Thoughts on the 2022 Presidential One-on-One Interviews

2022 presidential one-on-one interviews header

I can’t believe that this is the first post I would be making in my personal website. This feels very timely for me though. I’ve been watching a series of interviews called “The 2022 Presidential One-on-One Interviews with Boy Abunda” this week.

Disclaimer: These are just my thoughts on each of the interviews. I may miss some parts since I mainly spoke my mind of the things that stood out. Feel free to chime in the comments if you need my thoughts on specific topics. Also note that I didn’t watch the Jessica Soho interview in full.

Who is Boy Abunda?

2022 presidential one-on-one interviews - Boy Abunda

Boy Abunda is a famous television host in the Philippines and recently started his YouTube channel. You may know him from doing a lot of talk shows in ABS-CBN. These presidential interviews didn’t come out of nowhere though. He mentioned in a video explaining the story behind doing the interviews below.

The Premise

In each interview, Boy asks the candidates a series of questions. First, he asks 10 common questions on pressing issues which can be answered in 5 minutes with follow-up questions. Next, he asks a personal issue-based question that is answerable in 60 seconds without any follow-up questions. Then, there’s his famous fast talk format where he asks a series of questions in 60 seconds. Lastly, he asks a final question answerable in 60 seconds without any follow-up.

My Thoughts

I had to set that up a bit in case you didn’t follow the interviews at all. (You might not even follow Philippine politics a lot lately; I don’t blame you.) With that in mind, here are my thoughts on each of the 2022 Presidential One-on-One Interviews. These were originally posted on my Facebook profile, but I figured I would collate all of them here. Here we go!

Ping Lacson and Bongbong Marcos

2022 presidential one-on-one interviews - Ping Lacson

(Forgive me if my thoughts of both of them are in one section! I started posting my thoughts after the interview with Marcos Jr.)

  • I really appreciate how direct Sen. Lacson’s answers are. There are some parts where I find iffy, but I have to rewatch to make sure that that feeling’s the same.
  • If ever Sen. Lacson won’t win, he should be asked to part of the Cabinet. His insight and experience can really help, especially bringing that proactive mindset.
  • Marcos Jr. is generally saying some things right, but he is saying more big-picture stuff. Not everyone can see that. Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m not sure if he has been hands-on with a lot of projects that cover the aspects needed to get a handle of the situation.
  • I have to watch the Jessica Soho interviews in full but from the parts I’ve watched, I think the questions in Boy Abunda’s interviews are a bit tamer.
  • These interviews are nice, but I would much rather have a debate. I wanna see the ideologies clash and hope that there aren’t much personal attacks during them.
  • It would also be nice if Ka Leody De Guzman was included in these interviews and debates. I want to have a clear picture of his insight when being interviewed and mixing up with the other top candidates.

Leni Robredo

  • Be aware that VP Leni has the advantage of being in the current administration and being able to implement her programs recently (and yes, that includes COVID-19 response).
  • Having said that, I can see that VP Leni’s experience being “on-the-ground” come into play with her answers.
  • The thing about Boy interjecting VP Leni when she talks is that her answers have meat. (Ping’s answers were good too, so he could be a dark horse. We’ll see.) Boy interjects to either get the answer to his question or clarify. There were times when VP Leni’s answers were getting there, but the interjections stopped them from arriving right away. Oh well.
  • VP Leni’s weaker point for me is her answer the West Philippine Sea. She did say that bilateral talks would never work because China would just bully its way into those talks going in its favor.
  • As the only one so far who answered all the questions during the Fast Talk portion, I don’t know if this should be included. Doesn’t really make sense except the last question. VP Leni did say she would vote for Pacquiao if she wasn’t running during Jessica Soho’s interview…
  • Personal note: I watched this so late due to a tech event that I had to watch the interview in parts because of how meaty the answers were.
  • Saw that article regarding Tito Sotto’s reaction to what VP Leni said about Lacson. (link:…/i-cant-take-that…/) She did say that he lacked “on-the-ground” action. (Yes, he was doing a lot during his PNP tenure and was part of a lot of laws.)

