Today I came face-to-face with a real life villain!
Gringo Honasan, the Philippines' ever-dependable coup plotter and occasional fugitive from the law, was wandering around Ayala Center Cebu this morning with his gang of around ten campaign workers clad in Honasan t-shirts. Fresh out of jail, and with no political party or campaign machinery, he has apparently been reduced to prowling the shopping malls in hopes of being mobbed by adoring star struck fans. It seems like a very crude way to campaign for senator, but I guess he does have more experience in this field than I do.
Surprisingly, he did not even come close to being mobbed by fans. Although people in his direct vicinity came over to have their picture taken with him, and several others would come by to shake his hand, he always had a generous amount of breathing space and his campaign workers and photographers often outnumbered his audience. Quite a few people seemed to notice and recognize him, but kept at a safe distance anyway.
On one hand, I felt the urge to go up to him and shake his hand because he is famous and that would earn me some shallow bragging rights. On the other hand, I wanted to run up to him and give him a firm punch in the gut because... you know... I hate him. He led a series of deadly coup attempts against Cory Aquino, escaped from prison a few times, probably led multiple destabilization attempts in the last few years, and used his infamy to become a senator. It is a wonder that an asshole like him is treated with any more respect than a common criminal. And it is quite possible that he will win the senate seat he is seeking. He represents so much that is wrong with our political system.
Anyway, I did not go up to him. I briefly considered shaking his hand insincerely and saying into his ear "You should still be in jail you son of a bitch". That would have been pretty cool. But I just contented myself by keeping my distance and wearing a weird expression of displeasure.