On Showbiz and Politics: An Interview with Brian Poe Llamanzares

Name: BRIAN POE LLAMANZARES

Birthday: April 16, 1992

Education: Ateneo de Manila University

Place of Birth: United States of America

During Campaigns

During the 2013 Midterm Elections, Brian served as Sen. Grace Poe’s campaign coordinator and more considered himself as troubleshooter. But taking part to her mother’s political campaign betting for a Senatorial position was a difficult job for him. Back in October, when Poe decided to run with Team PNoy and did the proclamation, he was the first and only staff of her mom.

Along Side My mom

Brian Campaigning with Sen. Grace Poe during the 2013 Elections

“Hardest thing for me during the campaign, personally was balancing my studies with my work because I was trying to graduate and maintain my grade point average. I knew I wasn’t gonna make honors anymore because it was just too much… So that was a little disappointing but managing that with the campaign was extremely difficult.”

The campaign season gave him an indefinite schedule, living a life with no probability. “My normal day would be, wake up and go to school I attend classes but I also have to set aside time to exercise because the campaign was really stressful, gotta stay fit. But after that, so that’s like half day. The rest of the day I had to go for work, so I’d go to office and talked with the different departments, see where I can help out and then compile a report for my mom. I’d come home and have dinner, that would be the time my mom would arrive from where she’s coming from and that’s another meeting on its own, which could last 12 o’clock in the morning until 2. After that meeting, I had to prepare her for debates with professors; at 2 o’clock that’s the only time I could start studying for the next day. Sometimes, I had to balance that from writing for my provincial speeches so that was difficult because I never had a regular schedule. One day, I would be in school studying for exams and the next day I will be out of the province campaigning.”

Notching the Top

Part of the elections is the monitoring of senatoriables electability through survey conducted by various research and survey institutions like SWS and Pulse Asia. This shows scientifically the voter preference of every candidate through electoral surveys. Poe, a neophyte in politics, had an unstable position making it in the top 12 Senators. However, majority never anticipated that she would notched number 1 in the Senatorial election after votes have been casted both in the official and unofficial tally.

Oath taking

Oath Taking of Sen. Grace Poe with family and President Benigno Simeon Aquino III

“First and foremost, the way people remembered ’04 – people remembering the good will towards my grandfather. People were saying during the campaign, that she’s just running on her father’s name. They can say it because it’s true. My grandfather spent a lifetime building a type of capital that not everyone can get, that’s really the name and how he made sure that it was a good name. And that type of equity is the only equity that we had. We didn’t have the money of other politicians. All we had is that equity. So my mom capitalized on that, that’s the first thing. Second thing really was how the ads were done. We had great directors with great ideas and really helped us. For example, the “Tao Poe!” that really hit home. After that, people really knew who Grace Poe was.”

Winning, however making it number was really unexpected for Team Grace Poe. Now as Senator-elect, the greatest challenge for the Senator is to fulfill what she had promised during campaigns and walk the talk. Senator Poe pushes for children’s welfare, public information development system and film tourism.

My mom’s into Freedom of Information (FOI), she’s really into it. But the reason why it’s not popular here is because we are not sure if it’s the right time, if we have the ability to archive. I mean, let’s face it. When my mom was working in the MTRCB, they will ask for files for 1970’s but it’s not just there because the archiving was’t well done; and it is one of the troubles that we should start to look into. When you go to other government agencies, some files were lost because it’s in hard copy and you really have to dig for it. So, part of pushing for the FOI Bill makes people realize the urgency and proper archiving and developing the system of information in our government, and the backlog of our government has to be revealed also. The FOI Bill is a good bill to push.

The other one is the Standard Feeding Program. My mom during the campaign, her biggest concern was children’s welfare. She was adopted into a family that really cared for her and she was given everything she need – good education, the love was just unparallelled. And she feels the love to give back through the Standard Feeding Program because that gives children the opportunity to focus on their studies beyond the hunger they experience on a daily basis.

 Also Film Tourism, one thing that what people don’t think too much is the effect of film industry on a country. One for example, if you look at New Zealand after Lord of the Rings, their tourism have just shot up because of the fact, the people wanted to see where a movie like that was shot. If we could do that in the Philippines, it could aid the tourism here. When other countries would see the idea of shooting movies in a country, there government covers it; they pay for it. In our country, we don’t have that. We have to set up our own booths abroad to be able to sell our own products.

 For the police, another thing that she wants to pass is the Standard Exam for Police Officers; it’s basically in English no matter where you are in the Philippines which is a bit unfair for certain people who grew up in an educational disadvantage and moreover, with a certain dialect they speak. My mom is arguing that yes, there is a point if it is going to be a national position; but if they are going around from place to place then it should be in Tagalog. They should have the option to take it in Tagalog or English. If it’s going to be in there locality, they should be able to take it in their dialect. The cheating incident of the 500 police officers, granted you can say that it’s a bad thing but if stops many people you started thinking it’s more than just people wanted to cheat. It is more of we’re setting them up for failure. This is one of the small ways that we can make it more responsive.

On Advocacies

Presently, Brian works as the Research Head in the office of Senator Poe-Llamanzares, which isn’t far from what he does during the campaign. But the most interesting part that he loves about it is to be an SOS (Son of the Senator). Through this, he can really work on his initiatives and advocacies.

With the Casiguran Farmers

With the Casiguran Farmers

“I used to do talks on student leadership, I used to go to different colleges for that; encouraging students to go to Model United Nations, attending seminars in school but now it grew. I had a talk in Mabalacat College in Pampanga and the one recently in CEU… Another advocacy that I started before was the “I AM PGH” Campaign right before the campaigns and just recently I was able to take a tour and look around PGH. Now I’m looking to it as a project for the youth to get more involved. As of now, it’s not really a big issue for the youth but once you realized that 700,000 patients go in and out of PGH every year, they would start to realize that this is something we could start to help with.”

IMG_4320

I AM PGH CAMPAIGN

Brian giving a talk during the Women's month

Brian giving a talk during the Women’s month

Showbiz Over Politics

“Honestly, I’d rather go into showbiz. I want to give it a younger generation also. In showbiz, the one thing that people don’t realize in showbiz is the potential it has, to really give back to the community. There are a lot of artistas that really give back in their own ways. It’s an opportunity for you to (1) give back to the community in a way that’s not look at with political motives; (2) it’s an honest living and (3) just a good will what a good artista could bring. Role models are important in the society; it’s a good chance for me to where my grandfather has left off… I’ve trained myself for politics; studied it. But entering politics, it should be the call of the people. It’s 50% hardwork and 50% destiny.”

Poe Legacy

“Honestly, I want people to say, not just my legacy. I wanted it to be a family legacy, that when you say someone is a Poe, they care for the people and whatever they do is to assure that someone else’s life is better.”

Brian with his Papa Ronnie (FPJ)

Message to The Clickbook: “Keep going because one day it is going to be where you want it.”

Twitter Handle: @BrianPoeLl

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