SONA 2023

‘Nasaang bansa ka ba?’ Netizens point out inaccurate, ironic, lacking data in SONA 2023

Christa Escudero

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‘Nasaang bansa ka ba?’ Netizens point out inaccurate, ironic, lacking data in SONA 2023
#SONA2023 tops Twitter trends in the Philippines as netizens share their thoughts on President Marcos’ second SONA

As President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivered his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 24, Filipinos took to social media to share their thoughts on the chief executive’s performance report.

This led to #SONA2023, along with SONA-related topics, topping Twitter trends in the Philippines.

Twitter trends in the Philippines as of 6:44 pm, July 24, 2023. Screenshot from Rappler

Days before the SONA, Filipinos online expressed their concerns on inflation in the country, among other top issues.

Here are some reactions and thoughts from netizens on SONA day.

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FULL TEXT: President Marcos’ State of the Nation Address 2023

FULL TEXT: President Marcos’ State of the Nation Address 2023
Prices of goods

In his 2023 SONA, Marcos took pride in what he claimed to be a decrease in prices of basic goods in the country thanks to his Kadiwa stores, a project of the Department of Agriculture which Marcos leads as concurrent secretary.

Filipinos online were quick to disagree. “Nasaang bansa ka ba (What country are you in)?” one netizen quipped.

Meanwhile, some said the Kadiwa project is not sustainable and accessible.

“They do not pass the standard for price monitoring, because they are an irregular facility, and [do] not resolve the inflation crisis for all Filipinos,” said University of the Philippines statistician Peter Cayton.


As he shared his plan to accept the resignations of “unscrupulous law enforcers and others involved in the highly nefarious drug trade,” Marcos said, “We cannot tolerate corruption or incompetence in government.”

Netizens pointed out the irony of his statement.

Critics of the Maharlika Investment Fund Act, which Marcos signed into law days before SONA, said the fund has a poorly designed governance structure that could open the floodgates to political interference and corruption.

Lawyer Chel Diokno said funds for the Maharlika could have been channeled to thenprograms Marcos mentioned in his speech.

Many Filipinos have also criticized the recent rebranding efforts of various government agencies, particularly those of the Department of Tourism and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), questioning the budget of each project with respect to the outputs produced.

Women and the LGBTQ+

A few netizens noticed that Marcos failed to tackle issues for women and the LGBTQ+ community – something that was also observed in his first SONA.

“Women, girls, and the LGBTQIA+ community are continually being threatened yet they still do not get attention from the government. This is unacceptable,” wrote sociologist Ash Presto.

The SOGIE equality bill continues to languish in Congress.

Meanwhile, women’s rights advocates have urged Marcos to advance women’s rights through concrete programs and orders.

Speech delivery

There were those who said Marcos’ speech was no-nonsense and straightforward, even comparing it the SONA of his predecessor Rodrigo Duterte.

Others also noticed that Marcos used more of the Filipino language in this year’s SONA. In the 2022 SONA, Filipinos online criticized how “technical” Marcos’ speech sounded, saying that the speech can be hard to understand for most.

However, while Marcos’ SONA sounded “refreshing,” former Bayan Muna representative Teddy Casiño noted that it mentioned “all the right things and [avoided] all the contentious things.”

“It was a speech that glossed over our problems, bloated his accomplishments, and promised the moon and stars,” he added.

As Marcos wrapped up his speech, he said, “Dumating na ang bagong Pilipinas (The new Philippines has arrived).” This prompted several netizens to lament the opposite – that the problems of the country continue to persist today.

What are your thoughts on Marcos’ second SONA? Share it with us on social media @rapplerdotcom.

Follow Rappler’s coverage of SONA 2023 here. — with reports from Vixey Lema and Bonnie White/

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Christa Escudero

Christa Escudero is a digital communications specialist for Rappler.