IT IS said that our political leaders are like meteors - they shine brightly for a few dazzling moments and then fade away with not even a flicker to serve as a reminder of the splendor that they have were mainly because none among their family members is worthy enough to carry the torch. What is ironic is that during the time when their stars shine the brightest, mediocre relations took advantage of it and basked in reflected glory.

There are some however whose heirs prove their worthiness as inheritors and managed to light their own fires long after that of their fathers have burned out.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

President Manuel L. Quezon was unarguably the most popular and entrenched leader of the country during the pre-war years. While he had as contemporaries the best and the brightest, such as the late presidents Sergio Osmeña and Manuel Roxas, they never really rose to the nation's highest esteem until Quezon's death.

But no Quezon shone after him. There is a Quezon who is a newspaper columnist and lately, a minor functionary in Aquino's team. But that's about all.

President Roxas had his son, the late Senator Gerry Roxas. And in some ways, he did merit his father's name. He would have been president had not Martial Law intervened, and death overtook him while in exile. His grandson Mar had the makings of greatness until he showed himself unequal to the political crises that hound leaders on the rise.

For a while, the late President Ramon Magsaysay had a brother who became a senator and attempted to run for president on the wings of his late brother's glory. But that ended there. Magsaysay's own son became senator on the residual magic of his father's name but had to retreat into oblivion upon realizing that his father's name is not enough, that he had to build on that, which he sadly failed.

The late President Elpidio Quirino too, has left no progeny. Even in the clannish Ilocos Region where Quirino came from, none of his relatives followed his footsteps.

President Diosdado Macapagal would have left a blank space too had not his daughter, on her own merits and sheer luck, suddenly found herself occupying her late father's post. Now, she is still in public office, although not as exalted as the one she just left. Besides, she has her sons and a brother in-law sitting with her in the lower house of Congress.

Fidel Ramos's effort to lengthen his family's hold on public office crumbled in the face of his relative's unworthiness. His sister, former Senator Shahani, served for only one term during her brother's presidency and a nephew, Shahani's son, became Governor of Pangasinan. But from the minute Ramos left Malacañang, these relatives almost automatically lost their political offices.

Estrada of course remains entrenched in San Juan, with sons, legitimate and illegitimate, alternating as the city's chief executive office. And with a senator too who was resoundingly reelected last May 11. Estrada himself, were it not for the alleged fraud that marred the May 11 elections, would have gotten Malacañang back.

And the Marcoses. Inspite of the unprecedented vilification and demonization of his family, Ilocos Norte, and apparently the entire Ilocos Region, remains a Marcos turf.

And a comeback on a national scale is not remote. Notwithstanding the massive and nationwide propaganda, not against Marcos but also against his children, his son and namesake hurdled the odds by winning the senatorial race by a comfortable majority. In fact, the Marcos scion never bothered to hide his desire to become president sooner or later.

And considering the willingness of most to bury the distant past, he might well be.

* * *

I think Kris Aquino needs a psychiatrist. Why else would she love to be the object of scandal as if she couldn't live without it?

The latest scandal involving her is clearly of her own making. Whatever quarrel she may have with her husband is entirely a matter between them and the public has absolutely nothing to do with it. So, why would she post it her twitter account for the world to know?

Her past shenanigans with all the men in her life, were her own, no matter how depraved these may appear to be. But her purposeful sharing them with the public and make them fodder for the gossip mills can be explained only by a compulsive thirst for public attention no matter the cost to her or to her family's reputation.

It is a wonder why James Yap, who comes from a modest family in North Negros, and who has carved a name and earned a fortune - for his exploits in the basketball court - married her. Now, not only he but his family is paying for it.