By Joseph Peter Gonzales
As they say, think before you vote!
In contemporary setting, showbiz and politics intertwine. Over the years, many of our local stars became successful in their bid to run for public office and made good reputation for themselves during their term. There are those who sacrificed their screen exposure to face the rigid demands of public service while for some, politics served as a fall back when they already want to lie low from the spotlight.
Clearly, the influx of showbiz denizens in the world of politics is an indication of their huge following. Their influence cannot be underestimated. One concrete example was when screen legend Joseph Estrada won the presidential race in the 1998 elections with an unprecedented number of votes. In the eyes of many, being an actor or actress is advantageous and gives a very good head start in the battle.
This coming national elections is no exception when it comes to the number of showbiz personalities who are running for a seat. They’re still aplenty. Some have already proven their worth with their sparkling track record and are seeking re-election. There are also those who are trying their luck for the first time. Who will the fountain bless? Let’s wait and see.
Meanwhile, here’s a random list of some of our renowned stars who are running for public office this upcoming elections:
• Grace Poe, running for President. She’s not seen acting on screen but her parents are showbiz royalties: the late King of Philippine Movies Fernando Poe, Jr. and movie queen Susan Roces. Elected senator in 2013 and once held the post as MTRCB Chief from 2010-2012. A true child of the industry, she currently leads the latest surveys.
• Vilma Santos-Recto, the Star for all Seasons has her tidy share of accomplishments as Batangas Governor. She is actually on her second term. Originally offered to run for Vice-President but declined. Instead, Ate Vi opted to run as Congresswoman of Batangas.
• Joseph Estrada, the once embattled leader who currently holds post as Manila Mayor is seeking for re-election. “Erap” remains to be a force to reckon with considering his vast experience as a public servant since the late ‘60s.
• Vicente Sotto, a two-termer in the Senate (1992-2004). He wants to be elected again in the same post. One of the three members of the legendary TVJ, he once sat as Vice-Mayor of Quezon City.
• Edu Manzano is definitely no stranger to public service. He served as Makati City Vice-Mayor from 1998-2001. He ran for a higher post, this time as Vice-President in 2010 but lost. He was the initial Chairman of the Optical Media Board. This forthcoming national elections, he is running as Senator.
• Herbert Bautista’s track record in Quezon City is one that is outstanding. During his younger years, “Bistik” became the president of the Kabataang Barangay National Federation. He served as Vice-Mayor in three terms: 2001, 2004 and 2007. In 2010, he became the city’s 10th Mayor. Now, he is seeking for re-election.
• Lani Mercado-Revilla is on her second term as Congresswoman of the 2nd District of Cavite. Doing part-time acting on the side, Lani will now try her chances for the post of Bacoor Mayor come May 9, 2016.
• Isko Moreno successfully served for three consecutive terms as councilor of the 1st District of Manila (1988-2007). The former That’s Entertainment mainstay is on his second term as Manila Vice-Mayor. Now, the once sought-after Seiko jewel will run for Senator in the upcoming elections.
• Lito Lapid is the pride of Pampanga, having served as its Vice-Governor from 1992-1995 and Governor from 2004-2010. Local Cinema’s “Stunts King” also made a successful run at the Senate and has served for two terms. Now, he is contention for the mayoralty race in Angeles City.
• Alfred Vargas’ political career began in 2010 when he won as councilor of the 2nd District of Quezon City. After that, Alfred got elected as Congressman of QC’s newly-created 5th District. At present, the former sexy actor is seeking for re-election.
• Alma Moreno was one of Philippine Cinema’s premiere sex goddesses during her heydays. Ness wasn’t successful in her initial bid for public office as she lost in the 2004 mayoralty race in Parañaque. However, she got elected as councilor three years after. Now, she’s eyeing the senate.
• ER Ejercito—His tenure as Mayor of Pagsanjan, Laguna is a long one (from 2001-2010). A good character actor, ER was triumphant when he ran for a higher position in 2010 as Mayor. In spite of his disqualification in 2014 due to alleged campaign overspending, he is again ready to run for re-election this year.
• Manny Pacquiao—The country’s boxing great lost in his first political bid in 2007 when he ran as Congressman of General Santos City. However, he turned things around in 2010 when he won in the same post but this time, in Sarangani.
This coming elections, Manny is joining the senatorial fray.
• Ronnie Ricketts—The actor-director-producer was appointed as Chairman of the Optical Media Board in 2009. This eventually paved the way for his entry into politics as he is currently running for Congressman of Muntinlupa.
• Andrea del Rosario—The former Viva sexy star and member of the Hot Babes doesn’t only want to be seen acting or dancing on screen but to be of service to the people of Calatagan, Batangas once she gets elected as Vice-Mayor.