18 days to go

Eighteen days to go before the start of the filing of certificates of candidacy for elective national positions -- president, vice-president, senators and party-list. The filing period is between November 20-30. Expect the next four weeks to be a nail-biting experience. Why?

1. Not a single political party has completed their senatorial slates.
2. Manny Villar and Gibo Teodoro have no VP candidate, while Loren Legarda has no presidential candidate.
3. The forthcoming Pulse Asia survey should help the political parties finalize their senatorial slates and their alignments or realignments. According to Lito Banayo, this survey should be out late this week.

And which party will I join?

1. The party that will not tell me to firm up my niche or message, because that has been firmed up in the last three years.

2. The party that will treat me with the respect that my candidacy deserves, having done their extensive research and found out the following about my political mapping:

a. There are 4.5 million Filipino lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders;
b. There are 4.5 million Bicolano and/or Bikol-speaking voters in the Philippines and abroad (I am from Oas, Albay);
c. In the last three years I have made deep inroads in the youth, campus, and education sectors through free lectures, workshops, meetings, conferences, book launchings and signing sessions in the length and breadth of the archipelago.

3. I will sayeth no more. The 2010 elections is a campaign and not an advocacy. I intend to run with a party whose candidates have spine, strength of purpose, clarity of vision. Adequate campaign funds won't be so bad, too.

Or as my late father -- a sharp and funny political analyst -- told me two weeks before he died: "I don't think you'll be happy running with a national candidate who is like a carabao with a rope tied to his nostrils. Kung saan ituro ng mga nakapaligid sa kanya, doon siya pupunta. You are too strong-minded and stubborn for him."

Amen, Papa, amen.

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