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Isko Moreno Domagoso – looking for a lasting hero

MANILA has found its new hero.
The lengthy downturn and feared urban blight of the Philippines’ former centre of commerce and politics are finally hoped to cease toward a brighter future after the arrival of one Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso
Elected during the recent mid-term local election against two political giants, Isko Moreno led the local party “Asenso Manileno” to capture city hall and begin an advocacy for the city which means just that – asenso or progress.
He had shown lots of promise in the few months he assumed office in a spin off of that much beloved American President John F. Kennedy’s conviction politics enshrined in the slogan “Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country.”
Already, Mayor Isko seemed to have solved the lingering problem of pesky street vendors hindering traffic and encouraging chaos in a popular commercial district.

Moreno has banned enterprising merchants who arrogate unto themselves the territory of the main streets and opened up the thoroughfare to orderly vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Observers have seen hope in new and young politicians like Isko who seems to be the answer to the old and bleeding local government politics the public has been used to.
Both Isko and the incumbent he toppled from city hall were popular former actors with Moreno himself a TV entertainer and former Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada a movie action star who was elected President of the Philippines, later imprisoned for crime of plunder, got executive clemency, and again got elected as mayor. Both have pro-poor political stance, but the difference is that while Estrada was born with silver spoon in his mouth, Isko really experienced poverty in real life .
Isko was born of poor parents and struggled in his teens, earning a living by scavenging in Manila’s trash, thus the tag “basurero” (garbage man) during much of his youth until discovered to be an a TV actor
He used his popularity as a young actor to get elected as a young city alderman, and then Vice Mayor for two terms until his failed candidacy for senator.

Many considered his delayed university education and his immediate foray in politics have served in good stead as his early apprenticeship in local government politics serving as a city councilor then as vice mayor. As vice mayor . Isko visited Sydney eight years ago as special guest of the Philippine Fiesta Kultura at Fairfield and hobnobbed with Filipinos. Isko at that time was also in an observation tour of Sydney’s traffic system him being in charge of overseeing the then Manila’s traffic improvement project,
By then Isko was already a well traveled local Manila official having completed in previous years short executive courses in Harvard University and in Oxford University.
He also finished a master’s course in local government at the University of the Philippines.
Confronted recently by one TV hosts whether he has plans to run for president of the Philippines, Isko answered it is too early to tell but besides, he said he plans to teach at university after he had served his beloved city well.
The present popularity of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso has been even enhanced by the breakthrough gained by social media technology particularly the YouTube platform. Reporters known as vloggers daily upload the reports on the mayor’s activities from his official pronouncements at city hall, weekly flag ceremonies, inspection sorties and presentations so that much of Manila are best informed of what is going on hour after hour.
A former popular teenage TV matinee idol Isko is well trained and had the savvy for public appearances. Isko Moreno Domagoso is “easy on the eye”. And his public image was even buttressed by his no non-sense and determined leadership. Recently even President Rodrigo Duterte himself who was once the local mayor of the large city if Davaio says Isko is better than him as a local executive.
Isko is Manila’s flavour of the month among Manila’s increasing number of “vloggers”
He has a weekly Youtube channel called Capital Report in which he presides in almost presidential manner the latest news and updates about his office, impending typhoon, illegal parking to curfew, assessment of the coming typhoons and low pressure area to follow up of illegal parking in certain city streets and personally leading the roundup of vagrant young kids on the streets.