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A Very Long List of Retired Actors Who Found New Beginnings as Politicians

Consider this a lesson that you can always start fresh in your career.
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Let's be honest. There is no such thing as a "retired" actor in the Philippines. "Retired" actors can shy away from blockbusters or teleseryes, but you'll eventually find their faces on the back of a bus, peddling rice cookers, toaster ovens, or electric fans. Once in a blue moon, they'll play the it girl's tired but wise aunt, the villain's goon, or some random cameo. Such is the life of a person in show businesses.

In the Philippines, the natural progression of an actor whose spotlight is about to dim is to move on to a different platform: politics. It's pretty much the same kind of show but with less makeup and more paperwork. Consider it an evolution of their influence, but we applaud them for starting their career anew. It's not easy to go back to square one, you know. 

Only those in the entertainment industry were considered for this list. Journalists and athletes (except athletes-turned-actors-turned-politicians, which is another version of this life cycle) who switched to politics were not considered. Likewise, politicians-turned-celebrities like Mark Lapid and Shalani Soledad were not included. 

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS

Jestoni Alarcon
Councilor, Antipolo (2001-2004)
Vice Governor, Rizal (2004-2007)
Board Member, 1st District of Rizal (2013-incumbent)

Cita Astals
Councilor, Manila (1998-2007)

Kaka Balagtas
Vice Mayor, San Antonio, Nueva Eciji (2010-2016)

Marjorie Barretto
Councilor, 2nd District of Caloocan (2007-2013)

Herbert Bautista
Councilor, 3rd District of Quezon City (1992-1995)
Vice Mayor, Quezon City (1995-1998, 2001-2010)
Mayor, Quezon City (2010-incumbent)

Charmee Benavidez
Councilor, 2nd District of Pasig (2010-2016) 

Lito Camo
Board Member, Oriental Mindoro (2013-2016)
Ran for Bongabong Mayor in 2016, but lost

Alex Castro
Councilor, Marilao, Bulacan (2007-2013)
Board Member, 4th District of Bulacan

Christopher de Leon
Board Member, 2nd District of Batangas (2010-2013)
Ran for the House of Representatives in 2013, but lost

Bob dela Cruz
Councilor, Marilao, Bulacan (2010-incumbent)

Maybelyn Dela Cruz
Councilor, Dagupan (2010-incumbent)

Patrick dela Rosa
Board Member, Oriental Mindoro (2010-2013)
Ran for Baco Vice Mayor, but lost

Andrea del Rosario
Vice Mayor, Calatagan, Batangas (2016-incumbent)

E.R. Ejercito
Mayor, Pagsanjan, Laguna (2001-2010)
Vice Governor, Laguna (2010-2014)

Gary Estrada
Board Member, 2nd District of Quezon City (2010-2016)

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Daniel Fernando
Provincial Board Member, 3rd District of Laguna (1998-2007)
Vice Governor, Bulacan (2010-incumbent)

Guia Gomez
Mayor, San Juan (2010-incumbent)

Richard Gomez
Mayor, Ormoc, Leyte (2016-incumbent)
Ran for Partylist representative in 2001, but was disqualified
Ran for Senate in 2007, but lost
Ran for Leyte Representative in 2010, but lost
Ran for Ormoc Mayor in 2013, but lost

Cristina Gonzales Romualdez
Councilor, Tacloban, Leyte (2007-2016)
Mayor, Tacloban, Leyte (2016-incumbent)

Jhong Hilario
Councilor, 1st District of Makati (2016-incumbent)

Precious Hipolito
Councilor, 2nd District of Quezon City (2010-incumbent)

Brillante Inciong
Councilor, 1st District of Parañaque (2010-incumbent)

Angelica Jones
Provincial Board Member, 3rd District of Laguna (2010-2016)

Maynard Lapid
Board Member, Pampanga (2013-incumbent)

Mark Leviste
Vice Governor, Batangas (2007-2016)

Rey Malonzo
Mayor, Caloocan City (1995-2001)
Ran for Vice Mayor in 2010 and 2013, but lost both times

Joey Marquez
Mayor, Parañaque (1995-2004)
Ran for Parañaque Representative in 2010 and 2013, but lost both times

Yoyong Martirez
Councilor, 2nd District of Pasig (1995-2004; 2013-incumbent)
Vice Mayor, Pasig (2004-2013)

