"I think we should wait and see whatever happens, pero my Mom went for it. Tumakbo nga siya, pero I'm not gonna speak anything concerning the family or ‘yong mga naninira sa kaniya. I'd rather keep my mouth shut na lang po," says Luis Manzano about the candidacy of his mother, Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos, in Batangas.
The road to Vilma's gubernatorial bid has been a complicated one.
A few weeks ago, there was a rumble between Vilma and Batangas Vice Governor Ricky Recto, brother of Vilma's husband Senator Ralph Recto. Both wanted to run for the same office. Vilma was willing to give way to Ricky, but reports say, a show of support from several mayors of the province persuaded her otherwise.
On March 12, Vilma announced her candidacy under the Lakas-CMD party.
Luis says he doesn't know if his mom and step-uncle patched things up.
"Ako honestly, I wouldn't know. Hindi pa ako nakakauwi in how many days kasi galing ako ng Boracay, nagte-taping ako for Your Song," comments Luis.
Reports have it that the opposing candidate, incumbent Batangas Governor Armand Sanchez, is confident that he will win against the Star for All Seasons.
In a recent speech, Armand has already tried to get the game on by talking about his opponent, Vilma. He was caught on camera saying that Vilma takes three hours to get out of the car "kasi nagme-makeup pa."
Luis points out that even though politics in Batangas is too intense, he is not dissuading his mom's decision to run.
He explains, "I think it's pretty obvious sa lahat kung ano ang nagawa ng Mom ko para sa Lipa, para sa Batangas. Ang sa akin, alam ko na ganoon ang natutunan ng Mom ko sa mga tao, sa mga kabuhayan nila, sa edukasyon nila... Bakit hindi ko gugustuhin na mas marami pang matulungan ang Mommy ko?
"For example, nagkaroon ako ng isang magulang na corrupt, ‘Ay, wag na! Tumahimik ka na lang sa bahay.' Pero nakita natin ang ikinaunlad ng Batangas, mayroon siyang Lipa. I'm sure even the other cities nagde-deflect ‘yong nangyari sa Lipa. So, I would gladly see her help a lot more people."
The Rounin star also admits that there are real dangers in becoming a public servant.
"Ever since po, if I'm not mistaken, it was her first term or second term, ‘yong time na ‘yon was the biggest shabu raid in Philippine history—‘yon pa lang po, death threats will come. I'm guessing first term pa lang niya, nandoon na ang death threats. It's part of the territory," he says.
Both of Luis's parents, Vilma Santos and Edu Manzano, are somewhat involved in politics. There have been rumors that Luis will be taking the same path soon.
He remarks, "Not yet... Usap-usapan ‘yan na hindi ko man lang alam. [My parents] never encouraged me to do what they are doing. They never did. They encourage me to follow my dream, just to follow my dream. Kung nagkataon na politics ‘yon, they will be there. Kung nagkataon na showbiz, which is ginagawa ko po ngayon, e, di I'm here. Never nila ako in-encourage to do something na hindi ko gusto."
But Luis doesn't seem to be closing any doors.
"Someday [maybe]. Just like acting, sinabi ko before na ‘someday.' Look where I am right now? I really have no idea kung mapupunta ako sa politics," he ends.