If the Presidentiables Were Places, What Would They Be?

Undecided on who to vote for? Here’s something you don’t have to take too seriously.

April 21, 2016

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The presidential election is upon us. In just a few more weeks—whether we like it or not—one of the 5 presidential candidates will be our new president. In honor of this, let’s look at the people running and imagine what place they would be based on their history, credentials, and overall reputation during this election cycle. Please take note that this article was written in pure fun as a breather from the tension of all the political conversations, especially on social media.

1. Miriam Defensor-Santiago is…
During the filing of candidacy, Miriam came out on top and was much buzzed about, but the excitement fizzled because of a few major concerns. First, on July 2, 2014, she revealed to the press that she has stage 4 lung cancer although that didn’t stop her from declaring her candidacy the following year. She also drew flak for choosing the beleaguered Senator Bongbong Marcos as her running mate. Her high popularity in social media, love for funny pickup lines, and two bestsellers couldn’t save her from having low poll ratings, which we believe is due mainly to her health. Love her or hate her, it seems that Filipinos prefer Madam Senator to focus more on winning the battle against cancer. Therefore, the fiery Miriam Defensor-Santiago is none other than a Hospital.

2. Mar Roxas is…
Mar has had his ups and downs so far in this campaign period. After giving way for then-Senator Benigno Aquino in the 2010 presidential election, he was appointed to head the DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communications) and then the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government). He was heavily criticized for his performance as interior secretary in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda, which made the news again recently when his supporters distributed comic books that depicted the secretary as a hero during the disaster. With stagnant ratings, one can only look back at 2004 when Mar dominated the senatorial election—thanks to his moniker as “Mr. Palengke” that made him more appealing to the masses. It may be too late for his forgotten nickname to catapult him to higher ratings, so we all would rather associate Mar Roxas with the place that made him famous: a Palengke.

3. Rodrigo Duterte is…
By far the most controversial of all the candidates at the moment, Mayor Duterte declared that he would be a hands-on crime-fighting leader if he becomes president. Human rights advocates have criticized Digong over the years for tolerating extrajudicial killings and his alleged link to the notorious Davao Death Squad. Running Davao City with an iron fist, the mayor has been praised by his constituents for keeping the crime rate very low in the city, which eventually gained him a huge number of supporters who wished for him to seek higher office. Now that they got their wish, will Mayor Duterte take the law into his own hands in his quest to eliminate crime in the Philippines (6 months as promised) if he wins? By now, we’re familiar with the mayor’s knack for getting himself in trouble with uncensored remarks, especially when it’s about eliciting fear and slaughtering criminals. We can only think of one place related to both fear and death to associate with the tough-talking candidate: a Cemetery.

4. Jejomar Binay is...
This one is a giveaway. Pay attention to anything that the current vice president says in interviews and debates and he never fails to mention this place. But can we blame him? After all, his constituents were satisfied with his performance as its mayor a couple of years ago. They were so impressed that they elected his wife and then his only son to be his successors. VP Binay’s supporters credit him for turning this place into the financial center of the Philippines, where major companies, embassies, countless shopping malls, banks, luxury hotels, and high-risers are found. A quirky benefit if you’re a senior citizen and a resident of this place is that you get a free cake on your birthday. So all together now, Vice President Jejomar Binay is, no doubt, the City of Makati.

5. Grace Poe is…
Grace Poe will always be remembered for winning a seat in the senate in 2013—with more than 20 million votes. Aside from having high-profile parents, the senator is also known as a former chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). Then of course, there’s her citizenship and residency: She returned to the Philippines from the US in 2005, which she used to back her claim that her residency will be well over 10 years by election time (10 years is required). But her critics have been adamant that she still lacks a couple of months. Ultimately, the Supreme Court voted 9-6 to recognize Poe as a natural born Filipino, thus allowing her to run. But what if Grace Poe was American after all and she wins the presidency? Does that make her the first American woman “president” (ahead of Hilary Clinton, assuming she wins the Democratic primary and the US presidential elections)? We’ve clearly had too much politics for today, so we might as well stop this. But before we forget, with the kind of controversy that hounded her, we can only associate Grace Poe with the US.

Laughs aside, the 2016 presidential elections have been plagued by one controversy after another, and all bets are off as the candidates face them. We, at TravelBook.ph, only hope for nothing but the best as our country chooses its next leader. We also hope that you use critical thinking when deciding who to vote for: don’t be swayed by the media, both traditional and social. Do your own research—find out what they stand for and if you approve of their political ideals and plans.

Don’t let the elections become a mere popularity contest. Let’s all strive for a better leader.