So many unexpected things can happen during an election season, and for this year's in particular, one of them is the entry of the word "Zaddy" into the electoral discourse, at least among young Filipinos on the internet, who used the term to describe a certain senatorial candidate.
Luke Espiritu, the said senatorial aspirant who earned the title after clapping back against more popular rivals in a televised debate, has acknowledged that he is aware of this branding, and also shared his own interpretation of the term in an episode of 'Wake Up with Jim and Saab' episode released Monday.
"I’m not from the same generation, but I do understand the context and I think it’s a term of endearment," Espiritu, who is part of Generation X, having been born in the 70s, said, adding: "Well, it’s a daddy, who you’d want to be your dad or something like that."
Host Jim Bacarro, a millennial, went straight to the point, pointing out that, "In short, it's a hot daddy, a hottie."
To which, Espiritu replied, "I think my politics would be hot. That’s what it means I think."
According to the Urban Dictionary, a Zaddy is a guy who's attractive and fashionable, with swag and sex appeal, and is "typically older-aged".
In the podcast episode, Espiritu, a labor leader and lawyer who is running with presidential candidate Leody de Guzman, said that going viral over his debate appearance was unplanned, noting how he only did what he felt right the moment his rival Larry Gadon started speaking in favor of the Marcos dictatorship.
"Wala namang intention na predetermine na gawin 'yon, at wala ring intention to raise yung Marcos issue kaya nga 'yung tinatanong lang ako, I was just answering the questions," he said, noting how 1 hour into the debate, not much was happening, until Gadon brought up the issue that he knew he had to counter.
"..Gadon used the occasion nu'ng tinanong 'yung children in conflict with the law to attack yung priest daw na was attacking Marcos and teaching communism. So I just had to respond. Debate 'yun eh siyempre debatihin ko siya kasi iba naman yung aking naisip," he said.
"Ang ibig niyang sabihin, wag ituro na masama si Marcos sa mga kabataan. Baliktad. Dapat ituro nga'ng masama si Marcos for character development kasi pag hindi naturo 'yun, ano ginoglorify natin ang patayan?," he added, noting with sarcasm that Gadon is one to talk about character development.
Since the viral debate, Espiritu has been making headlines for his progressive views on key political issues, including his pro-decriminalization of abortion that he justified by saying that as a man, he is no place to tell women what to do with their bodies.
He has also been gaining support over his other stances such as anti-redtagging, pro-wealth tax, and on the prohibition of contractualization and manpower agencies, which are all rooted in the advocacies of his party, Partido Lakas ng Masa.