So campaign season is in full swing!
Day by day, candidates are getting more and more desperate, voters (us) are getting more and more cynical, and local pop culture is getting more and more colorful, rife with memes, jokes, and the occasional moment of WTF-ery that only Philippine politics can provide.
But where does that leave you, son/daughter of political hopeful? Sure, we understand it's a stressful time for you, too—your safety and security are even more at risk, rules and lines are being drawn, and you must be privy to some pretty intense scenes on the home front.
It's nuts, so we've decided to help you deal via our nifty list of Please-Don'ts in case anxiety/carelessness/plain stupidity moves you to posting pictures of your new shoes (poorly-thought-out) action.
PLEASE DON'T… Post anything online that will trigger the envy of us trigger-happy normal people
You're the child of a (presumably) rich politico, so on a regular basis we assume you have the best of everything: the car we've always dreamed of, the watch/shoes/fancy gadget we're lusting after, vacations to places our humble piso fares can't reach. But while we take that for granted any other time of the year, come campaign season, you can be sure our hackles will rise against any sort of proof of your privilege.
That's just the way it is—it’s the only time we get to bitch at how lucky you are under the guise of righteously indignant "THEIR _______ IS CORRUPT," so maybe consider conveniently forgetting the passwords to all your social media accounts until the end of May? Unless your relative wins, of course—then maybe you should just ghost the Internet for the duration of their term.
PLEASE DON'T… Defend your parent's public gaffes with equally idiotic moves
Yes, yes—you love mom and dad and don't like it when they get hurt. But it doesn't really help when you take on the cudgels of being their Number One Fan in a public space, either via feisty statements or tearful appeals to our emotions. It will just make the entire situation even more ludicrous than it already is.
Note: We are not on your side. You and your family are circus animals we judge on a daily basis, and no, we don’t feel sorry for you. (This must have something to do with Item No. 1.) So put on a stoic face and don’t comment or react the next time mom or dad puts out a lame campaign ad mocked by the masses/compares gay people to animals/gets caught cheating. Politics is a shitstorm and there’s no damage-controlling it.
PLEASE DON'T… Attempt to act like you're just like us
In a corollary to the first item, making too much of an effort to be "for the masses" and patriotic and all that jazz just makes us even more suspicious. When your parent's PR team trumpets how "normal" you are by making you wear unbranded clothes/ride the MRT/broadcast your academic achievements, it unfortunately takes all of five seconds for the cynical and jaded electorate to believe you're too good to be true.
So what if you build houses with Gawad Kalinga? Won some civic award for your charitable and heroic acts (you once saved a dying dog from streets in the past, right? Best to just keep your head down and your name off the papers. Yup, there's just no winning, right? Maybe it’s time to ask mom or dad if you can take a trip to the States until all the craziness is over. (And if they do agree, remember, don't you dare post vacay photos on IG.)
PLEASE DON'T… Let us catch you dating a celebrity
One, we will be extremely jealous.
Two, we will just think you're doing it for the campaign.
It doesn't matter if you've been bonking since before Christmas, now is not the time to show the public how a) lucky you are to be attractive/rich/charming enough to bag a hot celeb, and b) privileged you are to actually be close enough to our idols.
So please don't don matching campaign shirts during rallies or post photos of you guys doing election-appropriate things like handing out bribes, er, relief goods to the homeless. Because it works, dammit—as much as we hate politicos, we love our artistas. And using one of our beloved celebs to make sure your relative gets elected is a low blow (that is astonishingly effective). So congratulations in advance, here’s to six more years!
PLEASE DON'T… Turn into a douchebag once your family wins
You will probably be the inevitable first domino to fall. Your drunken exploits, shady business dealings, or sexual proclivities will make the front page, and your mom and dad will have to pay the price. So for the love of all things you hold dear, make yourself scarce if you can’t keep it clean. Show up at the inauguration wearing something nondescript, let people tweet about how normal-looking you are, and then flee to a foreign country where your last name means nothing.
Trust us, it's the only way you'll stay sane.