‘Dilawan’ no more? Robredo turns to pink — the color of protest, activism

Vice President Leni Robredo faces the media after announcing her tandem with Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan as her running mate in the 2022 national elections. Screengrab from Facebook / Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA, Philippines — When Vice President Leni Robredo stepped out on Thursday to announce her decision to run for president, she was wearing a distinctive pink ribbon.

It could have just meant support for the breast cancer month of October, except that the next day, when she announced that she was teaming up with Senator Francis Pangilinan, she was donning a pink outfit.

This left many wondering whether she was departing from the color yellow, the hue widely associated with the Liberal Party, which the current administration had derogatorily given the byname “dilawans.”

But according to Robredo, this was not a planned event, as she only adhered to the color picked by volunteers who were urging her to run.  She also revealed that they did not have the chance to pick a color motif because her decision to run for president was admittedly belated.

“Actually wala kaming plano sa kulay, hindi namin naplano ‘yong kulay kasi alam niyo naman kung gaano ka-belated ‘yong aming decision, pero ito kasi ‘yong naging kulay ng ground swell ng volunteers,” Robredo said.

“Parang ito talaga ‘yong naging simbulo ng activism saka protest ng volunteers, so kami naman lagi naming sinasabi, kami ay nakikinig sa taumbayan na kung palagay nila ito ‘yong kulay na magsi-symbolize ng sama-samang aspirations,” she added.

She also noted that the color used by a candidate is not what defines him or her, as should be based on the choices people make.

“Hindi naman kulay ‘yong nagdedefine sa tao eh. May kasabihan we are defined by the choices we make.  Pero sa akin importante rin sa akin ‘yong pink kasi pakiki-isa sa mga naniniwala, pakiki-isa doon sa outpouring of — not support for me — pero outpouring ng emosyon, ‘yong pakiramdam about how things are going,” she said.

Regarding yellow, she said that this colorof LP was used for past struggles.  However, she also said that there are bigger fights now, which are symbolized by the color pink.

She also stressed that the fight is not only about preventing the return of the dictator’s son — former senator Bongbong Marcos — but also against the problematic current government.

“Ibabalik natin sa kasaysayan, bakit ba ‘yong Liberal Party na-identify sa yellow.  Kasi ‘yong yellow naging simbulo siya ng protest against the dictatorship, and nang naging simbulo siya ng protest ‘yong yellow hindi lang dito sa Pilipinas siya naging simbulo ng protest,” she said.

“Ngayon iba na ‘yong laban, ‘yong nilalabanan natin ngayon is mas malaki na que sa sa laban pa dati.  Ang nilalabanan natin ngayon, hindi lang ‘yong pagbabalik ng anak ng diktador, pero ang nilalabanan natin ngayon masamang pamamahala na siyang ‘yong nagiging sanhi ng problemang pinagdadaanan natin ngayon, ‘yong bulok na klase ng pulitika,” she added.

After Robredo announced running for president in the 2022 national elections, social media saw a wave in posts using pink undertones or highlights, in support of her decision.

Several keywords revolving around Robredo’s decision — like #LabanLeni2022, #Pink, and #WithdrawIsko — were also top trending topics in microblogging site Twitter.

Earlier, Robredo formally announced Senator Francis Pangilinan — president of LP — as her running mate for the 2022 polls.


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