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    Friday, May 6, 2016

    BotoMania: The Wrestling Fan's Guide to the 2016 Presidential Elections

    We're in the home stretch before the 2016 presidential elections reach their (hopefully) stunning conclusion, and it seems that the field gets muddier each day. Bank scandals, corruption allegations, citizenship disputes, health concerns, threats of a coup, challenges on actual seasoning and experience—it's all fair game when it comes to politics in the Philippines. What's a confused wrestling fan to do?

    (To be fair, at least we don't have Donald Trump to worry about as a candidate.)

    Here at the Smark Henry offices, we sincerely believe everything seems clearer when you put it in wrestling context. That's why we're presenting our official guide to the 2016 Philippine presidential elections to help all you rasslin' fans out there make up your minds on who to entrust the next six years of our country.



    Mar Roxas

    Mar Roxas is John Cena.

    Come on, guys. You all knew this was coming.

    Like Cena, Roxas is the guy who the current administration is forcing down your throat as the rightful standard-bearer. For his part, Roxas is the guy who encourages us Filipinos—or at least those who bother to watch the debates—to be better, much like Cena embodies the values of Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect.

    And in case you missed out on the last #PiliPinasDebates2016, Roxas’ performance and platform have slowly won over a lot of the undecided voters. That doesn’t sound all that different from the run Cena went on in 2015 with the United States Championship that won him over in the eyes of the IWC.

    Let us take a page from Mar’s playbook and quote Alfred Pennyworth in The Dark Knight:

    “They'll hate you for it, but that's the point of Batman, he can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice.”

    John Cena may be the hero WWE deserves, but not the one it needs right now. But to a growing number of Pinoy millennials, Roxas could very well be the president the Philippines deserves and needs right now.


    Rodrigo Duterte

    One is a straight-edge savior. The other one… my God, he hates drugs.

    Rodrigo Duterte has a lot in common with CM Punk. Duterte grew his cred in local government, much like how CM Punk built his reputation around the indies. Both guys aren’t much for mincing words; while Duterte peppers his tirades with all sorts of curses, Punk is quite vocal about his opinions on what wrestling should be. Duterte makes a show of being the least "presidential" among the candidates, much like how Punk makes a show of how un-WWE-like he can be and still be an effective champion.

    For many Filipinos who feel oppressed by the status quo, Duterte is pretty much the “voice of the voiceless.” Like Punk, Duterte has the ability to elicit strong reactions from either side of the fence: some see him as an arrogant bully, while others feel that he is simply being true to himself. Yet despite their anti-establishment attitudes, both guys do show the capability of shirking away from challenges too much for them. Or biting off so much more than they can chew. Or, like Punk’s ice cream bars and Duterte’s economic policies, they don’t really have a sound plan.

    Like Punk, Duterte’s fanbase will always be local. The people who claim to understand him will always be those who were directly influenced by his local government policies, or those who wish for something like it to happen in their own backyards. Like their fans, Duterte and Punk will always have their ironies, peculiarities, and rightly or wrongly, their hypocrisies. Could Duterte, like Punk, be the beginning of a new era? Or maybe the opposite is true: that Duterte, like Punk, would walk away just when things are to get better, knowing that even his immense shadow couldn’t really cast change upon everything.


    Jejomar Binay

    Vice President Jejomar Binay is Seth Rollins.

    He’s technically a member of the Authority (no matter how much he tries to claim that he is his own man), and he’s shady. As. Fuck. (Not because of the actual shade of his skin tone, though.) Binay, like Seth, is corrupt, slimy, weaselly, whiny, pandering, and displays either a total or a dangerously put-on lack of self-awareness.

    And just like the man known as "The Architect of the Shield," he isn't afraid of an opportunistic Money in the Bank cash-in, if the allegations are true.

    He will call himself the man. He will say anything and manipulate everything to get what he wants. He will treat himself as God’s gift to wrestling, Makati, or the Philippines, and nothing will be his fault. Everything will be because of his enemies. And everything will be his, because he knows how to steal power and glory (no, not Paul Roma and Hercules).


    Grace Poe

    Grace Poe, on the other hand, is Mick Foley.

    She, like Mick, is kinda well-loved by the people. They both speak warmly, guaranteeing a positive response toward them, and they generally stand up for what’s good. But there will be sections of the audience who disagrees with her—although she and Mick don’t share the whole citizenship issue—because of what she does and what she plans to do. There might be those who like what she has in mind, but objectively, like Mick and his overreliance on the glorified stuntmanship that is the hardcore style, they’re not all the right way of doing things. 

    Also, have you noticed how she keeps starting with the “As a woman/mother” point whenever she begins a spiel in a debate? That’s quite a familiar way of getting the cheap pop, isn’t it?

    Have a nice day!


    Miriam Defensor-Santiago

    Screw what you read on the internet. Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago is the Undertaker.

    This doesn’t need more than one paragraph to figure out. Both MDS and Taker are still going, competing in high-stakes stages despite being well past their primes (and are seemingly likely to drop dead sometime in the not-so-distant future). They try, but as Miriam proved in the entire debate season, she just can’t go as she used to, even though you know the brilliance is still there. It’s just hidden under the cloud of age, something you’re just never gonna get back as time goes on. WWE announcers call the Undertaker "The Conscience of the WWE," and you could pretty much apply the same argument to Miriam for Philippine politics. You just wouldn't ask either to be the head of state.

    People long for the glory days of Miriam and Taker, but it’s time to let go.


    What do you think of this year's presidential line-up, Henrinites? Do you think the Philippines needs a John Cena to run the country, or would an anti-establishment CM Punk-alike do?

    Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and remember: It's not about what's #BestForBusiness, but what's #BestForBayan.


    Click here for the Smark Henry Guide to the 2016 Vice Presidential Elections.
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