In the age of TV Show and Live Internet Streaming, almost all teens I know have their own list of shows to watch and download. So, I know how we’re all familiar with whose shows that always have “The Game” as one of their main themes. Let me have as an example and focal point here one of my all-time favorite TV shows – How I met your mother. One of the characters in the movie, a crowd favorite: Barney, with how he is, speaks so much of himself and human nature in general. He’s the star player who never settles and has really good game in scoring chicks and biddies in NYC. How he does this, of course, was not like manna from heaven which just eventually came out of the blue. How he plays the game is guided by his one true bible in which he calls – The Playbook. The book guides you in the game of dating which is played with more games, lies, deceit, and pretending. Thinking about it makes me want to burn the damned book. But here we are, still loving Barney & still being a part of the game he’s playing and voila! As proof, HIMYM is on its 8th season. Countless of pretty faces has come and go, but the game still goes on.

Even I myself wonder how it’s so addicting and how we all love the complication of it all. And I’m sure you can relate to that when it comes to Philippine politics. Even until our age, the rules of politics and elections remain the same as ever, even worse. Countless faces of candidates have passed, old timers and new comers, still- they abide to the rules as prescribed in the playbook. How I wish it was as amusing as how Barney played it but this one is far more scary and dangerous. And that’s the big difference that lie between what we see in the show and what we experience first-hand.

Now that national elections is nearing, it has been such an eventful couple of months for aspiring position holders that ComElec has been flooded with numerous CoC’s like a barrio fiesta. Like the Playbook Barney has, these politicians also have their own rules in the game of politics. One thing that bothers me is how there’s little space for newcomers in congress because there’s a good 70% of district representatives are re-electionists. It’s either that or these reps do whatever it takes to stay in power by letting their spouses, children or siblings enter the race. If only pets were allowed, they would’ve thrown in the family dog too.  Not that some are not of great potential, some of them are really good. It’s just that the performance of the others overshadow those who have proven their capacity as public servants.

As soon as I heard of Atty. Leni Robredo, wife of the late DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo, running for a congressional post in Camarines Sur’s 3rd district reminded me of a trend that has long been used in the game of politics. Take late Pres. Cory Aquino, FPJ’s wife Susan Roces and even Imelda Marcos. Part of what carries to victory relatives of popular politicians who died, you get the sympathy vote. This one is a tough cookie, because it involves the heart and feeling sorry plays a part. It can generate a lot of votes, but not everything.  In the end, politics is about the numbers and capitalizing sympathy is one way to get there.

Also capturing the spotlight, once again in a different fashion, are our celebs who try to enter the political arena many unaware of its harsher realities.  It has long been a cliché that entertainment personalities would join the race. Ever since the former president Estrada won, the nation witnessed a massive reception from celebrities where famous faces we see in movies are running for national and local posts. I hope they realize that what they’re up against is the harsher and scarier realities of electoral battles which mere smiles, make-up, *char* showbiz answers and drama cannot fix.

What I dislike most is how everything is so obvious yet we don’t do as much as care. We always have this rule about a certain period of campaigning and I’m pretty sure it’s not in a few months or so, but try walking in the streets of Cebu you’ll see a lot campaign materials already and candidates delivering speeches already to woo the people to vote. Just notice the vehicle bearing “type O” which really screams early campaigning. Although, these are pretty subtle it sticks and already creates an advantage. These politicians do know how to play; bad thing is we’re the ones who get played. Our outdated system isn’t helping either. When I went to Comelec to get myself registered, there are tons of papers and files stacked and are buried in dust. Gone are the days of log-book and writing your control number. We don’t get our ID’s too, and they told us not too demand from them anymore. And let me tell you that these people do not kid.

Just like on TV, when everything is just as it is, there’s always that character who steps into the picture and just changes the whole equilibrium of things, like how Robin did just that to Barney. She changed Barney and the rules of the game. It was a breath of fresh air because every episode we are seeing a whole new Barney, a better Barney. In reality that Robin character comes a little bit massive and general – and it’s us, the voters. When we get into the feel of being voters, there’s this excitement and escalating feeling of finally changing things. Then, you see all the tricks and mind plays being done and we get rather disappointed. But fret not, my friends, because I too feel the same sometimes. But not participating would only add up to this unfortunate situation. Whatever you do not choose still makes a big difference. So choose to change the rules of the game by mastering the game and making sure you don’t get swallowed up by those cheats and tricks these veterans put up with. Let’s continue educating ourselves and others to be able to have an informed choice in the coming National elections 2013.   You know the biggest difference of a TV show and real life? It’s the power to change the ending. As being part of the latter, choose an ending that deserves a standing ovation.




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