Every year, the incumbent President of the Republic of the Philippines delivers his or her State of the Nation Address, or SONA.
As a mega political event, the SONA is certain to hog the headlines. Pundits will dissect the presidential message and depending on whether they are for or against the chief executive, praise it to high heavens or blast it as a pack of lies and half truths.
Meanwhile, what the ladies wear to the event has become a major lifestyle story, with fashionistas giving one or two thumbs up, or down, to what the ladies dressed to the nines will wear.
Every president is aware of how important the SONA is, and President Benigno Aquino 3rd is no exception. It is said that he has his address written and rewritten until it is perfect. He then spends time rehearsing it in front of a mirror and a crowd of trusted lieutenants so that his delivery will be impeccable.
Outside the House of Representatives in Quezon City, the pros and the antis will be gathered, and the police will have their hands full trying to keep the peace. Expect the antis to be more creative in how they will attract media’s attention, although traditionally the pros will be better organized and better fed. Who supplies them their free meals is best left to conjecture.
This year, we expect the SONA to be no different from last year’s Address. It is as if the script is merely rehashed year after year. We therefore cannot expect the President to deliver the complete picture of the true state of the nation. Only the positives will be accentuated and the negatives will be glossed over.
From where we sit, the Philippines is in decent shape, but it could certainly be in far better shape if graft and corruption were minimized, if not eradicated outright.
But to paraphrase the old song, we can dream, can’t we?