Candidates are campaigning in full swing as the election day draws nearer. Most are halfway through their sorties around the country to meet Filipinos and lay out their platforms in the hopes of being elected as the next president and vice president of the Philippines. In the past few weeks, thousands of Filipinos have shown up at various campaign rallies in different cities to show their support for their chosen candidate. If you’re planning on joining the festivities (these rallies are festivities at this point complete with live bands and dance numbers), the most important thing you should do is to plan ahead. Here are a few campaign rally tips for a smooth experience.
Find out your candidate’s campaign schedule
Constantly check the Facebook pages of your chosen political candidate to catch updates on where their next rallies will be held. This lets you plan your day whether you need to be excused from work early or file that leave.
Double-check blocked roads, parking lots, public transportation
Bringing a car? Scout the area days before to check for potential parking lots — these could be at nearby malls or dedicated parking spaces around the rally area — and come early to get a slot. You should also check which roads will be closed or congested with rallygoers. If you’re taking public transportation, plan your route and account for the volume of people leaving the area at the same time. Make sure you have access to jeepneys, buses, or trains.
Once you know where the rally will be held and how far you need to walk or how long you’ll need to stay there, that’s when you plan what to wear. Since the elections are held in the summer in the Philippines, it’s a good idea to wear loose, cotton clothing to stay cool. You can also plan a fitting OOTD with shirts flaunting your political colors. Check out Shopee, Facebook marketplace, or ask your friends where you can get shirts. And finally, don’t forget to wear comfortable footwear. You’ll most likely be on your feet for hours.
Flaunt your creativity with witty placards
Prepare for discomfort
Attending a rally is often fun and uplifting, but it’s not exactly a walk in the park. Set realistic expectations. It’ll probably be hot. It might rain. And the traffic will likely be horrendous coming and going to the rally. Attending rallies is a labor of love — it’s fulfilling, but it can test your patience.
So don’t just bring your witty placards; remember to bring rally essentials too. Here’s a quick checklist for your next rally:
- Vaccination card
- Trash bags
- Folding chair
- Extra shirt
- Extra mask
Familiarize yourself with the area
Once you get to the rally grounds, walk around to locate restrooms or portalets and food kiosks. These might just save your life when you need them in the middle of the event. You could also search for the first aid tent just in case.
Come with your friends and get ready to make new friends
You could hit the rally alone but it’s more fun to join the event with your friends and family. Extend an invite to as many as you can, even to those who support a different candidate. You just might be able to persuade them to switch sides during the rally. And if you’re alone, don’t worry! Rallies are also a good way to meet new friends on the road. It’s easy to make friends if you know you’ve already got something in common — supporting the same candidate.
Although campaign rallies tackle serious matters (i.e. the literal future of our country) it’s still a fun affair. It’s where you get to hear candidates lay out their platforms and bring hope to the Filipino people. It’s also a fun time where Filipinos from all walks of life band together to uplift their chosen candidate through shouts of support. If you’re about to go to your first ever rally soon, one thing’s for sure — you won’t regret coming.