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Speech lasts 71 mins., applauded at least 68 times

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. wrote his second State of the Nation Address, which lasted for an hour and 11 minutes and was applauded at least 68 times yesterday.

The President received a standing ovation during the last part of his speech where he said that the “new Philippines” (Bagong Pilipinas) has arrived and that the state of the nation is strong and improving.

Days before his SONA, Mr. Marcos rolled out the country’s new brand of governance and leadership campaign — Bagong Pilipinas — which he said was characterized by a “principled, accountable, and dependable government.”

Sen. Imee Marcos (left) and Audrey Tan-Zubiri, wife of Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, flank President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. after his second State of the Nation Address. Revoli Cortez

According to presidential son and Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos, his father had to trim his initial draft to keep the speech under an hour and a half.

“He started with quite a long draft but he was able to shave it down a little bit,” the younger Marcos said.

“As a general rule, he always says that if it goes over one hour thirty, one hour forty-five, no one will listen anymore,” he added.

Among the President’s audience were two “golden” women seated next two each other and wearing matching shades of yellow: Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio in a traditional Maguindanaon dress and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos who wore a Lesley Mobo hand-embroidered terno.

Two former Presidents likewise graced the event — Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is also a House deputy speaker.

Despite confirming his attendance earlier, former President Rodrigo Duterte skipped the SONA.

Sen. Christopher Go, a long-time aide of Duterte, said the former president returned to the country Saturday night after a weeklong trip to China and was” very, very exhausted.”

Before entering the plenary, Mr. Marcos was also greeted by his sister, Sen. Imee Marcos, who showed to him her henna tattoo to match her Igorot tribal outfit.

Classical singer Lara Maigue opened the event with her rendition of the national anthem.

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