FROM THEATER TO POLITICS
In the olden times, entertainers were called upon to draw crowds during political rallies. Now, it’s a different ball game. The entertainers themselves are on the line this time seeking public office. Let’s look at the list:
- Aga Muhlach (Unsuccessful congressional candidate 4th dist. Cam Sur)
- Aiko Melendez (Former Councilor of Quezon City)
- Alfred Vargas (incumbent Representative for the 5th District of Quezon City; Former Councilor for the 2nd District of Quezon City)
- Angelica Jones (incumbent Board Member 3rd district of Laguna)
- Anjo Yllana (Former Vice Mayor of Paranaque)
- Bong Revilla Jr. (Senator)
- Cesar Montano (Unsuccessful senatorial candidate)
- Cita Astals (Former Councillor of Manila)
- Dan Fernandez (Former Representative 1st District of Laguna)
- Daniel Fernando (incumbent Vice-Governor of Bulacan)
- Dennis Roldan (Former Representative of Quezon City)
- Edu Manzano (Former Vice-Mayor of Makati City)
- Fernando Poe Jr. (Unsuccessful presidential candidate)
- George Estregan, Jr. (former Governor of Laguna; former Mayor of Pagsanjan, Laguna)
- Herbert Bautista (incumbent Mayor of Quezon City; former Vice Mayor of Quezon City)
- Imelda Papin (Former Vice-Governor of Camarines Sur, Bicol)
- Isko Moreno (Vice Mayor of Manila)
- Jinggoy Estrada (Senator)
- Joey Marquez (Former Mayor of Paranaque)
- Joseph Estrada (13th President of the 2nd Republic; incumbent Mayor of Manila)
- Lito Lapid (Senator)
- Lou Veloso (former Councillor for the 6th District of Manila)
- Lucy Torres-Gomez (incumbent Representative Leyte 4th District)
- Manny Pacquiao (incumbent Representative Sarangani District)
- Nora Aunor (Unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate for Camarines Sur)
- Ramon Revilla Sr. (Senator)
- Richard Gomez (Unsuccessful senatorial candidate)
- Roderick Paulate (incumbent Councilor 2nd District QC)
- Rogelio de la Rosa (Former Senator)
- Rudy Fernandez (Unsuccessful mayoral candidate for Quezon City)
- Sonny Parsons (Former Councilor of Marikina City)
- Tito Sotto (Senator)
- Vilma Santos (incumbent and first female Governor of Batangas)
For those who never make it, they simply go back to where their stars shine—theater. Aga Muhlach, aside from guesting, is a doting father to an adorable child actor, his son and look-alike when Aga was still starting. Senator Bong Revilla, on the other hand, is presently detained along with fellow thespian, Senator Jinggoy Estrada for alleged plunder.
Ceasar Montano is back in the silver screen but for former Manila councilor Cita Astals, it was back on the street of her make believe world. Dan Fernandez is in business while Edu Manzano is on contemplative mood.
Action King Fernando Poe, Jr., may have crossed over but his political potency simply passed on to his daughter Senator Grace Poe, a strong contender to the Presidency—a fate which eluded her father. George Estregan Jr., was dispossessed of his governorship for election overspending but is contesting back his former post.
Senator Ramon Revilla is bed ridden while Roderick Paulatte has recently been dismissed from his councilor post by Ombudsman. Rudy Fernandez did not make it as mayoral candidate in Quezon City and subsequently departed. Sonny Parsons is back in commerce while Dennis Roldan is presently serving time in the National Penitentiary for a capital offense.
There is no contradiction actually when actors shift into politics. The only quality demanded from somebody occupying the public post is the ability to choose the best people who will perform during his administration. And entertainers may have the advantage since they know fully well the kind of cast that would make a perfect film.
The fact that actors have a fan base already, a good following, politics is an attractive proposition to perform directly and receive adulation from the people. This, on top of perks, power and respect.
Ronald Reagan of USA was a B-actor before becoming Californa governor and subsequently the 40th US President. Arnold Swazernegger was a health buff turned actor then governor of California. The same is true with Clint Eastwood.
In Argentina, Evita Peron became a contender to the highest post also.
In Sri Lanka, thespian Mahinda Rajapaksa became the country’s 6th President. He earned his law degree through acting in various cameo roles until he moved to politics.
Here, there was Rogelio de la Rosa who could have been President had he not pulled out from the race. Erap Estrada eventually got the highest post and could have been succeeded by his bosom buddy Fernando Poe, Jr. had politics been fair at the tills.
Qualification for public post
There is no question actually when actors move over to public office. All of them perform better with an audience. But of course, not everything is according to script. Others may find it shocking to realize that reality is different from a make-believe reel.
Comedy king Dolphy who once rooted to take a plunge into politics, to take a crack at the Presidency, once remarked. “What if I win???!!!” Dolphy was a class act and he may have been funny but it was the most sacred quote ever.