As Vice President Leni Robredo’s and running mate Kiko Pangilinan’s campaign sorties across the nation continue to pick up steam, various cities have gone all out in their own way — letting their creativity shine and growing their numbers as volunteer networks on the ground do their magic.
The Robredo-Pangilinan rally in Bacolod alone drew an estimated 70,000 supporters, reportedly the largest crowd that the ticket has seen so far — yet that may be bound to change when the vice president and her running mate head to Zamboanga City on March 17.
Renders of the vibrant stage design for the Leni-Kiko grand rally in Zamboanga made the rounds on social media, which will be held at the Cesar C. Climaco Freedom Park — named after the former city mayor, a vocal Marcos critic, who was gunned down by an unknown killer in 1984.
Featuring colorful vinta sails on both ends of the stage, capiz windows, and a “sand-to-sea” flooring, the stage is a visual embodiment of Zamboangueño culture and reflects its theme, Layag Leni (Sail, Leni), according to Keith San Antonio, one of the volunteer architects behind the design.
Keith told Coconuts that he and another architect, Neil Dalena, had come up with the concept as they were tasked to design the elements to the basic campaign setup that Robredo’s national campaign provided. “The layout of the stage and the measurements are provided by the national campaign team of the vice president. The roof of the stage is the one being used in sorties in other places, which was pre-fabricated and shipped here.”
“We are only given a few chances to be able to showcase what our city has to offer. Being a melting pot of different cultures, from the Spanish influence of the Chavacano, the rich heritage of the Muslims and the colorful traditions of the Lumads or the indigenous people, there were plenty of things that Zamboanga can offer that we would very much love to show the country through this exhibition,” the architect shared.
“The capiz window panels, the colorful patterns of the Mindanao fabrics and the huge vinta sails are different elements that are derived from various ethnic groups, but when put together, conveys the Zamboangueño culture,” Keith added.
Keith stressed that his and Neil’s work were purely voluntary. “To simply put it, the collaboration just happened. Architect Neil is also a well-established person in the city and with a project of this scale, it would be wise to look for inputs from different people to be able to truly come up with an effective design.”
Keith said that he and Neil wanted the grandeur and scale of the stage design to “inspire the supporters of VP Leni and send a message that we are ready to come together in the hope of a better government.”
The volunteer architects worked on the design for an entire afternoon, ready to present it in the evening to VP Leni’s team, which he described as “all praise.”
Yet bringing the stage to life was another challenge, as the architects worked with an engineer from the Zamboanga-based Metro Stonerich Corporation.
The stage is still finishing construction in time for Thursday, which Keith described as “one of the largest stages to be erected here in Zamboanga.”
“The important thing is that the sortie would inspire more and spark a bigger fire in the hearts of those who believe in the capabilities of VP Leni to lead our country in the next six years,” Keith said.