Screenshot from Binay’s ad
MANILA, Philippines – Presidential candidate Jejomar Binay’s new political ad attempts to appeal to the Filipino masses with its use of the word nognog, a term commonly used by his detractors.
The advertisement shows a montage of the daily struggles of ordinary Filipinos, trying to establish a sense of brotherhood among those who work and strive tirelessly—whether at home or overseas.
Towards the end, the video transitions to a shot of Binay surrounded by a group of admiring supporters. Binay looks into the camera and asks “Sino pa ba ang magtutulungan kundi tayo?” before the video cuts to black.
“Nognog” is a term derived from the Tagalog word “sunog” or burnt. Nognog was actually a short, dark-skinned character created by Leandro San Juan Martinez that was popularized in the 70s. His creations were often made into movies.
Amidst demolition jobs and “Oplan Stop Nognog in 2016”, Binay has managed to turn the tables and use the name to his advantage.
After several months of struggling, the presidential hopeful regained his lead last December in the latest Pulse Asia survey, garning over 33% of the 1,800 respondents—with majority of his votes belonging to class D and E. Closely following him was Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte garnering 23% while Senator Grace Poe follows suit with 21% (although this is considered a statistical tie due to the survey’s 2% margin).
Former interior secretary Mar Roxas trails behind with 17% while Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago places last with only 4%.
After being plagued by scandals left and right in 2014, Binay’s approval rating shrunk in polls following corruption and money laundering accusations. Despite the chaos, Binay still claims to sympathize with those in the marginalized sector and pledges to continue to fight for their causes.
In a presidential forum organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) at the Marriott last October 2015, Binay insisted that “the moral problem is not corruption, the moral problem is poverty.”
The theme of catering to the marginalized is an element that remains consistent throughout all of Binay’s political advertisements. Armed with his own rags to riches story, the former human rights lawyer is no stranger to the day-to-day experiences of the masses.
Jejomar “Jojo” Cabauatan Binay was born on November 11, 1942 to Diego Binay and Lourdes Cabauatan. However, Jojo found himself orphaned by the age of 9 and was taken care of by his uncle Ponciano.
As a young boy, Jojo lived in Kuli-Kuli in Pio del Pilar, known as the red light district of Makati. He would collect feed for his uncle’s piggery, run errands at the public market and look after his uncle’s fighting cocks. Because he started working at an early age, he was able to work his way through school, juggling jobs and studies before obtaining his law degree from the University of the Philippines in 1967.
He would pass the bar a year later and serve as Mayor of Makati for 21 years before eventually becoming Vice President.