PARENTS and their children know the significance of the May 9 elections. They discuss the hard choices to be made on that day—and why.
Bambi Mañosa, creative officer for interior design, Manosa & Co.
“My 14- and 16-year-old girls usually ask, ‘why are there no better candidates? Are these the only ones qualified to lead our country?’ They bring it up because they talk about it among their friends. I try to be as objective as possible. I ask them the pros and cons of the candidates. One of the questions was about the hype with (Rodrigo) Duterte. They ask why people are justifying his actions when they’re morally wrong. Values are brought up in these discussions.”
Dino Mañosa, CEO of Manosa & Co.
“I have a 21-year-old-daughter, and sons aged 15 and 11. Politics is often talked about at the dinner table, particularly on leadership.
“During this election period, I like to lay down the facts on each candidate (positive and negative attributes, controversies, reputation, and we discuss openly why they would be good for the nation or not.
“We have watched all the presidential and vice presidential debates together, and again discuss what they like and dislike about each one’s platforms. I make them conscious that whoever wins next month will greatly affect all our lives and this country we love so dearly.”
Kim Atienza, TV personality and triathlete
“I don’t have to bring up the topic. We usually talk about the elections over dinner. My kids, especially Jose, 13, keep asking about the issues of the candidates.
“They learn a lot from social media. When there is a trending topic, they ask why a certain candidate is talked about or why people view him negatively.
“Jose is interested in the US elections. When Trump trends as much as Duterte, I explain that they resonate with the same energy.
“Jose is more well-versed about the US elections than I am. So I explain to him about Philippine politics, and he talks about the US.
“He sat with me during the presidential debate and I had to translate for him.”
Rafael ‘Rafa’ Alunan IV, Appier associate director for business development
“We discuss the elections as a family, simply because my dad is running for the Senate.
“It’s important that my kids remain humble, regardless of the outcome, and understand that in any election, game or contest, there are winners and losers. What’s important is that you give it your all.
“As for teaching them about politics—not yet. They are too young, and I want to keep their world as black and white as possible for now. Later, I can slowly guide them through life’s twists and turns.
“Rather than politics, we teach them public service through generosity, compassion and charity for the less fortunate. We also instill in their hearts a deep respect and profound appreciation for Mother Nature.”
Rina Albert Llamas, founder of Rina Designs
“I talk about the elections in a way which Santino, 7, can understand. He asks questions about who the candidates are. When he overheard my husband and I talking, he asked why we want Mar (Roxas) to win instead of Duterte. He asked what it would mean for us and for the country.
“He cried about what could happen if the best candidate for us didn’t win. I told him not to worry because God is in control, no matter what.
“I also said that his prayers were powerful so he should be praying that God’s chosen one should win.”
Kristine Dee, jeweler
“Tyler, 9, watches the news and listens to the radio and hears the announcers giving their opinions. He once said he didn’t like (Jejomar) Binay because he steals. He’s very aware because of media exposure. I try to talk objectively.”
Jonnel Cruz, fitness consultant and lifestyle coach
“My daughters always ask about the elections. They want to know more about the candidates for president and vice president. We discuss their achievements, credentials, influence, the possible consequences of their winning.
“We know that the president can’t fix all the issues, especially the frustrations. We talk about how we can help as individuals and as a family.
“If we let all the responsibility for change fall on the president, nothing will happen. As early as now I educate them.
“As a parent, it is important to let your kids be involved in deciding which candidates to elect. It is their children’s future that is at stake here.”
Jose T. Jose, cosmetic surgeon
“My 4-year-old Iñigo sees the posters all around. He has a vague idea about the elections. He asks if the candidate will be a leader of the house, the street or the city. I tell him that the winner will lead everywhere. His job is to help our country. My answers are very general for a 4-year-old to understand.”