NOTHING beats the snoozing effect of Carcar humba than seeing the news photographs of Ruben Ecleo Jr. attending a hearing of his case. Only last week he crossed my mind while I was idly watching the tv show “Pilipinas Got Talent.”

Sun.Star Cebu photographer Amper Campaña’s pictures show Ecleo filling out and with some hair now. He looks so much fitter now, having quit smoking and eating better on the advice of his doctor, information I learned from news reports.

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He would have to be physically fit to be able to withstand the rigors of campaigning. Ecleo, who is out on a P1-million bail for the charge of parricide for the death of his wife Alona in 2002, is seeking the congressional seat in Dinagat Island. His bid is a shot at replacing his mother Glenda in Congress.

Glenda, exiting as House representative of Dinagat’s lone district, is running for governor in a two-candidate race.

Ecleo has only one opponent for the House seat, and the guy is Francisco G. Rojas Sr., whose Google results say he is a former Regional Trial Court judge. I’m not sure if the candidate and the former judge are the same person, given the disposition of finding ourselves having namesakes.

Anyway, Ecleo’s doctor is reported to have told the court yesterday that Ecleo’s coronary heart disease is getting worse and the guy might need to undergo a heart bypass. Because of his medical condition, Ecleo is temporarily out of jail.

The prosecution panel believes that Ecleo deserves to be in jail because the guy doesn’t look like he would collapse or die anytime soon.

A coronary heart disease is best explained by a doctor because its complicated medical definition, more than the Carcar humba, might just give me one. The disease has something to do with some failure of some circulation of some arteries of the heart.

I haven’t met Ecleo in person but I’ve seen his physical form change from 2002 to the present through news pictures of him. In the picture taken yesterday and published today, Ecleo looks well-fed, well-rested and well-groomed. In short, he truly looks like the divine master of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA). But the picture doesn’t show us the condition of Ecleo’s heart.

How the congressional fight between Ecleo and Rojas will turn out leaves little to discussion if I am to use as reference the number of Ecleos running for public office in Dinagat Island, a newly formed seven-town province in Surigao. There are 11 of them, led by the matriarch Glenda.

The physical fitness of “heart-sick” Ecleo may not be a factor in his running for the congressional post. In areas that are out of the way, it’s the family name that carries a candidate to the seat of power.

There is an Ecleo for governor, an Ecleo for vice governor, an Ecleo for congressman, four Ecleos for Provincial Board seats, and three Ecleos for mayor in three towns. The candidates for mayor are running unopposed.

At the hearing yesterday, Ruben Ecleo Jr. was accompanied by his mother, a sister and his lawyer. He didn’t have his electric guitar with him. Lest we forget, Ecleo had dreamed of being a rock star. That’s why I thought of him as I watched “Pilipinas Got Talent.”