SONA 2008: A Mother’s Hope

      28 Comments on SONA 2008: A Mother’s Hope

To capture my initial reaction of the President’s SONA, I wrote this entry while watching the SONA 2008 live coverage.

I care about my children who will inherit the country’s future.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo thinks of the poor and her fellow Filipinos in her State of the Nation Address (SONA 2008) (View SONA 2008 Video Archive and SONA 2008 Full Text). She kept saying “I care…”

Madam President, I think of my children all the time. I had high hopes for the Philippines. I refused the US immigrant application in 1986 when Lauren was still a baby because I wanted my children to stay here and work for the future of their country. Sometimes, I think I made a mistake after seeing the state of our country through no fault of ours, you say.

To address these global challenges, you said that ““we have to reach out to those we need and who may need us, yet we strive for self-reliance.”

Madam President, I start with my children first of all because I cannot possibly save the Philippines on my own.

You say “How do we solve these complex challenges. The answer is special care and attention in this great hour of need. We have to have targeted strategies to target price increases, less energy dependence, self-sustainability, self-independence, and self-reliance.”

I am not helpless. I can solve most of my problems. I have the power to solve the problems that is mine to solve. In my own little way, I contribute to the society through my children. Self-reliance begins in our homes. I hope to instill self-reliance in my children even if they have to inherit this crappy economy.

1. I tell then to save their money. Even if we have a extra funds, I train them to think of investments and money management. I do not buy every single material wants if it is merely a luxury item such as fancy cellphones, or computer toys.

2. I encourage my children to expand their knowledge through education and to think out of the box. I encourage them to speak their minds even if it goes against mine.

3. I tell them to turn off the appliances and the lights. I encourage them to commute because I can’t possibly drive them around due to the high prices of gas.

As president, you ended SONA 2008 with “We have our disagreements, but we are one nation with one fate. As your President, I care too much for this nation to let anyone stand in the way of the people’s well-being. I will let no one threaten our nation’s survival. We must be there for them now.”

I care about my children like all parents do, so please live up to your promises.

In the meantime, I hope you continue to fight this battle every single day. It is difficult times for all of us.

I believe that hard times can motivate us to bring out our best. That choice is ours. We don’t need to have stress or hard times to change ourselves but if it happens, we can learn to channel it into achieving what’s good in our life.

We are not victims of life. We can learn to remove ourselves as victims of life. Letting go of the belief that life has to be hard and difficult makes our life much easier.

So what are other ways to getting through hard times?

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1386 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • very well said! i love this post. i’ll share this with my contacts!

  • Thanks Brian. I was live-blogging and expressing my sentiments as GMA spoke. It’s my heartfelt response to her SONA.

  • Nice post as usual, Noemi! 🙂

    I am still at the office and haven’t read/heard/watched the SONA yet. But judging from your post reply, seemed there were a lot of promises and motherhood statements as usual. Oh well.

    Abbies last blog post..DAVID COOK IN MANILA – JANUARY 27, 2009!

  • @abbie- yes there were promises. As a mom, I couldn’t help but react as I can’t possibly care for everyone in the country and fix their problems. I start in my own household…

  • i’m an optimist myself and i believe that if everyone will do as you did, the country will be a better place, regardless of whoever is president.

    arpee lazaros last blog post..Ayala Land’s ALVEO lunches at Red

  • I believe in self-reliance which she stressed out. And the use of renewable energy sources and being self-sufficient. I teach these things to my children too 🙂

    I watched Noemi, even if I said I don’t want to be disappointed.

    julies last blog post..Another Burgoo Dinner with Mommy Bloggers

  • I’d like to know what Madame President meant by ONE FAITH. Is it the religion thing? If it is, then her speech writer is truly dumb (oops, Tita Lupita will see this comment and inform the speech writer). If it isn’t the religion thing, what is the context of ONE FAITH? It would be better to hear her say that “the Philippines is truly diverse yet united by a strong leap of faith in the future.”

    In 2002, I wrote Madame President an open letter (I was invited to do this when she visited San Francisco in October 2002) which was published in Manila Bulletin USA’s Kababayan edition. I encouraged her to set up a “Committee of Deep Listening,” which the revered Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh encourages government leaders to do for their countries. I thought this monk’s suggestion (during his overcrowded session at UC Berkeley two days after 9-11 that I attended) was revolutionary and so practical. He had successfully conducted a retreat for Palestinian and Israeli leaders in France for two weeks — and guess what, these leaders weren’t quarreling.

