Project Makinig listening movement gains momentum; Leni, Noy, Kiko join call

In an effort to find out about the Filipino experience, fears, and dreams, over 2,000 new members and young volunteers of Partido Liberal have gone on a face-to-face listening tour called Project Makinig, engaging in close to 15,000 conversations.

Launched last October to go beyond the toxic social media environment, Project Makinig has gone out to far-flung areas, city slums, rice fields, and quiet neighborhoods all throughout the country and gained invaluable insights.

“[W]hen you talk face-to-face, no matter how different your views are, you really listen,” said Reg, a prominent online personality and one of the project’s earliest volunteers.

“No death threats, no insults, no cussing — just real talk. No DDS, no dilawan, just Filipinos trying to make it through one day, and the next, and the next, telling you their own stories,” said Reg, referring to the tags of pro- and anti-administration political groups.

“’Di na kasi ito patungkol sa kung anong kulay mo o sa mga kinakaanibang pulitiko,” wrote Cy, a volunteer from a listening session in Caloocan. “Patungkol na ito sa pag-alam kung ano ba talaga iyong totoong kailangan ng mga simpleng taong nasa laylayan.”

To Cristie, also a pioneer listening partner, the project gave way to self-realization. “It’s very fulfilling for me to hear other people’s point[s] of view on the different issues of the country. It challenges my way of thinking.”

LP stalwarts call for volunteers

Party stalwarts Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, Vice President Leni Robredo, and former President Noynoy Aquino invited more volunteers to join Project Makinig.

Pangilinan said Project Makinig is a continuing part of Partido Liberal’s effort to redefine itself as a people’s party, with the recruitment of non-politicos as members. He said listening should form part of the political culture in the country.

“Nitong mga nakaraang linggo, nag-iikot ang ating mga listening partners sa sari-saring lungsod at probinsiya ng ating bayan. Kinikilala muli ang kapwa Pilipino. Binubuksan ang puso sa kanilang pangarap, hugot, at hinaing,” he wrote. “Dito nagsisimula ang unawaan at pakikipagkapwa-tao.”

“Ang ganda na ng momentum [ng proyektong ito]. Kung lalo pa nating huhusayan ang pang-engganyo ng kapwa volunteer, pagkatok, at pakikinig, kaya nating baguhin ang pulitika sa Pilipinas,” Pangilinan added.

Aquino also put out a call for sign-ups to Project Makinig. “Sa Project Makinig, nag-iikot at kumakatok ang ating mga kasamahan para pakinggan ang saloobin ng mga kapwa nating Pilipino.”

Robredo called the project a “welcome timeout” from disputes in social media.

“Ngayon pa lang, parang napapatunayang totoo ang kutob natin: Mas malalim ang pagkakabigkis natin kaysa pagkakawatak-watak,” said Robredo. “We are defined by much more than our political allegiances. Kailangan lang nating magbukas at makinig sa mga kapwa natin para maalala ito.”

Sign-ups still ongoing, open to all.

Aside from Project Makinig, Partido Liberal has aggressively sought support from non-politicians since Pangilinan took over as party president in October 2016. To date, the party has monthly oath-taking of new recruits and launched an online recruitment program in December 2017 with over 8,000 non-politician recruits.

While initiated by Partido Liberal members, the project welcomes everyone — supporter and non-supporter alike — to its still-growing ranks of listening partners.

You can find photos and stories of the project on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @projectmakinig and under #Nakikinig and #ProjectMakinig. To join, sign up at www.projectmakinig.ph.