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Villar: Tunay na mahirap? By Eunice Joy B.

Narido Not so long ago, the Supreme Court became less strict with early campaigning on the media. They gave it a lame reason of freedom of expression which seemingly belittles our capacity to separate the motive-related to whats not. The Comelec, who was not in favor of the freedom of expression reason, couldnt do anything but to follow the decision of the authority. But now that the campaign period has started, candidates can now maximize their freedom to publicize themselves in every form of mass media without having to settle with subliminal information. Manny Villar, for one, is probably the most popular face on television, with his advertisements bombarding almost every ad spot there is. He was, in fact, one the early birds in campaigning. His first TV ad that would date back to April of last year about he, helping the OFWs. His advertisements also center on he being a poor kid once in his life, and how his sipag at tiyaga brought him to where he is. He was also capable of acquiring famous celebrities to endorse him like Michael V., Willie Revillame and Dolphy. His Si Villar ang tunay na mahirap jingle became an anthem among young children with its last song syndrome-ish tune. But contrary to his famous jingle about being tunay na mahirap, he is rumored to have spent more than a billion for his political ads, not to mention the celebrity talent fees. Constant repetition on TV and radio seemed to be his strategy, capitalizing on the masa appeal, which has always been the trend for political campaigns for years. It is not always a sure hit on the jackpot, though. I remember last years senatorial elections when a senatoriable by the name of Prospero Butch Pichay capitalized so much on TV ads hoping for a secure slot on the rack. Unfortunately for him, he did make it to the senatorial position. People soon goofed about it as Pichay, pinulot sa kangkungan. Yes, repetitive advertising could give people a good recall of your name, but it can never be an assurance of a win. Villar, however, firmly believes in the power of advertising. He once stated in an interview that in order to keep yourself afloat in the tight presidential race, one needs to have at least P1 billion on his campaign chest. He has invaded the trimedia and now even social networking sites like Facebook with his banner ads. And yes he has been ubiquitous and quite desperate, should I say, for having his face printed on plastic bottles and his name on plastic bags. I hope he doesnt become all plastic. People are having doubts on how he would cope with his lost revenue in case he doesnt win. His prompt reply was, Edi, wala na yon. The C5 road project extension allegedly gained him P6 billion, anyway. If it was true, then 1 billion is just a dirty penny who lost his way.