A Dip in the SONA



Of course, we’re going to talk about the SONA. The main differences that I noticed are that we didn’t have to wait all day for the main man to come and the main speech didn’t take the rest of the day. This is such a relief. At least, when I got home, the address was over. Another notable feature for a State Of the Nation Address of a newly elected President is the absence of blaming back to this predecessor. Oh, I forgot, how could he when his Vice President is the former President’s daughter? On top of that the current is actually chummy with the former, which is a fresh change from Duterte to Noynoy, Noynoy to GMA, GMA to Erap, Erap to FVR and of course, Cory to Marcos. Even Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and Diosdado Macapagal were at odds against each other. Isn’t it remarkable that now, former President Diosdado’s daughter is a strong supporter of Ferdinand Marcos’ son? It’s amazing how history (which some refer to as tsismis) takes on twists and turns. It seems that this friendly bond between current and former last occurred between FVR and Cory. This is one rare phenomenon. Has not the President been in office for less than a month? So, whatever he would say about the actual “state of the nation” is a feat or failure of the previous administration. But I suppose the SONA doesn’t just literally include a report of the nation’s situation, but the President’s plans, specifically of legislation especially that he’s primarily face to face with congressmen and senators, and celebrities who have made the occasion a local version of the Oscars red carpet.


Yes, there won’t be no more lockdowns. (Although, I will dearly miss the work from home scheme.) The President did emphasize the need to strike a balance between health and wealth. Of course, we should not bow down to any foreign power. But how do we exactly be a friend to all and an enemy of none. How does that exactly work? How would Zelensky feel if a nation is a friend of both Ukraine and Russia. Does that nation approve of actions of both nations? What if North Korea bombs South Korea? Is the Philippines a friend of both the victim and the aggressor, and not an enemy of both the victim and aggressor? That’s confusing. What’s with awarding land to veterans? Are we encouraging soldiers to retire as farmers? Those guys would be getting a big amount of pension. Yes, we have to develop those airports. But what would tourists go to if the spots lack amenities? They may rather turn to Vietnam or Thailand or Indonesia which could offer more. Let’s look forward to our own Center for Disease Control. It seems that the President isn’t a big fan of the use of mother tongue or Filipino in the classroom. But he’s right. Filipinos really have to work on our English. That skill is so much of a resource in itself. What I liked most is the promotion of STEM (That’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in the education system, and the underscore of providing children with resources for reliable connectivity with the Internet. I would yell out a loud “Amen” to that. Education now should focus on trainings on information and communications technology.


Now, let’s take a look at the scenery at the periphery. Back in the day, there would be a majority and a minority. I would not know what to call a group between or beside them. Senators Pimentel and Hontiveros may be setting the record for the smallest number of the minority. But you have to give it up to them for their conviction. What’s with the Cayetano siblings and their independent bloc. The way I see it, they’re actually minority who don’t want to sit beside the minority kids because they don’t like how they smell. That majority really deserves to be called “super”. You almost feel sorry for the minority. Then that independent group suddenly stands out like a sore thumb. Is not Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano friends with Sen. Robin Padilla and the former administration? Why is he not in their super gang? Why is their family so reclusive that they would not want to play with Coco and Risa?


Going back to the SONA, it felt like it did not directly confront the main issue that the regular man/woman on the street is grappling with. What are we to do with prices of commodities shooting up? Yes, it’s always been rising, but recently, price tags have been ridiculously mounting? Why didn’t we hear of the 20-peso worth of kilogram of rice?


“Put them in fear, O Lord; Let the nations know that they are but men.” -Psalm 9:20