Manolo Quezon is #TheExplainer Newsletter — Issue #26 Teaser Tussle

Manuel L. Quezon III
4 min readAug 21, 2021

Our Electoral Merry-Go-Round is a day delayed. So as not to clog your inbox, this means the Long View weekly edition of the newsletter will also come out on Thursday and not on Wednesday.

Free Press editorial cartoon on Raul Manglapus’ Party of Philippine Progress, 1965

This editorial cartoon by E.Z. Izon dates from the Party of Philippine Progress effort of Raul Manglapus to present a “third force” in the usual Nacionalista vs. Liberal contests of the era. It illustrates the derision that usually greets such efforts from the pros.

But with the ruling coalition showing signs it won’t be allowed to fracture in the usual way, and that it has a better than usual chance of participating as a cohesive group come the 2022 polls, all the more business as usual won’t apply to other potential contenders.

Electoral Merry-Go-Round

The President’s party has made it official that he is their candidate for the Vice-Presidency in 2022, with Senator Go as their presidential standard-bearer; they’ve taken in recent days to mock the efforts of Senator Pacquiao to turn his fan clubs into the nucleus of a political party.

So the President, after the bureaucracy said it couldn’t implement his “do not give aid funds to Manila” order because he wasn’t specific enough, backpedaled after it seemed his wanting to divert aid from the city government to national government offices for distribution instead, was triggering a circling of the wagons by other local governments.

Since the lockdown in Metro Manila and surrounding areas and other big metropolitan areas has put an end to the usual modes for getting noticed, it seems the response of potential candidates has been to intensify the use of the Internet. As I outlined in Newsletter #9, the political calendar portion we’re in, is the pre-October one in which potential candidates are trying to boost their survey numbers, to attract funding and alliances.

Teaser & Jingle Tussle-Jam

Words, music, images combine to make the pitch for the viability of potential candidates.

Leni Robredo

There was an abortive, because spectacularly failed, effort to push the Veep as “MamaLeni” and mercifully now that it’s fizzled out, another effort, “Let Leni Lead,” seems to be having better luck.

The pitch:

The score:

All of the above, comes from the rag-tag, volunteer-driven efforts egging on the Vice-President to run.

Ping Lacson

Before we get to his pitch, you need to see this.

There is a YouTube channel, WeNeedALeaderPH, which put forward its purpose as follows:

This was followed by videos encouraging folks to register to vote, and then “reflections” in the nature of “The Next Leader Should Hit The Ground Running” and “A Unifying Leader” as well as We Need a Leader Stories and even a Skit, but more recently music’s been the focus of the channel. Note the use of the music in the pro-Lacson presentation below.

The pitch:

So here’s the pitch, which clocks in at the longest, over four minutes. And note the music.

The score: a long story

The roster of artists of WeNeedALeaderPH is rather impressive, covering generations and genres. The first one rolled out was Freddie Aguilar, whose campaign song for President Duterte displaced the traditional presidential anthem once he was in office. What Aguilar was for the 70s crowd is what Buendia means to the 90s crowd; generational cross-over can be seen in Aegis and Asin.

Isko Moreno

Isko Moreno of course has genuine showbiz creds and it shows in the ad which is the pithiest but possible the punchiest of the lot, clocking in at precisely 1 minute: perfectly-suited to the short attention span of today’s consumers.

The pitch:

…And BBM?

In contrast to the battleground in YouTube and in chat apps, Tiktok seems to be Marcos country. Again, it points to the centrality of the youth to the Marcos Rehabilitation Plan. Just the latest saga in the remarkable story of how the Marcoses identified the Inernet as the path to sidestepping history.



PINOY TAYO🇵🇭 · 6–2

Marcos naman tayo✌️ #bbm #DAVAO #duterte #dutertelangmalakas👊 #fyp #foryou



AR Abelon · 6–2

BBM, LENI, O SARAH? #election2020 #sarahDuterte #BBM #lenirobredo #marcos #philippines #politicsph

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Manuel L. Quezon III

Columnist, Philippine Daily Inquirer. Editor-at-large Views strictly mine. I have a newsletter, blog, podcast, and Patreon.