Of granules and coffee: Duterte’s rants on ‘Talk to the people’ inspire creation of imagined poem

September 8, 2021 - 7:18 PM
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malacañang Palace on September 7, 2021. (Presidential Photo/King Rodriguez)

A creative piece gained traction on social media which imagined how President Rodrigo Duterte would deliver his pre-recorded “Talk to the People” as inspired by his past ramblings during similar addresses.

Facebook user Hans Pieter Arao on Tuesday wrote a poem in anticipation of the chief executive’s weekly address that was supposed to air on Tuesday evening.

A few minutes before 11 p.m., however, his spokesperson said that the address would be aired on Wednesday morning instead.

Arao, who uploaded his piece hours before the announcement, imagined what Duterte’s then-anticipated address would be like for fun.

“Kung matuloy yung ‘public address’ tonight. The script, maybe,” he wrote on Facebook.

I canceled the new guidelines.
Granular. P**angina. The granules.
Masyadong mahirap,
I tell you.
Ilagay ko sa kape yan.
Sus. That’s why
MECQ. M, easy, Q. Easy.
Hindi kumplikado.. ‘Yang Jolina.
My fellow Filipinos.
Don’t worry. We have no more
money but God
will provide. P**angina. Hipan ko
yang clouds
so they will go away,
mawala na ulan.

“Inayos ko breaks kasi #PoetryOfIncoherence nga pala,” Arao said.

His piece was further formatted similar to the other poem-like structures that have previously drew online attention.

It was uploaded by editorial cartoonist Max of Manila Today.

In late August, Duterte inspired a new avant-garde piece titled “Ang Ano.”

It consisted of the president’s incomplete phrases. He also shared that his spokesperson made a visit to Marawi aboard a helicopter.

“Iyan ang ano ko, iyan ang—doon ako nag—naano sa… Wala talaga. Except si Roque, nagdala ng hamburger doon. I went there 10 times. The last time nga nabutas ‘yung chopper. And I spent hanggang gabi. Hindi ako pumunta doon—nagpunta ako ng hapon hanggang gabi. Iyan ang ano,” Duterte said before.

Writer Jerry Grácio structured it to look like a poem.

“Poetry of incoherence,” he wrote on his post.

Last year, two of Duterte’s ramblings on his weekly addresses also inspired Filipinos to create poem-like structures in response to his incoherence.

Grácio shared a piece titled “The Pill” which came from the president’s claims of a supposed presence of a “miracle pill” that could fight off COVID-19, much like how antibiotics could fight bacteria.

“The only way to fight COVID is vaccine or iyong maybe ‘yung miracle pill that would kill just as an antibiotic would kill a bacteria. But itong virus cannot be killed by antibiotic. Katawan mo talaga ang mag-produce ng antibodies. Now there is a pill, I hope it’s true na parang lalaban and it can maybe sabi kill the…” Duterte claimed in June 2020.

As of writing, there is still no definitive medicine that can prevent or cure the viral disease, according to the World Health Organization.

It was Duterte’s rants in March 2020 that initiated the creation of poem-like structures from his talks.

At that time, the president was in a press conference and he was asked about the supply of COVID-19 testing kits in the country.

He initially answered the question but later on went on a history-inspired ramble as he mentioned the Bubonic Plague, the Spanish Flu, the Middle East, the Roman Empire and even witchhunts.

Duterte’s rant inspired writer Mixkaela Villalon to create a poem-like structure titled “The Kit.”

The president is known for being spontaneous in his “Talk to the People” and addresses. He usually goes off-script since he believes that a prepared speech “does not show the person.”

“It cannot transmit the emotion which I would like to feel,” he was quoted as saying in the past.