Basil Valdez Fans and Public Office

Atty. Adel Tamano

This may seem totally unrelated to our governance topic but let me share it with you anyway – My wife and I got such a thrill yesterday while we were in Shang Mall with our kids. We were waiting for our car at the Mall’s entrance, near Starbucks, when Basil Valdez called out to me, introduced himself (as if we didn’t recognize him; my wife and I are big fans) and he said, to my great surprise, that he had been wanting to meet me for a long time. Yes, I was very surprised, not only at how gracious he was, but more at his genuineness and his honesty. I don’t consider myself that well-known and for this music icon to introduce himself was, well, a kick, a real ego booster. We chatted for a while, which basically consisted of my wife and I saying how much we admired his music. Well, for a Pinoy Music fan like myself who grew up on “Let the Pain Remain,” it was a real treat. Mabuhay ka Basil!

Actually, there is a relation, tangentially at least. Instances like this, when people tell me or the other young turks that they know us or like us is, naturally, a boost to one’s ego but choosing to serve the country should not be motivated primarily by the need for personal affirmation. In fact, the sad history of our country is that those who are best suited for public office do not run because they believe they lack popularity and those who are ill-suited run, especially for national office, because they get a sense that they are popular and “winnable”.

Perhaps young people who aspire for public office should not use the question of whether or not they can win as the prime decision-basis but rather whether or not they can serve the people well. I, unfortunately, see so many aspiring politicians who instead of spending time improving themselves – by studying, learning leadership skills, doing research, fieldwork, etc – and getting ready for the demands of public service, focus on getting the most amount of media exposure so they can improve their chances of winning.

I want to see this young generation to stop using media and surveys as their sole basis for deciding to run for office – so we can replace the trapos – and make the decision based primarily on their assessment of whether they will make good public servants. Certainly, issues of “winnability” are important but that should not be the primary or only basis. Is this too naive or idealistic? Hoping for some comments…

5 Comments

  1. marichu said,

    May 8, 2008 at 11:54 am

    if you run for senator come national elections, i’ll vote for you

  2. Elaine said,

    May 8, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Atty. Tamano, I agree with you 100 percent. The politicians should improve themselves by attending seminars and studying to broaden their knowledge about the positions they are handling and must not rely on their advisers or consultants. In fact, all Filipinos should do that whether they are in politics or not. I, myself, a 38-yr old single mother of (4) children still wants improvement, in fact, I am one of the privilege government employees who is now availing of your off-campus program major in Public Administration. And I want to congratulate you for coming up with this kind of program which has given us undergraduates an opportunity to have a degree. Rest assured that I will support you in your future endeavor. Goodluck to The Young Turks!

  3. jts said,

    May 8, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Just like Basil, you are a good singer too. Just saw the way you sing on GMA7’s Unang Hirit.

  4. jts said,

    May 8, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Sana po ay mapanatili po ninyo ang ganyang klaseng prinsipyo na meron po kayo. Nobody’s perfect pero sa karanasan ko po ay napakarami ko nang na-encounter na mga “aktibista” na punung-puno ng idealism at maka-tao/maka-Diyos na prinsipyo pero nung na-elect na sa position or nabigyan ng pwesto sa government ay naging “EVIL” na kasi satisfied na sa “bulsa” at “fame”. Kawawa po kasi ang karaniwang pilipino na tulad ko na basta na lang napapahamak o nasasaktan emotionally dahil failure ang mga nanunungkulan sa bayan.

  5. KarL Garcia said,

    May 9, 2008 at 12:17 am

    Adel,

    How humble of you,of course many people know who you are.
    Basil must have also remembered you from your kundirana days.Nice to see you again singing(saw you sa Unang Hirit).


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