As campaign rallies heat up with just two weeks left before the May 9 elections, here are important reminders that attendees should bear in mind to ensure a more comfortable and hassle-free experience.
This coming weekend, presidential survey frontrunners Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Leni Robredo will be holding their respective grand rallies in Metro Manila.
Marcos Jr. will be holding two events: one in Manila on April 23, Saturday, and another in Taguig on April 24, Sunday.
Robredo, meanwhile, will hold hers in Pasay on April 23, which is also her birthday.
Tens of thousands of supporters are expected to show up for these events.
Are you planning to attend a campaign rally for the first time? Or have you attended one before already but things didn't go smoothly as planned? Here are 14 things that could make your attendance a more comfortable, if not memorable, experience.
1. Have plenty of sleep the night before
A campaign rally takes hours to finish and will take a lot of physical energy as participants chant, scream, sing, walk, and even dance. It goes without saying that the day-long event will most likely wear someone out, and having plenty of sleep the night before is crucially important.
2. Arrive early to secure a comfortable spot
If you want to have a nice view of the candidates near the stage or find a comfortable and strategic area near an exit or a comfort room or a convenience store, it is advisable to go to the venue hours ahead of the scheduled program.
Arriving minutes before the event proper—or going to the campaign rally late—might mean settling on the sidelines and way far from the main stage.
3. Eat ahead of the campaign rally
Since the day-long event is expected to be physically exhausting, a heavy meal ahead of the event is more than welcome. As the venue gets jam-packed with attendees, one may have difficulty eating their packed meals while surrounded by a sea of people.
But for those with a sensitive stomach, one must be wise enough to only eat or drink only what's necessary.
In any case, one may bring meals light snacks such as crackers, sandwiches, or even some candies.
4. Wear comfortable clothing
An hours-long event during the country's dry season (or summer, as Filipinos commonly call it) means sweat so wearing a loose and comfortable shirt is key. Bringing an extra shirt or two might also do the trick.
Shorts or sports pants are recommended, as people are expected to sit on the curbside at times.
Since one would be standing and walking a lot throughout the day, running shoes or comfortable rubber shoes are preferred to canvas shoes or even slippers.
Bring also a towel or a handkerchief to mop up that excess sweat (especially if you want to look good on your social media posts.) Those who have long hair may also consider wearing a ponytail.
5. Prepare extra face masks
One's face mask may get sweaty, oily, and dirty, even damaged during the campaign rally. Having extra face masks in the bag wouldn't hurt.
6. Bring enough water, but drink accordingly
Like the food situation, it would be wise to bring enough water to sustain one's self throughout the day. Two one-liter bottles may be enough. For a refreshing cold drink later on during the campaign rally, one bottle may be frozen, as it would just melt away by the time the program has already started.
Be reminded, however, to drink water accordingly, as it would be challenging to navigate through the crowd toward the nearest restroom, and back to your desired spot.
7. Don't forget your medicines, just in case
Antihistamines, inhalers, paracetamol, diatabs, Vicks topical ointment, and White Flower analgesic balm oil might just come handy.
8. Fully charge your devices, bring powerbanks
A day-long event entails having one's smartphones fully charged. You could also bring powerbanks to be sure, especially if you plan to take lots of photos and videos.
9. Inform your family ahead
While you may have a fully charged device, a campaign rally with thousands of people may have a weak phone signal. It's best to let them know where you're headed to and how long you're expected to be out.
10. Travel light
You'll be standing and walking for hours during the campaign rally, and it would be best to only bring a body bag or backpack that has the essentials. Carrying handbags throughout the day may be burdensome, so it's not recommended.
11. Take care of your personal belongings
You can never be so sure in an event with tens of thousands of attendees. Even if you think the people around are as honest as they can get, it's always your responsibility to take care of your personal belongings, especially wallets and smartphones.
12. Have a placard with a witty statement
A creative placard that distills your statement of support for your candidate adds extra fun. Besides being possibly picked up by the media or social media, it can also serve as a makeshift sitting mat, an umbrella if you don't have one, or even a fan.
13. Bring your own trash bags
Once the program ends, it's important to clean as you go and dispose of your trash properly as a responsible political supporter.
14. Have money to spare for commuting, or post-rally chow
Once the event ends, tens of thousands of people would also be raring to go home. Expect difficulties in booking a ride, so one way is to just ride a jeep or bus. Others opt to grab a bite near the venue to relax and recover after the event, before trying to grab a ride after the departing crowd eventually subsides.