PWERSA ng Masa candidate for senator Juan Ponce Enrile had a reason for changing his campaign tag line.

"Problema mo sagot ko!" created problems he couldn't fix. He soon realized (1) lawmaking can't solve all the ills in the country, (2) it's a slow process, and (3) even when done fast enough, it still relies on those who implement the law.

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This season, Enrile dumped the specific promise in favor of a personal wish: "Gusto ko happy ka!"

The senator explained that happiness "synthesizes everything that a government represents and when you want to make society happy."

But what would bring happiness? Most candidates, from would-be councilors to would-be presidents, cite food, jobs, education, health services, and security.

Explained in Enrile fashion, the wish for happiness is also a stiff order. Unexplained in a five-second sound bite, it may sound silly enough to provoke the response: For your wish, we trade our vote?

Big idea

Besides, happiness may be overrated. James Harkin in his book "Big Ideas: The Essential Guide to the Latest Thinking" (2008) quoted Plato as saying that happiness cannot be a means to anything else; "it is entirely useless, and prized for its sheer abandon."

Enrile and his thinkers apparently have seized happiness as "one of the most influential ideas of our time," the big idea to push his reelection.

Gusto ni Enrile, happy tayo. If only happiness could be wished for and presto it would become real.

To millions of Filipino voters, Enrile might just be sending a wish, given fresh coating and yet it sits on a pile of leftover dreams from elections past.

(paseares@yahoo.com)