Mondays to Saturdays—from 6 a.m. to close to midnight—presidential aspirant Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo is on the road holding caravans, open field campaign sorties and town hall meetings (even in academic campuses) as if there is no tomorrow.
In her Facebook page, she posted a photo of her sitting on the floor of her condo with big plastic bags, luggage and laundry bags that needed to be opened and sorted, but this she even calls “rest time at home.”
“Just got home from a 6-day campaign run which brought us to 8 provinces—Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Romblon, Negros Occidental, Cagayan and Isabela,” she wrote on her page.
She described her days as grueling starting at 6 a.m. and ending late at night.
“Not complaining though because we were always in the midst of our tireless volunteers and amazing crowds,”
“We are practically living in a suitcase. Sundays are for laundry and paper work,” she said.
She reported that daughter Aika is in Rizal and Tricia in Quezon and Gaile in Pangasinan.
“Tomorrow we fly out again for another week of campaigning.”
But where is she getting all her energy? Apparently, in every jampacked stadium or town plaza, she sees imbibes the high energies of the rally attendees and she takes absolute delight in seeing the creativity of participants in their banners, tarpaulins, t-shirts and other costumes plus the bands that await her, just like in Bacolod where young girls and boys danced the ati atihan to the beat of the loud drums.
Each handshake, requests for autograph and selfies and several other ‘small favors’ that she can give to her audiences lifts her spirit so high that she can only feel the fatigue after seeing the last man or woman fade away in the distance.
Noticeably, the crowds in Bacolod and other places who got drenched in the rain while waiting for her arrival and then had their clothes dried by the sun that followed did not see any reason to leave the place they are standing on lest they can never get in the same place again. Two or more of her rallies have seen beautiful long rainbows shining during the rallies, a sign of hope for the country and for her candidacy.
Bacolod beat Cavite in the number of attendees—at 70,000 versus 45,000 in Cavite— a count that the ruling Remullas debunked and called as “hakot, bayad’ and had members that were aligned with the left.
Many netizens called the Bacolod grand people’s rally as a proclamation rally, but of course those in other camps were quick to criticize this.
In Bulacan, she posted that:
“Ang daminhg tao sa lahat ng venues, andami din naghihintay sa kalsada. Parang picnic—kasama buong pamilya pati alagang aso at pusa. Maraming naka costume, maraming mga sariling gawang placards, andun si Spiderman, ang mga taga Bocaue nagalay pa ng napakagandang pagoda.”
For the first time, na koronahan ako onstage. May mga mananayaw din from Obando. Daming highlights at sobrang saludo sa lahat ng volunteers,” she said.
She went on to say that the most powerful number was from Robredocs where 60 doctors from Bulacan performed the Filipino version of Les Miserables. Tagos na tagos. Ang nakakahanga kasi these are the same people who braved the frontlines for two years during the pandemic, making sure that we are kept safe.” She added that they are still sacrificing for the country.
CNN Phils. Reported that over 1,300 UP Law alumni and students endorsed VP Leni for president.
Her campaign last Saturday in Cagayan and Isabela —otherwise considered Solid North—had crowds shouting and disputing this claim with “there is no Solid North.”
By the high emotions on the ground (in contrast to the dubious surveys that had been coming out) it appears that people want Leni to win. Analysts are saying that what took dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. over 20 years to produce an EDSA People Power Revolution took only six years of the Duterte administration to produce the same groundswell clamoring for change to a sober and dedicated governance that Leni could provide.