Aiko Melendez
Councilor, 2nd District of Quezon City (2003-2008)
Ran for Vice Mayor in 2010, but lost

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Matthew Mendoza
Councilor, Puerto Princesa, Palawan (2013-incumbent)

Maricel Morales
Councilor, Angeles, Pampanga (2010-incumbent)

Alma Moreno
Councilor, 1st District of Parañaque (2007-2016)

Isko Moreno
Councilor, 1st District of Manila (1998-2007)
Vice Mayor, Manila (2007-2016)

Roselle Nava
Councilor, 1st District of Parañaque (2010-incumbent)

Teri Onor
Board Member, Bataan (2010-incumbent)

Dennis Padilla
Councilor, Caloocan (2001-2007)
Ran for Laguna Board Member in 2013, but lost

Imelda Papin
Vice Governor, Camarines Sur (1998-2004)
Ran for Senate in 2010, but lost
Ran for San Jose Del Monte Representative in 2013, but lost

Jinkee Pacquiao
Vice Governor, Sarangani (2013-2016)

Sonny Parsons
Councilor, Marikina

Roderick Paulate
Councilor, 2nd District of Quezon City (2010-2016)

Charee Pineda
Councilor, 2nd District of Valenzuela (2013-incumbent)

Rico J. Puno
Councilor, 1st District of Makati (1998-2007; 2016-incumbent) 
Ran for Makati vice mayor in 2010, but lost

Vandolph Quizon
Councilor, 1st District of Parañaque (2016-incumbent)

Jolo Revilla
Barangay Captain, Panapan VII, Bacoor, Cavite (2010-2013)
President of the Association of Barangay Captains, Cavite (2010-2013)
Vice Governor of Cavite (2013-incumbent)

Daisy Reyes
Councilor, Pateros (2010-2016)
Ran for Pateros Mayor in 2016, but lost

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Maita Sanchez
Mayor, Pagsanjan, Laguna (2010-incumbent)

Gian Sotto
Councilor, 3rd District of Quezon City (2010-incumbent)

Lala Sotto
Councilor, 6th District of Quezon City (2013-incumbent)

Wahoo Sotto
Councilor, 2nd District of Parañaque (2013-incumbent)

Lou Veloso
Councilor, 6th District of Manila (1995-1998)
Ran for Manila Vice Mayor in 2013, but lost

Anjo Yllana
Councilor, Parañaque (1998-2004)
Vice Mayor, Parañaque (2004-2007)

Jomari Yllana
Councilor, 1st District of Parañaque (2016-incumbent)

Ryan Yllana
Councilor, 2nd District of Parañaque (2010-incumbent)

LOWER HOUSE

Mikey Arroyo
House of Representatives, 2nd District of Pampanga (2004-2010)
House of Representatives, Ang Galing Pinoy Party List (2010-2013)
Acting Vice Governor, Pampanga (2017-incumbent)

Monsour del Rosario
Councilor, Makati City (2010-2016)
House of Representatives, 1st District of Makati (2016-incumbent)

Dan Fernandez
House of Representatives, 1st District of Laguna (2007-2016)

Dennis Roldan
Councilor, Quezon City (1988-1991)
House of Representatives, 3rd District of Quezon City (1992-1995)

Lucy Torres Gomez
House of Representatives, 4th District of Leyte (2010-2013, 2013-incumbent)

Lani Mercado-Revilla
House of Representatives, 2nd District of Cavite (2010-2016)
Mayor, Bacoor, Cavite (2016-incumbent)

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Vilma Santos
Mayor, Lipa, Batangas (1998-2007)
Governor, Batangas (2007-2016)
House of Representatives, Batangas (2016-incumbent)

Yul Servo
House of Representatives, 3rd District of Manila (2016-incumbent)

Alfred Vargas
Councilor, 2nd District of Quezon City (2010 to 2013)
House of Representatives, 5th District of Quezon City (2013-incumbent) 

UPPER HOUSE

Rogelio dela Rosa
Senator (1975-1963)

Jinggoy Estrada
Vice Mayor, San Juan (1988-1992)
Mayor, San Juan (1992-2001)
Senator (2004-2016)

Lito Lapid
Vice Governor, Pampanga (1992-1995)
Governor, Pampanga (1995-2004)
Senator (2004-2016)
Ran for Angeles City Mayor in 2016, but lost

Manny Pacquiao
House of Representatives (2010-2016)
Senator (2016-incumbent)

