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Sunday, March 25, 2012

More Of The "Same, Same!"

In this post, we explore some more reasons why the worlds of politics and showbiz/entertainment seem to be so intertwined.

(See to view the reasons I already cited.)

3. Blood Is Thickest. Period.

Our particular brand of politics gives new meaning to the term "political dynasty". To my understanding, the word dynasty connotes some kind of relationship/s that spans generations.

In our interpretation, we are impatient to wait that long.

Instead, we want an instant dynasty: And by this I mean everyone is in on the act.

Right now. Together.

You have either husband or wife being a senator, mayor or some kind of "nucleus" figure. The other spouse then runs for either governor, or congresswoman, or even similar position if the law will allow. The children also take up similar positions, some (maybe the youngest) will opt to be a councilor so they can boast that s/he is still "earning her/his stripes". The uncles and aunts and cousins will also rally for other positions all in the vicinity of the nucleus - maybe vice mayor, or vice governor, and when they campaign, they will play on the "blood is thick" angle, not as a liability, but as something that showcases their family's, uh, unity.

Currently, we have a brother and sister team in the Senate, and we know that they inherited their father's name, as well as the position - their father was a senator as well. A general who ran for senator has his son also in the senate until he was appointed to an executive position. We used to have a mother-son tandem, wife and son of former President Estrada. Even the latest addition to the Senate (by virtue of one senator resigning) is a son of a former Senator.

Similarly, in showbiz, we have the following examples: Sharon Cuneta, married to Senator Pangilinan (a literal marriage of showbiz and politics), has a daughter from an annuled marriage who is now working as an "actress", "singer" and "host". I put them in quotes because while she does what the job requires of her, I can't say she does them as someone who is "natural" to the job. But she gets a free pass because her mom is one of the "elders" of the current entertainment industry.

Sen. Ralph Recto is married to "Star For All Seasons" Vilma Santos (another literal marriage), a three term governor. Vilma's son, Luis, is also in showbiz as a host primarily, and acts in some films.

(Courtesy of

Eddie Guitierrez and Annabelle Rama have worked in film, and their sons and daughter work as actors, beauty queen and hosts.

Eddie Mesa and Rosemarie Gil have a clan that is firmly in the showbiz circuit, all the way to the grandchildren.

An interesting hybrid of the politics/entertainment marriage is the Revilla clan, starting with the senior Ramon Revilla (who, in television network GMA 7's tally, has more than 80 children), who started as an actor, then became a senator. His son, Bong Revilla, is also an actor who is now a senator, and has not stopped acting, and even has time for TV gigs. His wife, who is an actress, as well, was appointed to a government position in former President GMA's time, and is now a legislator in the current adminstration. Their children are in showbiz. Recently, of course, the name "Ramgen" has made headlines, one of the senior Revilla's children who was murdered and his girlfriend barely escaping with her life. (By the way, what is the status of that investigation?) The other Revilla youngsters are also either already in or wanting to start their showbiz careers.

I mentioned in number 2 that "talent" is inconsequential: if someone paves the way, as a dutiful family member, you have to keep the, er, "tradition" alive, and count your blessings because your forebears already made it easier for you to enter that particular world. So legislate, rule, act, sing, host or dance away - your family name assures you of a spot in these worlds that will forever be an exclusive clique based on affinity. (The ones who manage to break into them without a name means either their talent/qualification is without question, or they slept and bared their body on the way to the top.)

4. Let's Give Them A Show.

Whether in politics or showbiz, you need a "buzz" in order to stay relevant - it brings to mind the idea that "it doesn't matter if it's good press or bad press, as long as there's press, you'll remain talked about and relevant". Admittedly, some of these are "artificial", meaning intentionally made gossip, but in both worlds, there are circumstances that befall these players unwittingly and unintentionally - but they have the sense to seize this PR opportunity to their advantage and make themselves the banner headline for tomorrow's paper.

Whether in Senator Santiago's WHAAAA!!! in the impeachment trial, or Sharon fighting it out with negative commenters in he Twitter page, they know they have the camera on them, and must perform willingly. Again, granted, they have the personality to do these things to begin with - you don't aspire for a very public position without knowing beforehand that public scrutiny is part of the mix and accepted as a necessary evil, this intrusion. But for many players in these industries, it is a welcome intrusion, a chance to make their "Public Rank" even higher and their stock to increase.

In fact, many of them count on it, and play to the cameras whenever they get a chance.

5. Fans Are Important. And They Know It.

All that differs is the currency: In politics, they deal in votes. In showbiz, in sales and receipts.

But those who have been in the game for a long time know that public opinion is vital, whether they publicly admit it or not, and that this opinion is so strong that entire careers in their field can make or break them.

This is the reason why politicians stand in for "sponsors" in weddings where they do not know anyone remotely. Or why movie stars have a "Fans Day" or a "Meet and Greet" every so often, They have to gauge the public mood - do they still know who I am? Am I relevant? And more importantly, do they still buy into what I say and do?

This knowledge exposes the true relationship we have with these public figures: We are actually their lifeblood, and without our approval, they will fall down like a house of cards meeting a tsunami or earthquake.

And the saddest observation is, we are not aware of the power we possess.

So, do I hear anyone signing up for Kris Aquino's campaign for the Senate?

(Courtesy of

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