7:30 AM. I came in to the office to start the media monitoring, which is even more tedious than usual because of the weekend pile-up of newspapers. I swear to myself that I’ll leave early and take advantage of the flexi-sched policy for once, but even as I do I say to myself, yeah right.
9:00 AM. People have been been trickling into the office since the past hour, shaking wet umbrellas and marvelling at the lack of traffic, which is a decidedly surreal thing to happen on a Monday morning. The reason for the absence of the usual Monday morning hellish traffic, you see, is that classes were suspended, either due to the State of the Nation Address or due to the flooding, take your pick. Either way, the rest of us bundy-clock punching people still have to drag ourselves out of bed and pick our way through the flooded streets.
9:05 AM. Precious takes a poll: Which do you want to watch on TV today, SONA news or the Miss Universe pageant? The decision was unanimous: We wanted world peace.
10:15 AM. I finish my first batch of news monitoring, selecting relevant articles and sending them to my client, and now I’m about to start on another batch, this one requiring me to actually read the articles in full and summarize them. Half of the articles tackle the SONA. On the other side of the office, the TV is turned on and people are monitoring the Miss Universe pageant. Yeah, life’s unfair like that sometimes.
11:54 AM. A quick check on inq7.net reveals that Puerto Rico won the Miss Universe pageant. Meanwhile, in my news clippings, all indications show that the SONA will consist mainly of the President’s economic achievements and plans for the future. The vision is reportedly a “First-World Philippines.” It’s like the President is saying, “Ekonomista ako. At ako pa rin ang Presidente kahit anong gawin nyo kaya tumahimik kayong lahat dyan.”
1:22 PM. I’m finished with my news monitoring tasks for the day, but the sounds of somebody getting yelled at in the other room precipitates anxiety attacks and sends me flying to the phone to make that follow-up call I wasn’t able to make in the morning. My contact, whose feedback on a proposal has had me on tenterhooks for the past couple of weeks, tells me that they will still have to coordinate the schedule and will let me know tomorrow…or the next day. I think I’m next in line on the chopping block. The State of the Nation my ass. What about the state of my poor nerves???
3:23 PM. Was able to sneak peeks at the TV, as the time for the President’s SONA draws near. Legislators and various government officials in their Filipiniana/business finery parading around Batasan and getting interviewed. Some just sit idly swinging on their swivel chairs waiting for 4 o’clock. I remember going to an event in Congress some weeks back and peeking in pn an ongoing session. Some congressman was complaining that the flag at the Batasan Hall (you know, that huge flag behind the Speaker) is incorrect because it has apparently the wrong shade of blue. De Venecia, wanting to dispose of the matter quickly, referred it to some committee, and the legislator said, no, it has been referred to the committe some weeks back, end even the National Historical Institute has said it’s the wrong shade of blue, so how come the wrong flag is still hanging up there? Nobody, it seemed, could figure it out. I think they even had some sort of discussion on who would be willing to sponsor the purchase of a new flag, I’m not sure. But anyway, De Venecia still referred it to the committee and the congressman was forced to shut up. And now, catching glimpses of the Batasan Hall in between my trips to the copier, that’s all I can think about. Does the flag hanging up there now have the right shade of blue?
4:ish. Omigod, blooper on forgetting the national anthem. De Venecia announces the President of the Republic of the Philippines, and GMA then gingerly picks her way to the podium, a bit hesitantly, as if thinking, wait, there’s something wrong here. De Venecia calls her back, praktis lang yon, Madame President, mag national anthem at prayer muna tayo. Who’s the floor director for this event anyway?
5:03 PM. I wonder what does an LGU official have to do to be mentioned in a State of the Nation Address.
It makes sense, I guess. I mean, you’ll know a place has made strides if a Jollibee opens up a branch there, he he…
5:15 PM. SONA ends…So basically, the President played connect-the-dots with the Philippine map (kaya pala may powerpoint) and called by name LGU officials supporting charter change, right?
And oh, yeah, the political hirit turned out to be inescapable after all, when she took a dig at the losers who after losing the elections apparently have nothing better to do than to disrupt the country. And then she gave this evil laugh, while her minions applauded. Definitely a fine point in the country’s political history.
Yes, please God, let there be a better way.