Vice President Leni Robredo said Friday she was suiting up in fiery pink for her presidential campaign to symbolize both protest and a change in leadership while paying tribute to what she described as a groundswell of public support.
Robredo had long been identified with yellow, the color of the Aquino family and the resistance against the Marcos dictatorship in the 1980s. Next year, Robredo will run for president against the only son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
"Lagi namin sinasabi, kami ay nakikinig sa taumbayan. Na kung palagay nila ito yung kulay na magsisimbolize ng sama-samang aspiration para mapalitan na yung klase ng pamumuno na meron tayo ngayon, gagawin namin 'yun," Robredo said.
"Hindi namin naplano 'yung kulay kasi alam niyo naman kung gaano ka-belated 'yung aming decision. Pero ito kasi 'yung naging kulay nu'ng groundswell ng volunteers," she said.
Robredo's running mate, Sen. Francis Pangilinan also traded yellow for green in an ode to his advocacy for agriculture and farmers' welfare.
Robredo's pink will go against the Marcoses' traditional red, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno's white and Sen. Panfilo Lacson's plaid. While Sen. Manny Pacquiao has not announced a campaign color, social media always zeroes in on the labels of his wife Jinkee's OOTD.
Like in the U.S., where it emerged last year as the color of activism ahead of a presidential election, political pink represents the combined aspirations of those in the wide rank of the opposition who, despite differences in sectors or social classes, ultimately agree that the reigning brand of leadership must end once and for all in 2022.
“The hotter pinks are more closely related to the ‘mother color’ of red and hold much the same feeling of empowerment and dynamism that red elicits,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, told The Guardian in October of 2020.
The color has always been seen as political, as early as 1925 when Time magazine coined the term "pinko" for anyone with progressive political leanings. More popularly, it's synonymous with breast cancer awareness, but it's ultimately associated with femininity -- something that Robredo is embracing as she runs for president, mother of the nation.
Robredo said she and Pangilinan were surprised by the "pink revolution" that happened, how social media feeds became a sea of pink and how pink ribbons sprouted in many parts of the country, not just Metro Manila, following her announcement.
"Alam namin na maraming mga tao na pareho ang pakiramdam sa amin about everything that is happening. Pero hindi namin narealize na ganon ka dami. Na parang naghanap lang sila ng makakapitan, naghanap lang sila ng pag asa para maexpress nila yung kanilang pakiramdam and that is very encouraging for us," she said.
For Robredo, next year's battle is not really about her, nor is it just about stopping the return of the Marcoses to Malacañang.
"Ang nilalabanan natin 'yung masamang pamamahala na siya yung nagiging sanhi ng mga problemang pinagdadaanan natin ngayon. 'Yung bulok na klase ng pulitika na paulit-ulit na nangyayari ngayon," she said.
In the end, Robredo said it's not the color they sport that defines a person.
"May kasabihan di ba, 'we are defined by the choices we make'."
"Kahapon nakablue ako, ngayon nakapink ako. Pero important din sakin yung pink kasi pakikiisa, pakiisa dun sa mga naniniwala. Pakikiisa dun sa outpouring of not support for me, pero outpuring of 'yung emotion, pakiramdam about how things are going dito sa bansa natin," she said.