By Archie R. Bergosa

More than 100,000 supporters showed up to Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Kiko Pangilinan's second campaign sortie to Cavite on Tuesday, May 1. 

People from Dasmariñas City, Cavite come to the "Banyuhay" grand rally of Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Kiko Pangilinan on Sunday, May 1. (Photo from Leni Robredo's campaign)

Youth, senior citizens, the LGBTQIA community, first-time voters, and other various citizens gathered at the New City Football Field, Dasmariñas, and were spotted wearing pink ribbons and witty placards.

Ellaine Garcia, a 22-year-old BS Accounting student from Polytechnic University of the Philippines - Manila (PUP) residing in Naic, Cavite, traveled for two hours to see the LeniKiko tandem.

"Sobrang worth it sumuporta ng candidate na walang bahid ng korapsyon or anything na malaking kabawasan sa kaniya,” Garcia said. She added she can't afford to vote for someone who has not experienced on the difficulties that she is facing as a student. “May pag-asa ang Pilipinas sa Leni-Kiko tandem," Garcia said.

63-year-old Estelita "Neth" Dales from Dasmariñas, who is a long-time supporter of Robredo, brought her entire family to show their support to the lone female presidentiable, saying she's already old and that she wants new changes for the society this time around. Dales added that she already experienced Robredo’s public service when she was still in Bicol: “No'ng nagagawi pa si VP sa Bicol, isa ako sa mga inofferan niya ng libreng konsultasyon [ng kaso]." 

Another student, but a first-time voter Merriam Belison from Trece Martires also flocked at the Leni-Kiko rally in Dasmariñas. "As a first time voter, pinagisipan ko talaga yung pipiliin ko… Pinili ko sila kasi nakahain na lahat ng resibo ng isang tapat na gobyerno, na kahit papano pala ay may leaders na malinis at matino," said Belison in an interview.

LGBT people of volunteer group Pwersa ng Pamayanan para sa Voluntarismo at Reporma (PPVR) - Cavite Chapter also appeared on the rally premises to support the Bicolana candidate.

A member of the group said they are supporting Robredo because of her inclusive platform for the LGBT community. Their group also distributed burgers and water bottles to other Kakampinks near them.

The whole crowd was full of enthusiasm for the whole program, especially when Tropang Angat senatoriables appeared in the afternoon to give their speech of solidarity for Leni-Kiko. Risa Hontiveros, Teddy Baguilat, Chel Diokno, Sonny Matula, and Alex Lacson were physically present to give their messages to the huge crowd of Caviteños.

Senator Dick Gordon who is running for reelection relayed a message through a pre-recorded video. Meanwhile, Magdalo Representative Manuel Cabochan and Lawyer Dino de Leon served as stage representatives for senatorial candidates Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes and Senator Leila De Lima who is currently detained.

Showbiz personalities and artists also showed up and performed during the event, including Sam Concepcion and Tippy Dos Santos, Syd Hartha, Johnoy Danao, and Bukas Palad Music Ministry. Angel Locsin and Sharon Cuneta also took the stage to express inspirational messages campaigning Leni-Kiko.

A proud Caviteño, Christian Bautista performed a couple of songs and imparted a message to the crowd. He said that he also supported Robredo last 2016, and will still campaign for her in the coming elections.

"Ang isinisigaw ko dati, 'Leni for VP!'. Ngayon, ang sigaw ko 'Leni for President!'," said Asia's Romantic Balladeer while on stage.

At sunset, Vice Presidential candidate Senator Kiko Pangilinan, finally faced the Cavite crowd and conveyed his program for the farmers. He elaborated his 'Hello Pagkain, Goodbye Gutom' advocacy and criticized the Duterte administration for its failure in pandemic response.

"Taumbayan na ang naninindigan kasama ang mga lider na tapat at totoo. Ang imposible, gawin nating posible," Pangilinan emphasized in the last part of his speech.

Dasmariñas City Mayor Jenny Austria-Barzaga, and Cavite congressmen Alex Advincula (3rd District) and Pidi Barzaga (4th District) also rendered their support for Tropang Angat party.

After promotions from local officials, Robredo came out on the stage and started her speech by thanking the crowd and all of her volunteers. She also acknowledged Sherwin, the motorcycle rider who helped her arrive at the venue of her first campaign rally in General Trias, Cavite last March 4.

The incumbent Vice President also stated her failure to win the votes of the province in the last 2016 elections, losing to dictator’s son Bongbong Marcos by more than 150,000.

However, the crowd exclaimed with chants of "Babawi kami!".

She then proudly presented her programs during the pandemic and the services she helped Caviteños in the past, especially during COVID-19 pandemic, such as Bayanihan E-Konsulta.

In the final portion of her speech, Robredo urged her supporters to continue their campaign for her, as there is only less than a week before the end of the campaign period.

"Nakikiusap ulit ako, na sa susunod na anim na araw, lahat ng kasinulingan ay mapalitan natin ng katotohanan," Robredo said. She also added that if a vote is leaning on lies and fake news, the general public will only experience suffering.

The program ended with Robredo thanking everyone in the venue, and OPM band Rivermaya performing their songs as Kakampinks slowly left the venue.

The first campaign rally of the Leni-Kiko tandem in Cavite on March 4 only garnered 40,000 supporters, a 60,000-difference from the second sortie.