When it comes to Philippine politics, readers of the Manila Bulletin are quite savvy–but always in a hurry.

So much in a hurry that most of them may not have realized that some 150 or nearly half of the House of Representatives members in the 19th Congress are either complete neophytes or returning solons. Thus, we’re introducing the #SevenQuestions challenge.

Rookie lawmakers who agreed to take on the #SevenQuestions challenge were made to choose and answer seven questions from a list of 20–half of them light, half of them serious. They were encouraged to pick the combination of questions that they think would best introduce them to a reader in a rush.

Our House member for the day, Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel, opted to answer four light questions and three serious questions. The 27-year-old is a full-time activist and national president of the National Union of Students of the Philippines.

Kabataan Party-list. Raoul Manuel

Light questions

1. Are you a cat or a dog person?


2. What’s the best movie you’ve ever seen and why?

Avatar by James Cameron. The visuals are stunning! And the theme is very relevant: it presents what is wrong when a stronger group blindly aims for “development” at the expense of the well-being and lives of other groups.

3. Which historical figure would you want to become your “seatmate” or “buddy” in the House plenary?

Andres Bonifacio. He should have been the first president of the Republic of the Philippines (if not for the pursuit of power by a few Filipino elites in connivance with American imperialism), so I would be glad if he were in the House, at least. We need more patriots and revolutionaries like him rather than blind followers in Congress. With him as my buddy, I’m sure to have someone to rely on as I push for pro-people legislation.

4: What subject in school did you hate the most?

None, actually. Haha. I enjoy learning across various fields. It helps me work on my weaknesses and enhance my strengths.

Kabataan Party-list. Raoul Manuel

Serious questions

5. What is the one signature/pet bill that you want to be known for?

Safe School Reopening Bill. Our country is the last to decide to reopen schools amid the pandemic. Now that government is about to mandate schools to reopen, it must be done with quality, access and safety issues genuinely addressed.

6. Only one can be eradicated: extreme climate change events or world hunger?

Extreme climate change events, because they, in the long run, will cause more problems, including depleting our food sources, thereby triggering the hunger of many especially in low-income countries like the Philippines. The new generation deserves a livable and abundant Earth. Climate justice and food security now!

7. What makes you happy?

I feel happy when I meet young Filipinos who have realized their collective strength through the organizations they formed or participated in. Laban Kabataan!

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/07/19/get-to-know-a-neophyte-congressman-in-sevenquestions-raoul-manuel/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=get-to-know-a-neophyte-congressman-in-sevenquestions-raoul-manuel)