THERE'S no business like show business and no people like show people - not as far as the 38 million voters in the Philippines are concerned anyway. Actors and sports heroes are running in battalions for tomorrow's election, and many are being given a good chance in an electorate where two-thirds of the voters are under 30, and most of them are women. What has been a lacklustre and routine campaign - by Philippine standards, anyway - is brightened by the show business community. For instance, in Quezon City, a congressional candidate, comedian Ju Urbano, hit the white summer heat of the campaign trail dressed in perma-frost Mongolian attire to try to unseat his rival, skinflick actor Dennis Roldan. Urbano, who anchors the popular television programme Mongolian Barbecue, thought this was the catchiest way to capture the voters' hearts. In politically explosive Nueva Ecija, the province where gubernatorial bet Honorato Perez was gunned down by political rivals, actor Robin Padilla is running for vice governor, surrounded by moonlighting bodyguards from the Police Special Action Force. Padilla, whose family runs a political organisation called the H-World United Nations Military Command, is out on bail after being sentenced to 24 years jail for possession of firearms and since then has appeared in court on separate charges of assault and sideswiping a balut vendor with his jeep. In Paranaque City, the main rival against incumbent Congressman Roilo Goloz is actor Eddie Guttierez, who was put out to political Siberia after his children Ruffa and Rocky were implicated in the Manila Film Festival scandal, but has since resurfaced. Paranaque mayor Pablo Olivarez raised a morality issue against his rival, former basketball star and television comedian Joey Marquez, who had sired children by several women. Marquez is considered a hot prospect. He said: 'Show business personalities run for office because showbiz and politics are both scripted, and both require a person to act.' Welcome to politics Philippine style, where name recall on the phone book-sized ballot paper is the name of the game and where the electorate, with no political parties or issues to choose from, vote for the candidate instead. 'Filipinos can't seem to differentiate real life from the movies,' De La Salle University political science professor, Teresita Arce-Herrera, said. 'People expect that actors can do the same in real life as they do in the movies, just like Vice-President Joseph Estrada, who always played the hero, the knight in shining armour.' Ricardo Lo, actor-cum-movie columnist, said showbiz people run for public office because it is 'fun'. 'It's a bit like being part of a circus, or a fiesta,' he said. 'It's not just getting up in front of people and being on stage, albeit the political stage, that attracts actors, but it's also that politics in this country means big money, bigger than show business. 'Everyone knows Philippine politicians become rich because they are the middlemen between the Government that can get things done and the private sector which wants things done,' Lo said. Actor Ramon Revilla, the son of another movie star, Senator Ramon Revilla, said his motives for running for vice-governor of Cavite were altruistic. He would donate his monthly wage towards the betterment of education in Cavite province, south of Manila, and fight crime, he said. Many show business candidates say they have been inspired by Mr Estrada, who is frequently mentioned as the front-runner in the next presidential race in 1998. He heads a big team of show business senators, including Nikki Coseteng, who anchored her own Womanwatch TV programme, Mr Revilla, comic Tito Sotto and Orlando Mercado, who also hosted his own TV show. Mr Estrada's son Jinggoy, also an actor, is seeking re-election as mayor of San Juan.