Skip to main content

Loren's edge, from a Manila Times column

Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The Manila Times

SUNDAY STORIES
By Marlen V. Ronquillo

Loren’s edge


Young Filipino voters can be broken down into two types. The first one vote for leaders. The second type vote for saviors.

The youth leaders who reportedly picked their presidential preference several days back and named Mar Roxas and Manuel Villar as their number one and number two choice definitely belong to the first type. They voted for their kind of leaders and role models.

Career-oriented and success-oriented young men and women obsessed with upward mobility tend to go for Roxas and Villar. Roxas and Villar are rich, relatively young and they move in the circles of the rich, young and powerful. Appended to their names are impressive corporations and holdings, which they or their families own.

They are, undeniably, ideal role models for young men and women that have high aims and big ambitions. Who would not covet top-of-the-line SUVs?

The problem is there is not much in the country’s current demographics—youth demogra­phics to be specific—that indicates that Roxas and Villar automatically gets a political edge because the young and the ambitious are backing them.

Of the total youth population, only 20 percent go to college after high school, and a very negligible share of this 20 per cent gain entry into premier schools such as UP and Ateneo de Manila.

The bulk of the 20 per cent that enters (or gets admitted into) a non-premier college and university has very modest ambition in life. This is to secure a decent job so he or she can help defray the family expenses or send a younger sibling to college. There is no ambition to be a Master of the Universe.

The 80 percent that does not go to college either gets a voc-tech education or joins the armies of drifting, aimless young men and women.

There is a wall that practically separates this bracket of struggling young men and women from the class that aspires to be a CEO, CFO or COO. A huge chasm separates their dreams and hopes and life direction. The Masters aspire to lead, the struggling group has modest goals.

The struggling young men and women (and this makes up the majority of the Filipino young) will vote not for role models. They will vote for somebody who they feel will give them a fighting chance in life, a leader cum equalizer. These young men and women are not at all dazzled by wealth and glamour (which they will not have) and by the long list of corporate holdings appended to the names of Villar and Roxas.

These young men and women will vote for a savior. And this is the huge voting bloc that will give the definitive edge to Senator Loren Legarda in case she runs for the presidency.

This is a silent voting bloc that is outside of the media and polling loop. It is a giant of a sleeper that is capable of delivering a tidal wave of votes. More, because its voters are driven more by desperation than ambition, there is a guarantee that they will walk miles to vote for their preferred candidate for president. And their candidate of choice is Sen. Legarda.

The plus of Senator Legarda is this: while she is the unanimous choice of the youth voters looking for a savior, she also scored decently in the poll among youth leaders. The best of both worlds, so to speak.

That she has no corporate baggage to speak is another plus for Senator Legarda . In a long campaign, the long list of corporate holdings attached to the name of a candidate becomes a drag. Questions are inevitably asked on the possible vested interests of presidential candidates. Doubts start to form in the voters’ consciousness.

Admittedly, there is another candidate who will present himself as a savior, Vice President Noli de Castro. But the camp of Senator Legarda can easily eviscerate his appeal with the youth sector looking for a savior rather than a role model.

With the following as anchor arguments, Noli de Castro’s candidacy can readily go down in tatters:

1. He is a stooge of the Arroyo administration;

2. He is a toady of a powerful business family;

3. He lacks the IQ to be a national leader;

4. His integrity is not beyond question; and

5. He has been a fence-sitter for long.

In 2010, the Lakas-Kampi endorsement that Noli will surely get is the equivalent of a kiss of death.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Heart of Summer, a short story

On the first day of April, we moved to a row house in a subdivision carved out of the Antipolo hills. A row house is a nice word for houses that somehow managed to fit into 120-square-meter lots. They looked like matchboxes, really, built near the riverbank. The larger houses, of course, stood grandly at the center of the village, in front of the chapel. We’d be renting the house from the mayor’s mistress, one of three houses she owned there.

The living room of the house spilled over into the kitchen. The house only had two tiny rooms, but it was enough for us. The owner of the apartment we had been renting in Project 4 wrote to us (in pink stationery with the letterhead “Dr. Antonina Raquiza, Ph. D.”) to say that she’d raise the monthly rent to five thousand. If we couldn’t agree to her new terms, we’d have two months to leave. Mama glared at the letter, then said something obscene about our landlady’s father. A day later, she began poring over the ads, looking for cheaper rent in …

A teacher's tales

by Danton Remoto
Remote Control
www.abs-cbn.com/news

I’ve been teaching for 22 years – the longest job I’ve had. This will be my last year of teaching. I will take sabbatical leave beginning April 2009 – a paid leave for one year that senior professors take every seven years, to sleep the sleep of the and come back to school fully energized. But in my case, I will not just sleep and read and gain weight. I will spend my sabbatical leave organizing Ang Ladlad’s campaign, and my own political campaign, for the May 2010 elections.

But because I stayed here longest, that means I love this job. I admire those who’ve spent 30, 40 years teaching without repeating themselves. They’ve taught for 30, 40 different years, not just one year repeated 30, 40 times. Teachers like the now-departed Dr. Doreen G. Fernandez and the retired, but still teaching, Professor Emmanuel “Eric” Torres come to mind. Both have taught with us at the English Department of the Ateneo de Manila University.

Doreen and Eric …

Review of "Pulotgata" The Love Poems"

This is a review of my book that I just read in the Internet today. It was written by Ralph Semino Galan of UST and was published in the Inquirer. It comes in two parts.

Honeymooning with Words, Part I
by Ralph Semino Galan

Love is a favorite subject among Filipino poets, regardless of gender. For despite the influx of modern and postmodern ideologies, the pervasive influence of the Romantic spirit is still prevalent in Philippine literature, especially in poetry. It therefore comes as no surprise that even a gay-identified writer like Danton Remoto has composed extensively verses expressing the intricacies of love and lust, desire and devotion, passion and compassion.

In his third book of poetry aptly titled "Pulotgata: The Love Poems" (Pasig City: Anvil Publishing, Inc, 2004, 88 pages), Remoto delves the depths of the human heart through lyrics in English and Filipino that sing of the anxiety and the excitement, the agony and the ecstasy which accompany the act of love.

The …