Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Fairy Tale that is the SONA

Once again, Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's State of the Nation Address (SONA) has lived up to my expectation.

It has lived up to my expectation that average Filipinos like me would still be fed by bullshit and all that jazz.

Honestly, one simply has to admire the fact that she's been jamming lies and broken promises down our throats for eight consecutive years already.


Whatever happened to GMA's promises of building "super regions" and "placing food on the tables of each and every Filipino family?"

What about "more access to education for the poor but deserving?"

And what about her "ten-point agenda for/road map to progress?" now GMA should have already learned that Filipinos are not as stupid as she thinks they are. Who does she think she's fooling?


GMA's SONA last Monday was more of a 57-minute litany of her administration's "accomplishments" this past year. That, as well as a lengthy discussion on the beauty of Value-added Tax (VAT) especially in these times of a rice shortage and the increasing prices of oil.

For all of these, her speech was interrupted by 102 spurts of applause from the gallery of congressmen and visitors.

Someone later divulged that several groups of students were placed in strategic areas of the gallery to clap on cue whenever the good president said something relevant.


Oh brother, GMA's popularity must really be that bad that she's now employing a method perfected by then-president Ferdinand Marcos especially when his own popularity was already on the wane: getting hapless students to "fill in" the crowd and to applaud on cue.

I should know. During my days in Manila Science High School which was just before the first EDSA Revolution, our principal would round us up and send us off walking (Yes, you read it right; WALKING!) to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (That's all the way from the corner of Padre Faura Street and Taft Avenue where our school is located, mind you) so we could attend Pres. Marcos' and/or his First Lady's public appearances there. Technically, without us filling in as their "captive audience" or in Tagalog, hakot, their speaking engagements would only be attended by less than three hundred people. And that already included the media covering these events.

And now, I see a new generation of hakots clapping for no reason in GMA's SONA.

Wow, that's really low...


Probably the only time when people were actually clapping sincerely throughout GMA's speech was when she announced that after talking with the different local mobile service providers, she was able to convince them to reduce text prices from one peso to fifty cents. it turns out, this fifty percent reduction is actually just a promo churned by the telecommunications companies themselves which they were really intent on doing -- even without the president's prodding.

Unlike what GMA led us to believe, this text price reduction is actually going to be short-lived, more like for about three months only. Hahaha...We've been had bigtime!

Plus, those among you who tried texting after the announcement of the text price reduction came out must really be scratching your heads. This 50-cent price for text messages only applies to those who buy P20 load that lasts for only one day. Thus, if you are into buying prepaid call and text cards, or if you're a postpaid user, you still lose a peso every time you text.

I knew it was just too good to be true...


As for the much-disputed Reproductive Health Bill which I am strongly advocating, Arroyo has just served it a death sentence by stating that she sees the need to address concerns on reproductive health by supporting natural family planning methods.


Like I said in my previous blog, the Catholic Church and their scare tactics win again.

And the poor sector of Filipino society will remain ignorant with regard to other choices for planning their families.


With this kind of ignorance toward alternative family planning methods, abortion -- the one issue the Catholic Church is holding against supporters of the Reproductive Health Bill -- will just become more prevalent. Women undergoing unplanned pregnancies will be more desperate in seeking ways to get rid of their unborn children, even if it means killing themselves in the process.

If only we provided access to artificial family planning methods to complement the introduction of the natural alternative, then incidences of unplanned pregnancies and eventual trips to abortionists may be lessened.

Oh well...I guess it's too late for that now, huh?


With one more SONA for Pres. Arroyo to state before the Filipino nation next year (unless she decides to extend her term again), I wouldn't be surprised if her litany of accomplishments exceeds two hours.

I'm actually looking forward to it. It's nice to listen to fairy tales every now and then, you know.

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