If we’re being honest, we didn’t really expect much from this year’s SONA. With how President Rodrigo Duterte’s COVID-19 press cons are going and last year’s “SKL” flow, we already gauged this year’s vibe. And we’re not even talking about the drama during the event proper only. We’re talking about the pre-SONA drama, too.
To say that this year’s pre-SONA saga is intense is an understatement. But aside from confiscating placards in Quiapo Church and banning almost all media outlets in Batasang Pambansa, what caught our eyes the most are the Philippine National Police’s “rehearsals” before the event.
Equipped with riot shields and face shields, we tried grading the police’s pre-SONA “performances” based on our intrams-inspired criteria. With their “steps,” what do you think are we trying to combat, the people or the virus?
In a tweet by ABS-CBN, the riot police were seen doing practice drills along Commonwealth Avenue. Yup, with rehearsed counting at that.
Synchronization – 4/10. We peep some folks looking at each other’s steps. The nerves might be getting in the way. If these were a school performance, we bet you’d see more deductions.
Originality – 5/10. We’ve seen these steps before in Buwan ng Wika performances. But kids don’t really stand this close to each other.
Creativity – 3/10.
Stage (or round) presence: 2/10. 2 stands for 2 many. The amount of officers present is the only reason for their stage presence.
Audience impact – 5/10. We had to replay the video not really because we got hooked, but also to try (really, really hard) to find its exact purpose.
Overall verdict: 19/50.
Role-playing of protesters
Rappler’s pre-SONA coverage unearthed this drone-perfect scene: Police officers LARPing (or live-action role-playing) as protesters grapple with the, uhm, police officers.
Overall verdict: Disqualified for the lack of social distancing, sorry.
Art by Yel Sayo