If you can’t shake off that viral video of former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque dancing like mad at a campaign sortie, then he’s succeeded in doing what he set out to do.
“Natandaan n’yo ako di’ba?” he quipped.
With 64 candidates vying for just 12 senate seats in May’s elections, Roque’s seemingly any-which-way moves are, in fact, calculated.
At a one-off entertainment-themed Pandesal Forum organized by media colleague and Kamuning Bakery Cafe owner Wilson Lee Flores, the lawyer-turned-cabinet secretary first set the record straight.
Roque said he didn’t really want to resort to dancing as part of his campaign tactics, but he realized he had no other choice once the actor and fellow candidate for the Senate Robin Padilla came on stage. Without miss, anywhere they were, the crowds would go wild at the sight of the action superstar, leaving Roque to wonder who else they would remember to vote for if he didn’t do something for himself.
“I thought long and hard about it and realized mas better to dance if only to highlight my presence there, given all the personalities involved. At saka gusto ko rin tumatak sa tao ‘yung lyrics ng jingle ko [which clearly states my platform], and I thought mas mapapansin nila ito if I gave it enough effort.”
Pausing for effect, he then declared, “At sakto, tama naman. Now people remember me for that dance.”
In fact, these days, Roque finds more and more people asking him to dance straight away in most of the Uni Team’s out-of-town sorties.
“Wag na daw magsalita. Sumayaw nalang daw,” he chuckled, “na puwedeng puwede naman dahil nga yung mensahe din naman ng kanta ang sasabihin ko sa kanila.”
More than that, Roque has triumphantly noticed that he is always the second-most applauded candidate on stage after Padilla.
Roque is aware that his dancing has drawn mixed reactions from the larger public. Some found it cute, others thought it was unbecoming for a former cabinet secretary and senatorial candidate, and yet some more claimed they thought they were watching the giant red mascot of the top Filipino fast-food franchise getting boogie with it.
“I find it all amusing. Natutuwa ako na na-appreciate nila ang efforts ko kasi it helps with the recall. Kapag umalis na ang mga tao sa plaza siyempre mag-uusap yan and usually ‘yung mga sikat na celebrities ang paguusapan nila.
“So with me dancing if only to entertain audiences na bored na bored na sa mga mahabang talumpati, I made my mark somehow.”
Roque also assured his family and supporters that his gimmick won’t take away from his legitimacy as a politician.
“Alam na naman nila yung Wharton, UP and London School of Economics kung saan ako nag-aral, at saka alam na naman ng mga tao yung kakayanan ko. Nakita na nila kung paano ako magtrabaho, kaya gusto ko makita naman nila yung lighter side ko sa pag-sayaw.”
Aware of his placement in the most recent round of surveys — still a way away at No. 18 to make it to the Magic 12 — The T Zone finally asked Roque how he plans to get ahead while there’s still time.
His reply? “Umattend ng umattend nang mga oportunidad tulad nito para makausap pa ang mas maraming tao. Mahaba pa naman ang campaign season and I aim to keep on reaching out to people, to make them see and understand why they need to give me a chance to serve them.”
And the dancing? “Siyempre lagi nang nandyan ang aking pag-sayaw.”
And, just like showbiz folks who hope to one day earn a sterling title in their careers, besides senator, Harry Roque said he would very much like to be known as the “National Dancing Teddy Bear” of the Philippines.
Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net