20 May 2013

Vice-Ganda’s Hilarious Nancy Binay About-Face

That has got to be the most hilarious post-election reaction yet, so sleekly done by none other but Vice-Ganda. This was on last Tuesday’s edition of the noontime show ‘It’s Showtime.’ Results of the previous day’s local and senatorial elections were by no means conclusive yet; but the early trend showed everyone’s favourite senator-elect Nancy Binay – joke – among the frontrunners.

And as everyone knows, Vice-Ganda made a very public statement about a week or so before the polls that was potentially damaging to Binay’s campaign efforts. Something that Binay gracefully and sportingly shrugged off, confident that she was for whatever reason of her chances.

So on to the day after and Binay’s strong early performance, which must have been a shock to Vice as it was to most everyone else who did not give Binay a chance. Those who went to social media to campaign in some way or the other against Binay were at most probably annoyed to see her doing so well in the early results.

But Vice made his statement on national television. It was potentially embarrassing. Trust Vice Ganda, however, to handle the situation not only sleekly but also with the hilarity that he became famous for.


Add the fact little known beyond political science circles that a democracy will probably be best where the middle class is large and the population educated and we can all stop wondering why Binay did as well as she did.
The show had just started and the hosts were giving their reactions to the polls. Jhong Hilario and Kuya Kim were congratulating each other on their respective relatives’ successful campaigns.

I don’t know if it was scripted; but suddenly Vice Ganda cut in between the two and said, “Congratulations sa mga nangunguna ng 1-5 sa mga senador. Congratulations sa inyong lahat. Ang bongga n’yo talaga.”

This was said poker-faced – which, it has to be said, made him look more hilarious – and the mere mention of 1-5 had me laughing so hard I had to catch my breath afterwards.

Binay was at number 5. And Vice being Vice, he just had to add, “Ma’am Nancy! Pakain ka naman!”

Hats off to Vice! That was so gracefully done. Talk about striking while the iron was hot! With that hilarious improvisation, he swiftly cast away any potential embarrassment that could have arisen from his earlier statement against Binay.

Neither Hilario nor Kuya Kim, naturally, were impressed; and teased Vice Ganda with “Ang galing mo talaga!” Even as Vice went on with a further statement about the need to come together and move on now that the elections were over.

The truth was, Vice gambled with his public statement – and lost. Binay did not have to say one word to gloat.

I do not for one moment think that Vice compromised his convictions against Binay with his hilarious comments on ‘Showtime.’ In fact, his face showed what looked like continuing contempt for the senator-elect.

But he said what had to be said, dismissed the entire matter of his having lost on his gamble and made everyone laugh while he was at it. Great move!

On a more serious note, all the Binay-bashing on social media sometimes had me scratching my pate. I mean, does anyone really think that Grace Poe will bring substantially more to the table than Binay? Yet Poe’s number one position has been something that was simply accepted as a matter of course.

Don’t anyone get me wrong. I have nothing against Poe. I just don’t think having headed an entertainment regulatory board is a desirable or ideal credential for an aspirant to carry onto the Philippine Senate.

And not that it’s her fault. Or Binay’s, for that matter.

Democracy is a funny old thing; and among its imperfections is that any Tom, Dick or Harry can run for public office on the pretext of these things we call the Constitution and the citizen’s basic rights.

To illustrate: before anyone can practise the profession of nursing, one is expected to have gone through four years of training and acquired an RN’s license.

To become an engineer, one is expected to have gone through five years of college and also taken and passed the engineering licensure exams. To be able to teach basic education, one is expected to have acquired a BSE or BEEd degree and then passed the LET.

And so on and so forth.

To become a Senator given the task of legislating on behalf of the entire republic, one is expected to be a natural-born citizen of the country; at least 35 years old on the day of the elections; is able to read and write; is a registered voter; and has been a resident of the country for not less than two years immediately preceding the election.

See what I mean? Not much is asked of an aspiring Senator, is it?

Add the fact little known beyond political science circles that a democracy will probably be best where the middle class is large and the population educated and we can all stop wondering why Binay did as well as she did.

It was never her fault. It’s just the way the system – or rather, the lack of it – works.

[Photo of Vice Ganda captured from www.iwantv.com.ph.]

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