#MakinigMagic takes over: Over 4,000 volunteers, 73,000 households in genuine listening campaign

MANILA — A key component of leadership is the ability to listen, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said Tuesday, referring to his motivation for launching Project Makinig, a volunteer-driven listening campaign that seeks to promote genuine face-to-face interaction among Filipinos.

“Ang laking difference ng social media sa face-to-face. In social media, it’s so toxic. But when faced with real people, there is a realization that pare-pareho pala tayo ng hinaharap na problema. There’s a connection,” Pangilinan said at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay held at Cafe Adriatico, Malate.

An initiative of Partido Liberal launched last October 6, Project Makinig has since been adopted by various groups such as Magdalo, Akbayan, Team Pilipinas, Kilos Maralita, Millennials PH, and other youth and civil society organizations. Now on its final two weeks, the campaign has since gathered over 4,000 volunteers knocking on more than 73,000 households nationwide.

“We have volunteers that have never engaged anyone politically. But because they see the value of listening, they realize na kaya naman pala,” says Ivan Picazo, volunteer engagement coordinator for Project Makinig.

“It’s what we call #MakinigMagic. Dahil sa pakikinig nila, parang may spark sa mga kababayan na parang na-i-in-love uli sa mga kababayan dahil dito,” Picazo said.

Not a member of the Liberal Party, Picazo said he is convinced that Project Makinig is something that the country needs.

“For six years, I have been a campus missionary. A friend from college talked to me about Project Making. I was so captivated. For a major political party to go down to the grassroots and just listen, without political agenda? That’s really something,” Picazo said.

On the call to “Makinig. Matuto. Kumilos,” Pangilinan said Project Makinig is crucial in getting much-needed feedback from the people.

“Doon namin narinig ang damdamin ng ating mga kababayan. Matapos makinig we will learn from what was shared. Then we will act. Kaya nga ‘makinig, matuto, kumilos.’ We have to go back to our citizens. We have to listen to them. We have to learn from them,” he said.

Pangilinan believes that through Project Makinig, genuine face-to-face interaction trumps the often hurtful engagement in social media.

“We believe that given the choice, [people] would rather choose the truth over fake news and lies. Choose understanding and compassion rather than anger and hate. Tataya sa unawa. Tataya sa mag-usap at magkaayos kesa mag-away,” Pangilinan said.

With the aim to finish with 6,000 volunteers by December 15, Project Makinig sign-ups are still open at www.projectmakinig.ph.

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Contact person: Ivan Paul Picazo, Project Makinig project coordinator, 0917-8124161