How many stars will be in government after today’s elections?

column-ricky gallardoWe just hope that today won’t turn out to be a circus. I’m not usually cynical about things, but my gut tells me that it won’t be a smooth electoral process, not with the kind of preelection mess and mudslinging we have witnessed in the days and weeks leading up to today.

Whatever the results, today will determine the future of this already poor, much maligned country for the next six years. So God help us.

As in previous elections, stars are among the thousands of hopefuls, running for their desired posts, bringing with them their respective plans, agendas, dreams, however we want to describe the reasons they are allowing themselves to wade into this already very mucky field.

Former actor-turned-president-turned-mayor Joseph E. Estrada, who never got to finish his term after being impeached and subsequently imprisoned for graft and corruption, is running for his second term as mayor of the big city of Manila. Turning 79 this year, Estrada initially announced that he would only serve for one term, but changed his mind and now wants another six years. If he finishes his term, he will already be 85.

Former child actor-turned-comedian-turned-politician Herbert Bautista initially wanted to run for a seat in the Senate this year but later changed his mind. He still wants more glory days as the mayor of Quezon City. We reckon it’s a good decision. There is still so much to be done and implemented in Quezon City, where we live, and we’re glad Bautista, together with his Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, will continue to come up with programs that will enrich culture and the arts.  We’re happy that both support the annual QCinema Film Festival.

Another celebrity who has earned the ire of the public in his bid to become a senator is boxing champion Manny Pacquiao. After his tirade against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, Pacquaio’s ratings took a nose dive. During his stint as a representative, reports have it he was almost always absent and had no bills passed. Whatever could be fueling this boxer’s mind to continue wanting more than what he already has and owns? Sometimes greed can really camouflage itself in many ways.

We’re glad Vilma Santos-Recto was not swayed to run for vice president when the administration was courting and clamoring for her to run for the country’s second highest post. She did quite well as governor of Batangas City and running for Congress is a wise decision.

Former action star Lito Lapid says there’s nothing wrong about him running for city mayor after his term as senator. And we certainly agree. He is free to run for any public office he so desires. Whether he wins or not, we have to wait and see.

When he tried to run for vice president in the last elections, Edu Manzano was not successful. This year he is eyeing a seat in the Senate. Many are hoping that the amiable and able Manzano makes it this time.

Alma Moreno dreams big. She is running for a seat in the Senate, armed with only two consecutive terms as councilor of Parañaque City as her experience in politics. It’s either she is ill-advised or she just wants more than what she can chew.

We heard Alfred Vargas is running unopposed for the lone congressional seat in his district in Quezon City.  In fairness to Vargas,  when he started taking on the role of public servant, he set aside his activities as an actor.

While Bong Revilla is still in jail, his wife Lani Mercado is running  for mayor of Bacoor in Cavite and his son Jolo, who shot himself but survived, will run for reelection as vice governor of Cavite. Bulacan Vice Governor Daniel Fernando’s loyal supporters believe that he is the kind of leader the province needs. Since first serving as provincial board member in 1996, and then as vice governor in 2010, Fernando has been selflessly working for his constituents, especially when natural calamities hit his province hard.

We learned that after being disqualified in the past, Phillip Salvador is again eyeing for the position of Daniel Fernando in Bulacan. Both protégés of the late National Artist Lino Brocka,  we don’t understand why Salvador would want Fernando’s position so much when there are so many other posts available. We are pretty sure if he were alive, Brocka would not like it, as well.

There are more celebrities up for judgement today: Richard Gomez, his wife Lucy, Yul Servo and Jomari Yllana, among them. Let’s see who will survive this political circus.

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With more than 20 years as a lifestyle and entertainment journalist, Ricky Gallardo is also a businessman. Equipped with decades of advertising experience, his interests include arts, cinema, fitness and communications.