First, he was already there. He was the incumbent. He claimed he was the poorest among  the three candidates, but he had government resources at his legitimate command.

His family name became part of household chores. In short, he was recalled by the people everyday, as in daily. So his name stuck until election day and it worked.

This election proved one thing: if you are in touch with the common mass of people, not just on election season but in all seasons of the year, the more chances you have of winning compared to one who tried to reach out as far, but starting only on election season, not earlier.

Reelected Governor Roel Ragay Degamo, proudly waving 212,687 votes in his favor, waged his presence long, long before election season. His face was all over, on various (not boring) poses, reached the barrios, long before elections. Name a small barrio project, a tarpaulin reminds them that this guy at the capitol helped made it so.

The people felt his presence. He was identified as one among them. He had no mayor, but he went directly to the people. His political jingle stuck like a top hit song, often repeated even by children.

Yet, the most maligned candidate was this man. Batikos left and right, in turn he got sympathy votes. His media image was consistent. He was projected as the poor one, chosen by God, he claims he got the courtesy of heaven’s agenda. It worked.

And the biggest bonus was that the so-called catholic vote appeared to be for him, even if the 9,000 Iglesia votes went to his rival. For the first time, monsignors, priests, reverend pastors, rallied for him, “vigiled” for him, trumpeted his cause in the pulpits, lay ministers went to the barrios for him, and showed their physical presence.

This, even if in their final rally miting de avance, the finale, turned out to be a concert of sorts, and not one candidate showed up and spoke on stage. And the guy won! What else do you call that but magical indeed!

SUPER BONUS were big national events held during his election year: the P200-million palarong pambansa; the national games, the visitations of Miss Earth, and so many related shows, PBA games, and colorful events, all these gave him an added boost—all for free for him! In all big events, conventions, and in many barrio beauty contests, he was the star, and speaker of the night, being the governor.

ANOTHER SUPER BONUS was the P480-Million given to the province by President Aquino for typhoon Sendong victims. How Degamo thanked the President for having been able to use it for its very purpose! The people are thankful to him.

Just imagine, because of their super exposures during big events, his own vice governor even led the incumbent by over 10,000 votes. Their free exposures to the voters courtesy of legitimate big national, regional and provincial events gave them an insurmountable boost. It was very legitimate and timely to use intelligence funds (of how much again?) to secure these big events, omi’gosh, dear! Thank you for securing these events, nothing happened! The province is now secured even after elections.

Finally on election week and on its eve, having no organization, the doughnut went directly to the voter. His rivals, having an organization mostly passed through channels. Sometimes , the doughnuts get filtered along the way. Some didn’t even reach the voter, so they say. No, he did not buy votes. Nobody ever saw that.

One organized group sent some help for their needs, but only on election week or its eve, too late. The mayors have gone dry for weeks.. The doughnut came, and it went straight to dried pockets of you know who. But his friends were there for him (one even flew by helicopter, like the other rivals) directly because he had no organization.

Of course, the strategy could be called the ole “Oplan Freedom,” meaning, you are free to vote for any body. Here’s some doughnut tho how small, just put my name there, and you are free to vote for others you want. Just don’t forget my name. And it worked. Look at the scores.

Lesson learned: if one goes single shotting, there’s a big chance the doughnut reaches the voter. If it passes through channels, there’s a big chance the doughnut gets chunked, becomes smaller like shakoy.

So how did Degamo get 74,000+ votes more, over his own vice governor Henry Sojor? Ask them. Vice Gov –elect Mark Macias was only l,700+ votes behind his governor Josy Limkaichong, while Vice Gov. Jun Arnaiz was 29,000+ votes behind Gary Teves. Why? Ask them too. How should I know? (readComelec results on page 3)

Some say they may look for ways to dislodge him just after he shall have assumed. But his unprecedented lead of over 51,000 votes over his lady rival is not only exoneration enough, but people power might even rise if they try to unseat the chosen one.

So how can you lose. You did well, the underdog image worked, and your persistent magical God-given family name became a household chore. Congratulations, Roel, you did well! ‘You fought the good fight.’

You’re not a dirty harry, but you’re like Clint Eastwood’s movie which was quite rightly called: “Whichever way but lose!