MANILA -- Organizers of President Rodrigo Duterte’s last State of the Nation at the Batasang Pambansa on Monday are pulling out all the stops to make it a memorable production.
Morissette Amon will sing the national anthem to the accompaniment of pre-recorded music from the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) under conductor Herminigildo Ranera, according to Undersecretary Demic Pabalan of Radio TV Malacanan (RTVM).
The PPO will also showcase their pre-recorded music of Freddie Aguilar’s “Ang Pagbabago” and five classic songs “Yesterday When I was Young,” “What a Wonderful World," “Dust in the Wind,” “McArthur Park,” and George Canseco’s “Ikaw." The last will be rendered by Leigh Jocson, a singer from Angeles, Pampanga.
“All are favorite songs of the President,” Pabalan told ABS-CBN News.
For her rendition of the national anthem, Amon will be placed on an elevated platform at the second gallery of the Batasan Hall.
Pabalan also disclosed that RTVM veteran director Danny Abad will oversee the SONA production which will have a maximum number of 395 physical attendees (lawmakers and their guests) at the Batasan Hall.
A virtual screen set-up will also be mounted at Malacanan Palace to be attended by senior citizen lawmakers.
The House of Representatives previously told media that between 150 to 200 may be allowed to personally witness the SONA but they must undergo COVID-19 tests.
PTV-4 Network general manager Kat de Castro, co-chair person of the SONA working committee with Martin Andanar, also told ABS-CBN News that the SONA stage design details will be “simple, classic and modest” following the curvilinear plants-inspired designs of Mindanao.
De Castro added that their team will show a documentary entitled “Ang Pangulo” before the SONA speech to be followed by a video collage of lawmakers’ thanksgiving to the President.
A virtual media conference will follow the SONA.
Duterte’s previous SONA events were directed by Brilliante Mendoza and Joyce Bernal.
The PPO had previously performed at the 2019 SONA with Duterte doing an impromptu singing of “Ikaw” and “Moon River.”
He may yet pull another surprise at his final SONA.