Leni-Kiko CAMANAVA campaign becomes longest grand rally with most performers

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Incumbent Vice-President and presidential aspirant Leni Robredo, left, sits beside her running mate Francis
Incumbent Vice-President and presidential aspirant Leni Robredo, left, sits beside her running mate Francis "Kiko' Pangilinan during an event in Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. The Leni-Kiko grand rally in CAMANA is said to be the longest for the tandem due to the number of performers.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

The volunteer-led “Rock n’ Rosas” campaign rally held at the Notre Dame of Greater Manila has raised a new bar among Leni-Kiko supporters, setting the record for most guest performers and longest grand rally to date.

Attendees from the cities of Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela (CAMANAVA) braved the heat at the venue's open field Saturday (March 26), to express their support for the tandem of incumbent Vice President and presidential hopeful Leni Robredo and her running mate Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan. Knowing that it would last long, however, volunteers distributed food and drinks throughout the event and were quick to assist those who had medical concerns.

The campaign rally went on for over nine hours.

Having started with no funds and performers the week before, organizers were taken aback by the support they received from “kakampinks,” both with funding the event and searching for artists.

Not only did supporters donate amounts as high as P5,000, their reaching out through social media also helped organizers get hold of various bands, solo artists, and even hosts that were willing to provide their talents for free.

The nine-piece folk pop band, Ben&Ben, for example, performed three of their greatest hits, “Pagtingin,” “Kathang Isip,” and “Araw-Araw” alongside their collaboration with P-Pop band SB19, “Kapangyarihan.”

Other popular bands included Gracenote, Chicosci, Tropical Depression, The Juans, Tanya Markova, Bita and the Botflies, and many others, but solo artists such as Noel Cabangon, Nica del Rosario, Gab Pangilinan, and Karl Zarate also graced the stage.

Local performers such as Theater for Leni, Malabon Concert Singers, and Tanghalang Bagong Sibol Dance Company were also present. Similarly, figures such as Mika Salamanca, Kerwin King, Tuesday Vargas, and many others hosted specific portions of the event.

In less than a week, organizers garnered over 30 performers in total for Rock n’ Rosas.

“It’s so overwhelming, it’s like magic. I came from lack, but bakit ko minamaliit ang support kay (why did I underestimate the people’s support for) Leni?” said Lead Organizer Skeeter Labastilla-Turgut in an interview with ABS-CBN News.

After Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan’s speech, Vice President Leni Robredo got on stage, saying that she almost didn’t make it to the grand rally due to other commitments before the event. She reasoned, however, saying “Kapag (If it's) meant to be, the universe will conspire.”

Despite needing to cut her own speech short, Robredo stayed committed to shutting off the lights at the venue in time for Earth Hour.

Kailangan po tayong makiisa kasi napakahalaga niyang adbokasiya na kailangan nating ginagawa (We need to take part in this very important advocacy.),” said the presidential aspirant. She then briefly emphasized that supporters should continue their efforts to draw fellow voters toward the Robredo-Pangilinan tandem and not waste the remaining 44 days before the election.

The “Olympinks” Facebook page, which was “created to highlight and give recognition” to campaign rallies for the said tandem, ranked the CaMaNaVa Rock n’ Rosas crowd as the seventh most populated campaign rally, standing at 36,000 as of writing.

Antonio Gabriel D. Tongco is a writer and communication major who also likes to explore other facets of writing such as research and SEO. The views expressed are his own.

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