Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Candidates gear up for punishing schedule

by Christine F. Herrera

Original Story: http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideNews.htm?f=2010/january/5/news2.isx&d=/2010/january/5

TO keep pace with the rigors of a nationwide campaign, most of the candidates are getting the rhythm of their body clocks attuned to the punishing 24/7 schedule in the run up to the May elections.

Most candidates will try to cover three to five provinces in a week. To cut travel time and be comfortable, they will be using private jets, helicopters and SUVs, where they are expected to take catnaps along the way.

They want to look good while courting the voters, but not so good as to alter their physical appearance that a makeover is out of the question. No facelifts, no liposuctions: just diet, exercise and lots of water intake to prepare their physical, mental and emotional support system for the grueling campaign that officially starts on Jan. 9.

Some say they have already shed some weight, but Senate President pro tempore Jinggoy Estrada, a re-electionist, and his father, deposed President Joseph Estrada, the Partido ng Masang Pilipino’s presidential candidate, say they want to lose more weight through “serious diet.”

For Senator Benigno Simeon Aquino III, the Liberal Party’s standard-bearer, “No makeovers, except [for] the black shirts and suits from my sister.” He appreciated the offer of his sister, actress Kris Aquino, for him to undergo a makeover, but he had to turn it down.

“I am content with the way I look,” Aquino told Standard Today.

Actor Edu Manzano, the vice presidential candidate of the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD, said, “I don’t need a makeover, or facial, or anything that would make my looks appealing to voters. I simply wash my face with soap. I don’t even wear makeup even if I am in front of television.”

He had to wear make up when shooting movies, but admitted never getting used to it and dropped the idea in 2003, when he entered politics and government service. He was once vice mayor of Makati City and served as head of the Optical Media Board in combating the proliferation of pirated music and movies.

Senator Loren Legarda, of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, the running mate of Senator Manuel Villar, the Nacionalista Party’s standard-bearer, says she will not put on make up while campaigning and will only wear her old jeans, white shirt and rubber shoes.

“I have gained a few pounds because I have to eat to make up for lack of sleep and [boost my] energy [level],’’ she said. “I drink lots of water and eat three bananas a day.’’

Muntinlupa City Rep. Rufino Rozzano Biazon, the LP senatorial candidate, says he welcomes a few gray hairs.

“I am blessed with a full head of hair, although some white hairs are starting to [show],’’ he said.

“But it’s not too many to compel me to dye my hair. Besides, little white streaks here and there [enhance my] character. My hair grows in a particular way that I can only either have it cut short, like I have now, or grow it really long. My wife loves it.”

After losing 15 pounds in preparation for the campaign, Biazon, like the Estradas, says he intends to lose more weight.

Senator Estrada, who had liposuction for the 2004 campaign, decided to skip it this time around.

“Just serious diet,’’ he said.

“My dad is also on a diet. We cut down on [our intake of] carbohydrates. We are ready to face the [voters]. They will see us more often when our campaign goes full blast,” he said.

There are no diet restrictions for lawyer Adel Tamano, the NP senatorial candidate, “except [for] pork, of course, since I’m a Muslim.”

Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, the LP senatorial candidate, says she had her hair “cellophaned” and colored a dark brown without changing her hairstyle. Like Legarda, Hontiveros does not wear makeup but puts on sunscreen.

Apart from doing workouts in the gym, the candidates say they also visit the Blessed Sacrament for stress management.

Manzano does stretching or brisk walking everyday, Hontiveros practices yoga, and Legarda communes with the Blessed Sacrament.

Biazon rides his bicycle, while Tamano works out in the gym for at least 30 minutes or goes jogging.

All of them say they don’t have a problem with losing sleep at night, as they can make up for lost sleep by taking catnaps while on their way to a meeting.

Aquino says he lost 10 pounds during the 2008 budget deliberations, as there were only two of them taking turns questioning the budget from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. everyday. He has not lost or gained any pound since.

His body clock is ready for the campaign “as the sense of personal duty and the people’s support will enable me to meet my obligations.”

Because of the odd working hours in the entertainment industry, “I have developed the habit of taking catnaps or powernaps. Twenty minutes of powernap and I am fine and ready to go again,” Manzano said.

Original Story: http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideNews.htm?f=2010/january/5/news2.isx&d=/2010/january/5

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