as a broadcaster. He is back, though. I guess there must be truth to what politicians say that politics is like opium and one who gets hooked into it cannot say goodbye. (On Oct. 13, de Castro withdrew his senatorial bid. The Commission on Elections confirmed on the same day it has received de Castro’s statement of withdrawal of candidacy.)
There are two other popular TV personalities in the mold of de Castro who have filed their certificates of candidacy for senator.
First is Raffy Tulfo who is much sought and well appreciated by the “masa.” He is a household name. He is the host of the public service show “Isumbong mo kay Tulfo.” This show is a solace of those who feel that the wheels of justice are not giving them attention. For people who want instant justice, Tulfo is their lawyer, their judge and their savior rolled into one.
Second is Rey Langit whose early morning voice wakes up the nation. He is a long-time broadcaster both on TV and radio and has acted in several movies.
If the Senate is to add spice into its boring sessions, it might help that the glamorous Lucy Torres be included into the picture. She is as pretty as any Miss Universe can be. Yet, people ask, “Is she competent to legislate?” Apparently so. Torres was a mayor and a congresswoman of Ormoc City. She has prepared well for the senate. Who knows? She might turn out to be a beauty and brains senator.
It is not like that Joseph Estrada is tolerating a political dynasty among his children. His family dominates San Juan City. So, another of his sons, who too, was a movie personality before anything else, is reprising his candidacy as a enator. JV Ejercito stepped out of his more illustrious brother Jinggoy to be elected senator in the past. Will he be as lucky as the first time he ran? As a movie personality, he has all the advantages.
For starters, that’s my list. It’s an all-star cast if all of them win. Maybe Moreno as president and all others in the list can act out their positions in a dramatic and scripted way so that we, the Filipino people, shall be moved to tears and encouraged by laughter, to believe that what is portrayed in real life can be re-enacted and be made true in real life.