Celebrities, artists, volunteers come together in support for Leni Robredo

Celebrities, artists, and volunteers came together to pledge their support for Vice President Leni Robredo and back her possible presidential bid for the 2022 elections.

The group calling itself Team Leni Robredo was launched in an event streamed on Facebook on Saturday, June 12, right after opposition coalition 1Sambayan’s announcement of its nominees for 2022. Robredo was one of 1Sambayan's nominees, though she has yet to decide on her 2022 plans.

Celebrities including actor Enchong Dee, musician and podcast host Saab Magalona, and actress Lauren Young were among the Team Leni volunteers who spoke at the event, along with representatives from various sectors. Throughout the event, they shared their messages of support for Robredo and her possible presidential run.

Dahil inspired tayo kay Leni, gusto nating sundan ang pagmamalasakit at pagmamahal niya sa bayan. Gusto natin siyang tulungan. Gusto nating tulungan ang Pilipinas (Because we are inspired by Leni, we want to channel her care, her love for the country. We want to help her. We want to help the Philippines),” said Dee, as he introduced Team Leni Robredo.

Dee said that a united effort can help bring about change, saying: “Kung tayong lahat ay nagtutulungan, kayang-kaya natin iangat ang bayan. Isabuhay natin ang diwa ng bayanihan. Makiisa tayo sa pagbangon ng bayan at sama-sama natin buuin ang isang mas makatao, mas mapagmahal at mas mabuting kinabukasan."

(If we all work together, we can all lift up the country. Let's live up to the spirit of bayanihan. Let's come together for the betterment of the country, and let's build a more humane, loving, and brighter future.)

Magalona, representing the youth sector, said that she supported Robredo "because I believe she has genuine passion in helping the Filipino people."

Colourette Cosmetics CEO Nina Dizon, representing the women's sector, said she saw Robredo's "authenticity" in helping people out during the pandemic; while Iloilo resident Maybel Flores, representing senior citizens, said she felt Robredo's sincerity in carrying out her duties.

Suzette Villones, speaking for the urban poor sector, said that she was inspired by how hands-on Robredo is.

"Siya talaga mismo yung bumababa sa community, sa mga areas na pinupuntahan niya, sinisiguro niya kung ano ba talaga yung mga pangangailangan ng mga tao sa community na 'yun (she goes down to the community herself, and takes note of the needs of the people in that community)," she said.

Tarlac farmer Roland Dungca and Barangay health worker Rico Muring, both speaking for their respective sectors, said that they believed Robredo was the right person to lead the country.

A line-up of artists also performed at the event: Gracenote, Moonstar88, Banda ni Kleggy, Audie Gemora, Ebe Dancel, 6cyclemind, Juris, and Bituin Escalante, who closed the program with a rendition of the patriotic song "Bayan Ko."

In a special number, some of the country's most respected singers performed "Sana Naman, Taumbayan," a song that advocated for honest elections, and expressed the hope that the right leaders would be elected. Among the performers were National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab, Jamie Rivera, Robert Seña, Isay Alvarez, Jed Madela, The Company, and Agot Isidro.

The event closed with words from Robredo herself, taken from her message responding to her nomination as one of 1Sambayan's candidates for 2022.

Nasa bayanihan ang susi ng anumang tugon. Hindi lang sa pagbibigkis kasama ang mga taong tugma ang paniniwala sa atin pero sa pagbubukas, pakikinig at pag-unawa sa pinanggagalingan ng lahat, kabilang na ang mga taong salungat sa mga paniniwalang ito,” said Robredo.

(Working together is the key to any response. It's not just connecting with people who share our beliefs, but also listening to and understanding where others are coming from, including the people who have different opinions.)

Nakikiisa ako sa panawagang magkaisa sabay ng pakiusap, hindi puwedeng tayu-tayo lang ang mag-uusap. Hindi puwedeng tayu-tayo lang din ang magkakaisa. Kung hindi tayo lilikha ng espasyo sa puso natin para sa iba, kung hindi natin kikilalanin na magkakahanay ang adhikain ng bawat Pilipino, mananatiling mailap ang adhikaing ito,” she added.

(I am one with the call to come together, at the same time I ask, it can't be just us talking to each other. It can't be just us that come together. If we don't create space in our hearts for others, if we don't recognize that each Filipinos' goals are valid, these goals will remain out of our reach.)

"Iisang bayan pa rin tayo, at walang ibang makalulutas ng ating mga suliranin, kung hindi ang nagkakaisang tayo (We are still one country, and there is no one else who can solve our problems, except us, united)," she said. – Rappler.com