The word syota is commonly understood as girlfriend/boyfriend but may also mean someone with whom one has a short time relationship—a one-night-stand. "Syota ng bayan" connotes a loose woman (pakawala) whom anyone may bed, but in "Syota ng Bayan" it takes on a positive meaning as "Darling of the People." Syota ng Bayan is Tanya Marquez (Priscilla Almeda), a bold star who quits showbiz and goes back to her hometown. Finding out that a cement factory is causing a lot of havoc in the environment and in the lives of her town mates, she challenges the incumbent of Mayor Golano (Eddie Garcia) to have it closed. When denied, Tanya rallies the people in protest but is silenced. The mayor's opponents prevail upon Tnays to run for mayor in the coming elections against Golano's son, Peter Lee (Tonton Gutierrez). During the campaign period Tanya and Peter Lee meet and fall in love. Will this mark the end of Golano's political dynasty?
The bold star turned environmentalist theme sounds like Erin Brokovich but Lualhati Bautista's story and screenplay makes it Filipino all the way through. Pseudo spiritual leaders, government officials and showbiz personalities entice the gullible public to support and thrust them to power with all its trappings. Very Filipino and very recent, don't you think? Priscilla Almeda dubbed as the Princess of Desire (Prinsesa ng Pagnanasa) does not only disrobe but also tries to sing (she goes off key at times) and act (she surprisingly succeeds at some points). At least she shows some promise. Eddie Garcia's role does not require much from the award-winning actor and Tonton Gutierrez looks stagy in some scenes. Cinematography is average but editing is below average, making some dialogue incoherent.