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[B-SIDE Podcast] The lighter side of politics

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It’s campaign season and election fever is on the rise. Comedian Red Ollero has been interviewing political candidates on his show Bago Matulog with Red Ollero, a casual conversation that’s more approachable than the debates aired on television. While platforms are still discussed, Mr. Ollero also grills his guests and gently roasts them.

In this B-Side episode, Mr. Ollero tells BusinessWorld reporter Joseph L. Garcia what he finds funny about politics. They talk about the role of entertainers and influencers in the elections and why it’s good to poke fun at yourself when you are in the serious business of running an entire country.


Campaign season is comedy season.

Matagal na akong natatawa sa mga politicians [I’ve always found politicians funny],” said Mr. Ollero. “Politicians spend so much money to get admiration and validation.”

He wryly observed that candidates have to put the “camp” in “campaign” to win the hearts of their audience: they dance, perform, and entertain the public with various antics.

“They’re very smart, they’re very accomplished, they’re very capable — and they’re pandering with dance kasi ganoon ang labanan dito [because that’s the way the battle is fought here].”

“I wish it was different, though,” Mr. Ollero said, who hopes that public spectacle will be replaced by public debate in the future.

Take a side but be fair.

Critics have left Mr. Ollero’s platform after he refused to keep his political opinions to himself. “They don’t want to be inconvenienced by the fact that we have to take a side,” he said in the vernacular. “But that’s how it is. We’re all affected.”

However, Mr. Ollero believes that there is a way of being ethical and fair in the entertainment business. He has sought out guests who do not belong to the political party he endorses, promising that he would treat them the same way.

“It’s open if you are willing enough to be talked to the way I talk to the other candidates,” he said.

Think of the big picture.

On a serious note, Mr. Ollero appealed to voters: “Vote for who you believe would be beneficial for the Philippines as a whole; not just yourself. If you have a stake in the game … also think of the big picture. Don’t just think of yourself; think of the whole entire country.”

Recorded remotely in December 2021. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez, Jino D. Nicolas, and Sam L. Marcelo.

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