“This will be hard to beat.”
It could have been a fluke. When social media became an ocean of pink the days leading to Vice President Leni Robredo’s announcement that she is running for president, no one really knew how long the color pink would dominate our digital world.
The pink revolution we are seeing is not designed by Robredo’s people. Even the VP herself said that she just actually went with the flow when her daughters said that pink was the color chosen by her supporters. Before we knew it, Robredo, through a video, was already giving meaning to the color pink. She said that pink is the color of love and hope. And that it is also the color of power. This is a smart move as she has made the claim that there is hope, and love will enable the people’s power to effect change – a message that people need to hear especially at this time.
After VP Leni’s welcome announcement, people searched their cabinets for pink clothing items that they can use. Pink shirts and clothes suddenly became in demand and some people remarked that for a time, pink shirts were out of stock from the big online sellers.
As it turned out, pink is here to stay as it continues to invade not just our digital, but also our real world. We now see pink ribbons tied on vehicles, trees, and gates of many homes. There are pink streamers and tarpaulins hanging on gates and doors. Pink stickers can be seen on many items such as bags, notebooks, mobile phones, etc. All these proclaim their active support for VP Leni Robredo.
When I travelled to Batangas recently, giant billboards of other candidates were very visible along the main roads. We mostly saw billboards of Lacson, Domagoso, and Go. We did not see any of Robredo. On TV, political advertisements of Lacson and Domagoso are frequently aired. As these billboards and television ads cost a lot of money, one cannot help but wonder where their huge campaign funds are coming from. How can these candidates afford to spend huge amounts even as the official campaign period is yet to start?
Contrast this with the volunteer-powered campaign of Robredo. Everybody knows that all the pink paraphernalia we see are designed, produced, and shared by VP’s supporters. This is quite obvious because the only unifying themes of all these materials is the color pink and VP Robredo’s face. Designs, sizes, text, shades of pink, and types of materials vary because these are made by volunteers themselves. Many volunteers produce more than they will use and share their creations with others.
Even Leni Robredo’s campaign jingle was spearheaded by supporters. Now it is heard during caravans and events supporting her candidacy. This is “bayanihan” at its best.
One gauge for the big demand for VP Leni’s campaign materials is the fact that these are now carried by known online sellers. T-shirts, stickers, pink face masks, etc. with the Leni hashtags can now be bought online, and I heard that they are selling like hotcakes.
Instead of costly advertisements and giant billboards, Robredo volunteers embark on other activities. The pink caravan is one. Because the pink fever is contagious, we continue to witness pink caravans happening in various parts of the country and there is no sign that this is stopping anytime soon.
Along the routes of the caravans, people are unleashing their creativity in showing their support. We have seen homes and even small buildings draped in pink. People clad in pink were seen dancing along the roads, a gown maker brought out his/her mannequins and lined them up clad in pink gowns as if in a parade or a beauty pageant. People line the streets clad in various shades of pink cheerfully waving home-made placards proclaiming their support for VP Robredo.
The pink revolution is turning out to be a festive and happy revolution propelled mainly by Filipinos from all walks of life who see hope in VP Leni’s leadership.
#Pink Wednesday is also gaining ground. This is palpable even in online meetings and webinars. People wear their political color and pink is quite dominant. Some have even changed their backgrounds to the color. The fun thing is at times, even in live-selling of plants, people notice the prevalence of the color in various ways.
After November 15 when the final line-ups are known, the campaign will definitely heat up. While Robredo’s campaign may lack financial resources from traditional political sources, her campaign is powered by heart. The people’s hearts that will go beyond the call of duty, ready to sacrifice what they can for a better tomorrow.
Even as early as now, we see how people are offering their services for free. We see friends and colleagues spending their own money to campaign for her. We see ordinary Filipinos crafting their own materials to support Robredo. Families who used to mind their own business now discuss politics and are trying to open other relatives’ eyes.
As what was said before, a campaign is successful when even children become aware of it. I recently accompanied my ten year-old granddaughter to an errand. When she saw pink ribbons tied on trees, she quipped, “Mama, do you know that pink is for Leni?” This made my heart beat faster because I knew then that the pink revolution is succeeding.
The thing is, other candidates may have more money, but a campaign that emanates from people’s hearts will be hard to beat. This is what the pink revolution is about.