Duterte speaks to the 80%, and they respond to him
Again, social media is abuzz over the SONA.
Naturally, supporters gush over the straight talking speech, all agog over how it crudely speaks to them, the often middle to lower class support base in the country's factories, fishing villages and bus stops, front offices and shantytowns.
For the first time, many of them say, they understand why a SONA speech is even made, and that they now know that new laws need to be pushed for, like a national land use act, and why minerals must be processed at home to generate jobs, why Temporary Restraining Orders are not always good.
His frequent departure from the prepared text helps them take a breath, as they take in the elaboration of what would be a foreign idea written in an english they bleed to comprehend.
On the other hand, his detractors balk at what they call incoherent speech, often digressing and rambling like an angry old man needing catharsis and fresh cuss to make a point.
The detractors, many of whom hail from the educated set on the K-belt area, long for a President who gives speeches following rhetorical rules, flowing prose, reflecting the the power, grace and style of one like them.
They will aplaud him properly like they should with gentle claps and measured glances.
Naturally, they are uncomfortable with Digong. Some of them hate him with full passion of a scorned mistress. They spread memes showing a seemingly rejected Kris Aquino illustrating how it feels to be his speechwriter.
The bare truth however is that he doesn't speak to the elites, for he knows that they will either get, or reject him either way they exercise the democratic freedoms they can verily afford to.
What matters more is the rest of the Filipino populace, the 80% for whom government services are the only choice, the hoi polloi as they are called by the capitals' cognoscenti, who bristle at them who they call "bobotantes."
For three decades this majority has had to line up at 4am for passports and to apply for renewals of various government issued documents, and endure the insult of having to face government frontliners who treat them like slaves, to the point of extracting rents and grease money for many unecessary things.
Of course the elites have staff and consultants to do that. They don't need to face government directly.
Despite this, the elites expect the rest of us to think, dress and behave like them, and share the same political choices.
We saw this divide clearly taking shape in 1995, 1998, 2001 and 2004, when "populist" candidates mainly movie stars, took their electoral victories.
The great mass of people saw how these individuals identified with them against the elite they secretly despise.
Voting them in was fatalism and rebellion rolled into one bundle of political realities, where laughs, looks and cuteness and nothing else won elections. Even established politicians resorted to try to be actors. Others just married them.
Years after, however, the star sparkle faded. The showbiz political elite bore no clear agenda save to win, rendering their staying power weak. Others got embroiled in corruption and crime.
Remember Dennis Roldan? They, except for a few exceptions, were eventually seen as self serving and eventually fell out of favor.
Now comes the man from Davao. Swashbuckling, frank and straight talking, he touched a raw.nerve in the 80%.
He was no actor, nor basketball star. The prosecutor turned Mayor simply behaved and spoke like them. they could relate, and were awed by the man he was.
This is what the elites in their ivory towers refuse to comprehend. Its no surprise that they lost 2016. They'd rather have the uptight and condescending Mar Roxas as their standard bearer, foisting their coiffed ideal on the people.
They resisted. Duterte won.
A year after, they still force the 80% to swallow the same condescension, insinuating that they are a "paid troll army", insulting them through obvious nameless troll sites like Pinoy Ako Blog or Silent No More. They are still rejected.
They see him as a truthful mirror of their own condition, his language able to capture their own emotions push their visions and.elaborate their aspirations. Thus, any insults thrown his way are felt by them. They get angrier as the barbs against him get sharper.