Thousands answer #PHVote challenge in UP Fair 2016
MANILA, Philippines – There is more to UP Fair than just a night of good Filipino music.
The University of the Philippines-Diliman’s annual UP Fair draws crowds by the thousands, with established and emerging bands expected to perform every night.
But beyond the band performances, each night of UP’s de-facto ‘open house’ week also highlights a specific advocacy. On the third day of UP Fair this year, February 11, the university student council’s (USC) UP Your Vote campaign highlighted the clamor for integrity and transparency in the 2016 polls.
Thousands, including the band Callalily, also took Rappler’s #PHVote challenge as they signed up and expressed what they expect from those campaigning for the upcoming elections through #TheLeaderIWant photo booth.
The student council saw the critical mass as an opportunity to advocate for a better 2016 elections. UP Your Vote’s manifesto called on citizens, especially the youth, to:
“Transcend personality-based politics” towards a “platform-based” one
Be vigilant through “reporting election-related fraud and violence”
Elevate and actively participate in the discourse surrounding the electoral process
The manifesto also recognized the potential of social media, as it urged the youth to "channel all the enthusiasm for political affairs from social media to election polls.” The youth, those aged 18 to 35, comprise about 37% of the entire voting population. (Read: Why the youth should register in the 2016 elections)
With the UP Fair comes many spectacles, as there were attractions such as Ferris wheels and “octopus,” and other carnival rides and games, there were also a few somewhat tongue-in-cheek attractions for raising awareness on the night advocating UP Your Vote campaign.
This includes trash bins with pictures presidentiables labelled as “nabubulok” (biodegradable, and literally translates as “can rot” in Filipino) and “plastic” (Filipino slang for “two-faced” or “hypocrite”).
Using “nabubulok” and “plastic” as metaphors for undesirable qualities of a leader, trash bins sporting pictures of presidentiables served as a “ballot box” – an implicit survey on who people least like and mistrust.
Another activity at the UP Fair is a “tacsiyapo”booth – an attraction where one throws plates at a target, usually to vent emotions – with caricatures of presidentiables as “targets.”
UP Fair draws an average of 15,000 concert-goers every night.
The fair may be over, but the #PHVote challenge for a clean and honest election and an informed electorate is still on. Take the #PHVote challenge and tell us what issues matter to you most. – With a report from Joshua Ramos / Rappler.com