When SONA is NOT really SONA

aquino-sona-2015 inquirer

[Photo credit: Inquirer]


By  Popoy  Del.  R.  Cartanio

(This piece is written — 26 July 2015 before P NOY’s SONA was read or delivered.)

When SONA is NOT really SONA is a probable choice of a title on how a journalist, columnist, opinion hack, media or TV barker —  who gets his bread from catchy headlines — will  prefer to announce his views or report on the once a year mandatory speech of the President.

Those (bloggers, too) who get not even a centavo for writing might prefer a simpler title: The 2015 SONA as Usual. The SONA as in botany and biology is a perennial organism: a flawed creation — by law or tradition — that strives but never achieves completeness or near perfection. A kind of end of year certificate that’s anything but, approaching taxes worth collected from the people. Like a cow it can be butchered and cooked in many ways to stave off hunger, satisfy gluttony or raised cholesterol in the blood.

How does one inventory, book-keep and account for the realities of a SONA’s magnitude? Should it be as a composite whole vision derived from a political platform divided into five (or six) independent chunks of annual missions (accomplishments)? Or should it be like constructing an edifice where targeted parts are completed after set periods of time where the last and overall segment is the hardest because it involves the finishing touches? Should it be additive or incremental or summative? Like the architect builder saying we finished the building. No need to go through the design and the costs of equipment and materials. What is left is landscaping.

In general how can the word state (status, condition, situation, position, circumstances) capture the flux and dynamics of a hundred million population, the 2014 budgeted expenditures of 2.265 trillion pesos, in 7,107 islands measuring 115, 831 square miles (300,000 sq kms.), served and protected by a mammoth bureaucracy of thousands of politicians and hundreds of thousands of professionals and skilled bureaucrats and billions of US dollar remittances fed by more than a million  overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). Reckon in pesos alone the annual appropriations of SAY AN AVERAGE of 2 trillion pesos (that’s two thousand billion pesos) multiply by five (past years) will equal ten trillion pesos [that’s ten thousand billion pesos (one billion is one thousand million) in only half a  decade].

How indeed when the nation is but an atom in the infinite universe? How indeed? Not why indeed but what and how much change in the due course of time?

“It’s INDICATORS, more INDICATORS, stupid. Dumbo!” Is the answer. You have those indicators and you know somehow the state of the nation in terms of increased GDP, per capita income, reduced unemployment, more malls than factories, more lawyers than engineers and doctors, etc., etcetera. What SONA listeners and readers get are actually slightly fictionalized facts; simplified, amplified and magnified to increase the cluelessness of the masses.

SONA is about the state of matter — not only the state of the economy or the income of journalists — matter that is never at rest, always in brownian movement, changing and mobile in harmony or in conflict, increasing or decreasing in number, in constant flux with other matter. People and objects, being replaced or in attrition; getting weaker and older, oldies never growing younger only becoming fewer occupying polluted habitats abused by degrading utilization .

Let these micro tangibles be swallowed by the immenseness of macro perspectives of the social science intangibles like the social, economic, political, administrative and cultural aspects of governance and you have an almost ephemeral but ethereal manifesto. The paradox of these national development macrocosms is their seamless interdependence: when the big social variables of health and education are the causes and at the same time the results of economic variables of GDP or per capita income.

Let these macro aspects differentially fall under the three umbrellas of the executive, legislative and judiciary control and you have the meat and bones of a SONA AS USUAL. There you go the SONA synergy of democracy where the whole is always more than the sum of its parts, progressive or regressive.

The last five years of rule of the administration of P NOY is perceived as better than any or all of the combined of previous administrations; it deserves a sharper scalpel to cut it down to its real size. It is the presidency not the Supreme Court or appellate or lower courts of justice or the Congress that is on the dock. It is difficult to remember Noynoy having praised or sufficiently castigated the legislative or the judicial branches for having contributed positively or negatively to the year’s SONA. Not a squeak about crimes and criminals (incredible shameful backlogs) to be credited to the judiciary; not enough words to praise or to pinpoint the lack of vertebrae of enacted (anti-graft, election) laws. These two branches could and might have contributed hugely to the unsatisfactory state of the nation. Nobody knows but honest taxpayers could guess that these three supreme branches of government enjoy co-equal powers in something else deleterious to the nation .

On the territory of the executive resides much of the responsibility and less of the appreciation of a satisfactory SONA. The difficulty of action and control of the cumbersome and complex aspects of the administrative, social, economic, political and cultural dimensions can not be simplified into 25 to 30 or more departments or cabinets of responsibility and accountability. Cory’s presidency started the cabinet clusters as some kind of grouping together similar functions like political, or social, or national security clusters. Presidents Ramos and Arroyo may in some ways had followed suit. However, no definitive views seemed available on how they had contributed to a progressive SONA.

Classic though basic principles of administration could sharpen the focus on dissecting the SONA. Division of labor, specialization, delegation of authority, autonomy of actions, decentralization and devolution and of course INTEGRATION AND TEAMWORK. Except for Integration and Teamwork, all the other principles mentioned are for the birds, and not for straight thinking government officials.

Has anybody heard of a Noynoy’s Dream Team or even a lackadaisical Team? Any sub teams like the education and health cluster team, the national security cluster team? Was there teamwork at all led by the executive secretary? Were there factions instead of teams? SONAs should include mention of ridding the wood work of termites.

Every SONA should indicate in the annual budget of every Department or Government Corporation  HOW MANY NEW WORKERS (number of new jobs) WILL BE EMPLOYED BY THOSE GOVERNMENT OFFICES so that (unemployed graduates,  jobless professionals and squatters) will have an idea of what the budget is all about.

Are the cabinet departments working in parallel or in tandem? Are they going in the same direction? So?  No need for that because they are meeting if not exceeding their goals as indicated by indicators? Who needs inter-departmental teamwork when multi-departments are addressing the problems. The cabinet is multi-disciplinary in addressing country’s problems. Does a developing country have a need for inter-disciplinary sophistication like TEAMWORK and INTEGRATION to improve the SONA?

Hypothetically only, children of the poorest families are being given financial support by the Department of Social Welfare CCT (Conditional Cash Transfer) Program so they can go to school. Now it can turn out that many need medical care but local clinics don’t have the resources to help them. No health budget in Barangays where health care is needed most. It’s not the Department of Social Welfare’s fault, of course. No desks, toilets and teachers for these additional pupils from the army of out of school youth? INTEGRATION my foot!  Might reform the SONA.

The principle of administrative and inter-disciplinary integration of public services antedates the UN focus on rural poverty. The catch phrase then was integrated rural development. Successful integration means solidification and increasing density of resources and efforts towards the solution of a community or societal problem. The extreme opposite is of course about looseness and lack of cooperation of agencies involved in the program.

