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Greeting 2021

After a sumptuous dinner on December 31, we gathered at the sala to watch “Patay Na si Hesus.” All of us saw the Bisaya family comedy before. Despite all the hardships and challenges, 2020 forced Filipinos to spend most of their time since March at the house together. Gathering around to watch something we enjoyed as a family felt a fitting finale for 2020. Now, we look forward to 2021 stronger.

Despite the seeming disarray at the top, I assume we will get the COVID-19 vaccine this year. I expect Malacañang and other power players in Congress would move mightily to ensure most Filipinos would be vaccinated by the time candidates file their candidacy certificates by October. 

But let us assume the world would not reboot back to exactly like pre-COVID times. The months of quarantine changed the world’s population. We experienced the joys of being with family. While we can return to the office and physically interact once again, we also learned working from home. The population and business transformed digitally. We order food and even do groceries online. We conduct small and large meetings online.

In the US, majority of Americans learned to campaign and vote virtually. In November, they finally ended the reign of an ultra-Rightist President who messed up the superpower’s anti-COVID response.

New Year Survey
The surprising canard of a survey started tongues wagging on New Year’s Day. As expected, DDS trolls rejoiced while the growing anti-Duterte circles criticized “False Asia.” I looked at the survey on presidentiables as a clever ploy to set the agenda at the start of 2021. Of course, I do not believe the survey was accurate. It was a public relations ploy. Imagine, pro and anti-administration partisans debating whether Davao Mayor Inday Sara is number one or not. The so-called survey makes her top of mind on New Year’s Day. Brayt nga palihi.

The Pacman
The same “False Asia” survey positioned Senator Manny Pacquiao as the number one choice for senator. After becoming the PDP-Laban boss last year, the Pacman became a presidentiable in the lips of many. The survey obviously seeks to cut the Pambansang Kamao to size. Pang-senador lang.

However, my friend Tonton Antogop remains unperturbed. Tonton, the secretary general of the Manny Pacquiao for President Movement (MPPM), expressed confidence in the grassroots enthusiasm for the Pacman to run. Apparently, he believes more in what he sees as they go around the countryside than the so-called False Asia survey. Tonton says the Pacman plans to do rounds of consultations with Cebu leaders. We will have the chance of seeing how Cebuanos engage with Pacquiao this week. 

(Emmanuel N. Mongaya is a member of the Political Officers League of the Philippines. He is also co-founder and director for strategic PR of PRWorks Inc. Contact him @ anol_cebu in Twitter)