In the 1946 elections, self-proclaimed five-star general Hilario Moncado of Modernist Party ran for the presidency with his vice presidential running mate Lou Salvador Sr., a popular showman.
Moncado and Salvador decided to fill their senatorial ticket with top comedians like Pugo and Togo, Tolindoy, and others. “These Liberals and Nacionalistas are making bad comedy out of this election. Let us gather all the country’s best comedians and form a senatorial ticket that can give the people good comedy,” Moncado told Salvador, according to the book “Pinoy Anecdotes,” a portion of which is quoted in the Ateneo lecture of historian Resil Mojares.
Balamban, Cebu native Moncado, however, added a director of Tagalog tearjerker movies, Paquito Bolero. “Why include Bolero when he is not a comedian?” Salvador asked. “Because, while Filipinos love to laugh, they also like to cry,” Moncado replied.
Moncado, Salvador and their party still lost in the post-war elections even if their rallies had attracted large crowds, Mojares wrote. Despite the results, Salvador said: “We had a good time. And we made the people laugh.”
Manuel Roxas won the presidential race, defeating Sergio Osmeña. Both politicians came from Nacionalista Party albeit Roxas ran under the breakaway group that later became the Liberal Party.
Less than seven months before the May 2022 elections, there is so much noise already, even though the official campaign period for national and local elective posts has yet to start.
Aspirants’ faces and their slogans are everywhere—billboards, television, social media.
Soon, outrageous talents like dancing with embarrassing moves and singing out of tune will be displayed by some aspirants who know that politics in the Philippines is like a television reality show—they must know how to entertain or talk tough or rattle Bible verses to endear themselves to some of the electorate.
The Republic of the Philippines is one big stage for tragedy and comedy.
A mature electorate knows what to do. To avoid a tragicomic episode in the next six years or so, the electorate must weigh all the candidates’ qualifications. Here is a question, though: How mature is the Philippine electorate?
A mature electorate must be wary of aspirants who are entertaining; aspirants who project themselves to be down-to-earth individuals; aspirants who keep on repeating that the people are king; aspirants who love to sweet talk the public; aspirants who project a maverick attitude; and aspirants who promise paradise.
These aspirants’ shadows could be that of grinning crocodiles.
Editorial Cartoon by Enrico Santisas
October 12, 2021
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