The vastness of SONA as a national concern — and at the same time its service as a microscope to detect even the smallest amount of change — confirms its importance in tracking a nation’s progress.


133 Responses to “When SONA is NOT really SONA”
  1. chit navarro says:

    the day after the SONA, we read articles like:…so and so disappointed because he keeps on blaming Arroyo..”

    Funny but did these people listen to him or just blurted out their “negative opinions?” The President never mentioned in his State of the Nation Address yesterday the name of Arroyo – he mentioned previous administrations in general. The President presented his accomplishments with facts and figures and to do that, there should be a baseline. And what better baseline than that of the previous administration, all of the 9 years of the Arroyo term.

    There were also writeup on that “he blames the private corporation for the MRT mess…” – I believe he was just stating a fact. The problem with these news writers or the people they interview is that hey can not accept the truth; the truth that there are issues that happened that is not within their grasp and so when presented with this fact, turn around and bark harder at the President.

    We may have listened to over 30 SONAs of the previous administration, from the time of Pres. Cory until now, but yesterday’s SONA was the most sincere and the best delivered. Towards the end, when he was doing his “valedictory to his official family and his blood family”, I felt a lump in my throat when he looked at his siblings and thanked them with that one brief sentence – “It’s not long anymore that you will be sacrificing for me”… And what an officer and a gentleman he was to thank his housekeeper.

    And for whom was the following? I believe it was meant for that one person he did not thank.

    “Mga Boss, sa totoo lang, sa mga hinarap nating hamon, puwede namang nagbigay na lang tayo ng band-aid solution. Puwedeng nag-abot na lang tayo ng isang supot ng relief goods, o nakipagsiksikan sa mga photo-op. Pero alam naman nating sa Pilipinas, galit ang tao sa epal. Aanhin nga naman ang pogi points kung magpapamana lang din naman ako ng problema sa susunod na salinlahi?”

    Thank you Mr. President for your report card. We give you a score of over a 100%, compared to your predecessor. And we make sure that we will help you elect as next President the man who will continue your aspirations and vision for the next generation!

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, I no longer listen to or read pundits or scorecards, as I find my own research and distillation is much better, as is yours and most who post here. The simplicity of analysis and closed-mindedness in favor of political agenda or esteem battles is mind-boggling. Those various protesters are also so trite, nothing but live caricatures of people detached from any concept of how to build and grow. Some would say clowns and thugs.

  2. Jean says:

    I still don’t get the hype about Pnoy. He was not a bad president, I’ll give him that, but he wasn’t exactly stellar either. More like ho-hum. The man knew how to gamble though. He knew which hands to play, when to fold and when to bluff. He played the people though. not the cards. He could have accomplished much more and would have taken home a much bigger pot but he was a tight player. He seldom raised, preferring to call and see how the cards fell. I don’t think I have ever seen him go all -in. Generally, those are all traits of a winning strategy, sure but what does he have to show for it, chump change. I wanted him to re-raise and push the action. I wanted him to out play the deep pockets, punish the donkey callers and intimidate the bluffers but as it stands, most of the players are still in the game. Yesterdays Sona, while decent, proved that its still pretty much a full table of sharks circling the waters bidding their time.

    • chit navarro says:

      may I post here a commentary from Ma. Rosario Naguit (lifted from Raissa Robles FB):


      I’m amazed at the myopia and shallowness of so-called broadcast journalists who can’t give Pnoy credit for his integrity and for the achievements of his administration. After FIVE years you think he should have eradicated poverty and unemployment, committed NO mistakes, AND turned the Philippines into Paradise???

      Come on!

      I used to hate it whenever anyone attributed crab mentality to Filipinos. NOW, though, I know that indeed there ARE among us Filipinos who seem to have crustaceans in their family tree. I mean, it took us 20-odd years before we stood up to Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos; we let Fidel Ramos privatize everything but the government itself, apart from leaving unanswered charges laying the grandmother of all scams at his doorstep AND foisting contractualization upon the post-martial law generation; after driving the womanizing, booze-guzzling, gambling-enamored Erap out of Malacanang and sending him to jail, we allowed him to get elected as Mayor of Manila; we fulminated at the Arroyo administration for stealing the election that put her in power AND figured in scam after scam after scam.

      And now that we FINALLY have a president who, as one reputable and thinking journalist has put it, “after five years in office has yet to dip his fingers in the till,” we lambaste him and his administration AS THOUGH he were the worst president we’ve ever had. Makatarungan bang gawin ninyo yan? Amazing.

      I believe the above is a good rejoinder to your commet @Jean.

      • Jean says:

        I lack proper/formal education in the fine art of writing, which is why I think I was not able to get my sentiment across as I intended. For that I apologize. I am not lambasting Pnoy, I thought he played a smart though somewhat lack luster game. I did not expect him to re-vamp the whole thing but I was waiting for him to rock the boat a lot more. He knew how to work the system, but I was looking for someone to chuck the system out the window. Many would defend him by saying “compared to the recent run of presidents, he rocked”. Well compared to previous presidents, yes he did BUT I do not measure him by those standards because, frankly it places the standards too low, so exceeding it wouldn’t merit all that big of a whoop. I would rather measure him to presidents in history who caught my attention with their accomplishments, like Lincoln. Those would be standards worth living up too. He was just too “safe” for my liking.

        • BFD says:

          Hi Jean, as a President who inherited a much problematic and corrupted institution, I think the President did a good job, nay, a great job. Yes, he could have gone all out, but what would it do at this time? That’s why he’s emphasizing that it takes at least three administrations to fully enjoy the harvest of the Tuwid na Daan. It’s a long-term pitched battle against corruption and instilling discipline among the citizenry so they too could see and be proud of their government and their nation as a whole.

          That’s why the 2016 election is crucial. Would we elect a leader that will continue Noynoy’s legacy or do we elect a pretender that will put a stop to his legacy? Do we want the long-term solution or the band-aid solution?

          The choice or the ball is in the court of the Filipino people.

        • Joe America says:

          A reasonable assessment. Bold might have gotten more done . . . or might have created huge conflicts, we don’t know. But certainly the Duterte fans are looking for bold. For me, I like stability over too much vigor. Steady as she goes, for 15 years. The nation will be very different. I also don’t dance the Samba or even cha cha. I sit at the bar and drink and smile as if I knew something.

          • jolly cruz says:

            Jean, how long did it take China to be in the position they are in now? How about Malaysia? South Korea? Singapore? I could go on and on.

            I just want to say that we don’t change a fractured society, economy, political system etc in a matter of six years. Said countries had development plans that spanned decades. Furthermore, take note that all of the nations I mentioned started their ascent with a dictatorship which ended only (except China) before the plans were realized. Even without dissent from within, how long did it take for these countries to improve the lives of their citizens?

