Miriam D. Santiago’s statements on the SONA vs. glamorous outfits

Thanks FP for the screenie.

Call her KJ (killjoy) in some manner, but she has a point. SHE REALLY HAS A POINT. PNoy’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) isn’t a fashion show or an Oscar Awarding Night. It is not a competition about the best-looking gowns in the said event, but SONA is more than just a breakthrough occasion. The State of the Nation Address has always been a speech that has been initiated by former PGMA (now CGMA) that talks about programs that would benefit the Philippines. Kung puro “yabang” lang ang mga proyekto ng dating Pangulong Arroyo, at least they’re PROGRAMS and REFORMS, and these programs would have been fulfilled if she wasn’t too lenient towards corrupt politicians–or the politicos in general.

SONA has never been equated to a fashion show or an Oscar night, but look at what the media is showing–pabonggahan ng damit! It shows that the partners of the politicos have been gold-digging people and would spend rather extravagantly for their personal gain. Well, NOT to generalize (well, to the know-it-all people with questionable arguments) though, I think these politicos and their spouses should not invest on designer gowns–unless there’s a private ceremony.

Wait… have you seen German Kanzlerin Angela Merkel wearing a gown? Have you also seen Julia Gillard wearing one, too? Oh, wait… how about the Japanese Imperial family?

This is what Ka Miriam is really trying to point out. Nakakatawa lang, eh. What these foreign representatives are wearing represents their FORMALITY as people–and they really set a good example by being strict and formal on their outfits. I guess, that’s because they observe simplicity towards themselves. For them, pabonggahan is only reserved for the rich private citizens, and not for public figures. If you’re a public figure, you have to set a good example. The traditional outfit should still look traditional–and conservative at the same time.

Side Note: That is right. Ka Miriam’s PV may be too conservative, but a public figure should show conservatism on their outfit because it is expected that they should set a good example to both employers and employees. Also, in other countries, pakapalan ng mukha is something that should not be exhibited when you’re a spouse of a politico–or if you’re a politico yourself. If Julia Gillard was haughty enough to be Australia’s PM, at least behind closed doors, she remained keen on her privacy. People criticized her for her oppressive policies, and obviously, she could not come close to the late Margaret Thatcher when it comes to leadership–Thatcher’s policies may have its ups and downs, but she reformed the United Kingdom with her “iron fist,” thus earning the monicker, the “Iron Lady.” Meanwhile, Gillard’s policies are simply oppressive (the racism thing)–which earned her more critics and bashers at the same time. Her reputation equates with former PGMA, but at least, PGMA was more charismatic and people disliked her with respect. The only flaw that PGMA had is her power-tripping style for her own personal gain, and that’s it.

Now look why Australia has more respect towards Kevin Rudd (Lu Kewen)–you will see that in his speeches, he is more down-to-earth and more relaxed, and he represents what Australia really is–Australia is known for its nice and down-to-earth people, and they’re kind of laid-back. He’s like the Aussie version of Medvedev (err… I think Putin’s leadership style is more Bush-like), since Medvedev is known to be a more humble and polite Russian leader, despite being more aggressive than Putin.

Another side note: PNoy’s economic reform

I could also see PNoy being a more down-to-earth President, but he should focus more on the economy of the Philippines rather than to keep grudges against the former administration. After three years, I think he has proven his critics and bashers wrong. Hindi pala siya ma-showbiz na tao, and the mere fact that he used Filipino in his speech as his medium made me more impressed–he really cares for the MASA people. Economic relations between the Philippines and other strong economies have improved and flourished. Also, the mere fact that the Philippines has improved economically is through strong connections with OFWs and Philippine businesses are sprouting throughout. The “buy local” policy is now reviving, and even the youth nowadays are considering to buy more Pinoy stuff such as MyPhone, Cherry Mobile if they’re not into international brands. True enough, his reforms on the education system has also been improved as well, but there are more things that he should take note of aside from education. He should really be more strict towards the people living in the squatters’ area (there’s an issue wherein the government is spoon-feeding informal settlers) and encourage more newbie businessmen to CREATE more jobs (I repeat: CREATE JOBS) that would decrease unemployment rates and send back the OFWs home and encourage them to CREATE jobs. What is the use of being an OFW if they did not apply their knowledge when they were still living overseas? Being an OFW is more than just working for your family since you have to bring back your remittances back to the Philippines for the country’s stability, but the point here is to CONTRIBUTE something for the country–which is something that PNoy should really address. Also, Carlos P. Garcia’s Filipino First Policy must be revived and re-implemented. Sadly, this “Filipino First” policy is only applied to owning real estate, and that’s it. This policy should be applied to everything in the different sectors in the Philippines, which will benefit both citizens and jurisdictions alike, and this will add more meaningful interaction between the rich and the poor–but not necessarily narrowing the grap drastically. This will help the Philippines rise again and bridge the gap between low middle income states and upper middle income states.

