Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. delivered his first State of the Nation Address on July 25 at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City, baring his plans for his six-year term as president of the Philippines.
His SONA lasted for one hour and 14 minutes and received 93 rounds of applause from the audience, comprised of the first family, members of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and their guests.
Marcos Jr. arrived at Batasang Pambansa aboard the presidential chopper and was welcomed by newly-installed Senate President Migs Zubiri and House Speaker Martin Romualdez, who were elected by their respective chambers earlier in the day.
The presidential family
The president joined his wife, first lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, at the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office with Sen. Imee Marcos and Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos.
Liza and presidential sons Simon and Vinny were seated in the audience next to Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio and Irene Marcos.
During his speech, the president acknowledged the presence of former chiefs of state Joseph Ejercito Estrada, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and Rodrigo Roa Duterte. He also acknowledged his wife, which garnered applause, as well as his children. Liza was shown on camera covering her face at the mention of her name.
A 'cinematic' SONA
With the SONA directed by Paul Soriano, Marcos Jr.'s entrance was cinematic. As he entered the plenary hall, an instrumental version of Pilipinas Kong Mahal was played.
The lighting was also different and somewhat dramatic, with a subtle spotlight effect making it look like there were rays of sun shining on Marcos Jr. as he spoke.
Policies and plans
Throughout the address, Marcos Jr. received his first standing ovation when he revealed his plans to create more specialty hospitals in the National Capital Region and in other parts of the country. His father, former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr., established the Heart Center, Lung Center, and National Kidney and Transplant Institute during his regime.
The president was cheered again for saying he "will not preside over any process that will abandon even a square inch of territory of the Republic of the Philippines to any foreign power."
In his speech, Marcos Jr. mentioned the infrastructure programs of former president Duterte and said that he would continue them. He also thanked the 16th president for creating the Department of Migrant Workers.
Meanwhile, as Marcos Jr. bared his plans to make Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) mandatory for senior high school students, former national police chief Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa applauded with gusto.
Marcos Jr.'s first SONA started at 4:05 PM and ended at 5:19 PM. And while the president did not mention his late father, former president Ferdinand E. Marcos, in his speech, presidential broadcasting network RTVM ended the broadcast of the SONA with a photo of a young Marcos Jr. with his father.