            And you are asking why in five years time of a more often than not chaotic democratic government, P-noy hasn’t improved the Philippines ? Maybe if Pnoy had eliminated all opposition from the leftists, the crooks in government, the corrupt media men by executing them, he would have done more. But is that what you want? Be careful what you wish for.

            • Jean says:

              Is it wrong for me to have hoped that Pnoy would do more than shake the tree? From the start the man had fame and popularity (at least enough in the right sectors), political clout, knowledge, experience, connections and the power of the presidency. With all that going for him, I expected more of the man. Near the end of his term, What the man has given me (and the country) is his road maps and plans for the future. Sure, its a good plan but plans are fickle things prone to change. I am more concerned with foundations, ground work that would/should have been set in place. Things that would continue on, after his term despite whoever comes to take his place. I do not see that. The closes thing, would probably be his anti-dynasty law but then should that pass, i would not be impressed. dynasties, in my opinion do not directly equate to corruption. The passing of this law, is a band aid measure at best. It conceals the wound but does not help heal it. But I digress.

              Now, you right. All “great” countries of today, had their own version of the dark ages before they “flourished” And yes, it took a rather long time for them to rise from the ashes. Should that be our benchmark? I hope not, we have many things in play today, that were not present before. Things, that should help us get things done faster and more efficiently.

              In closing, I did not dare to think that Pnoy would make life all roses and candy at the end of five years. I am just trying to say that I would have wanted to see more than what he has delivered.

              • Jose Guevarra says:


                He did rock the boat a few times. Just a couple of examples I could name here are the RH Law, which the Catholic Church in the Philippines so adamantly opposed and are still opposing in courts; his support of the impeachment of Renato Corona, and then his support of the prosecution of Senators Enrile, Revilla, and Estrada even after Enrile backed Corona’s impeachment; implementation of the K-12 academic program which many Filipinos still continue to oppose despite our dire need to upgrade our educational system.

                I have often criticized PNoy for being seemingly insensitive to the people’s sentiments, particularly with regards to the Mamasapano tragedy. But you know what? Sometimes, it is this insensitivity of his that allowed PNoy to accomplish things not even the sharp-tongued GMA could.

                PNoy is nowhere near perfect. Still, given the choices we have, I would vote for him over and over, if I could.

              • Jean says:

                @ Jose

                Hmmm, you actually got me to reconsider, what was in my head a closed case. Thanks, no really…thanks 🙂

        • Sal E. says:

          It is not easy turning around the Titanic. What PNoy has succeeded in doing is showing it can be done, how to do it, and the fruits it can bear. He has pointed the country in the right direction. It will take several more years of sustained effort to build on what he has started and bring us to the promised land… hopefully shorter than the 40 years it took Moses. 😉

          • sonny says:

            Aye. I’ve often wondered about the 40 yrs. Moses led a people-exodus of around 2 million souls. The story suggests (God-inspired) that it takes 2 generations to eradicate old habits and learn new ones under a new dispensation. At 100 million souls (and counting) Holy Writ tells us to re-educate our ways we might need more than 2 generations. Thus we have a lot of work ahead of us. 🙂

            • Sal E. says:

              The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. 😉

            • Jean says:

              I would actually cut-down the estimation. We have several things going for us that people of the past did not have. Apply new tools to old problems, perhaps we get a new and more importantly, favorable result

              • Sal E. says:

                A funny retort I picked up when I was working in the heart of the Silicon Valley during the crazy early days of personal computers and the internet explosion when we would keep throwing in resources to bring in project delivery dates –> some things just take time… nine women can’t make a baby in one month. 😉

              • Joe America says:

                🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Save for FM and Cory, FVR Erap GMA faced almost the same challenges as PNoy.

          Separatist Movement in Mindanao
          Systemic Corruption in Government
          Corrupt Military and Police
          (I could list more but ..)

          In all of these the PNoy has done more than these 3 Presidents I’d say Combined.

          Now how can one who is not as Popular as Erap, Not as Cunning/Brilliant as GMA, Not as Connected as FVR done more than the three people who had almost the same things to work with.

          The he could have done more sounds like a strawman argument to me.(If I am wrong may the society correct me).

          • BFD says:

            If I may add also that in addition to that, those three ex-presidents and their minions were in constant opposition to his decisions one way or the other….

    • Johnny Lin says:

      SONA- State of National Attitude

      Sour graping
      Crab mentality
      Selfish interest
      Lack of satisfaction
      do nothing, do something still complaining(sala sa lamig,sala sa init)

      Sounds like VP Binay against Aquino administration after tendering his resignation as HUD Cabinet secretary

      Not only Binay.
      Typical Filipino culture and mentality!

      • edgar lores says:

        Where’s the Like button?

        (By the way, is the above question lack of satisfaction or greedy? I hope neither!)

  3. edgar lores says:

    1. To me, the SONA is basically a report card and a birthday card combined.

    2. As a report card, it is similar to the ordinary report card in that it provides a snapshot of progress.

    2.1. It differs from the ordinary one in three ways:

    o It reports not on the performance of a student but on that of the principal.
    o It is given by the principal himself.
    o The grades are A’s and B’s, mostly A’s, and definitely no C’s and D’s.

    3.. As a birthday card, it is of the Hallmark variety – schmaltzy and boring at the same time, with that rah-rah element. At times, it can be inspirational.

    4. How would you assess the presidents on the average using the A – D scale?

    4.1. Rating them on work, progress, and conduct, I would give past presidents an average grade of:

    o Marcos – D (because of conduct)
    o Cory – B (because of conduct)
    o Ramos – B (because of work)
    o Erap – D (because of conduct)
    o Gloria – C (because of conduct)

    4.2. Try as I might at being impartial, I am biased in mainly using the criterion of conduct.

    4.2.1. If one thinks about it, past presidents of the US are primarily judged by, and remembered for, their character, and secondarily by their achievements? (I end with a question mark because I am not sure; this could just be me.)

    o Washington for his honesty
    o Roosevelt and Truman for their iron will
    o Kennedy for his youth and vigor
    o Nixon for his dishonesty
    o Clinton for his charisma
    o Lincoln is perhaps the exception, remembered both for his character and achievements

    4.3. I would award Present Aquino an A (because of work, progress and conduct).

    4.3.1. If anyone has doubts why PNoy is exceptional, compare his conduct to the past presidents.

    • Joe America says:

      Bush for his wars and economic collapse (negative achievement) and bumbling character. I would agree that evaluations are generally very broad and either simplistic or incredibly deep synthesis creating but one overall characterization . . . the difference mainly being whether or not we agree with the assessment.

      In this case, I find you deep because I agree on all counts. I do believe Clinton was also know for his political moxie and economic gains, not to mention cigars.

