The blogosphere was abuzz during and after the State of the Nation address (billed by the Press Secretary’s office, modestly, as the longest and first interactive and high-tech SONA). You can watch it or read it.
The reactions of young bloggers ran the gamut from admiring to dismayed.
Students like Waypoint to sudden death, or the present’s just a pleasant interuption to the past and anne_17 had to watch it because of school requirements (and seem mostly bored). Sarcasm makes the World go round… and pearlpaopao listened (the former hopes it’s not just promises, the latter found it informative, while qtme was more skeptical). Twenty-One believes it’s better to work together to correct the administration’s shortcomings.
Others, like princesstala, attended one of the rallies. Some, like My Suite, watched cable.
Punzi gave a running account. Peryodistang Pinoy weighed in with her (highly informed, I must say) reactions. Alleba Politics reacted, too. Genocider believes the problem is not the President, but the people who surround her. Nagsusulat Lamang reacts in a pithy manner. Hope springs eternal in Comelec AKO (despite initial skepticism). Bunker Chronicles makes a provocative comparison to how Saddam Hussein gained power. In withoutwax, there’s a pretty thorough commentary, too (the speech, the blogger says, had vision).
(A report from General Santos City was intriguing: supposedly, the mayor expressed opposition to the mega regions scheme, saying it would only add to red tape. I hope the Mindanao media looks into this. So far, there’s this from MindaNews.)
Jove Francisco gives an eyewitness reaction (good observations on the audience in the Batasan).
My reaction to the SONA:
1. Two campaigns have begun. The first, for amendments to be approved in a referendum (immediately after the speech, the drum-beating began); the second, the 2007 elections (Neil Cruz on Viewpoint surprised me when he asserted it’s likely that more than 79 opposition members of the House will be elected).
2. It was a division of the spoils.
3. It was the Mother of All Pork Barrel Speeches.
4. It is, however, proof of something we don’t pause often enough to recognize. Regardless f what the President does, or doesn’t do, things move on their own. Many of the plans and projects announced aren’t the fruits of the President’s hard work, or leadership, it’s the result of continuous meetings between national and local officials, elected representatives and members of the bureaucracy. Some of these projects began when the administration was new; others date back to previous administrations; some were identified and mapped out long ago, but it is only now that they have been given the green light.
5. Therefore, much of what was announced would have happened, regardless of who is President; but there are definitely many officials happy that they have been given a curtain call, and that regardless of her motives, the importance of those plans has been recognized.
6. We should rename the Batasan Pambansa the Kroll Opera House. Not even Ferdinand Marcos indulged in such public displays of legislative sycophancy. Or double-speak. As Torn & Frayed points out, she condemnded killings then praised to the skies the number one suspect.
Foreign commentary: Thaksin and Arroyo, two thick-faced devils, on top for now (in The Nation of Thailand).