Photo by Lito Boras/Rappler
At 73, Vice President Jejomar Binay is the oldest presidential candidate, but he seems to be among the youngest in terms of stamina.
Those who want proof should take a look at his pedometer, say people close to the United Nationalist Alliance standard-bearer. He reportedly takes over 30,000 steps per day since the official campaign period began on February 9.
Binay had earlier dismissed questions about his health, saying he was in the "pink of health" to campaign. There have been calls for presidential candidates to bare the true state of their health, to ensure voters that they are physically fit to run the country. (READ: Who's fittest and willing to show medical records?)
His camp has refused to release Binay's medical records unless required by law, saying the campaign itself would disprove the rumors. Much younger reporters trailing him, some falling ill two weeks into the campaign, agree that he appears to be indefatigable.
Binay also seems to be more social media savvy than he appears. While the Vice President still believes that personal contact with people on the streets would win him more votes, he is also apparently aware of the multiplier effect of a selfie.
On February 15, the Vice President went to the SM Mall of Asia after holding sorties in Pasay City, for a meal. People swarmed around him as soon as he got out of his car. What might have been a short trip lasted for hours as the Vice President granted selfie requests from mall-goers.
MOA is near the Vice President’s official residence, the Coconut Palace. Based on selfies with Binay posted by netizens on social media, he had been there several times.
MOA, one of the biggest malls in the world, has an estimated average daily foot traffic of 200,000 people.
It's not surprising then that malls – or public markets in rural areas – have become regular fixtures in Binay’s sorties.
Whenever he takes commercial flights, he is seen going around the airport before his departure to shake hands, grant selfie requests, and hand out rosary bracelets – another opportunity to campaign.
“He cannot sit still,” a campaign insider says. – Mia Gonzalez/Rappler.com