  4. Sal E. says:

    Congratulations JoeAm for being quoted by Pres. Aquino as part of his SONA! I thought the content of his SONA was very impressive although I found his negative comments about the previous GMA administration unnecessary and somewhat unpresidential. His characterization of his administration’s sterling accomplishments as being just the start (“you ain’t seen nothing yet!”) and his appeal not to let one election ruin it all (cameras showing Binay, Poe & Roxas) was the highlight for me. The 2+ hour speech was uplifting and renewed my hopes for a better tomorrow for sll Filipinos. Delivery, true to form, left lots to be desired but I prefer a lousy speaker who does good for the country versus a good speaker who just robs the people blind.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks, Sal E, and welcome to the blog. I think what he was trying to do in characterizing prior administrations was provide some context. It is hard to present the current achievement, rough around the edges, without understanding just how little was done previously.

      I liked the camera work, too, watching ABS-CBN. I was watching CNN but got ticked off when they shifted from the joint prayer session to show reruns of the leftist riots. Hey, stop aiming the cameras at the children wreaking destruction and division, and show the adults at work, in earnest prayer, unified. It told me not to have high hopes that CNN would bring a new, forthright style of journalism to the Philippines. They seem as tabloidian as the rest.

      • Percival says:

        I’ve noticed too since the start that CNN is biased against the President and his administration, and kind towards Binay and camp. Negative news mostly outweighing the positives, and talks/commentaries (guesting Binay attack dogs more often than neutral personalities) leaning in favor of the opposition. I wonder who is/are behind the management of CNN Philippines.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, I agree with your assessment. I also wonder what editorial prerogatives the parent CNN has written into the agreement for use of name. To me, CNN Phil abuses the CNN name if it continues to be tabloidian. I’m disappointed, frankly.

      • Sal E. says:

        JoeAm, I am the old Sal commenter. I just added my family initial so you do not confuse me for your betting friend Sal considering I also lived in Vegas . I also was watching it in CNN Phil. I perked up when, interspersed in his deep Tagalog speech (I had to look up epal), I heard a familiar monicker I could identify with… “JoeAm” and then your foxhole quote which my Nam vet buddy also likes to quote every so often. I told my sweetie, “Hey, I know that guy!” beaming with pride. I still don’t know what’s a President supposed to read but I do know now what he does read… tiene razón. May your tribe increase.

        • Joe America says:

          Gotcha, Sal. Thanks for the clarification. Hahahaha, you live in Vegas. My wife liked Las Vegas when we passed through last year. Very lively if occasionally weird city.

          Thanks for the good wishes. May your tribe increase as well.

  5. David Murphy says:

    Popoy, After reading your first two guest blogs I wish that I could live inside your head for a short time. I sense that I would find a world view very differ from my own, with intricate and far-ranging relationships and correlations, implications, incredibly complex, colorful and fluid. Unfortunately I am stuck here inside my own mind, which by contrast is mundane and simple, but not particularly rational.

    • Joe America says:

      🙂 See my comment to nielskyy in this thread. Rather “how to read Popoy” 101. The first rule, there are not rules.

    • sonny says:

      I agree with David. Just like reading his first installment, Popoy has too busy a style for a reader like me. His prose reminds me of the verbal delivery of the late comedian Dick Shawn who used a method of stream consciousness that took your mind for a leisurely walk and enjoy what he was saying.

  6. andrewlim8 says:

    1. First, I raise a toast for everyone here. Ah the wonders of modern technology! Information, power, influence can flow from one to many and then upwards from many to one. That was impossible before! The Society has contributed its small share!

    2. As Popoy’s piece narrates, it is a pretty pointless exercise when one swings back and forth from anecdotal to macro just to suit a personal political view or interest. Of course there will always be poor. There will always be injustice. And some policy areas will get more attention than the others. You have to take it all in context.

    Nobody asked if the violent protesters on Commonwealth were jobless because they chose to become full time protesters instead. Nobody asked if personal circumstances/choices contributed as much to the misery of an individual, not just the state’s in/actions.

    Kung nag-anak ka ng sangkatutak, malamang ikaý maghihirap. (Kung galit sa pagpaplano, ang buhay mabubulilyaso.)

    Kung irrelevant ang iyong kurso, paano ka mag-kakatrabaho?

    Kung ika’y bulakbol sa iskwela o sa opisina, paano ka sasagana?

    Paano gaganda ang buhay, kung corrupt ang mga Binay?

    It is insanity to expect that within 6 years, a class DE would transform into a cappucino drinker within that time frame. The most that government can do is to create opportunities, make health care accessible, prices are stable, etc.

    It will be his children, the next generation who will reap much of the benefits, with the help of government, if they make the right decisions.

    3. Lastly, what distinguishes this administration from the rest, esp that of Arroyo, Marcos and Estrada? There was no malice directed against the people. Errors were committed, the response was at times lacking and of poor quality, but there was a policy of “do no harm.”

    Arroyo, Marcos and Estrada all committed to do harm to the Filipino people through plunder and oppression.

    4. For me the most sensible assessment is the one made by the Movement for Good Governance (MGG) chaired by Solita Monsod. It tries to get away from anecdotes, perception and impressions. It also makes the performance trackable and comparable over time.


  7. Off-topic to the above, but did you notice how, when the partylist representatives raised their placards, it seemed virtually all the other congressmen were avoiding them like the plague? Not even a pat in the back from the opposition. The Makabayan bloc seemed to be like persons non grata, people who were so embarrassing even to the opposition that no one wanted to be near them. And looking at the reactions online, apart from fellow activists, reactions are nearly universally negative. Many are even pushing for the abolition of the partylist system, that’s how bad things were. Even if the President was Binay or Marcos, that’s no way to treat a president. What those congressmen did was, to put it simply, rude. I think what they did is going to backfire (I think it already did) and they are going to lose a lot of votes.

    Now back to the main topic. Unlike many of the people here who support Aquino all the way, while I admit that I am pro-Aquino, it’s not to the point of blinding praise. I admit and accept that he made mistakes. I even got mad at him sometimes (such as in Mamasapano, not because of the coffins incident, but because of how poorly-coordinated it was, or his criticism of the Supreme Court after the DAP was declared unconstitutional). And as I’ve said multiple times before, while I’m pro-Aquino, I am not a big fan of Roxas, as well as some of the other secretaries such as (p)Abaya. Still, six years is far too short for Aquino (or even any president for that matter) to change the entire system. Given how long the Philippines has been suffering, it might take an entire generation to right all the wrongs. You have to get rid of corruption, educate the people, and uplift the masses, and that’s not going to be completed in 10 years, let alone 6. What matters is that P-Noy has laid the foundations that his successors can build on. He is not perfect, and he has indeed been “palpak” at times, but from an achievement standpoint, he’s arguably the best post-Marcos president. A lot of work still needs to be done, and hopefully whoever succeeds Aquino will continue the upward trend that the country has not seen in a long time.

