Looking back: SONA trivia
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) President Rodrigo Duterte is set to deliver his 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 23.
It will be the 80th SONA, a tradition that has been practiced since the time of former president Manuel Quezon.
Before listening to what Duterte has to tell the country and seeing what happens during the SONA itself, here's interesting trivia about the SONAs of past presidents.
Manuel L. Quezon
The first SONA by a Philippine president was delivered by Quezon in 1935. He delivered a total of 7 SONAs during his presidency.
All his SONAs were delivered at the Legislative Building in Manila, and had a combined total of 40,684 words.
The last SONA he delivered was in 1941. No SONA was delivered from 1942 to 1944 because of the Japanese occupation.
Jose P. Laurel
Laurel is one of two Philippine presidents (the other being Emilio Aguinaldo) who didn’t deliver a SONA. Constitutions during their time didn't require presidents to address the Congress in its opening session.
Sergio S. Osmeña
Osmeña delivered his first and only SONA in 1945. He delivered his 4,525-word speech at the Temporary Congress Building at Lepanto Street, Manila.
Manuel A. Roxas
Roxas delivered 3 SONAs during his presidency from 1946 to 1948.
All were held at the Temporary Congress Building, and had a combined total of 33,690 words.
Elpidio R. Quirino
His 1950 SONA, however, was delivered via radio broadcast aired live before Congress. During that time, he was confined at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
This made him the first and only Philippine president who was not able to appear before Congress to deliver his speech.
His 5 SONAs had a combined total of 25,604 words.
Ramon del Fierro Magsaysay
All were delivered at the House Session Hall of the Legislative Building in Manila.
His 4 SONAs have a combined total of 19,208 words.
Carlos P. Garcia
All SONAs were delivered also at the House Session Hall of the Legislative Building in Manila.
His 4 SONAs had a combined 32,447 words.
Diosdado P. Macapagal
Macapagal delivered a total of 4 SONAs during his presidency from 1961 to 1965.
All his SONAs were delivered also at the House Session Hall of the Legislative Building in Manila.
His 4 SONAs had a combined total of 37,412 words.
While his 1964 SONA is currently the 4th shortest ever delivered (with 2,838 words), his 1963 and 1965 SONAs are among the longest (with 13,264 and 12,851 words, respectively).
Ferdinand E. Marcos
Marcos delivered the most number of SONAs – a total of 20. That’s more than twice the record of the president with the second most number of SONAs (Arroyo with 9).
Similar to his predecessors, he delivered his first 7 SONAs (1966-1972) at the House Session Hall of the Legislative Building.
After the imposition of martial law and the abolition of Congress in 1972, his SONA was delivered in different areas – Malacañang in 1973 and 1974, Quirino Grandstand in 1975, the Philippine International Convention Center in 1976, and Rizal Park in 1977. During these years, the SONA was delivered on the anniversary of the imposition of martial law on September 21.
The 1973 Constitution set the SONA to every 4th Monday of July, and brought it back to the Batasang Pambansa. The date was strictly followed, except in 1983 when the SONA was delivered on January 17.
Marcos' 20 SONAs had a combined total of 212,510 words. Of all the 77 SONAs so far delivered by Philippine presidents, 6 of his speeches are the longest in Philippine history. His 1969 speech is the longest SONA, thus far, going by word count.
Corazon C. Aquino
Her 5 SONAs had a combined total of 21,213 words.
Fidel V. Ramos
Ramos delivered a total of 6 SONAs during his presidency from 1992 to 1997.
His 6 SONAs had a total of 30,760 words.
Joseph E. Estrada
Estrada delivered a total of 3 SONAs during his presidency from 1998 to 2000.
His 3 SONAs had a total of 16,436 words.
Her 9 SONAs had a combined total of 35,572 words. Her 2005 speech is the shortest SONA, going by word count.
Benigno S. Aquino III
Aquino delivered a total of 6 SONAs during his presidency from 2010 to 2016.
He delivered his very first SONA (2010) entirely in Filipino – the first and only president, so far, to do so.
His 6 SONAs had a total of 52,091 words, almost double the longest SONA of his mother.
Duterte's first SONA in 2016 contained 9,451 words and lasted for one hour and 32 minutes.
His second in 2017 contained 12,527 words and lasted for almost two hours.
Renz Regis is a Rappler intern.
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