36 Stratagems to win a Philippine Election

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1. Tell your dramatic rags-to-riches story again and again to the point of sum-od. Embellish a bit if you need to. Get a Maalaala Mo Kaya episode if you can.

2. If running for National office, get the support of local kingpins. They can help deliver votes.

3. Choose the political party with the most number of winnable candidates. Their ‘magic’ will rub on you (heads up: no point looking for policy bedmates, political parties don’t have ideologies).

4. Attack the administration if you can. Even if you were part of the administration, it can help, people won’t notice.

5. Be pro-poor. Use ‘mahirap’ as many times in speeches as you can.

6. Say you hate corruption. Nobody loves corruption of course, but just say it. A lot.

7. Have dark skin. Too pale and you’d be an elitista. And it means you’ve been campaigning under the sun and are therefore hardworking (share pictures of tan-lines on social media!).

8. Be updated with what’s trendy, from KathNiel to Katniss Everdeen, and all the Gloc-9 in between. Makiuso pa more! #AngInAyPasok

9. Be young, people will vote for you just because you’re young. Unless your name is Juan Ponce Enrile.

10. Jingles and dance steps, while rarely decisive, can help by swaying the whimsically undecided. Broadcast your jingle in neighborhoods on vehicles with loudspeakers like it was the holy gospel.

11. Give away stuff with your name and/or face, from face towels to pasadors.

12. Give away stuff in general. But note the occasion: do not give relief goods during fiestas, and do not donate lechon during a wake.

13. Play around with your name: Jormax Repollo will be ‘Jors truly, to the Max!’ ‘Repollo, Itanim sa Senado!’

14. Make your face and name ubiquitous. Posters and campaign adds everywhere! Nailed on the trunks of Critically Endangered trees, written in paint on the boulders along the Davao-Cotabato road. Pay homeless people to walk around wearing shirts with your name and picture.

15. If you are the main administration bet, scaremonger: stability vs. uncertainty?

16. If inexperienced, say ‘wala akong karanasan sa katiwalian.’

17. If running for National Office, learn the languages in the regions.

18. Love God, publicly and loudly. Bring a Bible around (except when you’re in Muslim territory or campaigning among the LGBT).

19. Suck up to the religions. Don’t mind the Catholics too much, they never follow their religion anyway, but the Protestants almost always block-vote.

20. Get celebrity endorsers. Bring him/her/them around during campaigns as often as possible. Be ninong/ninang to their weddings if you can!

21. Get married during election season, though try to do it a bit later into the campaign.

22. If running for local office, get the endorsement of the winnable national candidates. To be safe, run independently if you’re confident.

23. If running for Vice (president, governor, mayor), tandem with a winnable but old and/or sickly standard-bearer. Invest in your future.

24. Before the filing of candidacy, be guest speaker or judge in as many graduations, conferences, conventions, weddings, and Miss Gay pageants as you can.

25. In public speeches, when talking in front of the unwashed masses quote Jose Rizal, Ninoy Aquino, Cory Aquino, or any currently popular teen loveteam. When talking to the bourgeoisie, quote Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, or Steve Jobs.

26. If just running for class officer in school, ‘do not promise anything but promise to do your very best.’

27. If not winnable personally, run for partylist!

28. If running for partylist, start your partylist name with zero or the letter ‘A’ to be at the top of the list. Also consider using X, Y, or Z to be at the prominent bottom.

29. Pay. And pay more. A single peso advantage over your opponents can sway votes.

30. Also possible to barter votes for rice, canned goods, or cell phone load.

31. For the baluarte of your opponents, the carrot and the stick: pay them not to turn up, and threaten them subtly (‘you cannot assure their safety’) if they vote.

32. Use all your prenominals, postnominals, and courtesy titles in your campaign materials, The Hon. Prof. Gen. Atty. Jormax Repollo MD, PhD, DPA, MBA,CPA,RN

33. If from a prominent family, display your family name to the point of indecency. Use ‘ipagpatuloy ang nasimulan’ as mantra.

34. Assassinate a relative during the election season. Try to blame it on your opponent.

35. Instigate violence during your own Candidacy Filing, kill a few journalists covering for dramatic effect. Blame it on your opponent. Do not do the same to your opponent’s Filing.

36. If all else fails, complain that you have been cheated. If you die before COMELEC makes a ruling, your widow/children can run ‘para ipagpatuloy ang nasimulan’!

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