Asia

Philippines election polling with fizzy drinks and buns

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionFilipinos "vote" for their favourite presidential candidates with fizzy drink cups

People in the Philippines are gearing up for the election on 9 May. Heather Chen, the BBC's social media producer in Asia, is reporting daily on Snapchat and has travelled to Cebu to see what the conversation is there.

Election fever has been heating up in Cebu, the oldest city in the Philippines. But unfortunately, so has the weather.

I was roaming the city's streets, looking for the best way to keep cool in the 34C sunshine.

A nearby 7-Eleven convenience store offered a fun way to "beat the heat".

The faces of what are the five most famous people in the Philippines right now - the presidential candidates - were adorning the chain's iconic Big Gulp paper cups.


Snapchatting the Philippines election

Image copyright Goh Wei Choon and Jiahui Wee
Image caption Love Snapchat? Follow our official BBC News account

Traffic jams and Duterte fans in Manila

The Philippines boxing youth and politician Pacquiao

Election issues through emojis

Add BBC News on Snapchat: bbcnews.


It is not just a colourful gimmick.

It is also a clever way to cash in on the election - combining soda sales with popularity polls.

Image copyright Reuters

Each of the candidates' cups were ranked according to popularity, with controversial hopeful Rodrigo Duterte in the lead.

Curiously, in second place, was a sixth grey cup representing "the silent majority" - the cup for undecided voters - clearly a lot of the 7-Eleven's customers.

Behind me in the queue was 22-year-old student Chrystabelle Lopez, carrying a baby-blue Grace Poe cup filled to the brim with pop.

She wouldn't tell me who she was voting for, but she did have this to say.

"It's cool to be seen with this cup," she said, while digging around for change in her bag. "I wouldn't carry around any of the other cups."

Commercialised election fever is not just limited to 7-Eleven's colourful cups either.

A popular street bakery displayed what looked like another election poster.

Inside the bakery were loaves of bread packaged with each presidential runners' face.

"We've sold out of Duterte and Mar Roxas bread for the day. That usually happens, but we try our best to cater to demand," said a baker unloading more pastries from an oven.

People tell me it is a two-horse race here, between Mr Duterte and Mr Roxas, for their ability to speak distinct Cebu dialects.

And hungry voters in the area have been snapping up the bread, according to their candidate of choice.

"It's just plain bread, we don't add any flavours to the dough. But it's all about the packaging. The idea came from my boss, who owns this bakery."

Related Topics

More on this story