Pre SONA thoughts

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The suspense is killing me.

Will President Duterte make a personal and live appearance during this State of the Nation Address? I wrote this article before 2020 SONA officially started because I didn’t know if it would start on time or if the Filipino nation was going to be treated with the usual irreverence and as usual, made to wait till around midnight for a heavily edited mish mash of quotable quotes that will only be clarified by someone else the following day.

Anyway, given my state of heart, mind and soul ever since 2020 began, I don’t think I need anyone to tell me about the state of my nation anymore because if you stop and come to think of it, as far as I can remember, the state of our nation has never been more clear.

It doesn’t matter what our dear leader says, whether it be at 4pm sharp and live, 11:59 p.m. and sloppily edited or be it a 1am replay in the dead of night: Our country is in deep doodoo. Perhaps we have become so accustomed to the stink that we don’t mind it anymore. Or it is also probable that the accumulated crap has already covered our mouths so we can no longer speak up without endangering ourselves.

We are in the midst of an once-in-a-lifetime global and economic health crisis and it is sad and frustrating that the leadership of our country has not been up to the task and their sever shortcomings have not been taken to task by the supposed father of the nation. This merry gang of the nation’s so-called best and brightest boys and girls, handpicked by the man who was supposed to be better than the rest, are 4 years into this administration, still mostly disappointments to say the least.

Despite the bungles and missteps that have more often than not cost Filipino lives and squandered our taxes, we have the same old recycled boomers. These men and women who cannot be fired no matter what they do, from holding a mañanita during a strict quarantine to failing to properly lead the Department of Health during the greatest health crisis the country has every faced, exemplify the state of our nation. Powerful men can do anything they want without having to worry about accountability and responsibility. Instead of serving their country, they serve at the pleasure of their patron who seems value loyalty over competence.

Fearless forecast: Aside from the 11,000 ABS CBN employees that have already lost their jobs, nobody in the high echelons of government will lose their job in this year’s SONA. They are deemed to have done an acceptable job and we should all just deal with that. The most loyal among the inutiles might even get a pat on the head.

I may be in suspense regarding the method of delivery of the SONA, but even if I needed to, I have to admit that I have no plan of waiting for or watching it. I will wait for the summary that is usually clearer. And of course, await the clarifications that are expected to follow.

Of course, there is always the possibility of a pleasant surprise. Maybe heads will roll. Maybe a resignation will be tendered and accepted. Maybe our nation will finally decide to stand up against China instead of being content with the lapdog treatment. Maybe there will be less pettiness and vindictiveness. Perhaps there will be a line or two than can serve as an inspiration for the 110 million Filipinos to hope and strive for a better tomorrow. Maybe our great nation will finally have a plan for dealing with COVID-19 because at this point, it’s better late than never.

When a leader addresses his country, especially during a time of crisis, his people would expect inspiration, a vision, and a reason to unite. The amazing speeches that high school students love to memorize for declamation contests come from the mouths of truly great leaders during such times. It’s a shame that these days, those who are looking for the strength and inspiration to carry on despite the challenges have nowhere else to go so they turn to YouTube and Ted Talks instead.

Will SONA 2020 be a pleasant surprise? Or will it be more of the same, tired, old themes?*


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October 2020