Philippines: Campaigning in Manila


I’ve campaigned for my dad in every election since I was born and I can definitely say that his latest entry into the fray is the most consuming and most hard-fought. It was my dad’s first local race in about 30 years so it was a huge adjustment for him and the entire team to shift gears from a national standpoint. It was now more than simply going to places to conduct a motorcade and a rally, but much focus and attention was necessary. Moreover, going up against a popular and established incumbent, who didn’t hesitate to use the local government’s resources, undeniably made it even more of an uphill battle. However, as we know, the tides turned not for that incumbent but for change.

My assignment was to go house-to-house as much as I can and to focus on the youth sector and I can only be grateful and hopeful for each day I spent on the campaign trail. Apart from getting to know our nation’s great capital better and realise its problems as well as its potential to regain its former glory, seeing and understanding the diversity of the Manileño and his livelihood was just as awakening and enriching.

Everything but the kitchen sink has been thrown at my dad to the point it’s surprising they didn’t blame him for Michael Jackson’s death. But his election as the new mayor of Manila says a lot about what people think about him and about such accusations. That’s why just as this campaign is the most consuming and most hard-fought, it’s also the most rewarding. So here’s to brigther days, Manileño!

PS. A massive and heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who helped and supported us along the way!






































  1. Doi Argana

    Compliments to your parents for raising you all well. It’s refreshing to know that you put a lot of heart in everything that you do. Hope your passion will always include public service & simply being a blessing to others. Hat’s off to you & your family.

  2. I’m a tourism officer and I love that finally your father is here and that he will turn Manila into what it is supposed to be: the worthy gateway to the whole country. Manila and the Metro region is losing to Cebu and other regions. High time we make the tourists stay and spend more time here. After all, we are the Manila, the Philippines.

  3. “Haha! Too soon, sir. Way too soon!” > I disagree. What if it was your purpose? What if our country would need a breath of fresh air? Def unconventional but with childlike faith and purity, we all know that would lead to achievement for the nation. What do we expose the next generation to? We need a role model like yourself.
    Standing up for our generation cannot be done alone and we need role models like you. Why wait when we can make this nation in a better place while our ‘rents still live. No matter how young, when lives are involved, we would tend to act quickly. You never know.
    This is exactly what your generation needs. Goes without saying, our population is mostly made up of the youth: I think you can make nation-building look particularly cool. I think you can make it into a trend. I think we could get you to agree to starting early if it was for our near future. You know you have my vote bud.

  4. Een

    Yaaay!! Been waiting for a new post. Blog more often please? Haha. One question, do you read YA books? if yes, what’s yr favorite? if no, why not? All the best! 🙂

  5. Your Dad deserves the winning, super. All the criticisms and foul words of people won’t matter at all. Its the decision of the majority to let your dad win. I know that he will not just be a good mayor, but a caring, loving and understanding father for Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Cheers to this jake! I miss you!!!!!!!!!! Cant help but smile when I look to the pictures 🙂

    • Your Dad deserves the winning, super. All the criticisms and foul words of people won’t matter at all. Its the decision of the majority to let your dad win. I know that he will not just be a good mayor, but a caring, loving and understanding father for Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Cheers to this jake! I miss you!!!!!!!!!! Cant help but smile when I look to the pictures

      • Yes, just like what I said to my fb status last time, it isn”t a quick change for us here in Manila, he needs the cooperation of every Manileno.
        Haha. Natawa ko dun sa bro, this is jedd dont you remember? God bless jake! 🙂

  6. Doi Argana

    Question. You & your family have been through a lot. You have lived inside a fishbowl all your lives. Politics have not been kind so why do you still do it? Why place yourself in the line fire? What motivates you to join politics?

  7. Doi Argana

    Your father was subjected to house arrest during your early teens, how traumatic was that to you & your family? How did you get pass that painful period in your life and still be motivated to do public service? Did you lose some of your friends in the process? sorry for bringing-up past hurts but I’m amazed to see you & your siblings standing tall & making a difference in your chosen path. Admirable…

    • It was and still is traumatic. Got bullied a lot in school and I have lost a number of friends due to politics, but I’ve also gained some. As to still being motivated to do public service, I guess it’s partly intrinsic!

  8. Robert Tomas

    I was 18 years when your dad was unjustly pushed out of Malacañang Palace, Pandacan was just behind Malacañang; my family was in tears for seeing injustice… I was in tears watching Pres. Estrada living Malacañang, and embracing a lola who was really out of breath crying… “bakit ka nagresign! bakit ka nagresign” unknown to her that the President left Malacañang to prevent bloodshed; Then I was about to turn 19 when I joined my aunt and other cousins at EDSA III… my aunt was again in tears… I was in tears, when we got to talk to a man, he said “kung hindi maibibigay kay ERAP ang hustisya paano na kami?” he was from Nueva Ecija. Matapos ang 13 taon, kaming mga umiiyak nuon ay abot langit na ang saya pagka’t sa wakas- muli, kapangyarihan ng Masa ang nagtagumpay. Hindi pa huli ang lahat upang magtulungan ang mamamayan at ang ngayo’y Alkalde Erap Estrada upang buhayin ang Maynila; ang Mukha ng Pilipinas.

