What is your name?

PoliticalNames“Ahhh you’re the daughter of the Mayor”

First day of class in one public high-school;

Teacher: Ok, good morning class, I’m Mrs. Santiago and I will be your adviser for this school year. And to start, introduce yourselves first.

Student1: Good morning Mrs. Santiago, good morning classmates, I’m Teresa Aragon from Richville Dynasta Subdivision.

Teacher: Ohhh, you’re the daughter of the Mayor, you must be good like your father.

Student2:  Good morning ma’am and classmates, I’m Carlo dela Cruz Jr, from Brgy Dos.

Teacher: Carlo dela Cruz Jr? Anak ka ni Caloy, ang makulit na batang naging estudyante ko, Tsk tsk wag ka sana mag-mana sa tatay mo.

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When we were kids, the most frequent question asked to us was “What is your name?” Every time we see strangers who got fond of us we can immediately expect they will ask for our names.

Our society is mostly based on families, that is why our constitution identifies Family as the basic unit of our society. And that could be the reason also why we tend to look on greatness or failures of a person because of their family name.

The past week, the Social Weather Station released its latest survey on voter’s preference for Senators. As usual those famous names emerged again on the top. Same political names which has been in politics for decades. What can we expect, voters are swayed by name recall rather that track record.

What’s astonishing about it, is the name of Nancy Binay who kept of climbing the ranks despite huge online rants against her. The daughter of the Vice President who happened to be pitched-in at the last minute to the roster of UNA Senatoriables because they wanted to have a complete line-up. The lady Binay even admitted in some news reports that it was not her’s but her father’s decision to go on with the Senatorial bid.

The inexperienced Binay have no other credentials other than her last name, which  is a household name even outside the perimeter of Makati. Thanks to more than 2 decades of her family’s rule in that premier city, Binay became known all over the country. Unlike her father who is a veteran in politics and her siblings who inherited ruling the city, Nancy have no previous experience in politics and no other achievements attached to her name thus making her seemingly unqualified for the post.

But how come she continues to rank in the surveys? The answer, she’s the daughter of the Vice President, she’s a Binay, no more no less. During the filing of her candidacy, the Vice President was asked what is the edge of her daughter and he blankly said “She is my daughter”. What a nice reason, what did the vice president think of the Senate, a Day Care Center where you can just put your children?

Ok, given the benefit of the doubt, Nancy could have showed the people what she has that will merit her one senate seat, but what’s more frustrating was, she let the opportunity passed. Several senatorial debates and forums have been shown on television but where is she on those? She chose not to attend the debates and lost the opportunity to let people know what she can offer aside from her last name. She was even challenged by another senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros but also declined.

Family name can really be a barometer of one’s reputation but it’s not the sole criterion of one’s capabilities. The benchmark of one’s ability is for his/her’s to prove, you may have great parents but that does not necessarily mean the children are also great. Same as you may have bad parents, but it also doesn’t follow the kids will also be bad.

This coming election, let’s us examine carefully the credentials of our candidates. Choosing one just because of a their surname is the most reckless thing we can do. Bear in mind this senators will serve for 6 years and their job is to craft laws that will help the our country and our people to have a better lives. So be informed and be prudent in choosing our future leaders.

They may have beautiful family names but what we need are what they’ve already proven for themselves. So will you vote just for family names or for track records?

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