Society and Politics

FOOL-iticos: The Publicity Game

By Adrian John O. Ladaga, Staff Writer |

Publicity is part of every politician’s career. Like celebrities, it is given that they too result to name recall and media exposure.

While most public officials, especially in the House of Representatives, rose to popularity from controversies –– sibling rivalry, womanizing, unscrupulous activities, absenteeism  and all sorts of “what have we heres” there are those who think of ways to be part of the story.

The colloquial word “sawsaw” depicts these personalities perfectly.

And in Philippine politics, a story of heroism and self-sacrifice could easily turn into a disgusting story of headline grabber KSPs.


Show Stealers

Rachel Donaire, wife of sensational boxer Nonito Donaire Jr., who saved a drowning child despite being nine months pregnant, is nothing short of commendable.  One could easily get teary-eyed while reading the story- it was a shining news item in a bleak bad news-centered Philippine media.

Mrs. Donaire was rushed to the hospital after she injured herself for performing the heroic act.  Fortunately, the wife of the “Filipino Flash” was declared to be away from danger, so is the child she is carrying.

But, just hours after the first reports of the incident made it into internet, and eventually, the news agencies, the “thinkable” happened –– politicians came pouring in with their “hurrahs” and own versions of “praise release”.  Suddenly, it was a feast for the “fooliticos” for a spot on the news.

The latest of these series of “epalitics” is a proposed resolution in the House of Congress commending Mrs. Donaire’s goodwill filed by three lawmakers. While commendation for such act is more than justifiable, its intention deserves to be marked questionable.


Forget Me Nots

Politicians rushing in to be part of the story is a tradition in congress.

Who could forget the move by some congressmen to declare Canadian pop star Justin Bieber a “persona non grata”in the Philippines after he posted on Twitter a few memes depicting the knockout loss of their fellow solon Manny Pacquiao to his bitter rival Juan Manuel Marquez?

House Resolution 2962 demanded an apology from Bieber lest he wants to be branded a castaway in Philippine society.  The pop star did apologize.  Triumphantly, the lawmakers who passed the resolution have their free air time and a head high demeanor to show their “kababayans” no one can criticize their “pambansang kamao.”



And what about HB 5316 or the Anti-Planking Bill? The Quezon City lawmaker did have his share of the limelight.  He cited reasons of  health and safety, and public obstruction, among others, as the basis for creating the bill which did not progress during the 15th congress.

The said QC lawmaker is also behind the Anti- Angry Birds Bill which he said could help in diversifying products in the market seemingly dominated by the popular sling-shot smart phone app.


SONA Maulit Muli

Suddenly, you have a Congress that seems to pass laws to satisfy the popular culture craze.

Meanwhile, the next big attraction where everyone wants to be in the casting role is just around the corner.  After the State of the Nations Address (SONA) different media outfits will have loads of materials from lawmakers reacting to the president’s speech.  Any reaction will do as long as it gets on any paper, even those which are used by tinderas to wrap your everyday tinapa.


Featured image grabbed from

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