The year then was 2001. The nation was relieved for the end of a perceived bad governance and was thus expectant of a good present and a progressive future. The figure of the then new leadership appeared dependable and respectable, viz., dependable because of impressive economic credentials and respectable on account of a revered paternal lineage. By itself, the over-all national phenomenon of a new government changed. i.e., it was then not only promising but also inspiring.
In fact, the then presidential successor impressed the people much—especially so when running for elections in 2004 was expressly and officially renounced for a threefold admirable and gratifying purpose: to unite the people divided by the dismissal of a popular leader; to improve the national economy that has become stagnant; andto cleanse the electoral process known for many things except being honest, orderly, peaceful and credible.
Likened to a ship, the Country started sailing, with a course chartered to a place hopefully "flowing with milk and honey." On and on the ship moved. More and more, the passengers as a people, cheered and clap. Until the captain in effect commandeered the ship, suddenly changed its course and sailed with super visions, glorious longings and empty resolves—going straight to a big bad socio-moral storm and political disturbance.
And the ship overturned. Many went hungry, suffered much and eventually died. To this date, the ship is still upside down—with submersed engine, a rusting body and a hopeless future. Even in the assumption that the captain of the ship would come out to make excuses for wrong deeds and promise to navigate better, the ship remains overturned and the surviving passengers have lost their trust.
If the picture is rather familiar, this is because it is very real. It is because of a pitiful ship still laying half-submerged and half-afloat in the off Romblon waters. It is also because of the Philippines now submerged in the quagmire of corruption, suffering from hunger and misery. It is furthermore because the leadership as ship captain came up attempting to still minimize the social damage and economic debacle of the Country and to still promising a bright economic projection.
If the just concluded SONA called the attention of the general public, it is certainly not because of its content. Since 2001, the State of the Nation Address has always been great in words but puny in realities—earning prepared claps in the bubble house called Congress while getting many and loud insults outside in the real world.
As always since 2001, the SONA has been focused on what was worn by the main star in the show, who was the designer, the hairdresser, the make-up artist. Furthermore, it is interesting to know the decoys to fill the empty chairs deserted by lawmakers who preferred to stay away and be real.
No wonder then that several hundreds of policemen plus a good number of the elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, are on red alert—not to mention the long marches, big rallies and strong protest actions in the streets. The SONA has become treacherous and dangerous!
July 30, 2008