Friday, October 30, 2009

"hindi ka nag-iisa" is true to its name

The latest political video to make the rounds is the aptly-named "Hindi ka nag-iisa" offering for Noynoy Aquino. I don't know if this is the official campaign line his spin doctors would like to take. But let us assume for the sake of discussion that this video represents the first official salvo from Noynoy's agit-prop handlers.

The video itself is excellently done. Excellent production values combined with enough "kilig factor" moments and celebrity stardust easily make it the most powerful agit-prop video to date. The lilting music performed by none other than Asia's Songbird is likewise executed with focus-group perfection.

Yet strangely (for me at least), there is an empty "been there, done that" aftertaste to the whole 3-minute extravaganza. More strangely, and this actually really happened to me: after watching the 3 minute video, I was suddenly seized with the irrational urge to grab a can of coke from our refrigerator.

A few caffeine shots later and it hits me. Hindi nga siya nag-iisa! I have seen this video before. Lots of times actually. It's a station ID of the Kapamilya network. No, it's a station ID of the Kapuso network.

Or maybe it's this old classic from my favorite caffeine fix:

Or was the director channeling Gandalf and the forces of good for the final battle against the evil hobbit in Malacanang:

When all of the singing and lighting of torches is done, we learn a few things. First; Noynoy Aquino is the son of Cory Aquino and Ninoy Aquino. Second; yellow is the official color of Noynoy but dark colored clothes really DO make people look slimmer on TV. Third; Enrico Villanueva, LA Tenorio, Larry Fonacier and Paolo Bugia apparently got lost on their way to the Ateneo UAAP Championship Bonfire. Fourth; Noynoy Aquino is the son of Ninoy and Cory. Fifth; Anne Curtis, Bianca Gonzales and Bea Alonzo look fabulous but Marian Rivera is the most beautiful face on Philippine TV today. And lastly; magaling talagang mamangka sa dalawang ilog si Boy Abunda.

Why am I complaining? Actually I'm not. I honestly liked the video in a visceral way. It just doesn't grab you on the intellectual side. It looks really slick but it does not offer anything new in terms of adding to the discourse over the issues that we should be talking about in this election. It falls short because it does not give even a passing reference to the platforms that Noynoy will be running on.

Noynoy is the son of Cory and Ninoy. Noynoy's sister has lots of celebrity friends. These are things we knew about years ago. If Noynoy seriously wants to bring change to the way election campaigns are conducted, then his agit-prop team needs to rethink the next video that comes out.

While slick commercials and eyecandy would probably be enough to deliver Noynoy the presidency, wouldn't it be more refreshing to hear his views on issues like the RH Bill, or climate change, or the foreign debt and poverty and inequality, on the educational system? That would truly be change we can believe in. He is so way ahead in the surveys that he could command the attention of everybody to the more important issues without fear of losing ground in the popularity race.

Noynoy Aquino is in a unique position in history. Let him find his own voice. The earlier his agit-prop handlers realize this, the better it is for everybody involved.

Am I taking this video way too seriously? You bet. This is the Philippine presidency for the next six years of our lives we are talking about. On a much more serious note, here is the almighty Lourd with the last wourd on Noynoy:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

and now, a word from our sponsors: messrs curt smith and roland orzabal

If you're old enough to remember the music, then good for you as we belong to the same age demographic. Well, not necessarily. My 10-year old boy just now looked over my shoulder and asked: "hey, wasn't it mojo jojo who sang that song?"

Mojo Jojo is of course the evil genius monkey in Powerpuff Girls. Tears for Fears in Cartoon Network? Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup? A quick search of Youtube brings us the following advice for the young at heart:

Well, so much for this song being a solely gen-x anthem. Nonetheless, it's a haunting intro for the times that we live in. Welcome to your life. There's no turning back.