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Beard, Beer, and Bribery: BAYAW on the Road to Presidency

photo by LORENZO ABEL S. DIONISIO
photo by LORENZO ABEL S. DIONISIO

IT IS past eight o’clock in the evening. Only noise from a few crew members fill the Aksyon TV studio as they begin shooting a short episode of a documentary show. Suddenly, a man wearing his “daddy fit” orange polo shirt walks into the room—beer belly first—and takes a seat at the anchor’s table. In a minute, this mustachioed man starts talking, making it clear why he has been leading in the recent polls.

BAYAW-graphy
Prophetic could be one way to describe the life story of the country’s most suave presidential candidate. Orphaned only days after his birth, Bayaw (played by Jun Sabayton) was found by his rich adoptive parents inside a basket floating in a river before he was settled in a manger. He recalls his parents’ story that he was visited by the “Three Mocha Girls,’’ who followed the moon to his birthplace during an eclipse.

This story, he claims, was only “copied” by another presidential candidate. “Ginaya niya yung stint ko kasi ‘yun ‘yung patok (sa masa) ngayon e,” the infuriated candidate says. And as if this isn’t dramatic enough, he reveals that his birth and a dark-skinned candidate’s were also simultaneous. “Nasa akin ‘yung liwanag, habang  (nasa kanya) ‘yung dilim.”

Bae-ginnings in politics
Bayaw shares that experiencing firsthand the struggles of the poor was the force—not the one in Star Wars, although he claims that such is in him, too—that compelled him to run. With sincerity in his voice and a sullen look on his face, the candidate says that seeing his countrymen suffer made him realize that the country is in dire need of a good leader like him.

The “teenage” Bayaw started his political career not so long ago, when he vied for a position in the Sangguniang Kabataan in their town. Unfortunately, the aspiring SK Chairman lost on a technicality: He was already 35 years old. “Napag-alaman nila ang tunay kong edad. Hindi pala pwede,” he said with a trace of regret.

He says that his “showbiz age” is 19, which he forcefully asserted at the National Statistics Office and at the barangay office. “Nineteen na ako! Kasi nineteen-dihan ko na ang mga bagay-bagay!” he quips.

photo by LORENZO ABEL S. DIONISIO
photo by LORENZO ABEL S. DIONISIO

Bribing his way into voters’ hearts
Running under the B.A.Y.A.W. (Bagong Alyansang Ayaw sa Walanghiya) Partylist, he takes pride in his campaign strategy, saying that it will guarantee him victory in May. “Gustung-gusto nilang binabato at pinamumudmod ko sa kanila yang mga ‘yan,” he says, referring to his campaign goods such as canned sardines, calendars, instant noodles, and even condoms—all of which are plastered with pictures of him.

However, he laments that vote buying has become significantly more costly. “Ang bigayan kasi dati singkwenta lang, pero ngayon umaabot na ng mga hanggang dalawang daan.

Being a frugal man, Bayaw decided that it would be more economical to create his own kind of giveaway money—a 150-peso bill that would “soon be authorized” by the central bank.

The aspiring president also shares his struggles in his search for the perfect vice presidential partner. “Marami akong tinapik para tumakbong VP ko, pero hanggang ngayon hindi pa naman nila ako tinatanggihan,” Bayaw says jokingly.

As if challenging the platform of another feisty candidate, he boasts that the eradication of crime in the country would only take him two months. “Ipagpapatuloy ko ‘yung extra-judicial killings,” he says.

Poster boy, playboy
When asked why his campaign ads keep showing up on the news program Kontrabando, Bayaw was quick to deny allegations of his being associated with the anchors of the news satire show. “’Yung mga nagsasabing nakita nila akong nakikipag-inuman [kanila] Ramon Bautista, Lourd de Veyra tsaka RA Rivera, baka si FPJ (Fernando Poe Jr.) ‘yun! Kamukha ko kasi,” he says.

A self-proclaimed playboy since he “was still in his mother’s womb,” Bayaw also shares he has two ladies in his life—Jogalyn and Nenelyn. But who gets to live with him in Malacañang? “Ayaw ng mga tao ng mga kakulay nila, na mukhang mahirap, kaya si Jogalyn ‘yung pinili ko.” After all, he says, Jogalyn “looks rich” because she is fair-skinned and flawless, traits which he says are suitable for a First Lady.

Stealing hearts, kisses, and taxes
A lot of unique programs await the people if Bayaw becomes the President of this country. “Marami tayong programa [tulad ng] libreng Wi-Fi sa buong kapuluan, libreng patuka sa manok,” he says, adding he also plans to legalize free extra rice.

And get ready to scream “TGIM” (Thank God it’s Monday!) from now on as he also seeks to remove Monday from the calendar to prolong the weekend.

Bayaw’s promise is that the poor will always be the priority of his administration—so much so that he is ready to steal, as long as it will be for them. “Ako naman, inaamin ko naman na magnanakaw ako… para sa inyo.”

Bayaw’s BAYAG
He admits that he owes much of his “success” to the youth, who he says are indispensable to his campaign. In fact, it was his BAYAG—Bayaw Youth Action Group—that launched him to fame.

His advice to the young generation? Take up Customs in college; it rakes in a lot of money. Other good professions, he says, are those in the field of law, military, and police. “Wag na ‘yung mga scientist scientist na ‘yan.”

This man may be new to the game of politics, but it is definitely a game that he knows very well. Despite all daunting issues that are thrown at him, Bayaw is confident that he has the full support of the masses. When asked about what sets him apart from the others, his response was short and simple: “Wala sila [ng] swabeng bigote ko!” F NEIL JAYSON N. SERVALLOS and JULIA MARI T. ORNEDO

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