going to the dogs? not if i can help it

i don't know about the rest of you, but i could not watch through more than 2 minutes of manny pacquiao's interview with jimmy kimmel. i was not sure whether it was more than a tinge of national embarrassment or too much rollicking comedy that i just had to cut the video short and find something else to see. there's a lot of awkward humor poking at my insides, much like the result when i watched this filipino kid sing his version of the black eyed peas' "boom boom pow". enduring 4 minutes of that is agonizing. but in the 2 minutes that i did manage to see, i noticed that jimmy kimmel referred to manny pacquiao as a (not the) future president of the philippines. i think another american talk show host made the same bold prediction: whether this is part of their machine gun humor, or an honest perception of philippine politics, it still comes across an an insult, at least to me. it does not help either that manny is also on the cover of time magazine, only the second filipino to be given such an honor after corazon aquino. whether that solidifies manny's political future, i would be the first to deny it. we're talking about my country. our country. it's best not joked about, even though when you look at the state of things, the joke's really on us.

how can you take the electoral process seriously, when the players obviously feed on this mass desire for personality over platform? take, for example, noynoy's recent political ad, which joins heavyweight celebrities from competing networks to help the senator carry around lit torches: had the expression on their faces been grim, i would have assumed they were about to go for a witch hunt. it does not help at all that regine is singing this badly-worded song in front of a bonfire in a forest with moonlight seeping through the mist. it had the makings of an 80s filipino horror movie. noynoy does not say anything, or suggest anything. he just stands proudly in the company of his sister's friends in the industry. i would go on rambling about it but patricia evangelista wrote a very good opinion column about it in the inquirer. i've never necessarily liked patricia before, maybe because i didn't really read her. but this piece is brilliant.

i normally shun politics on the blog, because i feel that it is better left to the exclusive domain of pundits who have actually spent a lot of time thinking about the filipino condition, privy to the machinations behind all these defections and declarations. but it cannot be helped that i am myself a political animal, much as i would like to deny it, and i eschew apathy. i believe in certain things, and some of them include: people who do not vote have no right to complain about how the nation is run. people who do not pay the right amount of taxes have no right to demand better roads or improved delivery of basic necessities. people who have not been in government have no right to declare that every single person in government is either inept or corrupt or both. people who have not volunteered to safeguard the ballot have no right to ridicule the entire process as a complete and absolute sham. and finally, i do not understand why so many people are complaining about the long lines outside of the comelec's election registration centers less than a week prior to the deadline. i have not missed an election since i reached the age of majority, so i didn't have to endure the drama and the frustration of being a new registrant this year.

that said, i still haven't decided on a candidate. i would much rather prefer to wait for the campaign period and devote some time to study their plans for the country. your country. our country.