I don’t think bashing PNoy after three years would make someone “better.” Granted, I was actually against him as a President for not solving the hostage crisis properly plus the CJ Corona thing, but when it comes to the economy, he somewhat found his strong point. Also, I don’t think coming from an oligarch background isn’t a plus for reforming the economy. In fact, PNoy has proved his “Daang Matuwid” in HIS OWN WAY, and corruption for sure, has at least, been alleviated. In fact, corruption is universal–it’s only in the level of being “makapal ang mukha” or to show flashy things. That’s it!

Back to topic…

Well, at least I did mention the deeper meaning behind what Ka Miriam is saying. But to take note about territorial disputes–I think PNoy has to re-learn about foreign policy because he should also have a voice/stance about this one. For sure, he had lapses when he addressed the Sabah issue (and is said to side with Malaysia, which is weird), but truth is, he should ask some advice from people who are EXPERTS in foreign policy. Well, not really EXPERTS, but people who could actually theorize the issue on territorial disputes. Take note that territorial disputes are very serious matters and bilateral negotiations are needed in order to solve this problem (I will make a separate article about territorial disputes sooner or later). If bilateral negotiations won’t work, it’s all up to the two states on their own strategy to work things well.

But then again, back to what Ka Miriam is saying again? Yes, she’s right on PNoy as the highlight of the SONA, and all the things I mentioned, I believe are relevant to what she said. Now you see why I tend to overshadow the “pabonggahan ng outfit” by using the stream of consciousness–in order to divert people’s attention towards PNoy as the highlight of the SONA and NOT those people who are making SONA a fashion show.

FP comments (I know some people like this part, chos!)

YES! AGREE! masyado na sila magastos pati gf bf nila ginagastusan din para lng sa gown. Sana dinonate na lng nila sa mga nangangailangan. Ang daming pilipino naggutom ngyon. Wala nmn sila participation sa SONA lundi makinig lng. Hayy gising mga kababayan.

It should also be taken note that SONA is not just an ordinary seminar/conference. I doubt you could wear gown when you’re in the EU delegation or somehow in any formal treaty. You have to wear corporate attire–and it’s considered formal but modest attire.

Yung iba nga hindi nakikinig eh…natutulog. Hahaha but seriously, I agree with Sen. Miriam. Public servants should lead modest lives. They should leave the red carpet and the shameless display of bling blings and whatnots to the people from showbiz. Yung iba yata nag iimagine na nasa oscars or cannes sila. Since people have different interpretations of “formal wear”, some tend to go overboard so to avoid that, mag uniform na lang ng halimbawa simple and decent terno for the ladies and barong tagalog for the men.

You can never equate the government premises with either Hollywood or Cannes. Hindi ito pabonggahan ng dekorasyon sa katawan, kundi’y ito’y isang pormal na okasyon na kung saa’y dapat nasa pormalidad rin ang disposisyon.

Hurray for Sen. Miriam! She is on the RIGHT track!! Yan ang TUNAY na daan matuwid. I think all politicians as well as their respective wives, girlfriends, partners, relatives must exercise SIMPLICITY & not go overboard on national events like this. This is NOT HOLLYWOOD. Correct na Correct!!

Also, hindi naman magbibigay ng trophy si PNoy sa kanyang speech, ‘no?

Ay naku daig talaga ng mga pulitiko dito yung royal family ng England. Eh sa England nga dahil binabatikos na rin yung extravagance ng royals eh lie low na sila. Daig pa ng mga wives / gf ng mga pulitiko yung aattend sa royal wedding ha… Eh yung royal wedding nga ni Wills at Kate simple lang, even yung mga guest simple lang ang porma (kahit mamahalin yung mga damit).

