Star power, anyone?-A A +A
Saturday, September 15, 2012
ENTERTAINERS are increasing in number in government and politics, the list is growing.
Rogelio de la Rosa was senator in 1957—like connecting film to the field of governance. Almost ten years after, he ran for the presidency in 1961. But in the last minute before campaign days, he withdrew from the contest. And Rogelio, as Grandma would call him, persisted in his intention to serve his country. He ran for Congress in 1984 but lost the fight.
In other parts of the world, the intent to lead in government became attractive to many, including to the entertainment world. They have the advantage in the fight of being popular for their ability in the arts as entertainers.
It was in a time way before Christ that Marcus Cicero, an orator in ancient Rome, found himself running for consul, the highest position in Rome at that time. And it was also this early in the life of the known world when he used certain campaign strategies which his brother Quintus wrote as a small guide entitled How to Win an Election. Politics was very much the name of the game and the more the voters knew a candidate, the more votes were counted for him.
The advice written in a letter to Marcus from Quintus talks about what best to do during election campaigns, which includes “promising everything to everybody.” Now in booklet form, the guide was written long before Christ for Quintus’ orator-turned-politician brother who was an entertainer, in a sense, as entertainment was in their time.
Entertainers are recognizable to people in the streets, they can act out and make listeners react to them speaking in dramatic tones, even as they stand on stage looking great, reflectively shaped, and very familiar.
A friend would say “effectively” connecting, which means doing what they can do which other leaders can’t—like sing and dance—coming from a world of fantasy, catering to the feelings of the crowd during political campaigns.
Anywhere else in democratic countries today, there are voting advantages for stars, as against less known, or nearly unknown, candidates among the leaders on the stage of governance.
Do you know that actor Richard Gomez will run for mayor of Ormoc City, as though his wife Lucy Torres weren’t already a Congresswoman? How old is their daughter, a friend asked, as if carrying on the conversation that barely started, about entertainer politicians and political dynasties, up to the point when I expect her to object gravely.
Shortly, we won’t be able to count entertainers in politics, they will probably be double the number now. But it doesn’t mean that, as a Filipino journalist Marites Vitug puts it in her opinion in a 2004 issue of the New York Times, politics “in the Philippines has become an extension of show business.”
But the list continues to grow.
Alma Moreno, movie star and councilor in Parañaque was going to run for the Senate, according to a May news item. But now, another news dated September says she’s “dropping” the idea for health reasons; she can’t be strong enough to campaign effectively. But perhaps Vandolph will run in the next election?
There was talk of Cesar Montano running for vice mayor of Manila, but no, he’s not running, not after he lost his 2010 bid for governor in his home province Bohol.. But he will try again, why not?
Aga Muhlach will run for 4th district congressman in Camarines Sur, take note.
Joseph Estrada was the first actor elected as president in 1998. Before that, he was mayor of San Juan, then senator, then vice president.
The stars also try again and again, as in the case of Edu Manzano who was vice mayor of Makati City who ran for mayor in 2001 and lost, then ran for vice president and lost…and will try once more?.
In the US, Grandma’s favorite actor Ronald Reagan was elected president and served in two terms, how’s that?
Well, it seems that we think too small of ourselves, unfairly concluding that entertainers can not lead except in films or on television.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 16, 2012.