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How to really win any election in the Philippines
By Angelica Bautista Viloria
May 10, 1998

No one ever loses an election in this country. One either wins or is cheated. But how does one emerge as the "real" winner, dagdag-bawas notwithstanding? Here are a few tips:

Have showbiz links: Make sure you have something, anything to do with show business. That will send your survey points soaring! The more popular you are, the better. Host a TV show. Appear in a movie in a cameo role. Be a radio commentator, a basketball star, comedian, or action star. Dance or sing during campaign sorties. If all else fails, look like Yoda or invoke Princess Leia. Star Wars, after all, is still the box-office hit to beat of all times.

Get the anointment (politicians, after all, are kind of sick) of people who are willing to give it: Try to get yourself endorsed (yup, like a cheap product) by someone. You might want to approach the incumbent, religious groups, past officials. Most importantly, thou shalt not forget the Action king of Philippine Movies

Plaster every place possible with corny posters: Profess to love everyone, even your enemies ("Mahal ko kayong lahat.") Pose with a rose even as you feel Ate Helen probably turning in her grave. "Kung ekonomya ang problema, kailangan ay... pa-cute na magsasaka?" Smile like a schoolgirl in over-alls with a field filled with palay as your background, even in the midst of El Niño.

Appear as the underdog: Identify yourself with the poor and give yourself masa--sounding nicknames all of a sudden. Make yourself the butt of "stupid" jokes. Have your family and yourself duped of millions in a scam perpetrated by a close friend. Have that sad-eyed puppy look. Package yourself as a toughie then cry your heart out on national television as you tell your life story. Do everything so people will pity you. Nora Aunor and Judy Ann Santos didn't make it to the big-time by accident.

The election is just a few days away. Politicians are pulling every trick in the book to emerge as the "real" winner. I just hope that voters see past the tricks, choose a worthy bet, in effect, becoming the "real" winners. As voters, let us not prove to the whole world that our collective national IQ has indeed dropped to an all-time low or has hit rock bottom. As the astute political commentator and observer Kuhol once admonished: "Vote wisely and intelligently." Go out and vote but let's not blow it - not on our Centennial year.

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How to really win any election in the Philippines
Written on May 10, 1998
Copyright © 1998 by Angelica Bautista Viloria of

Angelica Viloria is a Filipina mom, living in the Philippines, who works in a credit rating company, and occasionally posts articles in her family homepage at