MANILA, Philippines – Independent senatorial candidate Grace Poe ended her campaign solo in a miting de avance held in Tondo, Manila, on Friday, May 10.
Poe said Tondo holds a special place in her heart because her father, Fernando Poe Jr, "loved" them, and it is where the "real" people are.
"Ang Tondo talaga, nandito lahat. Kaya dito ang ating umpisa, dito na rin magtatapos 'pagkat minahal ng tatay ko ang Tondo. Dahil lahat ng tagadito ay totoong tao. Kaya maraming-maraming salamat po sa inyo," Poe told her supporters.
(In Tondo, everyone is here. That's why I started here, and end the campaign here because my father loved Tondo. Because everyone who comes from here are real people. Thank you so much for your support.)
Poe held her proclamation rally in Tondo too, but invited all other reelectionist senators at the time.
On the sidelines of the miting de avance, Poe said she got "shy" to ask other candidates to invite her to their miting de avance.
"Hindi ko naman inaasahan na may iimbita sa akin, kasi parang ang dinig ko kailangan lapitan para humiling. Eh nahiya naman ako. Pero masaya naman kahit na tayo-tayo lang," Poe told reporters.
(I did not expect anyone to invite me because I heard that you have to ask, and I got shy. But I'm happy even if it's just us.)
The reelectionist senator said she's no longer expecting to top the Senate race. Poe, who consistently topped preelection surveys, shared the top spot of the April Pulse Asia survey with fellow reelectionist senator Cynthia Villar.
"[Ang nasa isip ko] ngayon ay makapasok na lang. 'Yung pagiging number one, minsan malaki din ang pressure sa expectation sayo. Basta masaya na lang tayo na nakapasok tayo doon sa [Magic] 12," Poe told reporters.
(All I'm thinking about now is winning. Being number one in the polls, sometimes there's also a huge pressure in terms of expectations. I'm just happy that I made it to the Magic 12.)
Poe previously admitted that there were challenges to being an independent candidate, especially as some local leaders refused to host her in their areas because she's not an administration candidate.
Poe's star-studded miting de avance was attended by her mother Susan Roces, actor Coco Martin, actress Sharon Cuneta Pangilinan, and singer Imelda Papin, among others.
There were also performances from Itchyworms, comedian Wacky Kiray, and radio DJ Chacha.
Poe said that the star-studded miting de avance was "her way" of thanking her supporters.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, who had asked voters to help Poe top the Senate race, was also at the miting de avance.
Poe topped the Senate race in her first bid for elective office in 2013 with a record-breaking 20.15 million votes.
She ran for president in 2016 but placed 3rd overall in the race won by Rodrigo Duterte. – Rappler.com