By Menchu Aquino Sarmiento
While it was still dark, long before dawn, jeeps, buses and vans full of Kakampink arrived. Many had been too excited to sleep the night before. By 6 am, vehicles had to park inside the Quezon City Hall. After 7 am, even the side streets around the Elliptical Road were full. Tricycles ferried people who couldn’t manage the longish trek, to the Quezon Memorial Circle. Some carried their own campaign collaterals and food to share. Here are some of the other interesting sights we saw:
Younger volunteers weaving through the park on bicycles, skateboards and roller blades;
Lots of lugaw with hard-boiled eggs for the asking, and fluffy pink puto to go with this;
Scoops of pink “dirty ice cream,” atop gobs of lavender ube and creamy queso, for a more inclusive palate;
Women with pink paper banderitas stuck into their hair buns, held in place by uniform pearl studded banana clips; another stylish bunch had matching plaid slacks to go with their uniform pink shirts;
Tubular pink balloons waving during high points of the program, or twisted into jaunty headbands;
Note: Sen. Sonny Trillanes needed neither hair clips nor headbands to hold his perfectly coiffed hair in place. He was remarkably unmussed and unrumpled in his crisp pink button down shirt which remained impeccably tucked in throughout the several rounds he made through the cheering crowd, as he posed for selfies and exchanged well-wishes. No armpit stains on this officer and a gentleman.
Muslim women in embroidered, sequined and spangled pink hijab;
Religious of all denominations in their habits or plain civilian garb. The separation of church and state doesn’t mean that good men and women of the faith should be silent and do nothing while evil forces take over. Besides, look at the INC, El Shaddai and the FBI’s Most Wanted Pastor Q.
PWDs on wheelchairs, crutches or with able friends to guide them;
Various honorable professions in their work gear, many of whose practitioners do work around 18 or more hours a day;
A trio of Yorkshire terriers in matching #LeniKiko2022 tops, with their diapers securely in place;
Small LCD screens worn around the waist with Kakampink slogans in a brief electronic crawl;
Banners hopefully yet proudly proclaiming myriad advocacies and affiliations, including sparkling rainbow flags fluttering and waving in the balmy breeze. The LGBTQI representative epitomized eleganza extravaganza as she bravely sashayed across the stage in open toed silver high heels, which completed her chic shocking pink satin halter top with its flouncy, below the knee, full bias skirt;
There was also an abundance of talent starting with the high energy Cheerleaders for Leni. Siempre, sa lahat ng achievements, laging may resibo.
What we didn’t see on Pink Sunday were the following:
Walang mga bayaran. The number of Kakampink who voluntarily showed up was at least 4 times what the organizers had anticipated.
Walang nakawan. There are social media photos of unclaimed personal belongings, left untouched. A friend was about to descend into the pedestrian underpass to Quezon City Hall, when she realized she had left her folding chair at the Covered Court. It was still there when she returned for it 20 minutes later.
Walang budots: the Kakampink People’s Proclamation messages were all sober and truthful, but filled with hope and purpose. There were no glib, false assurances of an easy victory ahead. VPL has never been afraid of hard work, and her volunteers should be prepared for the same. As she has said, “Ang minamahal, ipinaglalaban.”
Now all that remains is, “Ipanalo na natin ‘to.”
Menchu Aquino Sarmiento is an award-winning writer and a social concerns advocate. IRL (In Real Life) are short verbal pagmumuni-muni, the essay equivalent of fast fiction--but in real life. She really wants more Filipinos to care, and to do something legal and non-violent about it, preferably together, so that we act more like a civilized country, a mature democracy.