Parlor Politics

I was at the beauty parlor a few days ago and I took that as an occasion to talk to the owner and the beauty parlor staff about the coming elections. I told them to vote for the candidates running under

They replied by saying: "Ano yun ma'am, party list?" ("Is that a party running for party list in Congress?")

I had to explain that this was not a "party list party" but a party fielding 3 candidates for Senator: Dr. Martin Bautista, Atty. Adrian Sison, and Zosimo Paredes. I encouraged them to vote for these candidates as they were not "traditional politicians."

I then found out that most of the staff would not be voting as they were not registered here in Metro Manila but in the provinces. "Mahal ho ang pamasahe, ma'am." ("Transportation costs are so high to go home to the province.")

I then made a pitch to the owner and as always, I mention the name of Dr. Martin Bautista first. As usual, I get the reaction: "Kamag-anak ninyo, ma'am? ("Are you related to him?") Anyone who has been to the Philippines knows that Bautistas are a dime a dozen. Just because you share the same surname, it does not mean you are related. So, I am not related to Dr. Bautista. We are only related by the fact that we are both irritated by how low Philippine politics has gone. The difference is he has decided to run for Senator and I have decided to blog as I try my best to raise two good Filipinos in the person of my two children.

I asked the beauty parlor owner whom she will be voting for. She rattles off names: "Chiz Escudero. Allan Peter Cayetano. Trillanes." Looks like we have someone who is anti-GMA. Another parlor customer, a lady who is more than 60 years old, butts into our conversation and says: "Puro opposition ka ba?" ("Are you voting for all the opposition candidates?")

The parlor owner then replies: "Hindi naman. Basta gusto ko yung mga bata." ("I am not necessarily for the opposition. I am going for the younger candidates."

The old lady then says: "Ako din gusto ko sa mga bata. Marami namang mga bata na magagaling. Gaya nina Zubiri. Ni Recto." ("Me too, I am for the younger candidates. There are a lot of young candidates who are good. Like Zubiri and Recto.") -- Angel's comment: "Sheesh" -- but of course, I keep quiet.

The lady continues: "Iboboto ko din si Angara. Biro mo, kung wala siya, wala akong 20% discount sa gamot?" ("I will also vote for Angara. If not for him, I will not get a 20% discount when I buy medicines") -- Well, that is true. But hasn't he been around for so long?

I decide not to counter anymore or join the discussions. Politics is not a good topic to discuss with people you hardly know. I then just go back to my original pitch: "Basta, iboto ninyo yung mga kandidato ng Kapatiran..." "Please vote for the Senatorial slate of Kapatiran." And Sonia Roco too.

Please make the right choice in the coming elections. It will determine whether our country will finally shine and show its real beauty or whether it will be just one cosmetic surgery procedure after the other as we have seen in recent years.

[By Angelica Viloria | Monday, March 26, 2007]

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