    • Jean says:

      you’ve said, what I have attempted to say, in a more clear and concise manner. well put!

    • Joe America says:

      I’ll be interested in your take on tomorrow’s blog. I’ll be writing about President Aquino and an anonymous blogger.

      • sonny says:

        Between what Pres Aquino and the anonymous blogger have said and pointed to, I am satisfied. So far they have conducted their activities in balanced, comprehensive and positive manner. The president’s SONA bespeaks of a government that cares for the people’s well being and capabilities. I hope our next choices for public servants will leverage all the good that has been accomplished and chart endeavors that will be up to the challenges and opportunities ahead.

  8. nielskyy says:

    What in essence is the writer trying to say – central and germane – to the event that unfolded a day after? Am just wanting to know from a rather long prose. Please bottomline?

    • Joe America says:

      We each extract from this post what we want, as it seems to be in layers to me. I extract

      1. That the President ought to be concerned about the Judiciary and Legislature ruining his program . . . so he needs to articulate a need for help, how and why. They typically get off easy (as they did yesterday).

      2. Excellent results requires teamwork, but credit is being claimed (or granted to) individual agencies. Where are the team solutions?

      I enjoy reading Popoy. He writes in a kind of fluid poetry prose style that is so mysterious that it causes me to read twice. Once to get into the flow of the poetry. Two, to figure out what, pragmatically speaking, can come out of it. It’s quite okay to read it just to find a phrase or two that makes sense, on its own. It’s okay not to “get it”. I think I only get about half of it. I spent a long time on this paragraph:

      How does one inventory, book-keep and account for the realities of a SONA’s magnitude? Should it be as a composite whole vision derived from a political platform divided into five (or six) independent chunks of annual missions (accomplishments)? Or should it be like constructing an edifice where targeted parts are completed after set periods of time where the last and overall segment is the hardest because it involves the finishing touches? Should it be additive or incremental or summative? Like the architect builder saying we finished the building. No need to go through the design and the costs of equipment and materials. What is left is landscaping.

      Do we look at the whole, or big parts, or are we just scoring what we want to score, and saying “nice job”, let’s do the landscaping. I laughed upon reading that (the third time).

      • edgar lores says:

        Whether a SONA should be additive, incremental or summative would depend on which SONA it is, isn’t it?

        1. The 1st should be introductive.
        2. The 2nd should be additive.
        3. The 3rd – 5th should be additive… and incremental.
        4. The 6th should be summative… and predictive (to accommodate Joseph’s wish).

        (Both additive and incremental are adding on items. However, I would make the distinction that additive is adding on new items, and incremental is adding on sub-items related to previous items.)

        We are talking of the main characteristic of each SONA. However, all SONAs may have all characteristics.

        • nielsky says:

          In gist, what exactly do you mean? Enjoy the comfort of writing plain.

          • edgar lores says:

            Sorry, what part don’t you understand?

            • nielsky says:

              By gist, it means the central idea or essence of what you are saying in so many words. Got it now? Am confident that Joe Am should not allow anybody to just park here mass upon mass of words, the writer of which can’t even explain simply. If you wish, just describe the SONA of PNoy from your poorly thought out characterizations. Is that still difficult for you? Maybe Joe Am can help.

              • edgar lores says:

                The gist is in the first sentence… of 18 words. It is not quite a “mass upon mass of words” by anybody’s reckoning. Or so I hope.

                The rest is an expansion of the gist.

                Please refer to giancarloangulo’s post for an explanation of the expansion.

          • Sorry but the words were clear. I’ll restate.
            1st SONA: What I plan to do in my admin. Where I am starting from.(Introductive)
            2nd-5th SONA; What we’ve learned that we needed to do. What we have done. (Additive and incremental)
            6th SONA : Where we we’re. What we have done. What we still have to do. (Summarative and Predictive)

            • edgar lores says:

              Thanks, giancarlo, for the paraphrase.

              And thanks, nielsky, for the reaction… and for participating in the forum.

              • nielsky says:

                [That gave both of you away.] So is this why the title of the article is “When Sona is NOT really Sona”? I hope you follow my drift.

                More importantly, however, before a writer can say the 1st Sona is what he calls it what it is and the 2nd and the 3rd on to the 4th, 5th and 6th, he should be able to demonstrate how indeed any of the SONAs so designated is in his dubious labelling: introductive, additive, summative and so forth [do they even sound like terms or concepts in a particular disciplinary lingua franca?]. That am afraid as much as required the ability to demonstrate from the text of the 1st SONA itself why it is introductive [citing from the text certain facts & figures]. It is clear enough that nothing indicates that you have read all of the 6th SONAs to be able to suggest those ‘characterizations’ except by some lousy theory-building.

                Right at the start, what is solicited from the writer of the article is to state exactly what he is trying to say [i.e. the gist, the central idea, the essence, the theme] and of course must succeed to show if the SONA is not really a SONA.

                Don’t we want to see your ideas come across clearly? But why keep on begging the question?

              • @nielsky Please comment on the proper place.

                1. edgar didn’t write this piece.
                2, I wasn’t referring to this piece rather I was paraphrasing what edgar was saying about what he thinks a SONA should be.

                That is in reply to your in gist what do you mean.

              • edgar lores says:


                So there was the misapprehension that I wrote the essay? Hmm.

                Just a note on Nielsky’s argument. It seems the gist (!) of it is that truth can only be derived with inductive reasoning, that universals can only be based on particulars. This is of course fallacious. Inductive reasoning is just one method of valid reasoning.

      • nielksy says:

        Thank you Joe Am.

        Popoy’s essay, not just interesting, but a good read.

        Except that for most, any piece on SONA incites aggression to details. In fairness, the author’s delivery van contained the ‘goods’.

  9. manuelbuencamino says:

    Bringing up Arroyo in his last SONA was not about blame. He used Arroyo as a BENCHMARK to show where we were in 2010, after 9 years of Arroyo, and where we are now, after five years of Aquino.

  10. andrewlim8 says:


    There is a new initiative, a worthy one I may say of being supported by the Society:


    Headed by Gang Badoy of RockEd. It’s still under construction.

    It aims to put into objective terms what our leaders have accomplished without the adjectives, the blah blah and enables it to be fact checked by the crowd.

    Worth looking into, everyone.

    “World class” building? Under Polimetrics, that is nonsense. Drop the adjective and what features does it have and how much did it cost?

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks for the info, Andrew. Most interesting. A lot of work ahead and just beginning, it looks like. Worth following.

    • sonny says:

      Very interesting rating tabulation, Andrew. I hope they will add meaningful performance indices such as productivity, efficiency, effectivity for the public official.

  11. RHiro says:

    Nice read…. So much truthiness in this Sona and past ones… So much like Fox News and Donald Trump….The Donald is leading in the polls to be the next Republican nominee…

    Go Donald go..

