Aika Robredo Plays the Good 'Marites': What House-to-House Campaign is Like

Shifting the battle to homes, from Facebook.
Photo/s: Pia Regalado

Maria Ruby Morticia plastered a Leni Robredo poster on her carinderia wall, which she got from the presidential candidate's daughter, Aika, a vistor to their Quezon City neighborhood on Saturday, determined to be the good kind of "Marites" with stories that can convert voters to their side.

Morticia, 54, did not need much convincing as like Robredo, she's also a Bicolana. However, Aika's visit reinforced her belief that she should also campaign for provincemate, who's bringing her battle for voters' hearts to door-to-door campaigns from mammoth rallies.

"Masaya kasi nakapunta siya kahit dito sa putikan na kalsada namin," Morticia said

Aika, the eldest of Robredo's three daughters, acknowledges that fake news is the biggest hurdle to converting voters. Their mother is the number one victim of fake news, according to Fact Check, while her chief rival, Bongbong Marcos, is the biggest beneficiary.

She likened her house-to-house campaign to being a "Marites" the internet's codename for the spreader of gossip, except she's armed with truthful information. "'Pag offline, face-to-face, marami kang kailangan basahin o intindihin sa kausap mo," she said.

Continue reading below ↓

"Masyado tayong exposed sa Facebook, tingin mo lahat ng tao ganun makipag-usap pero 'pag nilapitan mo sila, nagpakilala nang mahinahon, maayos din po ang reception nila," she said.

While the Robredos appreciate the massive crowds in rallies, including the largest one so far in Pasig where more than 90,000 were in attendance, it's in face-to-face campaigns when they get to speak directly to the undecided and understand their thought process in selecting a candidate.


Can 'Sibuyas' Rallies Translate Into Votes for Leni Robredo?

How to Join Campaign Rallies Like a Pro and Witness History Worry-Free

What Ariana Grande, Cher, Bretman Mean for Leni Robredo's Campaign 

What happens during house-to-house campaigns?

Ara Eugenio
Continue reading below ↓
Recommended Videos

Aika came prepared with pamphlets, baller bracelets and tarpaulins to distribute. She was accompanied by a celebrity endorser of Robredo, vlogger Marjorie Barreto.

Next, she looks for someone to approach, initially skipping those who are busy. If they're open to speak, she introduces herself and lets them know the purpose of her visit.

If an elderly person extends their hand, she will place it on her forehead or mano as a sign of respect. If it's a kid, a high five. If the person is of the same age, she will wave or shake their hand. Some will also ask for hugs.

Smiling behind their pink face masks, Aika and Barretto posed for photos and carried babies.

Not everyone can be as welcoming as that Quezon City crowd. Manila-based Bea was campaigning for Robredo with friends in West Fairview when someone accepted then tore up the fliers they were distributing.

Continue reading below ↓

"May mga nadaanan kami na hecklers pero nginingitian lang po namin. May nagpunit po nung binigay naming flier pero pinapaintindi naman namin sa kanila na hindi tayo 'yung magkakalaban," she told reportr.


Tricia Robredo Says 'Barda' is Not the Way to Convince Voters to Choose Pink

Tricia Robredo is Humbled by Marcos Supporter, 'Hindi Tayo ang Nag-aaway'

Continue reading below ↓

How to campaign house-to-house

While she understands it's not natural for some people to do face-to-face campaigns for strangers, Aika said it shouldn't be forced.

"Lalo na ngayong masyadong maraming nag-aaway online sa Facebook, sa Twitter, tingin po namin magandang ibalik natin 'yung usapang tao sa tao, tingin natin mas mabait ka rin 'pag ang kausap mo, kaharap mo."

She has tips on what to do when courting residents for their vote:

Talk to three people per day

It doesn't have to be a grand campaign, she said. It could be your suki at the marketplace, or the cashier in that milk tea place you'll visit. It could also be the tricycle driver or the Grab driver.

"Tatlong tao lang po per day, kung gawin natin siya araw-araw hanggang Mayo, tingin ko malaki po ang impact n’yan sa ating lahat."

Listen before talking

Don't assume you understand what they're going through. Instead, always come from a place of trying to understand, Aika said.

Continue reading below ↓

"Understand na tayo 'yung nakakaabala sa kanila so 'pag lumalapit po ako palaging 'pasensya na sa istorbo', tapos kukumustahin po sila," said Aika.

"Tinatantya ko rin 'pag mukha siyang nagmamadali, hinahayaan ko lang kasi baka mas mainis siya kay Leni na nagulo ko 'yung schedule n'ya."

Be kind and calm

Even if they're supporting a rival candidate for whatever reason, always be calm and collected. "Kailangan natin sila pakinggan... Huwag natin i-invalidate kasi may pinanggalingan at pinaghugutan din kung bakit."

This applies even if you're confronted with disinformation as they could be victims of "fake news".

"Minsan 'yung information na nakakarating sa kanila, 'yun lang talaga, wala silang access sa iba kaya po ngayon highly ine-encourage at ini-invite din namin ang lahat kapag may nakita tayong 'di totoo, i-call out natin sila nang mahinahon. Huwag mang-away. Huwag din natin palampasin kung alam nating hindi totoo."

Accept and move on if they cannot be converted

Continue reading below ↓

The goal is to reach out to them and they won't be open to suggestions if they don't feel that they are heard and understood.

"'Yung mindset natin, mas makinig rather than kumbinsihin kasi mas malayo ang mararating natin kapag naiintindihan natin kung ano ang pinanggagalingan nila," she said.

"Ultimately, in the end, mare-realize natin pare-pareho naman ang mga pangarap natin para sa bansa."

Latest Headlines
Recent News