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BEWARE. You are about to enter a freedom zone. No censorship. No stereotypes. And completely biased. In my favor. This is my blog and it should be a genuine one. I will give my opinion on politics and governance, both local and international, law, and many other things - like vampires, books by Neil Gaiman, and the L.A. Lakers. In short, I will blog about anything I like. Or dislike.

I demand one thing before you view my random musings, rantings, hopes, and dreams: be open and have a sense of humor. Have that, and you are most welcome here.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


"Whatcha talkin' about, Willis?"

Gary Coleman died Friday. I will add him to the list of pop culture stars connected to my childhood that have passed away. Foremost, being Michael Jackson. Anyone who was a kid in Manila in the 80's grew up watching the diminutive, fast talking, wise-cracking comedian. I have pretty much forgotten the details of the show but I do remember watching the show with my brothers and sisters in our parents' room and enjoying both the show and the feeling of laughing with your family. For that, I thank you Mr. Coleman. Rest now.

The Bearable Lightness of Losing

I ran for the Philippine Senate. I lost. Five million Filipinos voted for me. A lot of them were Filipino Muslims from Lanao del Sur and the Autnomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Additionally, many young people, mostly college students, not only gave me their vote but also actively campaigned for me. But it wasn't enough. Far from it. Anyway, I knew I was a long shot from the start - little money, a neophyte candidate for public office, and running against established Senators, movies stars, and scions of the biggest and most powerful political dynasties. So I wasn't surprised at my loss. But it was painful nonetheless. Excruciatingly so for about a couple of hours. But I refused to dwell on it for more than a day. That's just my way: don't dwell on things I cannot do anything about and move forward as quickly as possible.

Back to reality. I took a week off - one wonderful, blissful week - spending it with my wife and two sons. No travel outside the country, we just stayed in Manila - except for one road trip to Batangas - because I missed my home after spending 90 days campaigning all over the Philippines. I relearned the joys of cable-surfing.

After that short vacation, On Tuesday, I was back in my Law Office in Ortigas. Time to earn a living for me and my family. In fact, it was time to start "really" living. Let me explain: my brief stint as a politican and a candidate has opened my eyes not only to the painful and heartbreaking realities about our political system but also to how much of Philippine politics is unreal, merely smoke and mirrors, illusions to fool the masses, get their votes, and hold on to power. Of course, it isn't always that way, there are some people in Philippine politics who have integrity, ethics, and vision. And there are times when the system works and we get good leaders. However, a lot of our politics is simply unreal and untruthful. So I look forward to the simple pursuits of working, serving my clients, earning a living, and spending more time with my family.

Finally, it is the family stuff that makes losing bearably light. I get to spend my days with my wife and kids. They remind me that my self-worth is not predicated on the number of votes I get but rather on what kind of father and husband I am and the measure of my character.