By now, you’ve probably watched Senator Bong Revilla’s cringe-inducing privilege speech, which ended, in what may be the pinnacle of surrealism in Philippine politics, in a musical number, accompanied by a music video, performed by the senator himself. If you haven’t seen it yet, good for you. Here’s a summary:
Senator Bong Revilla: Thank you to every person I’ve ever met in my life. I will now sing a crappy original song for all of you.
However, just in case you want to completely waste forty minutes of your life on something terribly pointless and arbitrary, you can watch the video below:
I know. That’s forty minutes of your life you’re not going to get back. I’m so sorry.
But not to worry. The Manila Survival Guide, if for nothing else, is known for its unending infinitesimal optimism. So, just so you don’t have to live through the fact that you’ve just wasted a portion of your very short life on this pointless drivel, we’re giving you five life lessons you can learn from Senator Revilla’s musical extravaganza/privilege speech.
1. Anyone can be a senator. Literally ANYONE.
Apparently, the Filipino people have no standards. So you’re a bumbling, underachieving, college dropout with no career prospects in sight? Not to worry! You can still run for office! You’ll fit right in.
2. Privilege speeches are a joke.
Actually, we might as well stop the charade and just replace the term “privilege speech” with something a bit more honest. I vote for “incredibly useless platform where narcissists can spout senseless drivel and the whole nation can’t do anything about it”. A bit long, but direct to the point, don’t you think?
3. Being naturally oblivious to public sentiment/criticism is actually a good thing in Philippine politics.
Remember that the public’s opinion of you as a person when you are a senator is never important, except when they like you. So the rule is that people either like you, or they don’t exist.
4. There is no place too solemn or serious that you can’t throw a musical number in there somewhere.
Your child just got kicked out of school? Time for a solo! Your parents just died in a horrific car accident? Bring out the juggling pole dancers! You just got indicted for plundering millions of pesos from the very people you were sworn to protect? Time to come out with an ugly-ass ballad thanking everyone! Which, on second thought, seems apt, since they unwittingly gave you their money after all.
5. Senator Revilla and his group of advisers are nuts.
Apparently, during the planning stage of this privilege speech, no one actually stood up and said that maybe having a music video presentation of the senator thanking people is a bad idea, and that the most likely outcome will be that the whole of the Filipino people will think of it as over-the-top and a waste of people’s money.
A bit of unsolicited advice for the good senator: Fire all of your advisors. All of them. They are not your friends.
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