One hour 45 minutes

Published July 29, 2020, 11:08 PM

by Jullie Y. Daza


Who had the most fun watching the President’s SONA, his fifth and second to the last?

It looks like Mae “Juana Change” Paner wins, hands and flippers down. Her costume of a certain “Hairy Roque” outperformed all the other effigies, she hogged the whole nine yards sans pool — no wonder she was grinning from ear to ear like one of the dolphins that completed her cast of characters.

No. 2 winner had to be Senator Frank Drilon, who was given an unexpected contravida role in the President’s speech, intro and extro, prologue and epilogue. The senator’s name was mentioned at the very start of the President’s address; the second time was at 5:45 p.m., seven minutes after everyone thought the speech had reached its end at 5:38. In other words, the President spent seven minutes giving the senator the honor (?) of being singled out twice in one speech (total length: 1 hour 45 minutes). Right on cue, the networks were scrambling, chasing after Mr. Drilon, who was not present in the hall, for an immediate response. A pity his remarks were not on video, only on audio, so we could not see if his smiles were as wide as Juana’s.

For the rest of the President’s audience – not counting those inside the session hall – the following direct quotes from his (aspirational) address should provide a few light moments as we continue to be depressed by the relentless barrage of COVID-19 news:

“The vaccine is around the corner.” (Opening sentence)

To Globe and Smart: “I want to call Jesus Christ in Bethlehem by December. Better have the line cleared. Wala kayong pera? Umalis kayo. (You have no money? Get out.) You might not want what I intend to do to you.”

“This speech will be the longest. When I asked them to shorten it, they returned it to me, with more pages.”

“This is not the time to tell stories. SONA kasi ito. (This is a state of the nation address.)”

At 5:24 p.m.: “If you’re tired of clapping, I will make it short.”

On his wish for a new death penalty law: “I don’t hear much clapping, so it means you’re not interested.”

At 5:45 p.m.: “Thank you, I’m through.”