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BRATINELLA

DANTON REMOTO
Ang Ladlad Chair
2010 Senatorial Candidate
One senator running for re-election saw my campaign manager, a transgender named Bemz Benedito, and told her: "Hoy, 'yang boss mo, ang lakas-lakas ng loob tumakbo ng senator. Wala namang partido. Wala ring pera. Mataas man siya sa mga surveys at mock polls ngayon, surveys at mock polls lang 'yan."

To which my campaign manager just arched her well-trimmed eyebrows. I have trained her to ignore stray dogs.


Miffed, senatorial candidate added: "And you can tell that to your boss!"

The problem with Bratinellas (brats who become senators) is that, after winning by a fluke because of a TV melodrama about their family's life, they think they can now win the top spot in the 2010 senatorial elections. Because that is what this reelectionist wants, to be on top of the heap in 2010.

I have said it before and I am saying it now: The youth vote will be a youth quake in the 2010 elections. Boto mo, ipatrol mo, is growing by leaps and bounds. Previously apathetic young people are signing up. The Cha Cha of Congress has gelled the young people together. It is like 1986 all over again, with the spring of hope rising in the air.

And I am quite sure these bright, young people will not put a bratty, no-brainer in the top spot for 2010.

Why is everybody jostling for the top spot in the senatorial elections? Because if you are number 1 or number 2 in the 2010 elections, you have a very good chance of landing as Vice-President in 2016.

My dream is much lower. In 2007, I just wanted to run for party list elections, pass the Anti-Discrimination Bill, and return to the quiet life of an English teacher at the Ateneo. But Burjer Cook Ben Abalos promptly shot down our plans, upon the orders of Malacanang. And in a Kafkaesque moment, I sometimes think he is my campaign manager. Because of what he did, waves of sympathy went my way, translating into what Bratinella rues as my "high ranking in the surveys and mock polls."

Now, now, now. Let us have some sense and sensibility here. Let me do a Shakespearean turn and address you directly: Is it my fault, Bratinella, if many people like me and not you? What, really, have you done in the Senate?

You can fool the Filipinos once, but you cannot fool them forever.

Oh, I think I now know what is Bratinella's favorite fruit.

In English: sour grapes.

In Tagalog: ubas na mapait.

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