Colloquial Filipino name for the starfruit. Because of the fruit's many-sided shape, it has acquired the secondary meaning in Philippine politics as the description for a person who painlessly shifts political affiliation for convenience, a political butterfly or turncoat. If the balimbing was formerly affiliated with some politician, once that politician loses authority and/or influence through scandal, loss in an election, or whatever reason, the balimbing will not hesitate to align himself or herself with his former ally's rivals. Usually they are weak, sycophantic, and mercenary characters who are out for nothing but their own personal advantage, with no loyalty but to themselves.. Any politician should be wary of people like this. Usage: generally applied as a gross insult.
Balimbings generally appear in great numbers in the aftermath of a major political upheaval, such as after the overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, where some of the dictator's former hard-line supporters quickly switched allegiance to Corazon Aquino's side, once it became clear that she was the true power. They also show up during great political victories: after Joseph Estrada's landslide victory in 1998, many balimbings flocked to his side, and claimed never to have supported his rivals at all (of course they all shifted allegiances yet again come 2001 when Erap was overthrown).
A limerick was written to describe these characters:
A starfruit has many sections
Depending on who wins elections
It lives by one rule:
Don't cleave to a fool
And painlessly changes direction