“Hanep na ang buhay dahil may hanapbuhay”

Is Cynthia Villar repeating Manny’s advertising blunders?

Former Las Pinas Rep. Cynthia Villar aired her first infomercial for Villar Foundation (VF) summer of 2012. Mrs. Villar is running for Senate because her husband Manny is constitutionally barred from seeking a third consecutive term. Luckily for her, their foundation marked its 20th anniversary just a year before the 2013 midterm elections.

This gave her an excuse to constantly appear on television throughout 2012 in the guise of promoting their advocacies. From campaigning to protect the Manila Bay, to promoting livelihood workshops, and sponsoring events for bloggers, Mrs. Villar is virtually omnipresent. And her efforts seem to be paying off. According to a December 2012 survey by pollster Pulse Asia, she will most likely win a Senate seat.

Mrs. Villar has aired two television ads so far. Directed by veteran filmmaker Mark Meily (of Crying Ladies fame), the 30-second ad features the life story of Divine Resus, a 20-year-old poor lady who benefited from VF’s coconut weaving workshops. Midway through the ad, Villar appears. “Hanep na ang buhay, kapag may hanapbuhay,” she and her women supporters concluded.

cynthia villar mrs. hanepbuhay
“Hanep na ang buhay, dahil may hanapbuhay”
– Cynthia Villar, 2013 senatorial candidate

The reaction online to Mrs. Villar’s first ad has been largely negative, mainly because it is considered as premature campaigning. The acting and the physical appearance of the video’s protagonist also received ridicule. She also seems to have repeated her husband’s mistake of being perceived as setting herself apart from other people in the ad, albeit unintentionally. How did this happen?

First, understand that the public generally reacts negatively to candidates who engage in premature campaigning (see for instance how people embraced the anti-epal online movement). Then, the latter part of the video is more appalling. Mrs. Villar evidently wants to establish her connection to the masses through the ad.

One major mistake is the ad’s attempt to make Mrs. Villar stand out from the rest by focusing the lighting on her while deliberately making everyone else in the shot look dull. See the snapshot below for reference. This is like the controversial cover of FHM magazine last year where Bela Padilla’s whiteness was emphasized by making everyone else around her look extremely dark. This leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

The funny thing is, her husband Manny also committed the same blunder in one of his pre-campaign period ads in 2009. At the 0:27 mark of this commercial, Villar can be seen wiping off his hand after holding several mud-covered ducks in a farm. Of course, any person would certainly do that, but do they have to show that in the ad?

PS: The second one, which goes to the tune of Gloc 9’s “Simpleng Tao” shows other women beneficiaries of VF projects. “May hanapbuhay ako, mula sa iyo,” the unidentified female singer chants. As of writing time, this video has not been uploaded in YouTube.

About Author



Mark Pere Madrona

The Filipino Scribe (TFS) is managed by Mark Pere Madrona, a multi-awarded writer and licensed professional teacher from the Philippines. Mr. Madrona earned his master’s degree in history from the University of the Philippines-Diliman last 2020. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from the same university back in 2010. His area of interests includes Philippine journalism, history, and politics as well as social media. Know more about him here: https://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

8 thoughts on ““Hanep na ang buhay dahil may hanapbuhay”

  1. kahit itanggi nya ang pangangampanya, obviously,obvious na obvious naman sa mga giangawa nya. Well, she is rich, famous and with lots of connection and has the best political advisers. They know how to play games. Pero i like her project in fairness, dami natutulungan ng Villar Foundation.

  2. Not to play devil’s advocate, the shot of Manny wiping off the mud was intentional, since he wiped it on his clean shirt. Parang maparating nga na iba sila pero nakikisama o nakikisabay sa kanilang lebel. Aren’t big-time ad campaign companies behind these ads?

    I agree with your main question though, haven’t the Villars learned from the 2010 experience?

  3. dear hanip buhay sumulat po ao sa inyo dahil gusto ko pong tulungan ang aking kaibigang namatay ang kanyang asawa at mag isa nyang tinataguyod ang kanyang pamilya may lima syang mga anak at dalawa ay may. sakit sa puso maawa po kayo sa kanya tulungan nyo po sya nakapagtrabaho sa hanep buhay.

  4. dear mrs hanip buhay, sumulat ako sa inyo dahil gusto ko pong matulungan ang aking mga estudyante sa sekondarya . sila po ay kulang sa silid aralan, salat sa kagamitan sa pag aaral. napakalayo ang lokasyon sa paaralang ito mula sa main school, ito ay isang extension school. ang edukasyon lang ang tanging pag asa para makahaon sila sa kahirapan. sana matulungan mo po kami .
    maraming salamat po

  5. dear miss hanep buhay,: sumulat po ako sa inyo upang ipabatid ang akin kaunting kaalaman tunkol sa waste materials na akin ginagawang bag na ito po ay ang straw ng soft drinks. ako si gng. lilia lawas cogay, barangay maahas los banos laguna.
    dahil po dito ako ay humihingi ng tulong upang mapalaganap ang akin kaunting kaalaman. maramaing salamat po.

  6. gud morning po gusto ko pong magkaron d2 sa sto nino bilibiran binangonan rizal ng proyekto nyo lalo na po sa amin mga nanay na nasa bahay lng

  7. Magandang umaga po madam Cynthia Villar, single parent po ako at nasa Compostela Valley po ang mga magulang ko parehong senior citizen na po ang parents ko. Nandito po ako ngaun sa Pasig Kasalukuyan Namamasukan bilang kasambay po .At kasama ko rin po d2 sa manila ang anak ko na 12 years old,pumapasok po sa Kapitolyo High School ang anak ko. Nais ko po sana humingi ng kunting tulong mula sa puso nyo maam cynthia,sana po matulungan nyo po ako na mabigyan ng matutuluyan na tahanan para po sa amin ng anak ko. at kasalukuyan po ako nag appy ng trabaho sa ibang bansa,may employer na po sana ako ngaun ,ang problima ko po wala po akong pambayad ng Client Registration fee, Umaasa po ako Na matulongan nyo po ako sa pangangailangan ko at sa family ko. More power to you MADAM Cynthia Villar

    Maraming salamat po,
    Grace Tabanao,
    09224294706 or gracetabanao@yahoo.com

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