Ramon Revilla, Jr
Vice Governor, Cavite (1995-1998)
Governor, Cavite (1998-2001)
Chair, Optical Media Board (2002-2004)
Senator, (2004-2016)

Ramon Revilla, Sr
Senator (1992-2004)

Tito Sotto
Vice Mayor, Quezon City (1988-1992)
Senator (1992-2004, 2010-incumbent)

Freddie Webb
Councilor, Pasay City (1971-1978)
House of Representatives, Parañaque (1987-1992)
Senator (1992-1998)

OTHER GOVERNMENT UNITS

Edu Manzano
Vice Mayor, Makati (1998-2001)
Chair, Optical Media Board (2004-2009)
Ran for Vice President in 2010, but lost
Ran for Senate in 2016, but lost

Cesar Montano
Chief Operation Officer, Tourism Promotions Board (2016-incumbent)
Ran for Senate in 2007, but lost
Ran for Bohol governor in 2010, but lost
Ran for Partylist representative, but lost

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Ronnie Ricketts
Chair, Optical Media Board (2009-2016)
Ran for Muntinlupa representative in 2016, but lost

Mocha Uson
Assistant Secretary, Presidential Communications Operations Office

PRESIDENT

Erap Estrada
Mayor, San Juan (1969-1986)
Senator (1987-1992)
Vice President (1992-1998)
President (1998-2001)
Mayor, Manila (2013-incumbent)

LOSERS

Dan Alvaro
Ran for Quezon City councilor in 2010, 2013, and 2016, but lost all three times

Nora Aunor
Ran for Camarines Sur governor in 2001, but lost to Luis Villafuerte

Heber Bartolome
Ran for Quezon City councilor in 2013, but lost

Amay Bisaya
Ran for Bohol governor in 2013, but lost 

Anthony Castelo
Ran for Senate in 2010, but was disqualified
Ran for Quezon City councilor in 2013, but lost

Rez Cortez
Ran for Camarines Sur representative in 2013, but lost

Ricky Davao
Ran for Quezon City councilor in 2010, but lost

Allan Paule De Guzman
Ran for Muntinlupa councilor in 2016, but lost

Jograd Dela Torre
Ran for Manila councilor in 2013

Joko Diaz
Ran for Batangas board member in 2013, but lost

Ogie Diaz
Ran for Quezon City councilor in 2010, but lost

Jaime Fabregas
Ran for Quezon City councilor in 2010, but lost

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Rudy Fernandez
Ran for Quezon City mayor in 2001, but lost to Sonny Belmonte

Emilio Garcia
Ran for Laguna board member in 2013, but lost

Glenda Garcia
Ran for Quezon City councilor in 2010, but lost

Inday Garutay
Ran for San Juan councilor in 2016, but lost

Arnell Ignacio
Ran for Quezon City councilor in 2010, but lost

Tado Jimenez
Ran for Marikina councilor in 2010 and 2013, but lost both times

John Lesaca
Ran for Quezon City councilor in 2010, but lost

Maria Isabel Lopez
Ran for Quezon City councilor in 2010, but lost

Long Mejia
Ran for Calumpit councilor in 2013, but lost
Ran for Bulacan board member in 2016, but lost

Ara Mina
Ran for Quezon City councilor in 2010, but lost

Aga Muhlach
Attempted to run for Representative of the 4th District of Camarines Sur in 2013, but was marred with residency issues

Rommel Padilla
Ran for Nueva Ecija vice governor in 2010, but lost

Fernando Poe, Jr.
Ran for the presidency in 2004, but lost to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

Lance Raymundo
Ran for San Juan councilor in 2016, but lost

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Jobell Salvador
Ran for Makati vice mayor in 2010, but lost
Ran for Parañaque councilor in 2013, but lost

TJ Trinidad
Ran for Pasay counsilor in 2013, but lost

Rey Valera 
Ran for Meycauayan vice mayor in 2013, but lost

Ervic Vijandre
Ran for Taguig councilor in 2013, but lost

Ericka Villongco
Ran for San Juan councilor in 2016, but lost

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About The Author
Sasha Lim Uy
Managing Editor, EsquireMag.ph
Sasha eats to live and lives to eat. For five years, she handled SPOT.ph's food section and edited the last two installments of its Top 10 Food books. She also recently participated at the Madrid Fusion Manila as curator.
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