MANILA - While their wish to be married under a Leni Robredo presidency would no longer come true, one couple saw an outpouring of support from the vice president's supporters who are finding ways to continue the spirit of volunteerism.
"At this very moment, we are speechless and in disbelief on how kakampinks are reaching out and continuing the Bayanihan spirit," said groom-to-be Emanuelle Cruz De Guzman, whose photo with fiancee Ariean Cristobal at the Pasig rally on March 20 recently went viral.
The photo showed the soon-to-wed pair holding placards that said "Ikakasal kami na si Leni ang presidente." But after Robredo's numbers could no longer catch up to rival Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s 31 million votes, the couple found themselves in the middle of a social media storm.
"During the announcement of unofficial counts, some people are already tagging Ariean regarding the post which infuriated us since the placard is not conditional but imperative," De Guzman said.
Gloom turned into hope when on Wednesday night, top-rated designer Gladi Echavarre offered to make the bride's wedding dress for free.
"This lovely couple has been bashed and became the poor subject of ridicule. Let's turn our loss and grief into something beautiful to our fellow kakampink," Echavarre said on her page.
This began a thread of pledges from top wedding suppliers, including Vania Romoff for entourage dresses, and accessory designer Christopher E Munar for the bride's earrings, among others. Loi Villarama, who hosted several rallies for Robredo, also offered to host the wedding, while musician Johnoy Danao is set to play music at the event scheduled in December.
Danao said he wanted to sustain the love he felt during the campaign season, which was why he offered his services.
"I guess 'yung pagmamahal na naramdaman ko sa nakaraang tatlong buwan ng kampanya ay gusto kong ipagpatuloy na ipasa, hangga’t kaya. Nag-uumapaw pa sa aking puso ang pagkukusang-loob ng mga kababayan natin. Kailangan maipasa sa iba," Danao told ABS-CBN News in an interview.
The couple, still overwhelmed by the heartwarming gesture, said they were eyeing to pay it forward.
"We've almost booked all of our necessary suppliers even before we went to the rally in Pasig and there are a lot of pledges that we already have. We're planning on posting in social media if the pledges can also be passed along with other engaged kakampink couples," the groom said.
The couple's wedding coordinator, Lia Del Castillo of Lia Weddings was also making changes to accommodate pledges for the planned intimate wedding.
The couple said while their candidate did not win, they remain proud for making a stand.
"We're proud because we know we are not just making a stand for ourselves but also for the family that we are planning to have. We're proud because we speak when the voiceless are unheard. We're proud dahil lagi kaming titindig," said De Guzman.
Earlier this week, Robredo thanked her volunteers who led the massive people's campaign, which drew thousands in campaign rallies and an unprecedented house-to-house drive.
"Sinasabi ko sa inyo ngayon, walang nasayang. Hindi tayo nabigo. Pinakamahalaga, hindi pa tayo tapos. Nagsisimula pa lang tayo," she said.
(I am telling you now, our efforts were not in vain. We have not failed. This is not the end. We've only just begun.)
"May nasimulan tayo hindi pa kailanman nasaksakihan sa buong kasaysayan ng bansa," Robredo added.
(We have started a movement that's never been seen in this country.)