‘Bagong Pilipinas’: Reactions to Marcos’ SONA ending statement

July 25, 2023 - 10:10 PM
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Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), at the House of Representative in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, July 24, 2023. (Reuters/Lisa Marie David)

The prevalence of poverty and rising unemployment rates among other issues had Filipinos saying there is no new Philippines, in contrast with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s concluding statement in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 24.

Marcos ended his speech by echoing his recently launched administration’s branding.

“With this in my heart, I know that the state of the nation is sound, and is improving. Dumating na po ang Bagong Pilipinas,” he said.

In a Facebook post of Presidential Communications Office where the quote was posted, several supporters welcomed the so-called “Bagong Pilipinas.” It has garnered 8,200 reactions, 322 comments and 268 shares so far.

“Welcome, Bagong Pilipinas,” a Facebook user commented.

“Mabuhay ang Bagong Pilipinas!!!” another wrote.

“President Bongbong Marcos sending our thoughts and prayers to our Bagong Pilipinas,” an online user commented.

The quote was also posted on the president’s official Twitter account, where it was not much welcomed.

As of this writing, the tweet has gained 2.2 million views, 824 likes, 78 retweets and 9,404 quote tweets and counting.

Some simply disagreed with the president.

“If your definition of ‘Bagong Pilipinas’ is a continuously regressing economy, rising unemployment rates, the suppression of human rights, and the reign of corruption and greed, then we are rightfully doomed,” a Filipino tweeted.

“Worse version,” another said in a quote tweet.

Another Twitter user said that there can be no new Philippines with the same old problems.

“‘Dumating na po ang bagong Pilipinas.’ Nope. Same political families ruling for 50-100 years, same problems haunting the country for 50-100 years, and there were no concrete actions mentioned to resolve socioeconomic issues. Walang bagong Pilipinas,” the tweet reads.

IBON executive director Sonny Africa tweeted that the president is exaggerating.

“‘The state of the nation is sound & improving — dumating na ang bagong Pilipinas.’ Marcos Jr confirms position as country’s premier super-spreader of hyperbolic claims & fantastic narratives. After a tedious SONA that struggled to give even flimsiest evidence of any progress,” he wrote.

During the SONA, the president promised that the government is doing its best for the economy, accelerating the flow of goods and services and “empowering” Filipino citizens to have better lives through the Philippine Development Plan.

Marcos said that the “capacity” of Filipinos “through food, education, health, jobs, and social protection” is being prioritized.

READ: Marcos touts economic successes, but challenges lie ahead | FULL TEXT: Marcos’ 2023 State of the Nation Address