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Commentary: Honoring the ordinary Filipino

By Bong Pedalino

Tacloban City (29 July) -- Two things can be readily distinguished in the 8th State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo yesterday, July 28, 2008.

One was about her detailed case presentation on the need to keep the value-added tax (VAT), saying this has served like a shield used by the government against the prevailing global economic shakeup.

Another was her graphic exhibit of showing ordinary Filipinos in the gallery who achieved extra-ordinary things for having excelled in whatever they do in this the worst of times, in the face of worldwide crisis.

Sadly, though, what was highlighted in the mainstream media during the immediate post-SONA reports was only the President's ardent defense of the VAT, while the common Pinoys who did their best were not duly mentioned -- except the tribal leader in his "birthday suit", although he was featured more in the "fashion" segment of the SONA than his outstanding accomplishment.


It was clear that the President empathized with the feelings and sentiments of the "masa" amid the worsening state where everyone of us is in now.

This was evident in her expression of gratefulness to the taxpayers "for footing the bill", and the series of "I care for... " statements.

But aside from being empathic or grateful, the thing that stood out in this year's SONA -- which lasted 55 minutes and interrupted by applause 104 times -- was the honoring of common folks: they were the ones who rose to the occasion in spite of the hostile economic situation now.


How I wish many man-on-the-street Pinoys who did fairly well in their chosen line of work, or pursuing any worthwhile endeavor, had been featured in the SONA.

These are the people who can inspire others by their deeds. They display a rare sense of heroism, the kind that would not look for jobs abroad in the first signs of difficulty here at home. (I say this without demeaning in value those who are working outside the country, for many of them were just making use of the opportunity, and would have opted to remain otherwise.)

And these are the people who prefer to light a candle instead of cursing the darkness. Indeed, they deserved to be honored.


By the way, a few days before the SONA, Pulse Asia revealed that only 10% of Filipinos who are "aware" of the SONA believe in its truthfulness.

So, what's the big deal? You hit a small percentage of the audience, you should be content and relish the little victory than not hitting at all.

In texting lingo, somehow it was "message sent."


LOCAL FRONT: Preparations are in full gear for the twin celebrations of August, the 8th Maasin City Charter Day and the annual Maasin Fiesta Celebration. The former will be on August 10 and the latter, August 15. This early, a series of activities had already been listed for the two occasions, dubbed the "twin towers of August." We just wish the weather would cooperate, since during this time of the year the "habagat" or monsoon winds would invariably spoil the day. Pray this year it will not.

ODDLY YOURS: There was an Olympic Truce during the games' conduct in the eight century before the birth of Jesus Christ. The declaration of the accord had to be made for practical reasons: participating city-states should not engage in warfare before, during, and after the original five-day sports festival so that athletes, cheerers and fans can reach Olympia without casualties. Out of this 8th century agreement came the Olympic ideal of friendly competition in an atmosphere of brotherhood and peace among nations. But before the Truce? Olympic games are "war games" designed to prepare and train soldiers bound for war, like javelin throw, long-jump, and foot-race by armour—dressed runners-cum-warriors. One bloody game even had a no-holds barred fighting, the pankration, where the only things forbidden were biting and gouging the opponent's eyes. So "peace" was not in the agenda for the Olympic Games – the important thing is "war" disguised as playful sports. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]

  prev  next  »|
»Inviting Cebuano youth to a workshop on "Youth Radio Dramas for Peace"
»SONA 2008 highlights PGMA's concern for poor, cites 3 ways to protect them from current global challenges
»Commentary: Honoring the ordinary Filipino
»CARP extension to benefit more Capiceños
»Commentary: GMA cares for Filipinos
»Communal irrigation systems to undergo rehab after Typhoon Frank
»PGMA: Global crisis hurts everyone
»Malacanang insists EVAT needed to address woes of less fortunate
»Davao Norte gov unswayed by GMA plunging popularity
»Rice, corn production in Mindanao up in 1st Quarter
  prev  next  »|

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