Binay: ‘I’m in the pink of health’ to campaign

Mara Cepeda

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Binay: ‘I’m in the pink of health’ to campaign

Mara Cepeda

To prove his physical fitness, the 73-year-old opposition standard-bearer says his doctors even recommended that he resume playing badminton

LAGUNA, Philippines  – Hours after he officially launched his presidential bid in Mandaluyong City, Vice President Jejomar Binay was up early on Wednesday, February 10, to campaign in Laguna.

Asked about the state of his health, the 73-year-old United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard-bearer jumped a few times and quipped, “Kaya ba nila ‘yan, boss? (Can the other candidates do that, boss?)”

Binay, the oldest presidential candidate, assured reporters during a chance interview at Barangay Landayan in San Pedro, Laguna, that he is physically fit for the gruelling 90-day campaign period ahead.

Laki ako sa mahirap eh. ‘Yung mga iba diyan, nung tumatanda na saka sila nakaisip na magexercise. Batak ako sa trabaho,” said Binay, whose pro-poor and inclusive growth platform is built on his rags-to-riches story. (READ:

(I grew up poor. Other people just started exercising when they were old. Physical work made me strong.)

The Vice President shared that he recently had an annual medical examination and the results were positive, though he was told to avoid eating acidic food as he experiences hyperacidity from time to time.

Binay said his doctor even recommended that he play badminton again, even though he sustained minor injuries from the sport in the past.

E unang-una, ang badminton ay isang sports na napasukan ko na ang dami kong naging injury. Natamaan pa ko sa mata. Laging namamaga ‘yung tuhod ko. Siguro just to emphasize the fact that I’m really in the pink of health,” he said.

(Badminton is one of the sports I got into before that caused me several injuries. The shuttlecock hit my eye. My knees hurt, too. But I’m saying this just to emphasize the fact that I’m really in the pink of health.)

On board a pick-up truck fitted with campaign trimmings on Wednesday, Binay led a motorcade set to ply major areas in Laguna, including Biñan, Santa Rosa, Cabuyao, and Calamba.

He was joined by running mate Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II; senatorial candidates Princess Jacel Kiram, Rey Langit, Alma Moreno, and Getulio Napeñas Jr; and lawyer Harry Roque.

‘Professionally competent, spiritually prepared’

Dismissed Laguna governor ER Ejercito, who is seeking re-election, expressed his continued support for Binay and shared how much they had prepared for his presidential bid.

“Personally, I’ve been supporting Vice President Jojo Binay for 6 long years. We have campaigned all over the Philippines – 17 regions, 80 provinces, 1,500 municipalities. Halos lahat ng palengke ay naikot na namin ni  Vice President Jojo Binay, the boodle fight, para maging malapit tayo sa masa at makatulong sa lahat ng mahihirap,” said Ejercito.

(Vice President Jejomar Binay and I have toured almost all the markets, joined boodle fights, just to be closer to the masses and to help the poor.)

Ejercito said he believes Binay should be president as he is “professionally competent, spiritually prepared, and he has a true heart for the masses.”

Taking an indirect jab at neophyte Senate Grace Poe, the current front runner in presidential polls, he added: “‘Di natin kailangan ng on-the-job training. ‘Di kailangan natin ng student council meeting. Kailangan natin dito ‘yung karapat-dapat na makatulong sa mahihirap na Pilipino sa ating bansa.” (READ: Avoid suffering, choose ‘experienced’ Binay – Enrile)

(We don’t need someone who still has to go through on-the-job training. We don’t need a student council meeting. What we need is someone who is capable of helping the poor Filipinos in the country.)

In the 2010 elections, Binay won the vice presidency in Laguna with 560,978 votes against the 328,130 votes of Liberal Party candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, Binay’s closest rival then.

Laguna, a vote-rich province, has a total of 1,675,366 registered voters for the May polls. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.