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IT WAS 1992; Fidel V. Ramos had just been voted as president, and Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada as vice president. Presidential bet Miriam Defensor Santiago was crying foul, saying she had been cheated.

AS A veteran fund-raiser for presidential candidates tells it, there are fewer awkward moments in the campaign than a meeting between the candidate and a potential donor, especially if they are seeing each other for the first time.

A CLOSE look at election spending reports of seven presidential candidates and three political parties in the May 10 polls reveals that election campaigns are funded in the manner and mold of financing for risky business start-ups.

For a certain generation, re-elected Senator Juan Ponce Enrile will always be known as the former martial law administrator and the inveterate coup plotter. But for the 2010 elections, Enrile won on a campaign pitch that he is a man committed to the text generation. “Gusto ko, happy ka!” Enrile declared in campaign advertisements.