The 2010 Philippine national elections produced a number of memorable political jingles. Who can forget Juan Ponce Enrile’s “Gusto ko, Happy ka,” Loren Legarda’s “Ikaw” (featuring pop star Sarah Geronimo), and Manny Villar’s “Tunay Na Mahirap”?
As the May 2010 polls drew closer, then-Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay released a series of campaign ads with the slogan “Kay Binay, gaganda ang buhay!” The catchiness of the 30-second jingle certainly did not hurt his chances of winning the vice presidency. He came from as much as 20 points behind and defeated longtime frontrunner Mar Roxas.
Fast forward to 2013. From being a candidate no one expected to win, Binay is now the country’s most trusted politician (that is debatable, of course). For the coming midterm elections, Binay is flexing his political muscle – teaming up with deposed President Joseph Estrada to form the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) as the main challenger to the Liberal Party (LP).
Technically speaking, UNA has a complete senatorial slate of twelve candidates. Because of the “unique” characteristic of our politics here, three of those bets (Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda, and Grace Poe-Llamanzares) are also running under the LP. And since LP bars those running under their banner from campaigning with other parties, only nine bets can attend UNA campaign sorties.
The 2013 ad
Directed by Paolo Villaluna (Storyline fame) of Filmex Production House, the 60-second clip begins with a shuttle bus encountering stormy weather ahead. A male narrator then says: ‘Habang tinatahak ang daang matuwid, marami ang nagtatanong, ”Bakit mahirap pa rin ang buhay?’ ‘Bakit dumadami ang walang trabaho?’ ‘Bakit patuloy ang pagtaas ng presyo?’” A series of bleak images are then presented: a family living on a kariton, a man desperate for a job, and a sign showing that rice prices had gone up.
As the narrator goes on to say “Ang kailangan, pamamahalang maganda. Pamamahala tungo sa magandang buhay,” the shuttle bus makes a U-turn. This time, the weather has already improved with the shuttle bus passengers seen smiling all over (they were unseen earlier in the ad).
As the UNA candidates take turns alphabetically in saying their respective one-liners, a rip off of Binay’s 2010 commercial can be heard in the background (same tune, although this time, it now goes “Sa UNA, gaganda ang buhay”). It is very rare that campaign jingles at the national level gets rehashed. However, Binay’s camp probably believes that using again an advertising campaign that worked well in the past is a safer bet than coming up with a new one.
For comparison watch here Binay’s 2010 campaign video (directed by Paolo Villaluna as well):