‘Ako si Isko’ an instant hit among masses

RECENTLY, I attended a series of the “listening tour” being done by Manila Mayor and Aksyon Demokratiko presidential bet Isko Moreno in several areas of Laguna.

A week apart of each other, he met with students at the Pamantasan ng Cabuyao, with employees and visitors at the City Hall of Calamba, with mallgoers at the SM Calamba and with new volunteer members in District 1 where he also launched his “BilisKilos” movement. Then, he met with farmers, rice millers fisherfolk, students and then with barangay leaders and public utility vehicle drivers in different venues in Calauan and Sta. Cruz, the capital of Laguna itself.

Moreno and his team, composed of his senatoriables Carl Balita, Atty. Jopet Sison and Samira Gutoc and his running mate Doc Willie Ong, including Moreno’s manager Letlet Zarcal, are very thankful for the very warm welcome given by Cabuyao Mayor Rommel Gecolea, Calamba Mayor Jun Chipeco and Sta. Cruz Mayor Egay San Luis.

In all the events where he delivered his speech, it is clear why Moreno’s launching political ad was aptly titled, “Ako Si Isko.” Everyone can easily relate to him. Anyone can mirror himself in Moreno, the moment you listen to him. He is as real as can be.

Without reading anything or being guided by a teleprompter or even a small note of talking points, Moreno would talk spontaneously about why he is running for president and just hold his audience captive because he really talks from the heart.

The moment he is introduced and he takes his mask off and flashes a smile before beginning his talk, people would just go crazy, screaming their lungs out. Well, there is no denying that Moreno indeed is a looker.

But his charisma goes beyond his good looks. Years of being in politics –23 years in all- has obviously honed him to become a very good public speaker. Indeed, the best these days.

Whoever said that the normal attention span of an audience is just 10 minutes? In the case of Moreno, he can speak up to over an hour with his audience still glued to him and with many even tirelessly holding up their cellphones to document everything he says.

All eyes and ears, his hundreds and even thousands of listeners, young and old, would also actively participate once he engages them via jokes, questions and comments.

He is also probably the only politician who can get away with not giving any take-home monetary or material incentive to his audience and instead, even asks them to bankroll his candidacy by sparing him a peso, the cost of texting a relative, friend or loved one to help him become this country’s leader.

This challenge for the ordinary citizens to “invest” in their future via a single text even makes his audience appreciative that Moreno would ask them to actively take part if they want real change in government. This makes the listeners happy, along with his assurance of a better future and some selfies, a constant wherever he goes.

In “applying” for the highest post in the land, Moreno sets himself apart by narrating his days as a trash collector who scavenges garbage bins for food, promoting himself as a ‘padyak boy,’ a squatter, a farmer, a student who weathered lack of money to buy food, pay fares and school needs, a showbiz personality and eventually, as a politician who was bullied for not being the typical rich kid who graduated from any expensive school.

Apart from all these, anyone can also relate to Moreno as an ordinary citizen who pays rent and who can get kicked out of his home if he fails to pay on time, who worries about missing his due date on basic utility bills or not being able to feed his family three square meals a day, who takes public transportation, etcetera.

These are basic difficult experiences that only Moreno knows by heart, inside out. This is his advantage over his political opponents since as such, we can be sure that he knows exactly how to address the ordinary problems that confront us, ordinary Filipinos.

What he has done in Manila is a clear sample of what he can do for the entire country. From the ashes, Manila rose to its rightful place as the capital city of the Philippines under just a two-year period, when the city achieved what was originally programmed to be in place in ten years’ time, among them housing projects for the poor, monthly allowances for senior citizens, solo parents, students and PWDs, free COVID-related services like swab tests and provision of tablets, laptops and bandwidth for online learning (This would eat up a whole column to discuss).

Moreno, as records show, fulfilled everything he promised when he ran for Manila mayor in 2019.He intends to replicate what he did in Manila and judging from his character and service record, I’m sure he will.

Jokjok (from Ricardo Hermosa of Bataan)

PEDRO: Pare, malungkot ang nangyari sa barkada nating si Inday, nabalitaan mo na ba?

JUAN: Bakit, anyare?

PEDRO: Hindi kasi sila nagkita ng syota niyang si Dodong ng six months di ba? Tapos kelan lang, nagkita sila ulit

JUAN: Talaga? Tapos?

PEDRO: Ang unang tanong ni Inday kay Dodong: “MAHAL MO PA BA AKO?” Tapos, hindi nakasagot si Dodong. Ang ginawa niya, kinuha niya ang kamay ni Inday tapos itinapat ‘yun sa kanyang dibdib. Ayun, napaiyak si Inday

JUAN: Baket?

PEDRO: Eh kasi, may boobs na pala ang brukang Dodong!!

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