BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN / CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
Negros Occidental appears to have proven that the province is a bastion of “Kakampinks” as estimated 70,000 strong crowd attended the People’s Rally of presidential aspirant and Vice President Leni Robredo, and her ‘Angat Tropa” yesterday night, in and out of the Paglaum Sports Stadium in Bacolod City.
The estimated crowd was based on the data provided by Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz as of 6:30 p.m. of March 11, while VP Leni’s social media account reached about 38,000 views last night.
“Ibang klase magmahal ang taga Negros (it’s different kind of love from Negros)” Robredo said in her speech before the crowd who was in a festive mood at the Paglaum Sports Stadium.
Robredo admitted that she was amazed by the energy level and creativity of Negrenses, who have inspired her.
Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr and Samar Gov. Ben Evardone also joined Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, former governor Rafael Coscolluela, Sagay City Alfredo Marañon III, Cadiz City Mayor Salvador Escalante, Bacolod City Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, Himamaylan City Vice Mayor Justin Gatuslao in attending the People’s Rally of Robredo and her running mate, Senator Francis Pangilinan, accompanied by his wife, Megastar Sharon Cuneta.
The Senatorial candidates present were Teddy Baguilat, Chel Diokno, Richard Gordon, Risa Hontiveros, Alex Lacson, and Sony Matula.
In her campaign sorties in cities of San Carlos and Sagay, Robredo rallied the first-time voters not to waste their votes, stressing that the outcome of May 9 elections will tell what kind of government that Filipinos will have in the next six years.
Robredo assured Negrenses that she will push for the restoration of Negros Island Region and the proposed Negros-Guimaras-Iloilo bridge, which will further improve the economy of the three provinces of Western Visayas.
In his Facebook account, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas said he salutes Negros and Bacolod. “Ara sa inyo ang korana (You have now the crown). 70K strong,” referring to the crowd that attended the People’s Rally of Bacolod, which almost doubled the 40,000-crowd achieved in Iloilo City.
Waving pink banners and lighted pink star lanterns, the crowd was entertained by several artists like Kuh Ledesma, Kyla, among others, as well as actor Edu Manzano, Gab Valenciano and megastar Sharon Cuneta.
The mood was festive outside the Paglaum Sports Complex with street food vendors and balloon peddlers taking advantage of the event.
Some supporters occupied the sidewalks outside the Paglaum Sports Complex to watch the people’s rally on live screens.
The arrival of Robredo and Panglinan at about 8:24 p.m. was met with loud cheers and chanting “Leni, Leni, Leni.”*