Korina Sanchez and how to avoid PR disasters during natural disasters like typhoon Yolanda

When it comes to advertising and product placements, Filipino politicians are the best. Advertising executives can actually learn a thing or two about how to optimise exposure of any product from them. The results speak for themselves. Politicians whose names and faces are printed on almost anything – billboards, noodle packets or candy bars get maximum exposure. In fact, the competition for media mileage has become tougher among Philippine politicians lately and some have become blatant at putting their faces out there.

Ph VP Jejomar Binay: Associating a face to the concept of 'relief operations'
Ph VP Jejomar Binay: Associating a face to the concept of ‘relief operations’
Gone are the days when you see a politician’s name and face on flyers and other campaign paraphernalia only during campaign season. Nowadays, politicians vying for a position in the next election feel the need to print their names and logos on relief goods before distributing them to the victims of natural disasters. Subtlety and sensitivity has been thrown out the window, for sure.

Presumably, the idea behind printing a politician’s name and face is so that survivors who are going through a horrible ordeal – those who are also potential voters in the next election if they survive the ordeal – will remember the politician’s “generosity”. Who said Filipino public servants do not have foresight? They do, indeed. They just use it for personal gain.

Running for public office has certainly become a business in the Philippines. Those who have access to funds whether it is taxpayer’s funds or private funds can use it as capital to invest on product placements. If their campaign is successful and they win the election, the potential return on investment is huge. The kickbacks alone from bogus infrastructure projects channelled through bogus NGOs will be more than enough to offset their advertising costs.

Insta-Noynoy noodles: Which comes first, the product or the politician?
Insta-Noynoy noodles: Which comes first, the product or the politician?
Only in the Philippines have political “product” placements become hugely successful. Come to think of it, there never was a time in Philippine politics when politicians were compelled to come up with a platform to win the voters’ hearts and minds. They don’t have to because the voters do not even ask them to come up with one.

The most daunting task for a candidate is how to become more popular than the other candidates especially when the others already carry popular names. This requires being at the right place at the right time to hand out the goody bags.

Politicians also commission the help of celebrity endorsers and they are quite effective. Often the celebrities themselves run for public office. All and all, it is always a win-win situation when a candidate is related to a celebrity or someone in the media. One politician who is benefiting from this convenient arrangement is Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas.

Being married to Korina Sanchez, who is a popular broadcast journalist in the Philippines can have a lot of upsides. This early, she seems to be working hard to get acquainted with a wider community. While a lot of Filipinos know who she is and her associations, not everyone knows her or is aware of her. After all, not everyone in the Philippines has a radio or television set.

Giving Havaianas a run for the money: Korina Sanchez slippers in the preferred shade of yellow
Giving Havaianas a run for the money: Korina Sanchez slippers in the preferred shade of yellow
Sanchez seems to be taking pains to close that awareness gap by trying to get more exposure from a bigger audience by reaching out outside of her studio. Her efforts in doing this include donating slippers, a favourite Filipino footwear, to the poor with the name “Korina” printed on it. One can be forgiven for saying that that is quite a peculiar way of putting her name out there. Not only will people end up stepping on her name, literally; in terms of product placement, positioning her name under someone’s muddy feet may not be the best idea.

Another upside of being married to a broadcast journalist like Sanchez is that her husband has easy access to media, which is the most effective tool for disseminating information, advertising and propaganda. If used properly, her position can propel her husband to the highest office in the land. However, if used inappropriately, her position can undermine her husband’s political ambitions. Recent events have proved to be the latter’s case-in-point.

A few days after super-typhoon Yolanda rammed Central Philippines on the first week of November, Sanchez used her radio show to defend her husband Roxas from CNN’s Anderson Cooper’s criticism of the Philippine government’s relief operation in Tacloban City, the most typhoon-ravaged area in the province of Leyte. While she didn’t directly address Cooper when she said, “blond reporter from CNN did not know what he was talking about”, Cooper was compelled to respond to her by challenging her to go to Tacloban City and see the situation for herself. Naturally, most people supported Cooper.

Cooper, who admitted to not knowing who Sanchez was, must have found it bizarre that someone who is speaking from the comfort of her studio office would contradict the accounts of someone who was actually on the ground in the disaster zone. It all made sense when he found out that she is actually married to Roxas who is in charge of the relief operations in the disaster zone.

