Piracy is eating thi s country alive. Fake DVDs. Fake Prada. Fake president. And of course, fake Friendster accounts.
There are a number of people in this popular Net community who claim to be this or that celebrity.
And young politicians are not spared from this (pathetic?) phenomenon.
For some weird reason, I decided to check which current young politicians have the most number of Friendster doppelgangers.
There is a real Political Friendster and then there is the ordinary and more popular Friendster. But Political Friendster is not in any way related to Frienster. Here's the exact caveat from the site: Political Friendster is a parody of the social network Friendster. It allows a visualization of the connections between players in the political game. This site has absolutely no affiliation with the real Friendster.
I chose the ordinary one in my informal survey. And here's the result:
1. MIKE DEFENSOR: There was a "Mike Defensor" but he just shares the same name with the Palace's Annoying Mouthpiece.
2. ALI ATIENZA: Lito Atienza's son who is being groomed to be one of Manila's congressman has his own Friendster account. It was really him. But Ali Atienza wannabes? Nah. It seems that no one wants to be him.
3. LULI ARROYO: I know, she's not a politician but I couldn't find an administration counterpart for Darlene Custodio. There are two "Luli Arroyo" results when I searched her name. One is a 35 year old Filipina and the other is a 16 year old teener. That's not her. Wannabes? Duh. Who wants to be like a mini-Gloria?
4. MARK LAPID: I think there is a fake Mark Lapid account but this was Mark Lapid circa Kris Aquino. And how did I assume that it was not the real one? Well, his hobbies and interests profile reads Kris Aquino. Who would write something like that? But I discovered something while I was browsing his network - Bentong has a Friendster account. It's a fake one though.
5. MIGUEL ZUBIRI: The heir of Tequilla Joe's has a personal account. It looks to me that he is the real Miguel Zubiri. Dato Arroyo (GMA's other son) and Liz Almoro (Willie Revillame's wife) are included in his network friend. No Migz Friendster doppelganger however.
1. GILBERT REMULLA: There are two Gilbert Remulla profiles and both are from Cavite. But if you look at their pictures, it wouldn't take a genius to know that the other guy is just a namesake. Why? He looks old and wrinkled. I'm notr quite sure about the other "Gilbert" even if his picture is that of the real Gilbert Remulla. So I'd rather conclude that there is one fake Gilbert Remulla account. Unless the cute representative likes posting studio pictures as his primary photo.
2. TEDDY CASINO: He has a Friendster account. By the way, the Leftist Heartthrob is a techie kind of guy. He was the one who suggested that the Batasan 5 should create their own blog in order for them to record what's happening inside Big Brother Joe De Venecia's house. I'm quite sure that this is the real Teddy Casino because I was connected to him through a certain sexy lady named Rizzalyn Ramirez.
3. DARLENE ANTONINO CUSTODIO: The youngest lawmaker in the country seems to have no Friendster account or any Friendster aspirant. It's a pity. I suggest that the hundreds of Angel Locsin pretenders should switch to Darlene. She's still as pretty as the Majika star. However, Darlene is smarter and more articulate.
4. ALLAN PETER CAYETANO: Just namesakes. No wannabes. No real McCoys. However, there are Pia Cayetano accounts. Take note of the plural form of "account."
5. FRANCIS ESCUDERO: It's so obvious why I saved the best for last. You want wannabes? You want fake politician Friendster accounts? Then do not search for Mike Defensor or any of the administration pets. Type f-r-a-n-c-i-s-e-s-c-u-d-e-r-o and it will generate results of three fake Chiz profiles.
Now type c-h-i-z-e-s-c-u-d-e-r-o and you'll get another wannabe. How did I know? This is how his about me entry reads: Escudero is likely to be at a friend's shop tinkering with old cars-he's the proud owner of a 1969 Mister Slim two-door top-down Mercedes and a 1987 Range Rover-or at the firing range with his .45 caliber guns. "I like shooting. I would want to compete someday. As for old cars, it's part of the thrill, not knowing whether or not you'll get to your destination!" Private time means "not being bothered by this gadget." That my readers is a direct quotation from a Sunday Inquirer Magazine interview by Alya M. Honasan.
Here's another about me entry from another Chiz wannabe: "Every politician, whether he is senator or vice president, or a barangay captain dreams of becoming president one day. Otherwise, he would be lying to himself.""Ang kagandahan sa ambisyon, ito ay libre. Hindi mo kailangang bayaran. Managinip ka lang sarili mo na 'yon basta hindi ka nagnanakaw, hindi ka nagsisinungaling, wala kang inaapakan para marating 'yong ambisyon mo (The beauty of ambition is that it is free. You don't have to pay for it. You just dream about it and it's yours as long as you don't steal, you don't lie and you don't step on someone to reach your ambition)," Again, this is another direct quotation.
But this has to be the best one. Our third Chiz wannabe created his own about me entry that reeks with campy arrogance. Check out the flawless Tagalog: " Francis Joseph 'CHIZ' Escudero " labis akong natutuwa at nagagalak dahil marami ang lubos na humahanga sa aking kakayahan at gumagaya sa aking kredibilidad bilang isang taga oposisyon. isa lamang akong simpleng tao at ang hanap lang naman namin ay ang katotohanan tungkol sa kasulukuyan administrasyon. wala kaming balak na sirain ang administrasyon sa kanilang panunungkulan. hindi din namin hangad na maupo sa malakanyang dahil may sarili kaming pananaw at aming misyon ay tulungan ang sambayanang pilipino na labis na naapektuhan sa krisis pulitikal. at sa bandang huli ay mananaig ang katotohanan at magagapi ang kasinungalingan na nabuo ilang buwan na ang nakalipas. masaya ako at aking nakikita na maraming humahanga sa aking kakayahan bilang tagapagsalita ng oposisyon at marami din ang sa akin ay gumagaya. umaasa ako na matatapos din ang problema na kinahaharap ng ating bansa... maraming salamat po...
And his who I want to meet entry: nakita ko na at nakakasama ko sa ngayon ang aking gustong makita. at yun ay aking aking kabiyak na labis kong minamahal.
Even in the realm of fake Friendster accounts, the administration is no match to the opposition. But one thing is for sure, the administration is being led by a REAL FAKE PRESIDENT.