  12. josephivo says:

    Instead of comparing with the past after 5 years in office, I would have loved to see him comparing with the future. Maybe because I had too much time to think when I got stuck last Friday for more than 2 hours in traffic between NAIA terminal 3 and Skyway, a 1km stretch, even a snail could easily have beaten me. This traffic can not have come as a surprise with 24% more cars on the road in one year (see SONA)!!!

    And apart from variables as traffic explosion, K!12 classroom needs… things one easily can extrapolate, there are more drastic changes ahead: medical – life expectancy, designer babies… -, climate change – 3 to 7 meter sea level rise, typhoon intensity… -, digital singularity – explosion of computer power, automation… -, just to name a few. When will we get more pro-active?

    In a SONA I want to feel excited not only for what is achieved – what I did -, but also because of the challenges/opportunities ahead.

    • josephivo says:

      State of the Nation = “we are prepared for the future”. (the future is e.g. 200 million Filipinos in 2050, we are prepared because of … current status/actions)

      Happy we turned (started turning) the corruption page, and now?

      • RHiro says:

        Looking towards the future………Data from the most recent Labor Force Survey of the Philippine Statistical Authority April 15, 2015..

        Of the total unemployed, the age group 15 to 24 years comprised 50.4 percent, while the age group 25 to 34, 30.1 percent. By educational attainment, 22.2 percent of the unemployed were college graduates, 12.6 percent were college undergraduates, and 33.3 percent were high school graduates..

        Full time employment has actually dropped from 2010 till this latest employment data.

        What is really confusing is the economy has shown robust growth for the last five years but is failing to make a any dent in poverty..The quality of employment is seriously deteriorating…

        The demographic dividend of a very young labor force may bite us in the future…

    • manuelbuencamino says:

      State of the Nation is a scorecard. The final SONA tells the nation this is how far the administration has taken the nation. The president has no more cause to talk of his vision of the future other than name a successor because he won’t be at the wheel anymore. It’s not good for a president to be a backseat driver to his successor, that’s what FVR does with all those who came after him. Anyway, at the closing of his speech, the president spoke about continuity which in effect is pointing to the future.

      • josephivo says:

        I want to hear more “we are in good shape because now we are already here…” or “with all this in the pipeline we will be I good shape by…” as he did for K12. His successor will have to prepare for the next “future”, new developments will define new challenges. Governing should be more than being reactive, more than correcting the errors of the past. Proactive, “We will fly to the moon by 1970”, long after Kennedy’s potential term(s).

    • Joe America says:

      It was a masterwork of detail, to me, and I can tell that the audience had been schooled in Filipino elementary schools where obedience and endurance are prized traits. Did no one at any time have to go to the bathroom? Were they wearing diapers? Inquiring minds want to know.

      Yes, a future look would have been good, but one step at a time. The Aquino Administration is improving the science of managing the nation, and metrics are a big deal. I heartily commend the Administration’s willingness to establish the metrics, knowing that to fall short would earn them . . . not understanding that things don’t always fit together right when the SC and Legislature are not cooperating . . . but sharp criticism as a “failure”

      No, the Administration did not “fail”. It was right directed, and learned a lot. Some of those financial roadblocks will get cleaned up for the next administration . . . assuming it is not Binay.

      • sonny says:

        Thanks to the creator of youtube (the pause button). I did have to go to the bathroom. Kudos to the speech of PNoy; the multi-media delivery and choice of color comments were superb; the president’s cadence and soft delivery were listener friendly; paradigmatic approach to present statistics, quite effective; the interspersed humor and familiality to members of the executive team were strongly affirming of teamwork. My own takeaway was a display of a true leader.

      • Tying a months worth of salary towards these metrics is a good first step towards a professional government service.

  13. nielsky says:

    Frankly, from paragraphs 1 to 8, not a single concept, theory, system resembling any sense ‘landed’ until the 9th paragraph. Surely, this statement will be challenged.

    But let us put it to a test.

    Send this article (in its current form) to any newspaper as an op-ed with the end in mind that at least one such newspaper will carry it?

    The simple concern here, trivial it may seem, is just the need for posts to be understood across intelligences. Is that too much to ask?

    • edgar lores says:

      “Let these micro tangibles be swallowed by the immenseness of macro perspectives of the social science intangibles like the social, economic, political, administrative and cultural aspects of governance and you have an almost ephemeral but ethereal manifesto.”

      Now what’s so hard to understand about that?

      • nielsky says:

        Then, make plain [in your own words, please]. Waste no time.

        • edgar lores says:


          • nielsky says:

            Call that satire? This is becoming a habit here. Try, for a change, to reply only when you’re the one spoken to in an original comment. The author is in best position to reply, not you. In short, choose to behave accordingly. Also, try not to be another writer’s writer. That is satire.

      • Let these specific examples from these AVPs be subsumed within the macro economic data amounting billions upon billions of pesos that I am presenting to you..

        The problem with plain words is that micro tangibles are being swallowed by the immenseness of macro perspectives. (Am I the only one that found thi funny?)

        I could go on but am thinking maybe the joke is on me and that I am being trolled.

        • sonny says:

          I got a similar feeling, gianC: from granting the benefit of the doubt to being taken for a ride (trolled). If this becomes the habitual style then I hit the scroll button when the avatar or authorship comes in sight.

        • edgar lores says:

          Ahaha! You are not alone. At least there are three of us that find this funny.

          You have a knack for paraphrasing… complex into simple and poetry into prose. I like, though question, the parsing of the majestic “you have an almost ephemeral but ethereal manifesto” into the plain “I am presenting to you…”

      • Joe America says:

        Haha, if you didn’t get it, no one will. Still, it is a wonderful flow of words from a conceptual mind. I felt I was on a toboggan blasting through the snow, out of control. Enjoyed the ride, but fell off somewhere during the trip down.

    • Johnny Lin says:

      Maraming sangkap, “after-taste” lamang ang panlasa😉😍

    • Joe America says:

      I’d tend to put this observation into the same bucket as grammar police. If the style doesn’t suit, don’t read. Let those who enjoy a challenge take it on.

  14. Johnny Lin says:

    Legacy is the ultimate achievement of every individual; celebrity or non; famous or infamous; powerful or lame, prominent or ordinary, rich or poor; schools to students; parents to children.

    Legacy is descriibed accomplishments defined by observers.
    PNoy’s SONA described his, we the people will define if his Legacy is worth praising and emulating by next generation.

    Nobody is perfect, but one surely recognizes when a spade is a spade!
    PNoy legacy to me is he tried to steer the ride of this nation and people to the right moral direction. Unruly passengers become always the stumbling block of a smooth excursion.

    PNoy is a visionary, problem is many passengers wear eyeglasses with different types of errors of refraction.

    So little a righteous man could accomplish in so short a time, yet could be lasting by the generation he inspires.

