Luis all set to enter politics?
Nathalie Tomada (The Philippine Star) - August 22, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Luis Manzano has made it no secret that he’s interested in entering the political arena. Perhaps, among the showbiz people eyeing the 2016 national elections, you can’t accuse him of being coy.

At the moment though, the 34-year-old TV host has not arrived at a decision, but it would have to be made before the deadline of the filing of candidacy in October.

“If I wake up in the morning and I feel that it’s about time to serve, then yes, kaya ko sabihin na handa na ako, which is why it’s taking me a bit too long (to decide). I’m still 50-50,” Luis told The STAR and other reporters when asked how ready he is for a political life.

How is he taking criticism that actors have no place in politics? Luis readily agreed that some criticisms are legitimate but “I have the best example in my mom that it can work,” referring to Vilma Santos’ successful political career as the first woman mayor and first woman governor in Batangas.

Luis, who is a registered voter in Batangas, said that there are quarters who are not just asking but “pleading” him to consider an elective post (“There’s no position because, who knows, my mom might run again as Mayor of Lipa.”)

His mom, on the other hand, has neither been encouraging or discouraging. “My mom never encouraged, my mom never discouraged, she’s just neutral (to the idea of me entering politics) even before. She’d tell me, whatever you want anak, I’ll be behind you all throughout. No discouragement at all, not even for a second. She just said, ‘Anak, if you run, prepare for it well, study, observe, if you’re not going to run, there are many shows you can possibly host,” said Luis who has a degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management from the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde.

Luis stressed that Gov. Vi has no intention of running for higher office, amidst reports that she’s being wooed by different camps as a potential vice-president candidate in the 2016 elections.

“I really believe it when she says that she isn’t ready for a higher position. She wants to be more hands-on. I think that’s why she’s loved by the Batangueños. She didn’t run for mayor so she could run for senator, then run for president. That’s not her style. She ran for mayor because she wanted  to serve as mayor. Same thing when she ran for governor. She doesn’t want to use her position as some sort of stepping stone.”

Apart from family, his girlfriend Angel will be among the very first ones to know of his decision. “We just talked recently. She asked what are my plans. She’s always been supportive of me.”

If not yet politics-ready, then is he marriage-ready? “I’m very ready, but as an individual, I have things to do, so does Angel. She’s also about to start Darna. Emotionally, we’re getting there. But it would be better if everything’s laid out first, for our future, so that we are more prepared… So wala pa (specific plans regarding marriage).”

When asked which comes first: wedding or politics, he said, “I’m more than sure and I’m willing to bet on it, that if the marriage comes first, sabihin nila ginagamit ko.”

Meantime, Luis is busy with his hosting duties for Kapamilya Deal or No Deal and The Voice Kids Season 2, which is now entering the live semi-finals. 

The six finalists are Kyle Echarri and Zephanie Dimaranan of Team Sarah, Elha Nympha and Sassa Dagdag of Team Bamboo, and Reynan Del-anay and Esang de Torres of Team Lea. “I know what the kids are going through, I know their journey, so I’m very thankful that finally, we›re heading to the culminating evening for all the hardwork of the production, coaches and the kids.”

The Voice Kids Season 2 airs tonight at 6:45 and tomorrow at 7 on ABS-CBN.

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