Isko Moreno

  • No offense to Mayor Isko, but he sounds like a more sensible Duterte. He made some good points overall, but I can’t shake that feeling throughout the whole interview. I don’t think he’s as brash as Duterte though.
  • His mindset on abortion is more closed than VP Leni’s. Citing his upbringing where he’s living with what he’s being given by fate, he’s clearly Pro-Life. I don’t really see him change that stance at all. He forgot to consider that he’s a guy and there are certain privileges in that sense.
  • He also has the advantage of being in the current government, so he can cite examples of the projects he has done as Manila Mayor. It remains to be seen if any of his projects can really be feasible in the national stage. (He even cited the archipelagic nature of our country, same as VP Leni.)
  • Him promoting Build, Build, Build is okay, but he has his own twist. Focusing on houses, schools, and hospitals make more sense. I just don’t know how replicable this is to the whole country knowing how much focus there is in “Imperial Manila”.- I just thought of this now, but no one seems to address the whole “Imperial Manila” thing anymore. Has the current admin really put more attention to the rest of the country? (If yes, I can’t really tell besides CCLEX.)

Probably the most thoughts I’ve said about a presidential candidate…

  • His stance on the drug war sounds like there’s that chance that it would be bloody again. Not as much as what we got, but there’s that chance.- Of all the candidates, Mayor Isko (and possibly Pacquiao, we’ll see tomorrow) has experience with the way Boy Abunda interviews. It’s no wonder why he laughed when Political Fast Talk came.
  • His answers to why people shouldn’t vote for Leni or Marcos tells me that I don’t think he can unite the people. He’s also not the only one with solutions, so he’s pretty much using his charisma.
  • Forgot to mention that his reputation isn’t as good as Mayor Vico Sotto of Pasig City anymore.
  • Boy also interjected during Isko’s interview. The interjections are probably not a “bias towards Leni” thing. I don’t know if these were shot in order, but it felt like he got tired of saying almost the same things during this interview.

Manny Pacquiao

  • Pacquiao’s probably the most sincere out of all the candidates. (Not saying that VP Leni isn’t, but Pacquiao’s passion to help the Filipino people seems genuine.)
  • Credit to Boy for trying to interpret what Pacquiao has to say. It’s clear that English isn’t Manny’s strong suit, so Boy’s helping him out here.
  • Pacquiao’s stance on a lot of issues here stems from his relationship with God. He repeatedly tried to avoid Boy’s hypothetical question about one of his children being into pornography. Even his answers on the abortion issue made it clear that he’d rather let the rape victims “heal from the pain of getting raped” and get counseling. Doesn’t sound like good advice to me.
  • I laughed so hard at one point during this interview. This was the part when Pacquiao mentioned that he knew how to manage the debt of the country because he had experience managing his family’s finances. I really wish it was as simple as that, to be honest.
  • His sincerity really came out when they were talking about poverty. I believe his tears and I believe his sentiment for wanting the next generation to not experience what he has gone through. Maybe he should just be a philanthropist instead of a politician. Heck, even be the “private sector” partner of the government for PPP projects.

Overall Thoughts

I think that Boy did mostly a good job with these interviews. It was pretty clear that those who knew Boy’s interview style firsthand would have a slight advantage (Mayor Isko comes to mind). I wish there were more issue-based questions since all the interviewees had more than one issue. Fair game to Boy for making these slightly more accessible and meatier compared to Jessica Soho’s interview. (Love the format she went with though, makes it more lively and spontaneous.)

I wanted to rank the interviews but it’s hard for me to do that without incurring the wrath of any group of supporters.

That’s it for these interviews. Now I can get back to my REALLY occasional political posts on Facebook. Bye!

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