STAR  COLUMN:   SONA, THE  'MAKE  OR  BREAK'  SPEECH

MANILA,
JUNE 29, 2009 (STAR) AS A MATTER OF FACT By Sara Soliven De Guzman - The President’s State Of The Nation Address will be her “Make or Break” speech.

Will the President tell the truth? That’s what many are asking. But do you really think she will tell the truth? What is the “truth” anyway? In our society, we have perfected the art of convincing people that a lie is the “truth”. What many want to believe (especially those in power) is that they are honest, godly and that they are saints NOT sinners. Oh my gosh! I think a wake-up call won’t do anymore. I recommend that all public officials must be required to go through a general check-up at the Mental Hospital. Ha! Ha!

Really, nobody has had an impartial answer to that question about what the “truth” means. Every man and woman, except the witless, have nurtured or brought forth their own personal answer, and their own definition of it. So, let’s braise ourselves toward the road of disappointment as we listen to GMA’s words during the much-awaited SONA.

The President should choose wisely. She has been getting the wrong advice from her insiders, intimates and loyalists. Either fawning Palace flunkeys and favor-seekers, now surrounding her, who are telling her only what she’d like to hear, or that staffers and consultants, afraid of provoking her legendary temper, are loathe to say what ought to be done. She should avoid those tricksters and shysters who’re quick to propose strategies that foolishly cocoon her from reality.

GMA and her allies are good in their maneuvering techniques. The very hot issues she should address will be avoided. Just like in a traffic jam she will breeze through the SONA with ease avoiding those potholes. She may even shrug all the public’s concerns right under the carpet by not commenting on any of them as in dedma.

Anything can happen you know. If the Palace decides that this is not a good time for the President to give a SONA because of her low public satisfaction ratings – they can easily postpone or cancel the SONA and blame it on the AH1N1 scare. Or they can create some commotion to deviate the public’s attention to a particular event that the President can dwell on during the SONA. I know I may be too shallow but from what I have seen in this Administration anything can happen.

Let’s face it! We’ve seen a whole lot of magic and fireworks in this Administration. The President cannot seem to accept or want to address the issues that closely hit home. Palace officials easily blame the Opposition for destabilizing GMA. Gosh! Are they blind? Don’t they see the students, the nuns, the priests and the rest of the citizenry protesting in the streets?

We have been asking the President to speak to us – and tell us once and for all what will become of the Philippines. Pero nada! And so we await this SONA where supposedly she cannot escape from, to address our concerns and pacify the people.

What will she say? It’s on everybody’s mind, friend and foe alike that she does not want to leave Malacañang. People are pretty sure that GMA is determined to stay in power but will she talk about that? Abangan!

This is the moment, this is the day

This is the moment, when I know, I am on my way

Every endeavor I have made ever is coming into play… here and now today.

This is the moment, this the time

When the momentum and the moment are in rhyme

Give me this moment, my precious chance

I’ll gather up my best and make some sense at last

This is the moment when all I’ve done

All of the dreaming, scheming and screaming becomes one

This is the day, just see it shine

When all that I have lived for becomes mine

This is the moment, this is the hour

When I can open up and put my hand to everything I plan

To fulfill my grand desire and see all my stars align

This is the moment, my final test

Destiny beckoned, I never reckoned second best

I won’t look back, I must not fall,

This is the moment, the sweetest moment of them all

This is the moment so double the odds

This day or never, I’ll sit forever with the gods

When I look back, I will recall

Moment for moment, this was the moment

The greatest moment of them all.

A very timely song to hum as we await La Gloria’s State Of The Nation Address slated on the third week of July. I can almost feel the President’s pulse beat as she works on her speech. It’s funny this song, This is the Moment, from the Jekyll and Hyde musicale comes into mind. Adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” Jekyll and Hyde tells the story of Dr. Henry Jekyll, a brilliant young doctor and research scientist who, distraught over his father’s mental illness, embarks upon a quest to isolate the dual elements of good and evil that are constantly struggling for supremacy inside every human being. However, when his experiment backfires, Jekyll inadvertently gives life to Edward Hyde, his evil alter ego, a murderous being who will let loose a reign of terror on the city of London and those who had ridiculed Jekyll’s research. The story’s impact has become a part of the language, with the phrase “Jekyll and Hyde” to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next.

Every human being has an alter ego that hides behind one’s polite façade. Will our President remain moral and decent and not be motivated by ambition and pride? Can she overcome the dominance of that Hyde-like character so that she can use her SONA to inspire courage and end the sense of hopelessness among the Filipinos rooted in two decades of unfulfilled promises?


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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