June 05, 2009

From bold star to vice mayor

ONE of the things I do after I take my lunch is to have coffee while watching ANC News. At about 2 or 2:30 p.m., broadcaster Tony Velasquez presents the news, and interviews guests in his usual witty manner. Why the Lopezes haven't thought of giving him a talk show w/ a David Letterman-like format (sans the comedy routine) is unfortunate bec. I think Velasquez is just hilarious when he interviews politicians and makes his side comments.

Anyhoo, this afternoon, I was shocked to watch Velasquez's show bec. he had as his guest, former actor Isko Moreno who I didn't know is already Manila's Vice Mayor! OMG! Who would've thought that the two-bit artista w/ the wild bushy eyebrows would reach this political height? Sure he was a councilor before, but Vice Mayor? And by the way he sounded this afternoon, he is surely gunning for the mayoralty position after Mayor Alfredo Lim finishes his terms of office (a mayor can be elected for three consecutive terms if I'm not mistaken).

(That's Entertainment graduate and bold star Isko Moreno then...)

I'm not dissing Moreno bec. of his past, and believe me after googling photos of the time he was an artista, it brought up pretty interesting, ahem, poses. I'm just pretty amazed at how far he's gone in his political career. If I remember correctly, Moreno grew up in Smokey Mountain or somewhere in Tondo, and rummaged through garbage to help his mother make some money and put food on their table. After being discovered by a talent scout in the '80s, Moreno went on to become a regular on That's Entertainment, became a bold star (okay, I'm over 40, so I use the term 'bold star'), and acted in a few forgettable but titillating films. I haven't seen any of them so I can't tell you if he was any good.

I dunno what happened after but suddenly, he resurrected sometime in the new millenium as a councilor, under the term of then Manila Mayor Lito "Hawaiian Punch" Atienza, former Bayanihan propsman and responsible for those expensive strombotiko street lamps along Roxas Blvd. (kadiri!), and who is now the Environment and Natural Resources Secretary (despite his checkered anti-environment past). Apparently after Moreno's three terms as councilor, he ran for Vice Mayor under PDP-Laban and won. I've been told that Moreno actually finished high school, took crash courses in politics and finance at UP, finished a degree in public administration at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, and is now studying to be a lawyer. Whew!

Btw, Velasquez and Moreno were discussing the Pandacan Oil Depot and the case to be filed by Secretary Atienza at the Supreme Court questioning the recent decision by Mayor Lim to allow the oil depot to remain for economic reasons. The gall of Atienza, considering he took his mighty sweet time in kicking out the three oil firms from the Pandacan depot when he was in office from 1998-2007. (My only issue w/ Moreno is his predilection of forgetting to pronounce his "F" as in "facilities," and not "pacilitis". Other than that, Moreno seems a remarkable student, and has taught himself how to speak passable English, just like Manny Pacquiao.) More on Moreno and Atienza here.

(Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, now. My, he cleans up well, doesn't he?)

Wala lang, I just thought I'd share w/ you my delight and surprise over Moreno, and wish there were more people who would emulate him (well, maybe not the soft-porn career), and just pull themselves by their bootstraps to turn their lives around.

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