By Ina Reformina | ABS-CBN News
MANILA - Six months ago, presidential frontrunner, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., was not sure of his plans for this year’s elections, according to wife of 28 years, Louise “Liza” Araneta Marcos.
Marcos and youngest son, William Vincent, fondly called “Vinny,” were Wednesday night’s guests on "The Interviews Of The Wives And Children Of The 2022 Presidential Candidates" on The Boy Abunda Talk Channel on YouTube.
Mrs. Marcos narrated, one day, while watching the Marvel movie “Ant-Man,” Bongbong Marcos suddenly said, "Okay, we’re gonna do this."
"Run for the presidency."
Mrs. Marcos said she felt nervous, and did not encourage nor discourage him.
"Also, I didn't want him to get hurt because you know in 2016, when he lost [in the VP race], it was really a painful experience for him and he was like, 'wow, what happened?' You see this groundswell and you lost, and that's everyday campaigning; so it's really painful.
"It's his decision. I didn't encourage, but I didn't discourage."
Marcos lost to now-Vice President Leni Robredo by a narrow margin of 263,473 votes.
He filed an electoral protest case before the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, which he later lost.
Marcos and Robredo are facing off again this May, this time, in the presidential derby.
Asked by Abunda why Bongbong Marcos should be the next president, Mrs. Marcos said, “Kasi mabait, matalino.”
Adding, in jest, “Pogi, sexy.”
“No, he’s a good guy, he’s a good guy. And I think it’s his time, you know. It’s really to serve. When he says public service, he really wants to serve.”
Making a case for his father, Vinny said he has seen the fruits of the elder Marcos’ labor as Ilocos Norte local chief executive.
For one, he said, “I’ve seen Laoag from what it was to what it is now.”
Adding, “But for me, he’s a great guy, a great father. I’ve never seen him hurt a fly.”
The political divide
Asked by Abunda how they navigate “the extremely polarized” political landscape, in light of controversies and criticisms hounding the 20-year regime of the late Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, Sr., Mrs. Marcos said she does not engage critics.
"Me, I just smile - well I don't have Facebook or Twitter so I really don't engage, but I know so many people who do, and it's so much hatred,” said Mrs. Marcos.
Vinny, on the other hand, has learned to live with it.
The growing number of supporters are making things easier, he added.
“Ako naman sanay naman ako, you know growing up, I've always been a Marcos. When it comes to the haters, it's normal naman for me - I've heard it since growing up. But I mean there’s so many supporters now; it's so hard to be negative, sobrang passionate din sila.”
Mrs. Marcos, who comes from the influential Araneta clan from the opposite side of the political fence, said one only needs to get to know her husband on a personal level to be able to see how kind and intelligent he is.
“Gusto kong sabihin, sana makilala mo siya tulad ng nakilala ko siya. Mabait talaga si Bong. I can’t even begin to say how intelligent and how kind he is. If that were me being bashed like that for 30 years… I’d be a basket case. But he, he doesn’t get pikon. In fact, he looks for the good in people.”
Chill, personal questions
In an effort to get to know the presidential bets from the perspective of those closest to them, Abunda also asked chill, personal questions.
For example, who is more romantic? Bongbong or Liza?
Vinny quickly said, Bongbong.
Mrs. Marcos said she and her husband have managed to preserve a ‘DDD’ or dinner, drinks, date plus massage date-night tradition, usually on Thursdays, which they started when they were first going out in New York.
The campaign period, however, has not made their ‘DDD’ nights possible, said Liza Marcos.
The 2016 experience caused Mrs. Marcos and Vinny to adopt a ‘let’s cross the bridge when we get there’ attitude in Halalan 2022.
They say they have not conditioned themselves on what possible roles to take in case of a Marcos victory.
“No, I don’t want to jinx it because in 2016, we really thought we would win. And it was really a painful [experience].
“Now people say, ‘ang lakas ninyo, sure na yan,’ you know, in my mind like, ‘try losing and living with it for six years’ - that’s difficult,” Mrs. Marcos said.