Kiko Pangilinan a.k.a. Senator Sharon 'The Megastar' Cuneta
Ask the expert: Kiko Pangilinan a.k.a. Senator Sharon ‘The Megastar’ Cuneta
A politician with a wife in media seems like a match made in heaven. That is, if the wife is subtle enough to avoid attracting a spotlight to that conflict-of-interest. Cooper’s observations on the ground should not have been an issue had Sanchez kept her mouth shut and taken the CNN correspondent’s words with a grain of salt. Unfortunately, she could not help but defend her husband from the criticism. Her credibility is now in tatters.

Sanchez’s reaction could have been instinctive. Women are born to protect their loved ones. As someone commented: “I don’t blame Korina for defending him. Asawa niya iyun eh!!” The problem is, instead of protecting, Sanchez only managed to hurt her and her husband’s image more. In the Philippines where a politician’s image is everything, the image-conscious couple did attract the wrath of Filipinos in social media for their arrogant behaviour. It might take more than donating slippers with the name “Korina” printed on it to recover from this public relations disaster.

Sanchez should have realised that she is no match for a world-renowned journalist like Cooper. Cooper has no known political affiliation in the Philippines and no other agenda other than to report what was going on in the disaster zone. It was obvious to a lot of people that Sanchez has gotten used to the celebrity treatment, but the foreign journalist did not know her and did not feel the need to show deference to a local celebrity or a politician’s wife.

Perhaps next time, Sanchez should either stay away from the microphone or quit defending her husband’s incompetence or better yet, quit her post as a broadcaster since her actions in front of the microphone are starting to become a liability to her husband’s political career. On second thought, she should keep doing what she’s doing. A few more public relations faux pas could prevent the next disaster – having Roxas end up the next Philippine President and her as the next First Lady.


Post Author: Ilda

In life, things are not always what they seem.

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143 Comments on "Korina Sanchez and how to avoid PR disasters during natural disasters like typhoon Yolanda"

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Great piece, Ilda! Indeed, that (Roxas becoming president and Korina, first lady) will be a major disaster if it happens!!!


People hating on Ms. Korina Sanchez because of one mistake. Remember,
no one is perfect. She gave
slippers to children
nationwide. How about you?

Norodin Lucman

Why bother about Mar Roxas? He is already bungling his way to a myriad of political controversies. He burned himself out until PNoy plucked him from obscurity. Taking on the DILG cabinet position is a guarantee that he will never be VP or President.

Roxas and sanchez. A match made in hell. What sick, tacky people they are. Lowlife on the 1st world scale. No wonder cooper would not know who she is, and no doubt already forgotten her. Best way. Also any normal country would prevent such obvious conflicts of interest and blatant ‘politicising’, which will only get worse. The other middle aged woman krus aquino is in the same mold. Is there no talent in the philippines, or is it just a monopoly of boy abunda etc and the gay mafia who close the door on opportunities and ensure they are the… Read more »
Concerned Victor
I hope the Filipino people will really think on who to elect as President in the next election. Will it be the person Pnoy will recommend? Will it be the one who pays the most for your vote? Will it be the one your padrino or your employer choose? Please forget about political dynasties who wants you to vote for their wives or sons or daughters or uncles or aunts or nephews or nieces. Vote for those in action who show all the time that they espouse the cause of the Filipino people. Do you want somebody like Miriam Defensor… Read more »
Johnny Saint


Those are some of the most disgusting displays of self-promotion the world has ever seen. Thank you for bringing them all together for us to have a collective chunder.

I’ve been wondering about a supply of Australian corned beef that seems to have vanished and reappeared as Purefoods?

Thomas Jefferson

Epals… Put labels, symbols, pictures and political colors on relief packages, trucks and signboards and you are all set to manipulate the hearts and minds of gullible people. We all know now who the real sincere people are. Those who work silently without fanfare in serving the needs of our disaster victims are genuine/real heroes. Remember the epal people and come election time… do not vote for their political leaders and party mates! Really you cannot fool all of the people all of the time! Down with the yellow and other epals!


