On Benigno Aquino III’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA), a giant rotten egg will be rolling along Commonwealth Avenue.
Parodying the president’s nickname PNoy, artists and people’s organizations created a ‘penoy’-inspired effigy for the July 25 SONA. Penoy is a premature duck egg which is considered an exotic Filipino delicacy.
UGATLahi Artist Collective, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, and select contributing artists including UP Diliman students and artists from abroad crafted this year’s effigy.
The effigy reflects Aquino’s performance during his first year, said Crisanto de Leon, chair of UGATLahi Artist Collective. “Papet, inutil at pahirap ang unang taon ni Aquino,” he added.
The effigy is comprised of the egg with Aquino’s face and a US-made Hummer jeep. The “penoy” is mounted on the camouflage-painted jeep. The egg appears to break or crack to let out the issues that have hounded the administration in the past year, such as rampant oil price hikes, public-private partnerships, unemployment and demolition of communities.
“The egg rides on top of the US jeep, because that’s how PNoy—he relies on the support of the United States. He doesn’t have an independent foreign policy,” noted de Leon. He added that Aquino’s leadership is as bad as a rotten egg, as shown by the issues that he failed to address.
The egg or penoy is also the grade given by various groups to Aquino on different areas of governance. “Itlog ang grado sa kanya,” said the group when asked how Aquino fared in the economy, human rights and foreign policy.
The effigy is now nearing completion, and only needs finishing touches. Once finished, the assembled toy-like effigy will stand 14 feet tall.
The penoy effigy will be burned by protesters as part of the program of the mass demonstration on the day of the SONA. Last year, the magician-themed effigy that symbolized Aquino’s promise of change was not set on fire as progressive groups wanted to give Aquino a chance to make good on his promise.
Yet now, “Ramdam na natin na hindi kayang panindigan ni Noynoy ang pagbabagong sinasabi niya, at bagkus ay lalo pang naghirap ang mamamayan sa ilalim ng kanyang pamumuno,” said de Leon.
According to UGATLahi, effigies are “symbols of major political figures condoning anti-people policies and are ritually burned to express the people’s discontent.” The artist collective has been creating SONA effigies since 1999.