As usual: Security is tight—very tight because left and right are thousands of commoners who are braving the sun and the rain, who are suffering from hunger and fatigue to demonstrate their dismay and disgust for the members of the royalty in the country having their annual gathering in the well arranged and awesome Congress Hall. Security is tight—very tight because of some chosen and blessed blue blooded men and women arriving in their big and flashy cars with enviable well-trained and armed escorts. Security is tight—very tight because exactly the same few aristocrats are being very respectfully lead to walk on the long and wide red carpet, with the much bejeweled ladies each exhibiting their one of a kind every expensive made-to-order gowns plus unique hairstyles. This is the fashion show. There is also the imported wines and very costly fancy meal prepared for them to drink and eat, to enjoy and relish.
As usual: Their one and only royal supreme head delivering his heavenly speech about this heavenly achievements plus heavenly legacy. Socio-economic development has reached Cloud 9 (yet leaving millions of Filipinos behind to live under the bridges, to build houses by the canals, to sleep by the sidewalks). So much food is produced, so many schools are built, so much work is available (but making millions of Filipinos seek something to eat from garbage3 cans, leaving children with no money to buy books and go to school, making parents leave their families and country behind as OFWs). Power is plentiful, transformation is fast and comfortable (but again, electricity is expensive, roads are few and narrow, the trains on the ground and up there—never mind.)
As usual: So many things are said for so long a time. But the truth remains that there is a whale of a difference between what are but mere words and what are downright realities. Words: “Kayo ang boss ko!” Reality: “Ako ang boss ninyo.” Words: “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap!” Reality: “Kung walang ipapanganak, walang mahirap!” Are there new tiring hurrahs, new funny slogans, new futile declamations? Is there some kind of a last testament that is credible and respectable—somehow?
The SONA is definitely not only an interesting and also very entertaining yearly event to watch and listen to. How many are the claps made as well as how many hands remain still and silent? Who smile the most with glee and who keep their faces long? Whose names are mentioned and are therefore probable candidates for the coming elections? Who wrote the speech and how well it did not tell the truth? How many drinks of water are made by the script reader and why?
It’s good that it is the last SONA for the soon leaving man of the hour. Would that he can last until the forthcoming election next year. Would that the big and still growing number of angry and impatient opposition plus their fast increasing known and unnamed followers be patient enough to bear and wait.