    Well, blogs can be “committess of deep listening,” right?

  • @Arpee- yes my optimism is not a denial but a sincere effort to make things work

    @Julie- it was disappointing in a way because she was tooting her horns all the way. But I wanted to be informed.

    @lorna- not sure if it is FAITH or FATE.

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  • I’ve always believed that there is hope for our nation. But change has to start from the top. Without sounding like I know too much, whatever little hope this country has is largely pinned on her..Madame President. She can’t just keep on mouthing off on her promises and showing statistics of so-called improvements in the economy. Anybody can do that.

    It is my personal opinion that what this country needs is a benevolent dictator. Someone who has good intent and a strong hand. Someone who can get things done, the way they should be done.

    Maybe I’m wishing for the moon on this one pero malay natin baka may talagang magaling na pwedeng baguhin ang bayan natin 🙂

    Cookies last blog post..Lucky Charm

  • cookie, the idea of a benevolent dictator crossed my mind. Whenever i am in singapore i sometimes wish we had a ströng president. Look at fast their progress is.

  • jing

    Yes it is really disappointing seeing how this administration loots everything they can, even the dignity of their fellow Filipinos. I really didn’t want to watch the SONA yesterday because I knew I would just make myself rant and be upset the rest of the day. But just like you, I took a glimpse of her lies and the promises she has for this country. What a pity.

    Prof. Randy David, who was interviewed at ANC right after the SONA said that everything was just another denial of the truth. He was so disappointed of GMA’s speech and even called her a callous person. I totally agree with him.

    I,too am a mother. Just like you, I am worried about the future that my kids would have. Yes, we need to start with ourselves but it just comes back to me that whatever we do, having these selfish leaders would never free us from this pit of corruption and colonial mentality.

  • i am all for a benevolent dictator, too who put the country’s effort into building the economy and raising the living standards of the populace. if South Korea and Singapore can do it, why can’t we?

    Belles last blog post..Livin’ On A Prayer – Cover by Stephanie Mae

  • I used to be a pessimist but I’ve learned to be an optimist over the years. Self-reliance is really a must, especially if we are living in a country beset by challenges and where people are gradually losing hope. Let’s not surrender. We can get through the hard times by making the best of whatever little we have. Prayers do wonders, too so let’s ask God to show us the way and be on our side always.

    edelweizas last blog post..Cisco Certifications: Giving You an Edge in the IT Industry

  • Ms. Noemi, hope it’s ok with you if I share the link of this post with my readers, too. I have this Blogger Buzz Project where I list links to other bloggers’ post that I find interesting, captivating, amusing, and the likes. Thanks! 🙂

    edelweizas last blog post..Cisco Certifications: Giving You an Edge in the IT Industry

  • @edelweiza- sure you can link. Nice project you have. Will comment more . I have low battery.

  • benevolent dictator = tempting, noemi?


  • @Jester- almost tempting especially if you are parent desperate for a good future for our country,

  • is there anything that materialized from whoever the president is in every SONA? I can’t find one but I still hope that all won’t be seen by me as plans til the day I die. 🙂

    Anyway, nicely written madam!

  • hmmm…i also want to experience marcos time…the benevolent dictator..even im not yet a mother, I am so worried about what future awaits us.
    Let’s pray that time will come that we can conquer all this conflicts and problems in our country. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!!

  • jason gujilde

    Her goal in this year’s SONA has to find a solution in every problem our fellowmen suffered much. I had always believed that there is hope for our nation.

  • thanks for this post… i loved the part in which you said that you rejected the idea of migrating to the US… i think, as a Filipino you have to first think about helping the country… your country… instead of going elsewhere… my parents actually have an opposite view… that leaving is part of my goal… i’m now in 4th year high school… and i was able to watch the SONA… and like my classmates… i thought it was actually pointless… sorry about that… but thanks for this post 🙂

    Danis last blog post..My favorite shows… watched & reviewed

  • Roxanne

    While researching about PGMA’s government including her SONA for my final thesis statement this december, I came to this site. You’re comments were very optimistic. I hope Filipinos are like you. However, we both understand why some of them throw “harsh” words regarding her SONA statement.

    I love how you think about your children because “we” (I am nineteen years old) are the FUTURE of this country.

    When its time for us to pay taxes, we should get better benefits such as roads, retirement, security, and school for our kids. Salamat nanay!


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