President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. celebrated his 65th birthday in Malacanang on 13 September after more than three decades since his father, Marcos Sr., ended his 21-year rule.
The historic landslide victory gave Marcos a total of 31,629,783 votes, or 58.77 percent of the total votes, versus his nearest rival, who could only manage 15,035,773 votes, or 27.94 percent. His huge margin means that even if all his rivals’ votes are combined, Marcos will still enjoy a comfortable lead.
The return of the Marcoses to power, experts say, is a reflection of the public’s rejection of the old “yellow narratives” and their frustration at the failure of successive regimes after the EDSA People Power 1 revolution to alleviate the issue of poverty.
EDSA failed, and the victory of BBM is a testament to that, experts and observers claim.
Marcos Jr. served as a senator for five years and over three decades as a public servant. But throughout his life, Marcos and his family were put under a microscope, with their every move carefully scrutinized by supporters and bashers.
But who is the man we’ve all known as Bongbong?
1. His family and close friends call him Bonggets/Bongets
We have known the President as “Bongbong,” and he is even more popularly known for his name acronym, BBM. However, his close friends and family call him by his other nickname: Bonggets.
The nickname Bonggets would later appear in documents related to the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program. Marcos has since denied endorsing the release of P100 million through the National Livelihood Development Corporation.
2. He once starred in a movie playing himself
In the 1965 biographical movie about his father, Iginuhit ng Tadhana, which starred the late Luis Gonzales and Gloria Romero, Bonggets played himself. The movie was produced by Sampaguita Pictures and was used by the elder Marcos for his first presidential bid.
It is interesting to note that Bonggets gave a speech about his ambition to become a politician. An excerpt of the speech reads below:
“Dear friends, ladies, and gentlemen,
I am Bongbong Marcos.
When I grow up, I want to be a politician.
I will serve my country, especially the poor.
And I will give them plenty of bigas and ulam.
I’ll give them many, many gamot at damit.
And for their children, I’ll give them many toys so they will not cry anymore.”
3. Bongbong is a clone, and Grace Poe is his half-sister
One of the longest urban legends is that Bongbong had died in a plane crash, and the Bongbong that we are seeing now is actually a clone.
Another urban legend involving Marcos is that Senator Grace Poe, the adopted daughter of the late Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces, is his half-sister and is the child of the elder Marcos to actress Rosemarie Sonora.
4. His father wanted him to join politics
In 1995, Kris Aquino, the daughter of Ninoy and Cory Aquino and the archrival of the Marcos family, interviewed Bongbong in her show Actually Yun Na!
Kris and Bongbong discussed politics, Martial Law, love life, and family.
Marcos Jr. talked extensively about how his father influenced him into joining politics and their arguments over ideologies.
“The only way you can explain my having entered politics is definitely because of how my father really… he even said it when he was still alive. He would say, ‘I have committed not only myself to the work that I have done. I have not committed only my person, but my wife and my family too…’”
5. He witnessed a light moment between Ninoy and his father in Malacañang
In the same interview with Kris, Marcos shared a light moment between political rivals Ninoy Aquino and his father in Malacañang when he was still young.
Bongbong told Kris, “That was history in the making, nakatago ako sa likod, and I was so surprised, ang tawagan nila brad. (That was history in the making, I was hiding at the back, and I was so surprised, they called each other brad.)
To which Kris replied, “Because they were both from Upsilon diba? (Because they were both from Upsilon, right?).”
“Your father asked this, sabi niya: “Brad, bakit mo naman ako kinukulong? Bakit mo naman ako nilagay sa Fort Bonifacio?” Ang tanong naman ng tatay ko: “Brad, kung ikaw nasa posisyon ko, hindi mo ba gagawin?” Ayun, nagtawanan silang dalawa. (Your father asked this, he said: “Brad, why are you jailing me? Why did you place me at Fort Bonifacio?” My father asked: “Brad, if you were in my position, won’t you do the same?” Then they both laughed.),” Bongbong added.
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