Star-studded miting de avance caps Robredo’s campaign with 780,000-strong crowd in Makati

Published May 8, 2022, 12:23 AM

by Raymund Antonio

In the heart of the financial district, along the stretch of Ayala Avenue and Makati Avenue, some 780,000 supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo celebrated a “historic” and volunteer-driven miting de avance that drew some of the biggest stars in the industry for a six-hour program that ended with minutes-long fireworks display.

Unkabogable star Vice Ganda serenades Vice President Leni Robredo with the ballad “Rosas” alongside singer-composer Nica del Rosario. (Photo from VPLR Media Bureau)

Anne Curtis was, perhaps, the night’s biggest surprise. Although she has expressed support for Robredo, it was only now that one of the entertainment industry’s most influential celebrities went on stage for Robredo.

She performed “Hawak Kamay” with Yeng Constantino much to the delight of the crowd who screamed at a sight of her.

Vice Ganda also made another appearance and led a chanting of “Ang Presidente, Bise Presidente” after only endorsing Robredo during her birthday rally last April 23 in Pasay City.

Moira Dela Torre also performed her new song, “Ipanalo Natin ‘To,” while Angel Locsin, Iza Calzado, and Jane De Leon led a “declaration.”

Another surprise guest was Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.

This was not lost on Robredo, who took note of how celebrities risked their star power to openly endorse her.

“Ang mga celebrity, itinaya ang karera at pangalan (The celebrities risked their careers and names),” she said.

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray speaks to Leni-Kiko supporters during the tandem’s miting de avance along Ayala Avenue in Makati City on Saturday, May 7. (Photo courtesy of VPLR Media Bureau)

But she expressed special gratitude to the youth, who have been at the forefront of the campaign, doing house-to-house campaigning for her and running mate Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.

“Noong Oktubre, tinawag ko kayong gisingin ang inyong lakas—at tumugon kayo. Ngayong gabi, buong pagmamalaki nating masasabi: ‘Nandito ako, kasama ako, tumataya ako’ (Last October, I asked you to awaken your strength—and you responded. Tonight, we can proudly say ‘I’m here, I was part, I am risking’),” Robredo said.

Pangilinan said as much, too.

“Proud na proud ako na kasama kayo sa labang ito (I am very, very proud to be with you in this fight). It has been an honor, a privilege,” he added during his speech after he was introduced by wife, megastar Sharon Cuneta.

Rivermaya, Ely Buendia, Ben&Ben, Kamikazee, celebrity couple Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez closed the show, while Bianca Gonzalez and Robi Domingo hosted it.

OPM icon Ely Buendia performs Eraserheads’ song “Superproxy”. He is the band’s former frontman. (Photo by Raymund Antonio)

But more than celebrating what Robredo described a “historic campaign”, she also understood the symbolism of the event.

Local organizers said the crowd at the Leni-Kiko tandem’s miting de avance was at 780,000 as of 9 p.m., making it the largest crowd in their entire campaign.

“Natutuhan natin: Ang minsan nang namulat, hinding-hindi na ulit mapipikit (We learned: Those who were once awakened will never ever close their eyes again),” she said.

“Dala na natin habambuhay ang dakilang layunin na tumawag sa atin para makilahok sa krusadang ito: Karapatan nating magkaroon ng kinabukasang may dignidad–at tungkulin nating ipaglaban ito (We will bring for the rest of our lives the great advocacy that’s calling us to join in this crusade: It is our right to have a tomorrow with dignity—and it is our duty to fight for this),” Robredo added.

But the Vice President, now a symbol of a massive “pink movement,” has three more things to ask her supporters: vote for Pangilinan as Vice President, guard their votes, and wear any colors on Election Day.

Actress Anne Curtis and singer Yeng Constantino perform a duet of hit song “Hawak Kamay” before a huge crowd of kakampinks in Makati City. (VPLR Media Bureau)

“Ang pakiusap ko po, sa bawat number 10 na Leni Robredo sa balota, kailangan may number 7 na Kiko Pangilinan na kasama (My plea is, for every number 10 Leni Robredo in the ballot, there should be a number 7 Kiko Pangilinan),” she said.

Robredo, a lawyer, dismissed circulating online posts that asked supporters not to wear the color pink on Election Day.

“Huwag matakot dahil napakarami natin (Don’t be afraid because there are so many of us),” she added.

Addressing supporters who, on social media, had been talking about election-related anxiety, the Vice President asked them to free themselves from worry.

“Magtiwala na sa dulo ng pawis, panahon, at sakripisyo, may tagumpay na nag-aabang (Trust that in the end of sweat, time, and sacrifices, victory is waiting),” she said.

“Gawing payapa at tahimik ang ating puso. Pakinggan: May milyong-milyong pusong tumitibok, lumalaban, nagtitiwala sa kapwa Pilipino, nananalig sa Diyos, nag-uumapaw sa pag-asa, sabik na sabik nang paigtingin ang pagkilos tungo sa katuparan ng ating mga pangarap (Let your heart be at peace and quiet. Listen: There are millions of hearts beating, fighting, trusting fellow Filipino, believing in God, overflowing with hope, very eager to intensify the movement toward the fulfillment of our dreams),” Robredo stressed.