Award-winning actor Aga Muhlach last week formally joined the Liberal Party, one of the Philippines’ more influential political parties. Accompanied by wife, beauty queen-turned TV host Charlene Gonzales and close friends from showbiz Cesar Montano and Bayani Agbayani, Muhlach was sworn in into the party and is making a bid for a congressional seat in his hometown in Camarines Sur. He speaks to tabloid! about the new world his entering, while keeping his roots in the entertainment world where he first made his mark.
Q: There has been a lot of talk about your political plans, and now it’s official. What are your immediate plans?
A: I’ve been going back and forth Manila and Camarines for quite a while now. A lot of people think I just go to my hometown because I do a lot of surfing and wakeboarding, but I’ve actually been coordinating with a lot of people on the ground to prepare my platform of governance.
Q: What can you do for the people?
A: One, I have been so blessed in my showbiz career that I feel I owe something to the public — beyond entertaining them. Though I know I can do some public service away from politics, I also am of the conviction that I can do more if I am within the political arena. I hope to make a difference. It’s not going to be easy, I know there will be a lot of resistance and challenges, but I am sincere in my intentions and I really hope to make a difference in the lives of the people in my hometown.
Some of my fans come from really poor conditions, and I know what they are going through. Livelihood will be a critical component of my platform.
Q: What preparations have you done?
A: Public service is not something you prepare for; politics, yes. I have had to do a lot of studying on governance, creation of laws, legal processes and other important political matters and procedures. I am not an expert, I know that. But I am also not coming into this a total stranger. I will not lie about what I know and what I can deliver — it’s now up to the people to decide whether they see me worthy of their votes in next year’s elections.
Q: Some celebrities who have transitioned into politics have done well; many didn’t. What do you think are your chances?
A: It is too early to tell, and again I think the work that I do will speak loudly for me. But a lot of celebrities come to this with the realisation that their celebrity status can help make things happen, influence people.
Q: Will you still act?
A: For sure. Acting is my first love and will always be. There are some projects that I am still committed to do for TV5, and a couple of film projects. I will not leave showbiz for good, but if elected, public service will be my priority.