We have media people like Korina Sanchez, Boy Abunda (whose partner is the VP for Entertainment of Pagcor……that’s daan na tuwid for us), and Kris Aquino. Then we have a president like Noytard (Bull Shit/Blatantly Stupid) Aquino, government officials like Mar Roxas and Oinky Soliman. With the likes of those idiots, we have more than a PR disaster!


“..Cooper was compelled to respond to her by challenging her to go to Tacloban City and see the situation for herself.”

Anderson Cooper, son of the heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, literally grew-up in a comfy affluent environment, but he would plunge into the most horrifically uncomfortable & dangerous locations with the best of them, as a true seasoned reporter should. How about madam Korina? Kamusta Ormoc?…hihihi

Their gimmicks only work among the local pinoy masa, not among the wider and smarter international community.


These “epal” practices make use of the cultural meme of “utang-ng-loob.” I sincerely hope though that utang ng loob is a dying practice in our country and people ignore the self-promotive noise of these personalities.


Are you guys stupid? These pictures are from last year.

Be sure to get some sources first before you click share.

Tinik Sa Puwet
Korina Sanchez is now caught between the Devil and the deep blue sea. She is like a Burundian Ass, who starved between two bundles of Hay on her side. Politics in the Philippines, is what we see. I am surprised, no one yet drop his pants. And showed his ass, or exposed himself. If someone does this: That Will be the Day. The negative side is: people voted for these people doing these kinds of election campaign. Running the country is a very hard work. You need: managerial talents; good educations ; work experiences; high intelligent qoutient; high emotional qoutient;… Read more »
Proud Pinoy
Lady Sanchez has done more solid acts and good deeds for the country than a small group of dissidents that bleat and whine their supposed moral and intellectual “superiority” on this site. Both are on ground 0 doing what they can, I’m proud we have people like Korina and her husband as role models for our country! I’ve read alot of comment say how bad our president and government on this website. If you feel left out, participate in the real community instead of being keyboard warriors if you really want your opinion to count for more than bull dust.… Read more »
Dear Ilda Great article! Also check this out http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24992969 PH president is really blaming the local government. So sad that politics and stupidity is costing people lives and money. In USA if the local government fails then the state takes over and if that also fails then the feds takes the ball. I don’t know if PH works the same way. I never understood why PH government would not invest in amphibious vehicles/boats/helicopters when you are a island nation. Also attacking Anderson Cooper just make you look even more insecure like North Korea or China’s CPP. :/ So sad that… Read more »

What happened Phailippines? Usually a reporter telling an inconvenient truth is dealt with quickly and effectively. Somebody fucked up this time.

P Makabayan

Kasi pinapanood at pinakikinggan niyo eh. Turn the tv or radio to another station pag time slot niya at mawawala yan sa balat ng lupa.

Little off subject but some one brought up missing corn beef from Australia, what about Pancake syrup…dang I’ve been looking for months and now the pancake syrup is in the boxes sold by local chains and the price has doubled, there’s a local pancake syrup maker but it sucks just came out..better than nothing and the Nestle “crappy tasting mediocure product lines” corporation has a hold on coffee creamers (all suck badly) no more N’Joy sold in the grocery stores. I don’t dare dwell into politics anymore here I see from watching the news it’s a wasted breath but improving… Read more »
lili capua

I am getting curious abt. this whole debacle any Koring..interesting

Pinoy Din Ako
Read this in a facebook post somewhere. Don’t know the writer but he has good points: Korina Sanchez may deserve to be pulled down from her high horse for sounding arrogant at the heat of the moment. Or she may be right that Anderson Cooper made full conclusions based on one area alone, when he opted to confine his coverage and did not venture out to the severely hit areas. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for Mr. Cooper’s coverage. His reporting gives a better and detailed perspective of the situation especially to the people very far from here.… Read more »
Pinoy Din Ako
Geraldine Uy Wong Help me get this to Anderson Cooper Anderson Cooper, I Also Saw What You Saw . . . Mr. Anderson Cooper, I want to thank you for reporting on the miserable conditions that you saw when you covered the Tacloban calamity scene 5 days after the typhoon. Your report came out on Tuesday, the day I was herding our relatives to the airport to finally get out of Tacloban. A day before, I was able to board the relief cargo plane of Air 21 Express from Manila to Tacloban when I was given the chance, getting there… Read more »