When the Marcoses got booted out of power in 1986 after their 20-year hold on the Philippines, one of the very first videotaped images of the family we were treated to was of Bongbong, his siblings and friends dressed up in funny costumes, with champagne glasses in hand, singing “We are the World,” aboard the presidential yacht. In another, we watch the President and his wife boogeying aboard the same yacht.
It was with this frame of mind that I attended the lunch with Bongbong Marcos. But wait! Is it even the real Bongbong Marcos? After all, the Marcoses’ only son was said to have died in London and replaced by a nephew who looks exactly like him. Hmmm.... (Click Something Like Life for the rest.)
(Erratum: Liza Araneta-Marcos is not an only child. She has three other sisters and a brother. My apologies to the Araneta and Marcos families for this error.)
Other points raised during our lunch:
• Yes, Rep. Bongbong Marcos is thinking of running for president someday. “I’m in this career, so of course, I would like to take it as far as I can. You always want to be better, more successful in your career. But I don’t wake up each morning, planning on what I should do today to become president.”
• He is considering to run as senator in 2010: “After 19 years as governor, vice-governor, and representative of Ilocos Norte, I believe I am now more than ready to serve on the national stage.”
(Official photo courtesy PRISM)
• He's still undecided what national party to join, and why it probably won't be the Liberal Party, the original party of his father, the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos: “In the LP, I keep telling Mar (Roxas), he’s my only friend there. The other members continue to oppose my family.”
• As senator, his advocacies will be: “To bring us back to the basics ¬– greater public investment in infrastructure, health services, education, peace and order, political stability and implementing an understandable system of government.”
• Why he supports wasn't vocal in his opposition versus Charter Change: "There's just a sense of futility. You know nothing will happen anyway....I support Charter Change in principle but it should be done after the  election. The fear is the process will be used to extend their (GMA and his fellow congressmen) term. But it (Con-Ass) will not succeed, because there’s no time. But that doesn’t mean they won’t try.”
• On why GMA won't be able to declare Martial Law: "She doesn't have the support of the military like my father did. When my father declared martial law, he had just been re-elected, he was popular and he had control of the military."
• On a popular uprising vs Cha-Cha: "There's no such thing as a popular uprising. Even if you look at the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, these were led by an elite few, academics.... [The Edsa people power in 1986] was done by the Americans."
• He hasn't decided whom to support for president in 2010: "I consider all of them good friends and political allies."