PNoy’s second SONA should be called “The Sermon of Noynoy Aquino.” And though not delivered by a priest nor a pastor, it was for me an effective homily with its introduction, body and conclusion neatly arranged and well articulated. What it may have lacked substantively (at least according to his critics) was filled up symbolically chief of which are his use of Filipino as a gesture of his desire to be heard by and to reach out to the common tao, and his elevation of the wangwang from a symbol of arrogance in the streets to that of an abuse of power and privilege in all aspects and levels of governance (private sector, government agencies, LGUs, community-at-large).
As usual (or as we say here, “as useless”), Renato Reyes, Jr., Teddy Casiño, et al. had nothing but withering criticism for the President and his speech, especially that he did not mention the Hacienda Luisita dispute and such other issues Bayan Muna wanted him to address in his SONA.
Well, the rest of us up North have issues too. What about Cordillera Autonomy? Or Forbes Park along South Drive? Yeah, what about tuition fee increase? And the torture SLU students have to bear going to and coming from the Bakakeng campus? And the much-ballyhooed road repairs along Bokawkan and Loakan? Heck, PNoy didn’t even care about our long-delayed CHED scholarship fund for graduate students! And ay apo, dijay ngay nagdakkel nga kinetsapan ti BIR manipud iti sweldok? And how about my sore big toe? Ano kaya kung 200-pahina na lang na SONA, like mo?
I may sound like I find Bayan Muna’s major issues trivial. I don’t. It’s just that they turn me off by their endless shrieking about all the bad things they find in any government administration, as if there’s nothing to be praised about the institution which some of their very own members are part of, as if only they have a real cause and the right worldview, as if they would really make much difference when they finally make themselves rulers of the country. But such is the stereotype they have chosen to cage themselves in, and theirs is but a small corner in the vast democratic space of the republic. The rest of us hoist the banner of Activism in a different manner, and our flags don’t have to be Red. That’s why we don’t have to rip our robes and put ashes on our heads (or burn the effigy of a duly elected President) because a SONA didn’t mention the issues we consider to be of utmost importance. That is why we think we can contribute to nation-building without hitting the streets all the time. And we think it is not right to seek a government post and use government money to fund movements and activities which many see as unpopular and hindi makabayan.
We may not like PNoy’s seemingly fuzzy national development plan, or his speech punctuated with his own coughing (I wish to God he quit smoking). But give him a break, he’s been in office for only a year and we think he can clean up all the decades-old mess he is faced with? I don't think we can question this guy's seriousness in getting our sick country to pentathlon-worthy condition. Why criticize him harshly and incessantly when there are other creative, constructive ways of helping him nurse our country back to health? But as many of us have said a year ago, whatever his government's accomplishments will be, these will only at best lay the foundation for subsequent administrations to build on.
Basta, ti makunak, napintas nga sermon tay SONA Dos ni apo Presidente. Napaellekak kadagiti nadumaduma nga eksampol na; napaniitna nga inungtan dagiti buklis, dagiti awanan iti bain; ken napasugargarna ti dutdotko iti panangkaritna kadatayo amin nga mangaramid iti amin a kabaelantayo a tumulong iti panagdur-as ti pagilyan. Umanayen didiay kaniak. Ala, agsaetka pay nga agsermon ken agtrabaho apo Presidente. Dios ti kumuyog kenka! Uray dim maawatan ti salsalawasawek ditoy a ket iyebkasko latta ti riknak hehe.