If you’ve been following me on Twitter, then you might have seen all my rage tweets during the Philippine Presidential Debate last Sunday. Being acquainted on how debates go, I find it preposterous on how the politicians handled themselves on a supposedly ‘intellectual’ exchange of their capabilities to become the next president of this country. It felt like everything was a joke, and despite being able to tap on some of the issues that we are currently facing, I felt like it was still not enough for people to actually choose who to vote. I still don’t have any presidential bet as of the moment, and it’s pretty hard to weigh everything in especially since the debate, in my opinion, only highlighted the flaws of each candidate. I wouldn’t go into the details about politics, as I know that I am not as well versed as I hope I would be, so instead of focusing on how far they’ve failed (or succeeded… should that be applicable), I’m focusing on the lessons that we can actually learn from the recently concluded debate. Here are 5 life lessons that we can pick up from our presidential candidates and we can also apply in our lives, if we can.
Lesson #1: Confidence and conviction won’t bring you as far as you hope it would
Case on point: Grace Poe during Q&A with Duterte; Jejomar Binay in general
When a person is confident or if they sound very eloquent, the tendency for the audience is to believe that they are, indeed, knowledgeable on the topic that they are discussing. However, one thing that you can never mask is the content of what you are trying to say and how clueless you can actually be compared to what you are trying to portray. You can never fool people who are actually LISTENING and paying attention to your flowery words and your seemingly confident facade. The saying goes ‘fake it until you make it’, not fake it the whole time.
I’m not saying faking confidence and conviction is a bad thing — for what it’s worth, I guess it’s actually a fantastic way to get out of tight situations — but I hope that if you are to fake it, make sure that you do make sense. Being all nervous BUT MAKING GREAT POINTS can be much better than looking and sounding like you know everything and end up bringing useless points to the table. But of course, it would be much better if you get all three — sense, conviction, confidence.
Next time: Make sure that you are more than just being someone who sounds smart. If you are to get into debates and discussions, be prepared and try to be straight to the point. Prioritize being on point over looking on point. If all else fails, just pray, I guess.
Lesson #2: Trying to avoid the issue would only prolong the discussion but would not resolve anything
Case on point: Most parts of the debate
Personally speaking, I am the type of person who would prefer talking to someone who would give me a short and sweet answer, but provides everything that I would possibly need. There is no point on giving me so much information when it doesn’t have any relevance to the topic. It’s just like someone asked you for lunch, and you gave them your the list of things that you would have to do today. I mean, what the heck?
Next time: Just be straight to the point. Don’t waste any time trying to create a flowery introduction to a rather useless answer. Or better yet, just tell the truth and tell the world that you really had no idea what you’re talking about so everyone can move forward.
Lesson #3: Documents won’t be of a great help if you don’t know anything about the issues requiring these papers in the first place
Case on point: Sino pa ba, only Binay
If you were able to catch up with the news, then you would’ve known that there has been a great delay because of Binay’s “documents”. This has stirred a lot of controversy, because really, there was no point for everyone to argue for HOURS about some damned papers that should’ve been resolved prior the debate.
Anyway, questions have been raised as to what the documents were really for, but instead of explaining it precisely, Binay just fumbled his way through, as if he didn’t really know what it was for.
Next time: Make sure that you know what you bring. If you are going to class with some visual aids and you didn’t know what the heck are written on those, then most likely you’re doomed. Same goes to the presidential candidates.
Lesson #4: Respect brings so much peace and order
Case on point: Almost everyone
They disrespected Luchi Cruz-Valdez as she haplessly tried to stop them from spewing shit and to stick to the debate topic. The candidates disrespected each other when they threw in shades and insults on one another even if that wasn’t even the topic. They also tried to butt in while someone else tries to make a point (thus Roxas’ famous “oras ko ‘to” line) even if they would eventually be given some time to say their piece. I don’t understand why our wanna be presidents can’t bring themselves to shut up and show a little decency during the discourse, considering that the whole country is watching them. I mean, it also goes to show that they do not respect the Filipino people, showing such attitude on national television, during a rather important event for everyone.
Next time: If everyone would only take time to respect one another, this world would be a brighter and better place. Just imagine if religions would respect each other, if people would respect other people’s choices in life… It doesn’t mean that you have to be apathetic, it only goes to show that there are things that can be resolved through listening and discussing things in a proper way.
Lesson #5: Attitude says a lot about a person
Case on point: Everyone
It wouldn’t matter if you are the most intelligent in the crowd, or if you are the richest of them all — at the end of the day, your attitude can still overthrow whatever other traits you actually have. This debate was not a discourse of national issues, it was more of a showcase on who these people really are as individuals. Sometimes, we forget that politicians are also PEOPLE, and most of the time, what we only see are their well rehearsed answers to national issues, and less of their personality (except for Duterte who is straightforward and candid — sometimes giving remarks that can be a little too much). I guess despite being a circus and a fliptop battle more than an intellectual discussion, the debate was still an eye opener for so many reasons. I hope the next debate would be more professional than personal, though.
Next time: Just be mindful on how you act and speak. Also, just always be kind to others.
How about you guys? What are your takeaways from the 2nd Philippine Presidential Debate? Share it down below and I would love to read your thoughts!