When one’s picture is posted in cyberspace for everyone to appreciate, give or take attacked or liked, it is called “selfie.” If it is posted and underwritten by public funds to make it appear that it is wholesome and therefore could lure people to like, it is called “epal.” Epal is for politicians while selfie is for netizens and let it not blur the distinct difference.
Epal became a buzzword among those who wanted to compete in a world governed by celebrities. People in the entertainment industry have already the edge. They have movies, teleseryes and commercials to maintain their circulation. It is no longer a problem whenever they would throw their hat in electoral contests. We have an Erap Estrada, Noli de Castro, Bong Revilla, Lito Lapid, Vilma Santos to name a few. Their presence on the platform alone can carry their names to the booth. They no longer need to make epal.
For those struggling to make a name, the process is very expensive. A simple 30 second TV exposure alone would cost a fortune and unless one has a fortress of gold tuck in his vault, he would end up at the bottom of the electorate’s consciousness.
Hence, everyone wished for a 15 second fame whether it be good or bad. As the saying goes, good or bad publicity is still publicity. The table is now ready so to speak for the ambitious. But of course, even if the name had a twing already, it is not yet a guarantee if it could carry the day for them. That is why; the expense provision is still a necessary part of the arsenal.
But what makes a public office such an attractive proposition? While it could make a difference when leading a community, more so in pursuing economic programs, it is not that easy. One must have mastery in pursuing rules, ordinances or laws for that matter. Without that, power is empty and meaningless. Yet there are lots of people who are inured to the siren song of politics. Even the entire stretch of families is virtually hooked on its glitter.
It’s almost phenomenal, there was epal before and now there is selfie. If the law prohibiting dynasties will be enacted, there is another that looms in the horizon and it is called a “groufie.” Whatever, the self centered generation has come of age and the people will just have to content themselves wishing that in the succeeding timeline, there will be more self-less people to populate the earth.
Otherwise, life would be unbearable as if the world has been completely governed by zombies and alien beings. Scary.