Ilocano millennials hail SONA

LAOAG CITY — Many young residents of this city watched as President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday afternoon, and expressed their approval of what the Chief Executive had reported to the Filipinos.

As the President spoke of his achievements for the past 12 months, he went off script many times which prolonged his SONA for two hours.

Some students at the Northwestern University here in Laoag who watched the President’s SONA over live telecast listened to him attentively.

Combining brutally frank and humorous statements he is known for, the President said he believes in the youth and that he will not allow any form of violence especially hard drugs to ruin them including the disintegration of families forced by criminals. This inspired her, 18-year-old Mara Erum said.

“His SONA is both serious and humorous. Humorous in a way that he makes silly jokes because that is who President Duterte is. But he is also serious about the topics he is discussing such as illegal drugs, martial law declaration in Mindanao and responsible mining among others,” she said.

Shane Lyka Rosete, 19, from Vintar, Ilocos Norte, said she liked the President’s wearing of a simple Barong Tagalog and his being straightforward as he delivered his message.

“The way he tackled the different issues in our country is direct to the point. The way he expressed his words is very natural and you will know how he feels. I hope that he will prioritize the poor as he continues to serve as our President,” said Rosete.

Pauline Joyce Sebastian, a student, said, “I like his sincerity in fighting against illegal drugs because it is the root of all forms of criminality. As a student, I’m still hoping for more programs especially on education because I believe education is the key to success.”

On the other hand, Nympha Tolentino of San Nicolas town said: “Everything he says makes sense. Maswerte ang Pilipinas sa kanya. He is very reasonable”.

As the President ended his speech, he enjoined Filipinos to help him build a “better tomorrow” by supporting his plans and programs particularly in committing for a long-term change the Philippines needs most. Leilanie G. Adriano/PNA