Philippines Shows Presidential Support Via 7-11 Big Gulps
Customers in the Philippines are casting their votes through sodas and sandwiches in mock polls ahead of the national elections.
At a convenience store chain 7-Eleven, customers participate in its "7 elections" by picking soda cups with images of the presidential candidates in the country's upcoming elections.
Each cup represents a particular vote, which are tallied daily and uploaded on their website. Customers can also buy as many cups as they want.
Those without preference can pick the "undecided" cup.
7-Eleven, which has over 1,650 outlets in the Philippines, has gained traction from customers who want to openly support their candidates.
"I picked Duterte because I want a change in society, and I see how well-received he is when he campaigns in other areas," said Michael John Aguillon, a government employee who picked the blue Rodrigo Duterte Cup.
Government employee Mabi Clemente picked Manuel Roxas' yellow cup for his candidate.
"I think he's the most qualified in terms of track record, academic record, even moral record. I believe that Mar Roxas has the capability to lead, not only the country as a whole, but to represent the country and the whole stage as well," he said.
The store's customer-driven survey started in 2010, with President Benigno Aquino winning the Gulp polls.
Polls on 7-Eleven's website has Duterte leading the mock race, followed by the "undecided" cups.
The 7-eleven management has said their polls should not be taken seriously and was meant to provide a fun alternative to voting.
In downtown Manila, a small bakery has made a special menu out of the presidential candidates in hopes of encouraging its patrons to think about the elections.
Customers at Kamuning Bakery can pick a set of stuffed pandesal, a local Filipino bread roll, named after a particular candidate.
The bakery crafted each set differently depending on the stuffing and beverage, with the price varying between 150-165 pesos ($3-3.50).
They also serve an undecided set called "Pan de Nada" for a simple ham and cheese sandwich with brewed coffee.
Kamuning bakery owner Wilson Lee Flores said most of the customers order sandwiches based on their preference of candidate, rather than on the sandwich's price or contents.
"I saw most of the customers ordering "Pan de Duterte" because they like the mayor of Davao, and the second most popular ever since we started was Senator Grace Poe. Then, I saw that customers are very passionate about Philippine politics. They enjoy talking about politics," he said.
The bakery has its own tally board, with Duterte similarly leading the race with his sandwich filled with spicy pork.
The Philippines is set to hold its national elections on May 9.
Aquino's successor and former interior minister Manuel Roxas, Vice president and opposition leader Jejomar Binay, Senator Grace Poe, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Miriam Santiago are the current candidates vying for the highest position in the country.
Opinion polls by Pulse Asia last week showed Duterte leading by 33 percent, followed by Poe at 22 percent. Roxas was at 20 percent and Binay with 18 percent. Santiago was at the last spot at two percent.
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