Menagerie Kuno Makamasa: Guts of a champion, glory of the people
Menagerie Kuno Makamasa: Guts of a champion, glory of the people
Kuno Makamasa: Guts of a champion, glory of the people

“I am the light at the end of the f—–g tunnel,” he declares with his trademark booming voice, instantly capturing the attention of the room. He is smiling from ear-to-ear, comfortably slouched with the air of a man who has freed himself from pretense. 

This is the man who has comfortably amassed a formidable supporter base within the last few months, all thanks to a few viral—and well-timed—Facebook posts. Some may call him a rockstar, others call him the messiah, but in his own words, he is “whoever you want me to be.”

With his widespread appeal and no-holds-barred attitude, 55-year-old hotshot politician Kuno Makamasa has vowed to expose “how phony politicians really are.” Starting out as a beloved mayor of Sabaw City, his recent rise to national fame has revived the public’s trust in the government. “‘Run Kuno Run’ daw sabi ng mga supporters ko. Pinapakita nila na ayaw na nila sa mga trapo. Gusto na nila ng pagbabago. Ako daw ang pagbabago. Who am I not to give the people what they want, ‘no?,” he asserts.

(My supporters encouraging me to run for the next presidential elections shows their rejection of the traditional politician. They want change. I am that change.)

Tapang at pasakit

Lumaki akong saksi sa paghihirap ng aking mga kababayan,” Makamasa recounts. “Kita ko ay ‘yung mga p—-g i—g drug pusher na nagpapahirap sa aking mga kababayan. Kung pwede lang, ipapatay ko mga g—-g ‘yan.

(I bore witness to the hardships of our fellow countrymen growing up, because of the drug pushers ruining people’s lives. I would kill those bastards if I could.)

His upbringing under the tutelage of his father, former mayor Dinaman Makamasa, has taught him to be an advocate for the poor. Helping in literal do-or-die government programs that enforce strict curfews and punishments, a young Kuno would see a vision of the Philippines that he felt was beautiful.

In his 22 years of public service, Makamasa has established himself as a leader dedicated to the eradication of crime. As an icon of hope and courage to the people, he reveals that he is heavily inspired by Batman, confessing that he dreams of protecting the city as a caped crusader too. “Kinilabot ako nung una kong narinig ‘yung quote na ‘bahala na si Batman’. Sobrang nag-resonate siya sa akin, parang binulong ni Lord na umasta rin dapat akong Batman sa mga constituents ko,” he shares, “I am not the hero [the] Philippines deserves, but I am the hero it needs.”

(I had goosebumps when I first heard the quote ‘leave it to Batman’. It resonated so much with me, as if the Lord whispered that I should also act like Batman to my constituents.)

With his Dark Knight-inspired leadership and mission to end criminality, he boasts of how he transformed Sabaw City from a once-lawless place into a model of peace and development. But at what cost? “Tumaas ‘yung death rate,” he jokingly says.

(The death rate rose.)

With his plans to pursue a position in the national government, Makamasa recognizes a bigger threat to the peace and order he ultimately aspires for—the oligarchy. Outraged by the oligarchy’s role in preserving the oppressive status quo, he clamors, “I will f—–g dismantle the whole f—–g oligarchy.” 

When questioned further about his friendship with noted elite scions like Kemelang Vee and Iscam Ng-Taon, Makamasa breezily dismisses it with a wave of his hand, saying, “A group of musical geniuses, the Spice Girls, once said, ‘If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends.’” 

He vows to strengthen our armed military forces, who are the embodiment of his “tapang at pasakit” agenda, and to rid the country of those who threaten its peace. “I will kill everyone who’s a threat for the sake of my country,” he passionately proclaims, “I will be their worst nightmare, dressed like a daydream.”

(Courage and torment)

Fanbase, fun-based

After transforming Sabaw City into an unimaginable place of safety and discipline, everyone is convinced that Makamasa is the rising champion of the people. It then comes as no surprise that he has garnered the admiration of many Filipinos.

“You see, he is like a father to me. Yes, he can be too harsh and unreasonable at times, but his intentions come from a place of concern. Honestly, I do not mind whatever negative trait he has,” says Aylab Dutduts, one of the founding members of Makamasa Major Supporters, more popularly known as MMS.

Behind Makamasa is an unswerving network of support that stands beside him like he is an extension of themselves. Unlike any other politicians from the past who mouthed unfulfilled promises, MMS members believe that Makamasa is a man of action—he acts even before he thinks. “I always watch his speeches before I sleep. He’s the perfect package—dad, president, comedian. He makes politics fun!” Aylab comments.

Makamasa confidently asserts that being unfiltered is one of his star qualities. “I would like to describe myself as this unedited image. What you see is what you get. Not everyone can find that appealing. But, you know, women love this.”

Simply the best

As a true man of the people, Makamasa wants to inspire young people to stand up for what they believe in. “I see the rallies of young people bearing my name on placards. See? They like me. They like what I bring to the table.”  

In the past few months, Makamasa has been photographed in a flurry of fundraisers, openings, and hospital visits. He seems to be all too eager to give speeches at these events. “Let’s get rid of corrupt officials! Let’s get rid of drug pushers! Let’s get rid of poverty!” he proclaims once he gets his hand on the microphone. When asked to be more specific about his plan, he simply says, “We kill them.”

He always makes sure to get to know the people after the events—shaking hands, taking pictures, kissing babies. Seeing him in his element, it really isn’t a mystery why people gravitate toward him. Once he is tucked away in his Range Rover and squirting Purell into his hands, he points out, “See that magic? I’m not like the other boys.”

As the presidential elections draw closer, Makamasa is looking more and more like the heir apparent. To this he says, “Well, I am inevitable.”