This article was written by me, Jana Felice Gonzalez. I am currently studying in the University of the Philippines Visayas. This article was assigned by our instructor, Mr. Kevin Piamonte. This is about our view on PNoy's first SONA.
Truth Brings Consequence
Jana Felice P. Gonzalez
The start of change has arrived. Eyes and ears of the Filipinos were all focused on President Benigno Aquino III for his first State-of-the-Nation Address in the joint session of the 15th Congress.
Many were so attuned to the television. It seemed like the whole country paused for less than an hour. I chose to watch in a public viewing so that I can observe the reactions of many people.
I guess the uplifting Inaugural speech of Noynoy made us curious for his first SONA. I remembered that day, June 30. The day when the son of a former president and a hero stepped in office and replaced the most vicious woman I know. Everyone was truly moved on that day. I even had goose bumps after his speech. It was because I did not see a president in him but rather a citizen that would initiate change. He pointed out that he was aware of a lot of things down to the simplest ones. And so together with the rest of the inquisitive Filipinos, I anticipated.
Few minutes before the official SONA, there were already news about him. Though there was traffic in some places, his convoy still followed what he said in his Inauguration, “No to Wang Wang”. There were also reports on known and controversial officials like Imelda Marcos who was present and the abrupt travel of Gloria Arroyo to Hong Kong. When I heard that news, I immediately reacted. Admittedly, I predicted that she would do that. Her absence only proves that the anomalies which Noynoy pinpointed on her were factual.
Many were curious how the SONA would be. Many speculated that his SONA would be different from Gloria for it would focus on the real state of the nation unlike Gloria’s usual boasting of achievements. When Edwin Lacierda, the presidential spokesman was asked on an interview days before PNoy SONA, he stressed that PNoy’s message on the past administration is completely factual. It’s up to us if we say it’s only a criticism or the opposite.
I looked at my watch and it was 3: 55 pm, Noynoy’s convoy was really near the Batasang Pambansa. The newscasters were stating their opinions and some other facts regarding the rallies. I wasn’t listening much on them because I focused on the screen and in the middle of those chatters which I regarded as noises; I saw a very touching scene on the screen.
There were small children jumping for joy and excitement when they saw the presidential convoy. That was touching for me since even small children who were ignorant and unaware of their surroundings were glad to see the convoy pass that only prove that Noynoy brings them hope.
Admittedly, I was one of the persons that did not trust the abilities of Noynoy during the campaign. I thought he was just bearing the name of his parents. Yes, he was a Senator. But for me he was unable to make laws. In my mind, he was one of those so called legislatures not really doing their jobs. So, I was rooting for Gibo, Gloria’s bet. He maybe with the disliked administration but his wisdom was beyond belief. When I heard, Noynoy won I felt defeated.
And I had the impression that the people made the wrong choice. But I was wrong.
Now I could see that he wasn’t the man that I thought he was. He was silent for years but not for long. I am amazed by his effort to make the Philippines better. He works for what he promised. I just hope that his works would make things better. And I hope he wouldn’t ruin my new impression on him. Trust is hard to gain.
When PNoy entered the Batasang Pambansa, he was welcomed with Militrary Honors and was greeted by the Senate President Enrile and Speaker Belmonte. There were several representatives shaking his hand smiling and formally greeting him. It was inconvenient for me to watch those people because they seem so plastic. Maybe not all of them but I knew the fact that those persons were part of the corruption of the former administration. That brings me back with the idea of him being surrounded by people with hidden agenda. And they may under him.
The clock turns to 4:07 pm. PNoy officially entered the session hall. All the people inside were rushing to him. When he stood in front of all the Senators and the Representatives, all were in awe. Silence was evident. I don’t know though if all were happy or were only pretending to be.
Yes, the event started with the usual singing of the National Anthem. But what made all in order was the National Prayer. It may have been present before but I haven’t noticed it. I guess that only brings me to the thought that Noynoy is associated with religion. He is certainly unlike Gloria.
He started his speech with his campaign slogan “Para sa tuwid na daan”. For me, he started rapidly. But the words were concise. And what captured my attention was his choice to use the Filipino language. He made me feel proud to be a Filipino. I noticed many international officials were there. How would they understand him? It made me realize that it didn’t matter for him because he was addressing the speech to the Filipino citizens not to them.
Well, the speculation that he would talk on the anomalies of Gloria’s administration was right. He did. And all were shocking. He talked bravely, unafraid of these people. He stated how much money we have lost. He even highlighted that the money for Calamity Fund went to Pampanga, the place of the former president instead of Pangasinan. He even uttered some of the organizations with dubiously actions. And allow me to again say, those were shocking!
He continued his speech with what he did together with his Cabinet members on those anomalies. He also shared what he will do. Moreover, he started to tackle tax evaders and smugglers and what effects these people gave us. He said they will be punished. I hope so.
He said that his first Executive Order will be on the construction of the Truth Commission and this will be headed by Hilario Davide. Honestly, I hated it. I thought to myself how could a Truth Commission be headed by a questionable person. I’ve always doubted him. I suspect that he had no stand. But I really can’t make any initiative on it. So, I guess I’ll give him a chance. Remember, not all impressions are correct.
He also stated some projects that he will be working on. I was again shocked but somehow amazed for in this short duration of time being the president, he thinks of those things. But he talks with confidence. I guess those things will eventually be true. I hope.
He then talked about his trust on his Cabinet members. He praised them. He said they are hard-working. But I find it hard to believe. I don’t know why. But I guess having a new administration hasn’t hit me yet. But he gave humor to that topic when he asked, “Ang Kongreso, maasahan ba?”
I could see his desire to make the Filipinos one. He wanted an agreement of peace with the rebels in Mindanao. I hope he can. But the mere thought that he wanted was very touching for a president. All he wants is peace. “Itigil na ang putukan!.”
He pointed out that we Filipinos though hard to do must sacrifice especially leaders. He encouraged the officials to sacrifice. With sacrifice he meant, to think of others first rather than their own. He said that his mission is for God and the Filipino people.He encouraged the Filipinos to dream again because it’s now the time to. He persuaded all with his famous quote, “Tahakin natin ang matuwid na daan!”
I looked at my clock and it is 4:45 pm. Minutes had elapsed. PNoy already ended his speech. Were the Filipinos moved? Or are they still in doubt? Is now the start of change? Is it? Let’s see.