“Kakampink”: a portmanteau of kakampi and pink. It was originally used to refer only to the supporters of 2022 presidential candidate Atty. Leni Robredo. But not long after, it grew into a nationwide movement of hope—one that went beyond and was much greater than just the 2022 National and Local Elections.
In a country shrouded in fear of a poorly-handled pandemic, extrajudicial killings, natural calamities, and poverty, among others, the kakampink movement featured songs such as Rosas and Liwanag sa Dilim to express the fervent desire for positive change in the country through good governance.
Unfortunately, the events of late have led me to question where the movement’s hopes and convictions have all gone. I am not proud to be a kakampink. At least, not right now.
Just to be clear, this is not because I lost faith in Robredo, the face of the movement. She has proven the sincerity of her intentions for the country, that she is more than capable of realizing her visions regardless of her position, and that I made the right decision to vote for her. Rather, what disturbs me are statements from those who claim to be part of the movement.
Perhaps these started since the results of the elections were announced, but they became more apparent to me last month. When heavy rains triggered flash floods and mudslides in Ifugao, Robredo’s Angat Buhay nongovernmental organization was quick to respond. This prompted kakampinks to express their disagreement, saying those in Ifugao didn’t deserve Robredo’s help, considering she lost the elections by a significant margin there. I brushed these off as a knee-jerk reaction that they didn’t really mean. This was until similar sentiments were shared in relation to the recent earthquake that struck the northern Philippines with its epicenter at Abra, where Robredo lost by an even greater margin.
Along with these came posts wishing UniTeam supporters worsened financial struggles just so they would understand where they went wrong in choosing who to support—just so they could “wake up” to reality. This happened every time there was news on inflation and increased prices of commodities like oil and sugar. Considering the amount of likes, retweets, and shares that these posts have been getting, it seems to me that the whole thing has been normalized: leaving those displaced or dying to fend for themselves because they “deserve it” and because it doesn’t affect us anyway. That may be the case for the current administration and their high-profile, high-earning allies, but that doesn’t have to be the case for us.
With these people being indifferent to the struggles of their fellow Filipinos, I can’t help but ask what happened to “para sa’yo ang boto ko,” and to wanting the best for the majority. What happened to hope and love? I may not question Robredo’s sincerity, but I do question that of her supporters. We cannot advocate for change when we discriminate based on political preferences and wish ill on others. Otherwise, how are we any different from the Filipinos during martial law who turned their backs on and tortured their fellow Filipinos—the very thing which we condemn? After so many deaths and tragedies these past few years, I don’t believe it is human to wish for anyone to struggle even more—no matter their political stances.
It is important for us to remember that there is a difference between being right and doing what is right. Being on the right side of history is not enough if the future that we help make is founded on hate or a lack of compassion. We need to be careful not to play into the hands of those who wish to revise history by showing their brainwashed believers that they’re right and we’re actually the bad guys.
The fight did not end with the May elections. Our advocacies shouldn’t depend on whether or not our candidates win. Each of us can contribute something meaningful to our society, and that is what we should focus our energies on instead of judging who deserves what. After all, regardless of where our support lies, at the end of the day, we all just want the same thing: a genuinely better country for everyone. Despite my disappointment, I do have high hopes that amid the different crises our country is facing today, together we can reignite the spirit of volunteerism and solidarity to steer us to better paths. Good governance may be one crucial thing, but so is good citizenship. And I hope one day I can say that I’m proud to be a kakampink again.