Electoral ‘bangungot’ | Inquirer Opinion
Pinoy Kasi

Electoral ‘bangungot’

/ 04:03 AM November 17, 2021

Every Filipino knows what “bangungot” is, a nightmare where you are overwhelmed by a feeling of paralysis, accompanied by distressed breathing. The inability to wake up, or to be woken up, can lead to death. The word’s origins are more graphic: “bangon,” (to rise) and “ungol” (to moan). Be thankful if you do wake up moaning or screaming and in cold sweat, you’re at least alive.


I can’t help thinking we are a nation going through a political bangungot right now, a long night that doesn’t seem to end.

To a large extent, the feeling of dread and paralysis comes from the way our electoral politics is turning out, what with party-changing (it used to be called political turncoatism) and substitutions.


Can you identify who’s running under each of these parties (listed alphabetically)?

Aksyon Demokratiko, Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, Reporma, Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan, and PROMDI? One of the leading candidates is independent.

Hint: two of the candidates resigned from old parties, one Nacionalista Party and the other PDP-Laban, to have a new sponsoring party.

The party names are almost amusing if we didn’t think hard about what it means not to have clear party platforms.

What we’ve been seeing is a replication of our showbiz world, glitter still to come with the campaigns but right now, the politicians seem to be trying to entertain us like showbiz personalities’ personal lives of scandal: who is seeing whom, who is sleeping with whom, who is breaking up with whom.

So far, the closest we’re seeing to “platforms” is what the candidates are against. President Duterte, the padrino for Christopher Go (better known as Bong Go, note that’s one Bong and not two), has said he is disappointed with his daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio running for vice president when she was leading in the public opinion polls for president and that it was Marcos Jr. who was behind the decision to make her run only as vice president.

Is Papa Duterte worried that if Marcos Jr. and Duterte Jr., ay este, Sara Duterte both win, Marcos Jr. might pull a Duterte on Vice President Sara?


He hasn’t said anything like that but he chided Marcos Jr. as well in an interview by blogger Byron Cristobal (also known as Banat By), saying he will not support Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (Bongbong, twice only please) because, get hold of yourself, the son of the former dictator is actually pro-communist! Also Leni Robredo. Details to follow, he says.

Wow, two pro-communists running for president?

But there’s more. Did you know the professional Red-baiter Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., former head of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, also announced on Monday that he was running for president? Yes, substitution again, taking over from some guy named Lorque of the Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino (KDP).

Guess who this Red-baiter’s latest target is?

The media quotes him: “I cannot align myself with Sen. Bong Go. I’m sorry but he is one of the problems of our country, I don’t want to elaborate on that. You ask people, you ask constituents, you ask the people in the government, you ask the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) why.”

What’s with these macho men playing coy behaving like starlets unwilling to announce if they’re on or off? But maybe they’re planning to be law-abiding citizens—did you know the official campaign period for the national level doesn’t start till Feb. 8? That’s in 2022.

An aside: I saw red reading KDP because that’s the exact name of a Filipino-American leftist association that was formed in the states fighting martial law and Marcos Sr. I checked on Wikipedia and Parlade’s KDP dissociates itself from that group.

Gosh, have I been infected by Parlade, seeing communists running all over the place?

Let’s wake up now from our bangungot and force the candidates to get serious. Let’s pin down the candidates to be more substantive, talk about what they believe in, what they stand for, and not just against. I’m still streamlining the questions I’d like to ask them.

Meantime, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.

And take a break. I’m talking about the Filipino diaspora, heritage, and foodways. I’ve been invited by Center for Culinary Arts to mark their 25th anniversary. That will be tomorrow (Nov. 18, Thursday) at 10 a.m. Four speakers: Rep. Toff de Venecia, Nicole Ponseca, Ige Ramos, and myself.

Zoom link: Meeting ID: 980 7747 4309

Passcode: [email protected]

[email protected]
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TAGS: #VotePH2022, 2022 elections, electoral nightmare, Michael L. Tan, Pinoy Kasi
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