5 Life Lessons From the Philippine Presidential Debate

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!

26 thoughts on “5 Life Lessons From the Philippine Presidential Debate

  1. This debate was exhausting to keep up with! I missed Miriam!!!! But lol, it’s kinda sad though that a little less than half of voters probably care about these debates; majority will still going to go for who appeals to them the most, even after this fiasco. 🙁

    1. Kaya nga!!! It’s frustrating actually. But at least more and more people are starting to be aware (I guess compared to before when there were zero efforts for this kind of discussions)

  2. A very sensible post! During the debate, one thing (amongst many) that irked me the most is that they kept on diverting their answers from the questions intended. One issue always led to corruption (instead of answering the questions directly), and it’s like the debaters were focusing on their personal agendas rather than the question/s at hand.

    I also agree with you on the ‘respect’ thing, although the moderator should’ve handled the debaters in venue, still, kapag disiplinado ka talaga, alam mong may rules and you don’t need a moderator to be able to comply.

    Again, a very sensible post Ate Jhanzey! <3

    1. Thanks Salve!!! 🙂 I would have to agree, dapat talaga yung moderator yung magmanage, but if they followed the rules, hindi din naman magiging sobrang sabog yung debate. Ewan ko ba! Wahaha sakit nila lahat sa ulo lol

  3. Lesson #3 talaga! Haha! I read it on twitter (too) that you don’t need documents or any kind of notes as long as you know the truth diba. Hay, anyways, awesome write-up Ate Jhanz! Everything is so on point. I hope everyone could read this. It seems like kasi more people were after the “entertainment”, forgetting about what this debate really is for. 🙁

    1. Thanks Melissa!!! 🙂 Hehe I would have to agree — sana nga they would start looking past through the entertainment and focus on the things that matters.

  4. On pt #3! What makes VP Binay not fit in this debate?
    VP Binay perceived this debate as *panahon ng mga pangako*. Ironically, he didn’t even know what he was saying (for the 2nd time!) and even tried to attack other presidential candidates rather than the main issue. Lastly, he just wanted to be right!

  5. I am really speechless on how these presidential candidates present themselves in these debates. This is supposedly an intellectual debate and a channel where they can relay their platform to the people. Sure, the bashing and stuff is inevitable, they are competitors anyway. But they should have at least done it in a professional way; they looked like kids bickering with each other.

    I cannot forget how one candidate blurted out a silly comment during a exchange of two other candidates: “Baka um-attend ng seminar sa Wharton”. Seriously, ultimate face-palm. Haha!

  6. I still can’t believe that they are this country’s presidential candidates. I am still contemplating on who to vote. It’s so hard to choose especially when I’ve watched the second debate. Nakaka-stress sila tbh 🙁

    PS: Good read, Twin!

  7. I totally agree with all of the five life lessons listed above. These aren’t only for our candidates but also to all people out there who have the chance to read this post. This is an eye opener on how we should deal with people and other things.

  8. I would have wanted for Miriam to be there. But eeh, I have to move on and accept that she wasn’t. Indeed, that debate was a showcase of character – a battle of self-defense if I may say. I hope they focus on their platforms and programs next time.

  9. Presidential debates can get so ridiculous, especially if there is one or few people who know nothing about being a good politician and person in general. These are great lessons to learn for us all and I definitely agree that faking confidence just for sake of it won’t take you anywhere.

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

  10. Best thing I’ve read about the debate. Really.

    As for me, I’m glad I avoided it on purpose. I have no hope left for this elections and, quite honestly, I’m at a point where I couldn’t care less who wins. Of course, that may just be frustration talking and here’s to hoping I’ll get over it.

  11. This debate just showed every candidate’s character. Haha Now I’m wondering pano na kong si Mar yung president natin, promise ang dali nyang mapikon. However, I still find this debate useless 1) there are voters naman na hindi accessible ng television and internet, and possible nila e’vote is yung sa tingin nila makakarelate and madaling lapitan, and that’s Binay, 2) meron daw dayaan, that’s for Mar. Tsss ewan ko na sa bansa natin. But I am still hopeful for this!

    1. Mar’s issue was with his online votes (Rappler) 🙂 Hm, I think it was still helpful as people were able to take a look at the thoughts of the presidential candidates when it comes to certain issues, which we don’t have the leisure to see way back. At least ngayon, mas malaki ang coverage. Unlike before, more on research lang talaga if you wanna know more about the people running.

Leave a Reply