Philippine Culture: July in the Philippines

July is still a rainy season month so when in the Philippines, always have an umbrella or raincoat ready at this time of the year. Warnings continue to go out against diseases like dengue, leptospirosis, etc., etc. It is also cough and colds season and some people may experience allergy-like symptoms (e.g. coughs, itchy/watery eyes) due to the changing weather or pollen in the air.

It is also usually the month of the SONA or the president's State of the Nation Address. During this time, the president makes an assessment of the past year and gives some indication as to the direction the country will take going forward before the House of Representatives and the Senate. Of course, ordinary citizens may listen in via television or radio. Expect the next days to be filled by opinions and commentaries on what the president said during the SONA.

The day of the SONA is usually marked by protests and rallies from the opposition and other cause-oriented groups. Recently, aside from the SONA, we have heard of the TSONA (True State of the Nation) -- delivered by Senator Ping Lacson and SONIA (State of the Nation In spite of Arroyo -- delivered by President Erap). That alone, is an indication of the state of the nation. The SONA is also an occasion for fashion-watching -- to see what the lawmakers will wear (they are usually dressed for the occasion) and Philippine politics usually gets stranger and stranger as the years go by. Like did you ever think calamansi trees/plants would suddenly sprout in the session hall out of nowhere?

For the festivals, the first Sunday of July is marked by the Bocaue River Festival in Bocaue, Bulacan. This is a fluvial procession in honor of the miraculous cross of Bocaue.

[By Angelica Viloria | Thursday, July 28, 2005]

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