Leni-Kiko supporters hold nationwide ‘LugawOne’; here’s why

Published November 20, 2021, 3:25 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Thousands of presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo’s and her running mate, Sen. Kiko Pangilinan’s, volunteers came out in 62 provinces and 354 cities and municipalities to hold a nationwide lugaw-feeding program to help raise awareness about Team Robredo-Pangilinan (TRoPa) and reach out to Filipinos in the grassroots community.

Supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo and her running mate Senator Kiko Pangilinan hold a nationwide lugawan-feeding program on Nov. 20, 2021. (TRoPa/Team Leni Robredo/Twitter)

The volunteers on Saturday, Nov. 20, organized what they called “LugawOne ng TRoPa” to serve not only lugaw or rice porridge, a traditional Filipino comfort food, but also to hear the problems that beset their fellow Filipinos.

A statement from TRoPa also said the event was made to “mend ties that have been long divided by polarized politics.”

“The most important part of the LugawOne initiative is the ‘pakikipagkapwa’ portion, where volunteers go out of their social media echo chambers to talk and to interact with the people in their respective communities or barangays, especially with those whom they may have stopped talking to due to their political differences,” the group said.

Team Leni Robredo (TLR), the volunteer arm of the People’s Campaign of Leni Robredo’s presidency in 2022, provided nationwide support for the initiative.

Initially, there were only 30 cities and municipalities that committed to join the LugawOne initiative when it was first conceptualized, TLR Communications Head Ben Bernabe said.

READ: Robredo rallies ‘kakampinks’ anew: ‘I depend on you to help one another’

This grew to more than 300 municipalities by Friday, Nov. 19. Some areas will also hold their lugaw-feeding program on Sunday, Nov. 21.

“Sharing a meal is a central feature in our social and community lives. From town fiestas to birthday parties, weddings, baptisms, to Noche Buena and Media Noche, food is a medium for conversation, healing, and reconciliation. This is why we think LugawOne resonated with every Filipino as evidenced by this event,” Bernabe said.

“By getting together safely in our communities, we want to start that process of healing. Healing starts with hearing each other out. By holding this nationwide LugawOne, we want to be better listeners in our kwentuhan with our fellow Filipinos who may not hold the same views as we do,” he noted.

The initiative was inspired by Robredo’s determination to continue serving the people despite the ridicule she has to face in the past five years.

The Vice President is called “Leni lugaw” by her detractors, who are mainly the supporters of President Duterte. Apparently, they say it’s because she is “stupid” and “walang laman (nonsense).”

Robredo has since owned the moniker, having served rice porridge herself in several events even before she officially run as president.

READ: Robredo supporters get creative with ‘Kakampink challenge’ responses

“Leni’s detractors have said that lugaw is ‘walang laman’ but lugaw is very filling, affordable, and accessible to every Filipino. It’s the ultimate Filipino comfort food. We are here because we continue to bring that same brand of comfort or ginhawa that VP Leni delivers through her service,” Bernabe said.

This initiative was volunteer-driven since Robredo’s and Pangilinan’s supporters themselves raised funds from their own pockets.