The Senate hearing on Jocjoc Bolante yesterday officially opened the campaign season for the elections of May 2010. Miriam is running for re-election as senator, and has wisely begun to cut off her links with the Arroyo administration -- a sinking ship by any reckoning. She said Bolante's horrible lies almost made her suffer a heart attack.
Pia was there too, and shrewdly jogged our memory that she, too, is ever-present and would most certainly run for the senatorial elections. Check out those Downey ads for fabric conditioners. Who funded these ads? Hmmmm. The presidentials were in full fettle and finest form -- media covered Loren Legarda, in a cool, soft blue suit, head tilted at the right camera angle; and Mar Roxas in a well-cut, dark-blue suit, finally asking the tough questions -- in Tagalog. And there were Ping Lacson and also Manny Villar, and the frenzied media that rushed and broke through a glass door in the Senate, and the NGO activists in front of St Luke's Hospital, roaring their anger under the sun.
And where was I, people were asking me by text and phone call. Why was I not in the thick of the action?
I was in the Veterans Hospital, at the ICU Room, taking care of my father who just suffered a heart attack. Since visiting hours are only from 3-7 pm, I have decided to drop everything and stay there. I fed him and talked to him, and when he was asleep, I re-read The Woman Who Had Two Navels by the National Artist Nick Joaquin. This novel will be our first text in the Philippine Literature class I am teaching this semester at Ateneo.
So far, my predictions about the elections have come true. My middle name is Cassandra.
Erap wants to run, but if not allowed to run, will push for somebody's candidacy. It is either that of Mayor Jojo Binay, who is the President of the United Opposition, or Manny Villar, the President of the Nacionalista Party.
But look at the survey numbers of Chiz Escudero. He almost toppled Loren in the senatorial race last year. He is catching up in the surveys for president. He will turn 40 in October of 2009. And if Mayor Binay claims he will do an Obama because they both have dark skin (the dark horse in this election), then Chiz Escudero might also do an Obama: they look alike (same hair, shape of head), both young and bright lawyers, both media-savvy.
But Obama won because he built his formidable machinery by forming a grassroots movement. In short, he turned to the people -- mostly the young -- and built a magnificent machinery never before seen in any election.
That, I believe, is the challenge for all Obama wanna-bes in the forthcoming election. Heart attack or no heart attack.