It was a State of The Nation Address like no other SONA. Truly, Duterte has really put his own brand of public speaking where the informal overcome the formal. The SONA of previous presidents follow protocol and script and he infused it with humor and his own brand of storytelling. The entire nation were treated to a spectacle where you can only see in the movies. There are so many things that you can say about this event and let me enumerate some of the vital ones.
It was the most awaited speech ever when you consider the publicity that according to Communications Secretary that President Duterte wrote his own speech and he was very emotional after reading it. I was expecting tears and yes I was in tears; apparently from tears of laughter.
It was supposed to be a straightforward communication telling people about the current situation of the state and what the government will. Instead, there were too many run-arounds and the irony of it, he publicly admitted that he doesn’t like citizens given the run-around when it comes to government services. The whole speech were filled with stop-overs, details, defese mechanisms, and puns. If this were not a political event, you could have watch a Vice Ganda spiel.
It was a speech that delivered lots of punches and too many that at the end of the speech, you can imagine Manny Pacquiao as limped boxer with the quantity of punches he delivered to quell the enemy. His speech was frank and brutal but as it prolonged over time, the Filipinos were tired and were eagerly waiting for him to wrap up his SONA.
It was expected that he would make a great announcement but the entire nation were treated to litanies about his crusades on drugs and corruption. It was like watching a valedictory address from summa cum laude graduate extolling virtues needed to be successful in life. He talked about so many things that Filipinos already heard from previous SONAs of former presidents. Martin Andanar said that there will be a declaration that will left people fall from their chairs. I remained glued to my seat in the entire proceeding even if he declared a unilateral ceasefire towards the enemies of the state.
It was a speech with bold declarations and punctuated with ad-libs to make the Filipinos feel at ease. It was a speech loaded with human support and emotion towards the poor. It was a speech supposedly delivered by the most powerful man in the nation but delivered like the grand patriarch of a clan.
It was full of words and humor and apparently disappointing in some parts. However, it was still a speech that will make Filipinos hopeful of better things to come during his 6 year term as President of the Philippines. He was not bashful in declaring that he will really make things happen during his term.SONA 2016 exposed President Duterte’s lack of public speaking skills but clearly he offsetted it with compassion and empathy.