Elections in the Philippines are colorful, especially when famous celebrities enter politics. Needless to say, former president and now Manila mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada is the most famous actor-politician in the Philippines. And although some of them are really sincere and have the abilities to serve, not all of them are destined to be politicians.
Without a doubt, being popular is a huge advantage in Philippine elections, but it is not the only factor to attract votes. Having good looks and winning awards in the chosen field may also help, but not always. As proof, below are the top 10 Filipino celebrities and personalities who ran in local and national elections more than once but never won.
Phillip “Kuhol” Supnet ran for a board member of Barangay North Fairview, Quezon City in the 2010 elections. The sour-faced comedian is known for being the sidekick of Mr. Shooli, a character of Jun Urbano in his TV defunct show, “Mongolian Barbeque” in the 80s. In 2013, he ran for the same position again, but it was not his destiny to win.
9. Jobelle Salvador
Jobelle Salvador ran for vice mayor of Makati City in the 2010 elections, as the running mate of Erwin Genuino. However, both of them lost. The “Bagets” actress ran for councilor of Parañaque City in the 2013 election but lost again. She was once linked to actor Robin Padilla but later denied that the latter is the father of her baby.
8. Dan Alvaro
Roland Galura, aka Dan Alvaro, started his showbiz career in 1984 via the movie “Condemned, starring Nora Aunor. But later, he shifted to action films. He ran for councilor of Barangay San Agustin, in Novaliches, Quezon City in the 2010 elections but lost. He ran again in the 2013 and 2016 elections as QC councilor but lost again.
Tado, whose real name is Arvin Jimenez first ran for councilor of Marikina City’s 1st District in the 2010 elections but lost. Known as a comedian, actor, radio personality, and activist, he ran for the same position in the 2013 elections but lost again. Incidentally, he landed on the 11th spot in both elections. Tado died in a bus accident on February 7, 2014.
6. Amay Bisaya
Roberto Gloria Reyes, aka “Amay Bisaya,” ran for vice president in the 1998 elections, as the running mate of former First Lady Imelda Marcos. However, Mrs. Marcos withdrew her candidacy. In 2013, the comedian ran for Bohol governor but lost. In 2016, he volunteered himself to be the running mate of then-Vice President Jejomar Binay.
5. Victor Wood
Victor Wood ran for senator in 2007 under Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) but lost. Known as the “Jukebox King,” he ran for senator again in the 2013 mid-term elections as an independent. However, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) declared him as a nuisance candidate after he failed to prove that he can launch a national campaign.
4. Jay Sonza
Jay Sonza ran for senator in the 2004 elections under the Aksyon Demokratiko political party, but lost and landed on the 27th spot. Known for being the other half of Mel and Jay’s TV show, the veteran broadcaster ran for vice president in the 2010 elections under the KBL party but lost poorly, garnering only 0.18 percent of all the votes.
3. Cesar Montano
Cesar Manhilot, aka Cesar Montano, ran for senator in the 2007 elections under the coalition TEAM Unity (TU) but lost. That time, he reportedly lost about P40 million worth of product endorsements for running in public office. In the 2010 elections, the multi-awarded actor ran for Bohol governor but he lost to Gov. Edgar Chatto.
2. Rey Langit
Rey Langit is known for his unique husky voice, which was one of his assets as a radio announcer, anchorman, and commentator. He later became a Station Manager and hosted two TV shows. Also known as Rey Sky or Pareng Rey, he ran for senator in 3 elections (1998, 2010, and 2016) under 3 different political parties but never won.
1. Bro. Eddie Villanueva
Bro. Eddie Villanueva is an evangelist, and the president-founder of the Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide (JILCW), one of the largest “Christ-centered” and “Bible-based” churches in the world. He ran for president in the 2004 and 2010 elections under his Bangon Pilipinas Party but lost. In the 2013 midterm elections, he ran for senator but lost again.
Try and try until you succeed. There were also famous celebrities who still won before and after trying their luck a lot of times. A classic example is the tall, dark and handsome actor, Richard Gomez, who was disqualified twice – first via his Mamamayan Ayaw sa Droga (MAD) Partylist in 2001, and as a congressman in 2010.
In 2007, Richard Gomez ran as an independent senator but lost. In 2013, he ran for mayor of Ormoc City but lost to Edward Codilla by a slim margin of fewer than 3,000 votes only. But finally, in 2016, the 50-year actor-politician was elected as Ormoc City mayor. This time, he beat Codilla with a huge margin of more than 8,700 votes.
On the other hand, Imelda Papin is a good example of a celebrity who won first (two consecutive terms as Vice Governor of Camarines Sur, 1998-2004) but lost several times later. Dubbed as the Jukebox Queen and the Sentimental Songstress, she ran for public office six times but won only two of them.
Papin ran for Governor of Camarines Sur in 1995 but lost. In 2004, she ran as a congresswoman in the province’s 4th district but lost again. In 2010, she ran for senator but lost again. In 2013, she lost for the fourth time after running for congresswoman in the Legislative district of San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan.