Now they expect results.

Residents of Manila’s impoverished Baseco neighborhood don’t see Mr. Marcos Jr, nicknamed ‘Bongbong’, as the ultra-wealthy scion of a political family known for extorting billions, hoarding designer shoes and considering coffers public as an all-you-can-eat buffet.

In this maze of roads, alleys and alleys teeming with street children, rickshaws and street vendors, Marcos is synonymous with hope.

“There will be a lot of change when he is president”, wants to believe JR Foras, 30, who waits for his customers in a hair salon on the port, lined with posters of hair models from K-Pop.

He predicts “lots of jobs”, enough for everyone, at the end of Mr. Marcos’ six-year term.

“Maybe I’ll get another job. Maybe I’ll become a security guard,” he says, admitting he lacks the training for it.

Like many young Filipinos, Foras got caught up in the torrent of disinformation aimed at boosting the Marcos family’s image on social media.

The two decades of Marcos rule were touted as a golden age for the Philippines, to make Bongbong the man who could restore that fantasized past glory.

“I voted for him because of what his dad did,” Foras says. “We were number one in Asia. I just have a feeling he will do it again.”

The Marcos’ rebranding was so successful that, according to initial results, Bongbong narrowly came out on top at Baseco, ahead of Isko Moreno, a former actor who grew up in poverty in a nearby slum.

But economists warn that even if the Marcos government does not enter a new era of corruption and nepotism, it will find it difficult to deliver on its promises.

In a country where 43% of the inhabitants consider themselves to be poor and 39% say they are at the limit, the Covid-19 crisis has been particularly trying.

Rolando Castillo, a 47-year-old trader, tells how the long confinements deprived him of income.

“At times, we had to use our store’s stocks because we had nothing to eat.”

He voted for Mr Marcos “because I want our economy to be better”.

“Filipinos expect a lot from him,” he added.

But the president-elect’s father has made the Philippines one of the most indebted countries in the world and his son will have little cash to invest in reviving or, crucially, stabilizing commodity prices.

Patricio Gomez, 50, has struggled to find a full-time job since having his right leg amputated, and for now he’s helping his brother who runs a food stand.

In recent years, they have survived by delivering sisig, a local dish consisting of ground meat and offal seasoned with soy and citrus fruits, and other cooked meals.

But inflation, a side effect of the Covid, continues to make life difficult.

“Before the pandemic, electricity cost 400 pesos (7.20 euros) per month, now it’s 800,” sighs Patricio.

He is counting on Mr. Marcos to rectify the situation.

“He promised that the prices of rice and electricity would come down,” he recalls.

Older folks in the Baseco neighborhood, who have seen the presidency passed from hand to hand among a few ultra-wealthy political dynasties, hope that life will improve under Marcos, but without much illusion.

“We will see what he will do,” says fishmonger Mary Jane Serdoncillo, whose expectations are low.

“I’ve always sold fish,” she adds, “I’m used to it. I’ve sold fish since I was young, until I had children and grandchildren. children”.

“I have no more dreams”.


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