    • sonny says:

      For me, PNoy started his tenure with an edge directed to the outgoing president, almost sharp looking to be mistaken as a thrust of vendetta. Revisiting that initial impression in the context of 5 years that passed, I can accept that there was little malice in what he did but rather a sharp reminder of what we lost during the previous term and what he was going to do about it.

    • NHerrera says:

      Legacy, as in legacy of

      – Abraham Lincoln
      – Winston Churchill
      – Jose Rizal
      – The Arabs as in the arabic numerals, algebra
      – The Greeks as in the arts, philosophy, democracy (evolving into over-democracy?)
      – Benigno Aquno III as in his Last SONA, qualified and edited by historians
      – Jejomar Binay as in ???

      • edgar lores says:

        Hopefully, he doesn’t make it.

        If he doesn’t, the legacy would be… “scoundrels don’t win presidential elections.”

        But if he does… “the last wicked Filipino political scoundrel.”

    • Joe America says:

      Very nicely said. That last line deserves a spot in brainy quotes.

  15. jameboy says:

    I watched the SONA on YouTube one time. I only rewind on the part where he mentioned about ‘Joe America’. I’m not Joe but I felt for a second there that I was. I’m sure Joe feels good about it and all of us share the same feeling. Like what you said about pain, that’s a hell of a gain, Joe! 👍

    Now on the official business.

    The article above was written before the SONA, hence, it was like a draft of a drawing, all sketches, no color. All the ingredients were there but it has yet to be completed. So let’s talk about the actual SONA delivered instead.

    It was a bit long but crisp and clear. It was so because the President, ever the humble one, pushed in front of the limelight people who worked and sacrificed a lot to make his administration’s accomplishments come into fruition including those that are near completion. He made sure to express his gratitude and thanks to those individuals who concretized his ideas and shared their time and effort in order to push for the agenda and policy he established. He apologized to his family and ask for understanding from the people for his imperfections. He indeed fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept his faith.

    About the “blame” part of the speech where PNoy spoke about the great strides accomplished under his watch compared to the previous administration, which made other blogs froth in the mouth, it was a necessary move to point out the difference in order to highlight not only what was done, in terms of quality and quantity, but also to inform the public of what was pending or in delay and the obstacles that made them so. What made the ‘blame’ lame was the absence of justification for its existence. Was the ‘blame’ baseless or false? To alleged blame is to show your defense of the party being blamed. No one came.

    I don’t know or maybe its just me, somewhere in the speech or in-between the phrases, I caught a glimpse of what or who will be PNoy’s choice as to his successor. The way he spoke about the quality of Mar Roxas in terms of as a person and co-worker, how good and valuable he is to his team. He poignantly talked about the work he has done and the sacrifice he did for the country and at the same time chide Roxas’ critics for pushing him down unsuccessfully.

    The camera close-up spot of Binay-Poe-Roxas, while the President was talking about the coming election, was priceless.

    All in all the SONA was PNoy’s version of a GPS indicating, showing and pointing out the direction to his ‘bosses’ where we have been before, where we are now and where he think we should be in the future. He will soon hand over the steering wheel to the new driver.

    Let’s all just hope that the new driver knows how to use a GPS. 👀

    • NHerrera says:

      I like the note, especially the GPS analogy. Yes, we came from A, we are headed to C; President Aquino brought us to B on the way to C. A good GPS in moral attitude and conviction is needed to reach C or a good part of the way to C through the successor to President Aquino. And Roxas is the man; he has an innate GPS.

    • Joe America says:

      🙂 I enjoyed your take on the speech. The reactions of the three likely candidates was indeed classic. It was like a bar chart, humility rising going left to right. Or the reverse, ego/pride diminishing.

  16. Alden says:

    All I can say is that there were lots of wasted opportunity for this administration.

    • Johnny Lin says:

      outlook of a person is recognized by describing how a glass is filled up, half full or half empty or how optimism is visualized, negative or positive.

      Everyone has an opinion, difference is if it is encouraging or disparaging, hopeful or frustrated, appreciative or critical.

    • NHerrera says:

      You have a point there. However, without a description of the specifics of this wasted opportunity, I can comment only as follows. The Cabinet Secretaries of the President are supposed to cover the range of problems, challenges or opportunities of the government or administration. Even when the opportunity you speak of is staring a Cabinet secretary, he has to weigh this against others he has in his plate relative to the resources available. If big enough an opportunity this may be discussed during a Presidential Cabinet Meeting. Sadly, there are probably a lot of good opportunities which may not have been tackled for reasons of resources, time or other constraints.

    • juanlee says:

      agree. there were lots of wasted opportunities but there were a lot of detractors too that gave way to the wasted opportunities. i am very glad that what were doable opportunities did not go wasted. if each and everyone of us can contribute in our own little way to enhance the opportunities to improve this country, then we could be greater again and prouder of our country. one more opportunity that will come up to continue TUWID NA DAAN is to select the best qualified successor to Pnoy. let us choose quality vs popularity. let us choose one who is subok na sa pagmamahal sa bansa vs isang opportunista… i see one in Mar Roxas as the presidentiable that i trust. as to his vp…robredo, duterte, trillanes, cayetano, vilma or poe in that order will be a good partner for helping mar to TUWID NA DAAN. let us not waste this opportunity to continue the TUWID NA DAAN or we will have BALIKTUWADS again with the likes of binay and trapo company. gude

  17. Johnny Lin says:

    PNoy targeted Binay in his last SONA speech.

    Reaction of Binay when asked by media- Wow na Wow!
    Would he answer the same way on the death of his ardent critic, Neal Cruz?

    Critics of Binay in the media beware!
    Harshest critics of Binay among mediamenmen included:
    Neal Cruz- may he rest in peace
    Solita Monsod- may her good health return
    Ramon Tulfo- so far the Teflon guy

    Is Binay a bogeyman?

  18. Bing Garcia says:

    Sa mga tulad ni Joe America, isang blogger na di ko man kakilala ay isinulat: “If the President were in my foxhole, I’d watch his back. That’s because I trust that he is watching mine.” Salamat sa iyo at sa iba pang dayuhang nagpamalas ng pakikiisa sa ating agenda ng pagbabago.

    • Joe America says:

      Right, the President’s line following the quote was particularly important, as the quote was used only as an example of the bigger meaning, to express gratitude to all those around the world who support the Philippine transformation.

  19. lawrence ingaran says:

    Pnoy has never been a president on his own and I think we will never have one until someone who can turn his back on political patronage at the same time will possess strong political will.

  20. sonny says:

    Ok, Joe. I read Popoy a second time. That’s what it will take for me when Popoy writes again. 🙂

    • sonny says:

      You’re right. Popoy comes clearer on second reading. I had to double-check ‘ephemeral’ and ‘ethereal.’ I use these words easily with ‘gossamer’ and remember the young Gov. Ed Brown. 🙂

      • Joe America says:

        I love it when you and Popoy and others of Filipino persuasion school me and my degrees in English vocabulary. Still, I usually have the better of you in prepositions.

