Photoshop makes candidates, not platforms, look good


Rep. Toby Tiangco, campaign manager of UNA. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Thanks to Photoshop, candidates in the May 13 elections don’t have to worry about blackheads and bad angles.

With the click of a mouse and the stroke of a digital brush, they can now look better or, in the case of some candidates, 20 years younger.

But the practice begs the question: What is left of truth in political advertising?

Rep. Toby Tiangco, campaign manager of the United Nationalist Alliance, acknowledged the importance of improving a candidate’s looks, at least on campaign posters and TV ads.

Political “photoshopping” crosses party lines. Opposition or administration candidates can get rid of those blemishes, those sagging eyelids, or receding hairline.

Politics is perception, campaign strategists like Tiangco have long held, and that explains the huge investment by moneyed candidates in media advertising, particularly TV.

But Tiangco believes there should be a limit to the computer enhancement.

“Dapat naman malapit sa katotohanan (It should be close to the truth, at least),” he said when reached by the Inquirer Thursday.

He likened digital manipulation to cosmetics—it should simply enhance a candidate’s looks, not transform him into an entirely different person.

“Because it might also back fire,” he warned. “Sometimes voters might ask, ‘How come you don’t look like the one in the posters?'”

“Photoshop is OK, but you don’t have to look 20 years younger,” he added.

Tiangco need not look far for an exhibit. No less than ex-President Joseph Estrada, one of the three senior UNA leaders, appears in campaign posters looking much younger than his actual age.

Not that he’s that old at 75, especially since he’s just several months detached from a rejuvenating stem cell procedure in Germany. But the image appears at least a decade younger.

Even President Benigno Aquino III appears to benefit from digital technology. His hair doesn’t look as thin in political ads, his face more radiant and smooth.

In a separate interview, Estrada said he was all fit and ready to go. He is running for mayor of Manila, hoping to close his political career where he started: mayor.

But there is no denying that it’s a younger Estrada in those posters, including those of his son, San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito, now also going by the surname Estrada. Some posters show Ejercito’s picture superimposed on an image of his father, a common practice among candidates banking on the name recall of more popular relatives.

Tiangco is curious about how the incongruence between poster image and reality would affect a candidate’s chances.

“I don’t know how it will affect voters. I haven’t thought of asking that in surveys. Perhaps, they’ll laugh about it but come election day, they’ll still vote for the candidate,” he said. “But more than the posters, what’s more important is the candidate’s platform and advocacies.”

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  • boypalaban

    kahit anong photoshop gawin diyan kay Toby, mukha pa ring “high” sa droga…di kayang maremedyuhan….aaaaahhhhh solb pare….heaven…..

  • les21reago

    Toby is now UNA’s  skittish spokesman and getting to be a BAGGAGE itself of the party.

  • Dy Pailad

    Yong COA report kaya bang iphotoshop?

    • Demy Angeles

      you made my day

  • brunogiordano

    “Politics is perception, campaign strategists like Tiangco have long held, and that explains the huge investment by moneyed candidates in media advertising, particularly TV.”

    TAMA, politics is perception.

    Subalit beyond perception na ang nakikita ng mga tao sa mga kandidato ng UNA, kaya ayaw na nilang iboto ang mga ito.

    Proof –

    Basahin mo ang POSTS dito sa PDI.

  • Weder-Weder Lang

    Kawawa naman si Toby Tiangco. His party is under siege what with the COA report and all he can talk about is photoshop. Instead of reading the COA reports thoroughly, which can actually provide him with lots of issues to sling back at LP, all he can think of is photoshop. Mahina ang kokote ng mamang ito.

  • $5699914

    False advertising.

  • sigbinko

    pisikal b ang sukatan  pra iboto ka ng tao? HINDI!   you bet!

  • rbrtsmith

    binay’s photoshop finished image need 1 terabyte of space.. there’s no application available to edit those sly smiles.

  • KurakotNaPinoy

    Hahaha. Tignan nyo campaign poster ni Erap across the years.

  • ang_pagbabago

    Noynoy’s hairline is still the best photoshop lie :)

  • i_am_filipino


  • Janch

    Rep. Tiangco should also have a makeover.  Hindi siya maayos tingnan.  Mukha siyang mandurugas.  Then again, bagay nga siyang maging mukha at boses ng UNA.

  • Darwin


  • lagalag

    Sana yong mukha mo muna ang iphotoshop.

  • Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

    “real picture”

    Reminds me. Look at a big mac ad, then buy one. compare.

    Look at any politician (regardless of LP or UNA) then check their campaign promises. and lastly, check what they have delivered.

    One thing I learned about politicians is that they have a stand on things. And sometimes they go against your ideas. There wouldn’t be a politician who can satisfy 100% of his constituents 100% of the time.

  • pipsirho

    PIGS will always be PIGS!!! No amount of “photoshopping” will CHANGE the IMAGE, CHARACTER, INTEGRITY of PIGS!!!

    PIGS => Politicians Insatiably Gorging Slop; SLOP in the form of Power, Public Funds, Pork Barrel, Dirty Money, Graft, Corruption, Political Dynasty, Influence Peddling, SHAMELESSNESS!!!

    Now, Tiangco is talking about Photoshop in relation to the current election! ANOTHER NON-ISSUE and INANE idea that is becoming to be a REGULAR PART of UNA’s campaign just like the THREE GUEST CANDIDATES issue.


  • jesslink

    balik na lang tayo sa mga lumang kasabihan…Ang Unggoy bihisan mo pa ng magagarang damit Unggoy pa rin!!!

  • aljess

    Pati nga si Manong Ernie Maceda na gurang at uugok ugok na at isang bulate na lang ang di pa pumipirma eh parang bata pa tingnan sa poster nya…

  • Marshall

    Bakit si nannycy binay parang hinde umubra ang photoshop ..mukhang ulikba pa rin hinde yata kaya ng ink sa printer na imanipulate ang tunay na hitsura nakatanim na kasi sa katauhan ang kaitiman ng budhi nitong pamilyang Malignong sakim sa kapangyarihan at kasibaan sa kayamanan .

  • Edsel

    Kung ang iboboto nyo ay Kapamilya, Kapuso at Kapatid sa darating na election, wag na lang. Wala na bang iba? Mag-isip muna tayo ng mabuti. Let’s end political dynasty in the upcoming election. Don’t vote for them. :-) #notopoliticaldynasty #stoppoliticaldynasty

  • fracason

    As the “Old Lady” in the Wendy’s Hamburger ads used to say: ” WHERE THE BEEF?” Can we get some beef from these TRAPOS sometime soon?

  • jasper

    Ma photoshop pa ba ang mukha ni nancy binay? Ba’t pa Kac pinatakbo ng tatay na corrupt, ayan tuloy Hindi na magiging presidente sa 2016 c binay baby.


    Toby ikaw muna dapat iphotoshop este Videoshop para mganda ka tingnan pag ngsasalita!Si Erap ba kamu ay magpapastem Cell?Sabhin mo idamay na ang ugat!Ugat Cell dapat kasi ang lalim na hirap hugutin sa lupa sa kadumihan!.Kung anu man ang itsura ng politiko sa poster ke pangit ke maganda..magnanakaw pa rin yan ng magnanakaw

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