    I know that success taste sweeter the second time around, but I am personally glad seeing The President- now Mayor is with his beloved Masa… and that includes me! =) Although I know I would have a chance to say this things to your dad (I am a local volunteer for History and Heritage preservation in Pandacan) if we would be given a chance to have an audience with him, I would really appreciate it, if you would tell this to him.
    Salamat bro!

    • Why, the biggest thanks to you good sir! Thank you for your undying support through good and tough times!

      Unfortunately, I am currently back abroad continuing my studies. But I’ll try my best to set something up for you.

      • Robert Tomas

        Hi bro, Robert here,; I hope you still remember our conversation here regarding our idealistic programs for manila; in fact we have started it. We have launched our histo-cultural (historical/cultural) organization aiming to aflame the fervor of love and active participation among Manileños, most especially the youths; and we plan to do it by teaching our heroes… particularly ANDRES BONIFACIO.
        We are overjoyed when we heard that your father was very much inclined in continuing the the Legacy of Andres, because primarily, they are both from manila and dream for progress for it.
        This was told to us initially by your father’s secretary. After sometime, we feel that we are very much welcome sharing our vision for the city until we seek an audience with your dad, as I promised going through the process of letters and everything. Afterwards we felt that we are being pushed to the corner and that no information coming from us is reaching the Mayor. But that didn’t stop us to continue our projects because we believe that these would benefit the youths. We have finalized an event on Friday barely, 2 days from now… it is a forum on the Heroism of Andres Bonifacio. The other day our group visited her office to continue coordination, we were told she was hospitalized. As far as our conversation through email is concern and after a meeting with her, “the Secretary”, indicated that not all of our request are to be granted; but for us, thats ok, as long as they can shoulder the merienda, we’re good to proceed.
        To our surprise, a moment ago, we received a text message telling us that the merienda was called off…

        Kami po ay naniniwala na hindi ito kagagawan ng inyong ama ngunit sa aming pakiramdam ay hindi nakakarating sa iyong butihing ama, na aming Mayor ang aming mga komunikasyon at mga liham, kung kaya’t tila urong sulog ang mga nangyayaring desisyon. Maraming beses na kaming nag attempt na makausap siya ngunit hindi namin maintindihan kung bakit sa kabila ng napakarami at ibat ibang tao na nakakalapit kay Mayor, ay hindi kami pinahihintulutan makalapit ng mismong tao na unang tumanggap sa amin at nagsabing “natutuwa si Mayor sa mga programa”

        Paumanhin ngunit kami ay naguguluhan ukol sa kung ano ba talaga ang pakiramdam ng inyong ama… But we firmly stand that information about these projects and activities isn’t reaching him.

        There are now 200 confirmed attendees… We were caught by surprised… we don’t have funds to utilize… I know that your father stand firm when he said “walang kama-kamag anak”, but we feel that this project will benefit the youth of our city, inspiring them to be a hero and help out and rebuild manila.

        We really don’t know what to do… So we humbly ask you to please intervene… please tell your father about us… please tell him that all we are doing is for his administration to succeed… all we ask is a little help.


      • Rumors has it that the Mayor will be removed from office being disqualified to run as Mayor on the basis of his Pardon grant, and authorities will act on it- that’s why Mayor Erap is left to suspended animation until he overcomes this..?

  9. Robert Tomas

    bro, yung maikwento mo lang yung katuwaan ko at ng aming angkan sa kanyang tagumpay ay sapat na…

    Thank you very much for your effort! we truly appreciate it; But I think my organization should rather go to
    through the usual rigid protocol to meet the Mayor like writing a letter and everything, kasi yun ang tama
    and I think that is what Pres.-Mayor Ejercito-Estrada might want to happen, iwas sa palakasan system or padrino.

    Rest assured of my support and active participation as a citizen of this city… As I usually say before, MAYPAGASA pa ang Maynila… now it is, MAYPAGASA NA ANG MAYNILA (continue, using that last lines of the Manila Hymn) AT ITANGHAL ITONG BANSA.

    Mabuhay! at Maraming Salamat!

    PS. I hope this isn’t asking too much; may I suggest that you start an online trending for Manila to enflame the active participation (especially among youths) in reviving the city? If you could post a photo of you holding a Philippine Flag near your chest.. with the hash tag #MAYNILA ITANGHAL MO ANG BANSA
    Salamat bro!

  10. einnalem

    I was a big fan of your dad when I was young especially when he was the president. ang gaan ng loob ko sa kanya nun. pakiramdam ko he’s a very close relative 🙂 at masaya ko na siya ang mayor ng manila. 🙂

  11. aileen

    I just have time today to read all your blog. And this one makes me cry ..You did it, pictures prove that you did good job and I think your parents are so proud of you. you will be a good leader someday. God Bless you and your family.

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