Onli in d pilipins talaga! Kung yung binili nila ng gown eh pinagawa nalang ng classroom or library sa public school? Eh di marami pa sana natulungan. Di rin biro yung amount nung isang gown ha…

Indeed, I have to say. The formal attire is strict and really corporate–and this made the royal wedding FORMAL and very much RIGHT to be called a public event. In fact, if you’re going to wear strict corporate attire during the SONA, I would appreciate it much, much better rather than wearing gowns.

Also, yes, the money used to buying designer gowns should be for investing on education. Since mataas naman ang literacy rate ng ‘Pinas (95% to be approximate), why not improvise education? It should be a basic right and a must, and since K-12 is already there, going to college should therefore be OPTIONAL. What only made tertiary education compulsory in the Philippines is the limited job offerings + K-10. The youth today should NOT complain about K-12 at all. I see more benefits in having K-12 because this is the sole requirement if you want to study abroad. For me, I would rather choose to go to the United States just to study there, period. At least the education system in the States is more laxed, so tertiary education there tends to be more stressful (from what I have read so far, while in Japan, it’s the opposite–tertiary education is optional, but more laxed as compared to secondary education).

Ano ba ang SONA? Diba para yon sa lagay ng ating bansa? Nakalagay ba doon na party yon? or fashion show? Nawawala ang essence ng SONA kasi focus nalang ang tao sa mga isusuot ng mga mag aattend at favor pa sakanila na may uniform kasi atleast wala na silang po problemahin sa isusuot, tipid na sila maganda pa tignan. Be sensitive lang, ang daming taong nag hihirap tapos pabonggahan pa? Hindi ko sinasabi na pag nagka uniform sila eh mapapakain na nun ang mahihirap pero nasa workplace parin naman sila eh.

Nakakatawa lang. SONA is there for a purpose, and PGMA made it more meaningful. She tends to suspend classes whenever she conducts her SONA simply because she wants everyone to listen to her programs, reforms and her accomplishments–she is “pa-importante” in a GOOD WAY. This is what PNOY should learn–if he wants people listening to his SONA, he should therefore suspend classes, but he does not want people to listen to his SONA because he’s afraid people will just lash against him.

Side Note: Philippine society should realize why PGMA became president. Well, at least her father Diosdado Macapagal was the President before Marcos, and during that time the Philippines wasn’t going from riches to rags. Also, when you delve at her life before she entered politics, she was very strict in settling things, and she will NEVER settle for anything less. That’s who GMA was–a UP professor. What made her gain enemies is her biases and her greed that eventually pulled her down. Totoo naman, eh. While some people think that she’s powerful, well, yes she is, but she used her authority for her personal gain at the end of the day. However, despite all these things (not to mention Susan Roces’ feisty rants against her), she gained respect, alongside FVR. PNoy could still catch up with this one through NOT SOURGRAPING against PGMA. Sourgraping against the former administration will not earn you more PLUS POINTS. In fact, it will remain a stigma in your overall image–and legacy.

It’s Pinoy mentality ang patalbugan. But this display can become very vulgar when these politicians and their wives wear very expensive gowns and jewelry considering that the poverty level in the Philippines is very high. It’s like eating lechon in front of very hungry people. Besides, it begs the question kung pera ba ng bayan ang ginamit for all the blings.

Well, usually kapag guy ang mayaman, he tends to wear more simple (but costly) clothes. Ang girl naman ang ma-ere. Sad but true!

I totally agree with the senator, I too, thought, when I saw a photo gallery on who wore what at the SONA, that it became similar to a social gathering of the rich and famous garbed in their very best, it makes one think, were they there to support the president’s achievements and hear where our country is at right now or just to be SEEN? Whatever happened to the simple filipinianas and barongs that everyone used to wear? Senator Miriam Santiago may sound like a total party pooper and a kill-joy for pointing this out, but then again, at times, somebody brave needs to do the dirty job of putting these high and mighties in their places. So I applaud the good senator for speaking her mind, you have earned admiration points from a lot of people yet again.

‘Yun oh! THIS THIS THIS! Palakpakan for the best comment ever! Hahaha!

If you’re going to ask me, it’s like shallow mentality dominating the community and society–and they just do everything what they want–from power-tripping to of course, payabangan ng outfit. Calling someone “spoiled” just because they openly declare/announce their gadgets/things online does not make you LESS spoiled. In fact, mas masahol pa nga sila ‘ata kay Komikado-sensei magyabang, eh! Hahaha! ((:


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