      • sonny says:

        I did a slow burn on R. Tiglao’s Bulletin article of July 27. He assessed PNoy’s achievements as “ephemeral” (my usage) in his destruction of institutions and wrote a diatribe using Fukuyama in his (Tiglao’s) ethereal philosophy rendering. Seems he run out of facts.

  21. letlet says:

    Congratulations on how PNoy trumpeted your wondrous expouse on matter / matters that seriously have impact on the government policies ( as personified by PNoy as we read between he lines). We the commenters in your blog (most) are indeed with firm and reliable trust on you on your projected political, economic and social perspectives and visions that embody / envelop the wholeness of the country and the people.

    If we could just listen with our hearts and minds and implement your tangible solutions to the many issues – political, economic, education and social – that you offer ( yes from a foreigner), we could and must do so because that’s how the american government confronts the internal (domestic) issues which really works ( look where is USA and where is the Philippines). Some Filipinos find it hard to be adherents of american policies and perspectives which in many many ways are so detrimental to the upliftment of the standard of life of the people, saying that they are not applicable to our lives, that we have different bravura, which I say a very defeatist and arrogant attitude and thoughts. Those with pseudo patriotic / nationalistic spirits utterly believe they have the interest of the nation and the people in their hearts. They should have deep introspection / extrospection on the standard of life of the common people and how their perspectives have impacted those lives. How I wish we have more Joe America in our midst.. May you tribe increase.

    • Joe America says:

      Thank you, letlet. They are increasing, I think, Fiipino version, and many work within the Aquino cabinet. The goal-oriented management method is becoming “the way”, and it needs to continue to roll out through subordinate units and the LGU’s. In time . . .

  22. juanlee says:

    keep up the good work joeam. my congrats and kudos for contributing to our mahal na inang bayan. maraming salamat kaibigan. purihin si Bathala. gude

  23. Bing Garcia says:

    Osmeña said that based on a survey he commissioned, Poe would win even in a crowded race contrary to an analysis of House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales that Vice President
    Jejomar Binay would only lose if the administration fielded a single candidate.

  24. Johnny Lin says:

    Reading Tea leaves and gazing crystal ball

    Grace Poe claimed that PNoy hinted to her to run as VP of Roxas.

    Is this the polite way of saying “Offer to me formally and I shall accept” or it is a way of saying “your candidate is in the bottom with many surveys, why don’t you ask him to be my VP”

    Escudero in his latest interview said he has no regrets supporting Binay in 2010

    Is this Chiz way of saying to Grace “if you will run as VP of Roxas I will return back to the fold of Binay” or is he hinting to Grace ” Don’t screw our relationship because I will no longer guide you if you team up with Roxas”

    By early August we will know the decision of Grace.
    Poe will not run at all!
    Chiz will make solo run for VP
    Roxas will seek Cayetano or Duterte for VP, most probably, Alan will be the choice and Grace and Villars have been appraised of the consideration.

    Start your engines Joeam and rah rah posters. Time to speed up your strategies to network Roxasamong netizens, middle class and the poor.

    ANTI CORRUPTION is the magic word and best issue.

    Ang sinungaling ay kapatid ng magnanakaw.
    Di baleng matapobre huwag lamang pulitikong magnanakaw dahil hindi lang mayaman ang galit pati mahirap galit sa magnanakaw dahil pera para sa kanila ang ninanakaw sa Gobyerno

    • Johnny Lin says:

      But I wil bet on the odds that Grace would accept VP post under Roxas
      He he he

    • Joe America says:

      As I understand it with my vast inside knowledge of the Administration’s every move and thought, the President was not so undiplomatic as to put Senator Poe on the spot, but let her feel welcome should she decide to run as VP. Have you ever been in meetings like that, in negotiations where no one wants to put a hard line on the table, because it closes doors? That’s what it was.

      I think your projection is reasonable. When the campaign starts, I stop politicking. I think that will be, like, about Friday. 🙂

  25. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    I just wonder out of 100,000,000 Filipinos and increasing exponentially watched SONA.
    Out of the many, how many percent understand Tagalog ‘cuz I DO NOT.
    Would I want to read the English transcript of Benigno’s SONA?
    Nope, never did and never will.
    Would I VOTE? Nope. I do not want to be a party to corrupt inefficient government.
    Would my VOTE matter? Nope, it doesn’t matter unless I am a tie breaker.

    I read dowdy PREEN’s TOP TEN BEST DRESSED SONA 2015.
    Everyone of them have hyphenated famous middle names except Nancy: Simply Nancy Binay No. 10

  26. mcmxciv says:

    2015’s SONA is a lackluster. There are many other concerns that should have been attended but didn’t have the chance to be tackled on the president’s SONA.

  27. grammy2342 says:

    I love how you write. You are able to put in words, the feelings and thoughts running through my mind after the SONA. I was greatly frustrated that immediately after that speech, all I heard was bashing endlessly. I especially noted your statement that respect for our President seem to be a vacuum. I admire President Aquino with all his perceived flaws and failings. I know that all he wants is to improve the lot of Filipinos. And yet he gets blamed for almost everything including the hemorrhoid of my neighbour. That’s the disadvantage of too much democracy. We blame our leader for our misfortunes and yet do nothing to help ourselves. We expect a Superman, a Thor or an Iron Man, even a Hulk, while we lie around making babies that we cannot even feed or send to school.

    • Joe America says:

      That is true, democracy tends to create demanding, needy people. But if we do it right, we can also learn the art of giving and sacrifice and support. Good of you to read and offer encouragement.

    • I agree. This is comparable to the unending clamor for reform from the protesters in the streets condemning every action by the government without suggesting a viable action plans on how to get things done. In the end, instead of winning the audience’s sympathy and understanding, they’re brushing them away. The president is always stuck in a damn-if-you-do-damn-if-you-don’t situation.

      Off topic, as a respite, I suggest they watch how soap operas evolved in Philippine television. No longer we see the likes of Celina (played by Princess Punzalan) in “Mula sa Puso” incessantly doing bad things just because she is bad, instead we see how the role of Nicole (Maja Salvador) and her life’s misgivings justifies her obsession to Adrian (jericho Rosales) in “The Legal Wife”. I cited the above example not to justify infidelity but to highlight the fact that the Filipinos has gone far figuring out that polarizing two characters into good and evil is a thing of the past.

      Put that in a management perspective, things would have been better if they attack the issue point by point and offer solid action plans that they feel the president or the cabinet might have missed out, not by criticizing the president just because he is the president and they are the opposition.

  28. Anne Villanueva says:

    Indeed worth reading..

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