Friday, October 16, 2009

Adel is the new ‘Sexy’

Adel is the new 'Sexy'
by Ducky Paredes

AMONG the billboards that I always notice is that of a smiling Adel Tamano, future senator, endorsing Belo Medical Clinic. The accompanying message fits Adel perfectly: "Smart is the new Sexy". The guy is smart.

Mamintal or Mike Tamano, Adel’s father, was someone that I voted for several times. I liked the guy, had met him a few times and always agreed that we should have a Muslim, as one of the country’s minorities, in the Senate.

(I do not agree with Dick Gordon that adding a ninth ray in our flag is the right approach because those rays represent the eight provinces – not people – that officially rejected Spanish rule but having Muslims in the Senate is a good thing.)

Of course, the billboard represents a gutsy, out-of-the-box approach for the Belo Medical Group. For a company whose entire existence is built on people’s obsession with outward appearances, it is a bold step towards substantiating external beauty by saying that to be attractive one also ought to have the brains to back it up.

One would expect this line from those who are critical of aesthetic clinics and beauty centers. The fact that the one using the line has institutionalized such services in the country gives it more than a touch of irony. It sounds sincere, candid – and self-assured about the Belo group’s place in the industry.

Adel Tamano is Dr. Vicki Belo’s lawyer and spokesman, and therefore, a natural for a talent. But in terms of selecting the perfect endorser for this campaign, Tamano is spot-on.

Based on pure looks alone, Adel is perfect, too, with his matinee idol looks, boy-next-door charm, and be-dimpled smile. But Adel is so much more than a pretty face.

Adel is the first Filipino Muslim to earn a Harvard scholarship to its premier law school (Masters in Law), which he obtained following his Juris Doctor from the Ateneo. Before that, he completed his undergraduate studies in Economics, also from the Ateneo, after which he obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of the Philippines. In terms of academic pedigree, Adel has it all. He’s taught everything – Economics, Human Resource Development, and Constitutional Law.

More impressive is the way he has been able to put theory into practice. Anyone who has heard him speak on behalf of the United Opposition – or more recently, the Nacionalista party – will immediately notice that Tamano does not rely on motherhood statements or sweeping declarations. He addresses issues clearly and methodically, often with practical solutions to the challenges facing our society. In fact, it is well accepted among political analysts that he was one of the key reasons why the opposition took majority of the senatorial slots last election.

Moreover, he has been doing wonders as the youngest ever president of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) and president of the Association of Local Colleges and Universities (ALCU). In a relatively short period, Adel has done more for PLM than anyone in recent history. Indeed, the morale of the faculty, alumni, and most especially the students is at an all-time high because of his reforms. One tour of the facilities is all it takes to be visually impressed with the modernization and renovation the school has undergone. And that’s not even considering the upgraded scholarship programs, teacher’s incentives, and curriculum improvements that Adel has put into place.

Many will dismiss his billboard appearance as a promotional tactic, since Adel has not been reticent about his plan to run for the Senate. But again, let’s take the message of the billboard to heart, and apply it to our electoral choices. Let’s not be swayed by candidates who only look good on the outside, and are all "pa-pogi". Body by Belo is fine, but brains like Adel Tamano completes the package.

No need to ask; clearly, Adel Tamano will have my vote for the Senate in May 2010. I decided on that as soon as I met him and realized that he was Mike Tamano’s son.

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