#PrayForAlma: Legislation, lights on, pills, discrimination, and more

AWKWARD. Alma Moreno sparks an online frenzy as she's described as u0022unpreparedu0022 for her TV interview about her senatorial bid.

Screenshot from YouTube/ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines – It was as painful as hearing fingernails on a blackboard, and so awkward, you wanted to crawl into a hole yourself.

The TV interview that went viral over the weekend – yes, the one featuring actress and senatorial candidate Alma Moreno – is the latest viral video to elicit disbelief, despair, and disgust from Filipino netizens.

Moreno, who’s running for senator in the 2016 elections under the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), appeared on ANC’s “Headstart” on Wednesday, November 11, then trended online several days later. The video now has 1.7 million views on YouTube and counting.

Here are some of the reasons why netizens think the Philippines should #PrayForAlma:

1. Her experience in the political arena
KAREN DAVILA (host): What makes Alma Moreno qualified to be a senator?
ALMA MORENO: Siguro, iyong experience ko bilang legislation (sic). Councilor ako ng Parañaque for 9 years, naging first lady ako for 9 years. (Maybe my experience as legislation. I was councilor of Parañaque for 9 years, I was first lady for 9 years.)

2. Her stand on same-sex marriage
DAVILA: Same-sex marriage?
MORENO: …No.
DAVILA: Why not?
MORENO: Parang di natin matanggap naman na parehong ano magpapakasal. (It's unacceptable for homosexuals to get married.)
DAVILA: Is it a sin for you?
MORENO: Yes. Pero yung mag-ano okay lang. Pero yung magpakasal, parang hindi ko…(Yes. But to do it, it's okay. But to get married, I'm not...)

NO TO GAY MARRIAGE. Actress and UNA senatorial candidate Alma Moreno says homosexuals should not be allowed to tie the knot.

Screenshot from YouTube/ABS-CBN News

3. Her unarticulated advocacy
DAVILA: If you won a Senate seat, what would be your advocacy in the Senate?
MORENO: More on sa kababaihan. (More on women.)
DAVILA: Like what?
MORENO: Boses ng mga kababaihan (Voice of women), like Magna Carta of Women.
DAVILA: But then the law exists.
MORENO: Yeah nandun na, pero may mga bagay na hindi na-implement. (Yes, it's there, but there are things that were not implemented.)
DAVILA: Like what?
MORENO: Teka muna! (Wait!) (laughs)

4. Her apparent amusement with the Reproductive Health Law
DAVILA: Are you for the Reproductive Health Law?
MORENO: Na? Oo. (Which? Yes.) (laughs)
DAVILA: Yes in all forms, or yes with reservations?
MORENO: Yes, with reservations. (laughs)
DAVILA: What are the reservations?
MORENO: Kailangan pa bang sagutin? (Do I still have to answer that?) (laughs)
DAVILA: Of course, you’re running for the Senate.
MORENO: Ha… (What?)
(later in the interview)
DAVILA: Ano sa RH Law ang ayaw mo o gusto mo? (What in the RH Law do you like or dislike?)
MORENO: Ahhh… teka nawawala ako. Hindi ko pa, actually hindi pa ako napupunta doon. Pills! (Ahhh...wait, I'm getting lost. I haven't, actually I haven't been there.)

5. Her birth control suggestion
MORENO: ‘Yung mahihirap, dapat talaga mag-control kasi lalong naghihirap sa dami, pag maramihan na. (The poor should really exercise control because they become poorer when there are many of them.)
DAVILA: So how would they control? How would you do it?
MORENO: Kailangan laging bukas ang ilaw! (The light should always be on.) (laughs)

LIGHTS ON. Actress and UNA senatorial candidate Alma Moreno cracks a joke about birth control.

Screenshot from YouTube/ABS-CBN News

6. Her take on the Bangsamoro Basic Law
DAVILA: Ano ang paniniwala mo sa Bangsamoro Basic Law? Kapag nanalo kang senador, boboto ka ba pro-BBL o anti-BBL? (What are your beliefs on the Bangsamoro Basic Law? If you win as senator, will you vote pro-BBL or anti-BBL?)
MORENO: Palagay ko pag-aralan, sa ‘kin ngayon ah, pag-aralan munang mabuti. Kasi okay ‘yung BBL ‘pag anuhin natin, ‘yung kasi ang makikinabang, dapat lang makinabang, ang mga Filipino. Kaya dapat siguraduhin natin ‘yung BBL, kung ano ang meron dun. (I think it should be studied. For me, at present, it should be studied carefully. Because the BBL, when we think about it, the one who should benefit should benefit, the Filipinos. That's why we should ensure the BBL, what it has.)

Moreno’s interview spawned a frenzy of online reactions and memes – from an #AlDub-inspired hashtag to a playlist and “single”:

Move over #aldub, #aldav is the new social media phenomenon !!! #AlmaMoreno #prayforalmamoreno pic.twitter.com/lPDWFGLTpd — Deeno V (@deenov) November 16, 2015

On a scale of 1 to Alma Moreno, how unprepared are you for Monday? — Coños of Manila (@ManilaConyos) November 16, 2015

Alma Moreno, Are for #RHBill? pic.twitter.com/O2n6uNSljh — EPALS OF MNL (@epalsofmnl) November 16, 2015

Iboboto mo ba si Alma Moreno sa Halalan 2016? — Apolinario Mabini (@DakilangLumpo_) November 16, 2015

Alma Moreno after her interview with Karen Davila. pic.twitter.com/3Yb7qT7joe — Neil Enore (@neilke93) November 15, 2015

Did you know? ALMA MORENO when rearranged is NO MORE ALAM. Yes, NO MORE ALAM na si ALMA MORENO sa issues ng bayan. #Anagram — MariaOsawa Bin Laden (@Cinephilliacy) November 16, 2015

Gumising ako ng maaga para mag-aral sa property. Natatakot ako bigla "Ma-Alma". hahaha!???#InspirationKitaAlma Posted by Joyce Go on Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Alma Moreno Playlist 1) What do you mean - Bieber 2) Turn Up the Lights - Rihanna 3) Ikot Ikot lang - Sarah G 4) Gulong ng Palad — mark anicás (@mnanicas) November 16, 2015

What do you mean? What do you Mean By Alma Moreno now Available on iTunes! DOWNLOAD NOW! Posted by Senyora Santibañez on Monday, November 16, 2015

 

In the same interview, Moreno said many voters still don’t know she’s seeking a Senate seat.

The awareness level could be higher now, but probably not in the way Moreno would’ve wanted.

The criticisms, though, are nothing new to the actress, as she light-heartedly noted in her answer to Davila’s question about the Anti-Discrimination Bill. “Pag sinabihan ka na bobo ka, discrimination ‘yun, ‘di ba? Minamaliit ka. Katulad sa 'kin, discrimination ‘yun!” (When you're told you're dumb, that's discrimination, isn't it? You're being looked down upon. Like in my case, that's discrimination!)

But it isn’t all negative for Moreno – some are urging others not to go the name-calling route.

After reading all the comments on my post/graphic* on senatorial candidate Alma Moreno's ANC interview, I had to say... Posted by Jeff Crisostomo on Sunday, November 15, 2015

Please take note that shaming and bullying Alma Moreno will not make you any smarter. If she is not fit for the senate do not vote for her. — aleehsuh_not_alaysa (@alyPsycho) November 16, 2015

– Rappler.com