President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is notorious for ditching his prepared speeches and speaking extemporaneously. Today's State of the Nation Address (SONA) was no different. In fact, the President himself said, "I am only thinking out loud…Sometimes they write what I say, and not what I mean. I use similes, metaphors, hyperbole, and other figures of speech."
The SONA covered illegal drugs, corruption, disaster preparedness, and telecommunications. But the President also mentioned the rehabilitation of Boracay, the water crisis, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and emergency services—while making rather misogynistic statements about women at the same time.
1. Girls wait for "the gentlemen" in Boracay
The closure and rehabilitation of Boracay was a big project for the Duterte administration. After claiming that Boracay has been restored close to "pristine condition," he stated that girls sunbathe on the beach while waiting for "gentlemen" to visit.
We're not sure if that's a metaphor for prostitution, mail-order brides, or human trafficking.
2. Solving the water crisis so his girlfriend won't "smell like hell"
"During the three-day water crisis, I was afraid that my girlfriend would not be able to take a bath and she will smell like hell."
A lot of people suffered from the water crisis, but apparently, the President's biggest concern was how his girlfriend would smell. But he uttered some profanity, and the water crisis was solved!
"Kung hindi lang ako nagmura. Then there was water, and my girlfriend was fresh."
Aside from the fact that it was apparently so easy to solve the water crisis, we wonder, what girlfriend?
3. The DENR Secretary "eyeing" two Caucasian women in Boracay
The President recalled how people questioned his decision to send Department of Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu to Boracay to oversee the closure and rehabilitation of the island.
We're not sure why it was important to mention that he saw a picture of Sec. Cimatu walking on the beach and watching Caucasian women in bikinis. Perhaps it was hyperbole?
4. Using emergency services to find his "lost" girlfriend
Emergency services are critical for addressing, well, emergencies! You know, like fires, earthquakes, that sort of thing.
The President said, "'911, what is your emergency?' 'I seem to have lost my girlfriend.'"
Again, what girlfriend? Also, are emergency services now also used for "lost and found?" Is reporting a missing girlfriend a simile for the girlfriend being property?
5. Getting imprisoned by the ICC is okay if there are "unlimited conjugal visits"
A lot has been said about human rights abuses and investigations by the United Nations and the ICC. Apparently, the President would be fine with being jailed, as long as he has a comfortable cell and "unlimited conjugal visits."
Is that still a figure of speech? And was that something we really needed to hear during the SONA?
And, here, we'd like to end with a quote from Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who authored the "Bawal Bastos" Law that the President signed.
"Hope he read it before he signed it.
Hope he follows the law.
Hope he sets an example to all."
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