Tag Archives: SONA

So NaDuterte

Today, in my country of birth, the current president appears before the lawmakers of the land, and before the entire nation. This is the same president who vowed to defend and protect the citizens of the country and adhere to the constitution. This is the same president who, soon as he took to power, violated the most basic rights of the poor and defenseless.
Today he speaks as if he were the hero of the land. Each of us, in our own minds, try to be the hero we dream of. Duterte’s greatest hero, as he has declared and proven by his actions many times over, is the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos who silenced critics by sending them to prison, if not to the grave.
Duterte’s so-called war on drugs, in a mere three years, has gone way beyond what Marcos himself managed to do.
I wrote the following poem last year as a first draft. The second draft did away with all that is so blatant in the piece and, in a way, turned out to be a better poem. But it didn’t retain the anger and condemnation I wanted to convey. That poem is due to appear in a South African journal, the New Coin.
Today, as I cannot join any of the protest rallies in my country of birth, I decided to share this poem here, and perhaps on my Facebook author account.

We Cannot Allow the Dead to be Silenced

The man who curses shall be cursed
to live forever in the stories we shall tell
our children. They will not fear him
or his twisted reincarnations.

Our children shall not be shaken
by his threats. His attack dogs
with teeth of bullets cannot make us
turn away and flee.

Though the dead may be left
unclaimed in morgues
or dumped on the side of the road,
their faces bound with packaging tape,

they will never be silenced.
The veins on their exposed necks
and stiffened arms will turn to roots.
And we who fight to remember

the cruelty inflicted upon those
we can no longer hold shall bear
bitter fruit to be shoved
down the tyrant’s throat.

-o-

The title of this post may look odd to those who are not familiar with the play on words Filipinos like to employ by borrowing from another language. A rough translation would be – aside from SONA (State of the Nation Address) – “Done in by Duterte.”


https://www.rappler.com/nation/updates-duterte-state-of-the-nation-address-july-2019

https://www.rappler.com/move-ph/235870-groups-hit-duterte-admin-performance-ahead-sona-2019




Another State of the Nation Address (SONA) from Zuma will need some imagination

zuma-finger

photo from the Twitter account of ENCA

So, another year, another chance for Zuma to hypnotize us into submission. This year is likely to be the same as the past few years. With a few slightly different details such as the presence of 441 members (odd number, that) of the South African National Defense Force being deployed at Parliament in Cape Town, along with the restrictions on press movement (they get their own pen – perhaps without a pig, hopefully with ink) while covering the expected pomp (include all the negative things that word might conjure) and… yawning.

We poor citizens will have to use our rich imagination to entertain ourselves while being tortured and shown the prospect for another grim year under this man who has nearly 800 counts of corruption charges the National Prosecuting Authority should file but just won’t.

Here’s a suggestion. That photo. That hand behind Zuma. Imagine those fingers folding two while holding the middle one straight. Raise that hand. Aim at Zuma’s bald head. Then make him turn his head to that middle finger.

Feel a little better? Now aside from this exercise, get to work. Prove to him this country can be better without him sitting and laughing at us as if we were all fools.