The weeks after elections had me feeling like I was in limbo. While trying to wrap my head around the fact that we were dealt different cards than we had hoped for, I wallowed in regret, thinking: what else could I have done?
I thought about my friends with much admiration for all they’d done to help out with the campaign. If only I was capable of doing something too...
And then it hit me. Inspired not just by the past months, but by how my generation stepped up to do their part and more, I thought I could help by doing what I know best: put my thoughts down in writing.
I asked some friends about their biggest takeaways from the “Kakampink” movement and what keeps them hopeful — with an aim for this story to help others process their feelings, and in the greater scheme of things, to let them keep dreaming and working towards a better future.
Radikal ang pagmamahal
Being part of the campaign team had many enjoyable parts, but he shares “forming bonds with people who are so passionate to contribute to a better Philippines” was his favorite. And now that his stint on the campaign team has come to an end, he commits to living out the motto, “Radikal ang pagmamahal,” which to him means exemplifying love and kindness despite all and any circumstances.
Empathy for everyone
The Leni-Kiko tandem sparked in Troy the hope for real change. Never highly involved in politics yet not apolitical either, he found the Pasig rally to be the pivotal point of his hopefulness. Being surrounded by Kakampinks willing to go to great lengths for the country “really fueled my hope,” so much so that he readily joined house-to-house efforts not long after.
“I would break away from our group to cover more ground and talk to more people. Puso sa puso was something we didn’t just say; it was something we wanted to uphold in our visits and beyond,” he shares.
When asked what his greatest takeaway from volunteering was, his answer came easily — empathy — as he points out, “We were always reminded to be compassionate supporters.”
So if there’s one thing this campaign taught us, it’s that we don’t have to hold a government position to help others.
So now, he remains hopeful that more people have been awakened “to be compassionate yet critical,” and he looks forward to “more opportunities that will empower people to help make a difference.”
To be the kind of lawyer Leni is
Having just signed the roll at the Supreme Court as a new lawyer, Sam shares she had a pink Filipiniana top made for the occasion “as a reminder to never be ashamed of what I believe in, and in honor of everything that Leni and Kakampinks stand for.”
At first, she was a quiet supporter, but the Pasay rally (an experience she wanted to share with her mom who actively rallied during EDSA 1), where she saw the community’s passion, was what inspired her to do more. And so when a family friend of hers actively organized house-to-house efforts, she jumped at the opportunity to join one.
While she is hopeful the community will work towards helping our country become better, “I am holding on to the inspiration she gave me: to touch people’s lives and elevate them through the work I can do,” she shares. And she adds that when it comes to her career, her greatest hope is “to emulate the kind of lawyer Leni is.”
Genuine desire for change
Having been raised in a loving and caring household, Maria (not her real name) shares that “as much as family is a huge priority to me and I care deeply about their views, I need not conform to them when I have other beliefs, too.” Case in point is their choice in candidates. When asked why she campaigned for the Leni-Kiko tandem despite having choices different from her family, she said, “I’m lucky to have studied in good schools that taught me history and helped shape my political views.” Ultimately, it was Leni and Kiko’s “sincerity, fighting spirit, and genuine desire to change things” that cemented her decision.
While not one to start conflicts or tensions, Maria has attempted to open meaningful discourse at home — but nothing could change her family’s minds, “the same way they couldn’t change mine.” And even though results didn’t turn out the way she had hoped, she’s optimistic about our country’s future because Leni, Kiko and their supporters “will continue to fight the good fight.”
For the next generation
“When there are holidays, we talk about why we don’t have classes, and while it isn’t really in our school’s curriculum to talk about history, the kids always end up asking for more details — they know more than adults give them credit for,” she says.
Ericka gets teary-eyed when she thinks about what the future would be like for her students. So, “the plans (Leni and Kiko) had for us and what they stand for” made it an instant choice for her to be an active supporter.
Though election results didn’t come out in the Kakampinks’ favor, Ericka will keep the fire burning because “there is still hard work that needs to be done.”
This awakened generation
Josh will always remember campaign season as a reunion with his 16 titos and titas (Kiko included!) and over 30 cousins. He especially noted how touching it was to see his younger cousins be so involved even in their early years. “I would feed off how motivated my cousins were and I really saw how much they love our country — inspiring is really the word for it,” he shares.
The spirit of volunteerism, not just from his family, but from all other supporters, made him realize “it wasn’t just for good governance and love of country, but for something greater than all of us. Everybody came together, volunteered and made impossible things possible.”
After the elections, in a thanksgiving dinner hosted by his Tito Kiko, Josh fondly recalls saying goodbye to his tito who asked, “Why does this feel like a victory party?” It took a while, but Josh realized, despite the results, that somehow they had still won, because “this woke my generation up. It planted something in us: that there are people in the world who only want to do good and will do just that,” he shares.
* * *
So if there’s one thing this campaign — and the promise of the Angat Buhay NGO — taught us, it’s that we don’t have to hold a government position to help others. And that’s enough hope to hold on to and keep us going for the next couple of years.
As Tricia Robredo said, “Walang sayang. Kapit. Nagsisimula pa lang.”