Famous themes of “State of the Nation Addresses” (SONA) of President Ferdinand E. Marcos - Fourth Installment
Anchor for Allvoices
In 1966 State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand E. Marcos he said, "For our survival, and beyond it, our progress is in our hands. We cannot look to anybody else. We can expect no help from any other sector. We must look to ourselves alone. Our nation can be great only according to the scale of our own labors, our self-abnegation."
In this famous SONA theme, President Marcos envisioned “a self-sufficient and self reliant Filipino.” He outlined and painted a Filipino who would be able to support himself without necessarily depending help and assistance from others which would sum-up to “Filipino dignity and human dignity.”
President Marcos had embarked to implement such goal through his popular program known as “Roads, Rice and Schools” or RRS. He built road networks that interconnected the administrative regions of the country which have never been surpassed until today. This means that Marcos built more roads and highway systems than any of his predecessors and successors.
He improved agricultural productivity, notably in the production of the staple grain, “palay of rice” and he lived long enough and presided over the transformation of the Philippines from a perennially rice importing to a rice exporting nation.
He built school buildings and put community or Barangay High Schools thus, democratization of access to basic education had set-in. Highly encouraged and supported tertiary and higher education hence, the Philippines became a regional educational capital. Scholars from neighboring Asian nations came to study in Philippine government colleges and universities particularly in agricultural colleges and universities like in UP Los Banos (UPLB), Central Luzon State University in Munoz, Nueva Ecija; Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City, Lanao, Mindanao and others.
In 1969 State of the Nation Address, Marcos delved on self-reliance and a New Filipinism: "The extinction of Juan Tamad as the undeserved archetype of the Filipino race and the emergence of a new type of Filipino more competent, more confident, more eager for challenge and achievement than all his ancestors before him."
With this theme, Marcos would like to erase and discard the Spanish painted “Indolent Filipino” image. He advocated the “Filipino Ideology” through which the new Filipino is viewed as a risk taker and an embodiment of success.