What you need to know about SONAs

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President Aquino will give his final SONA on Monday (July 27).

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — As we approach the final State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Aquino III on Monday (July 27), let’s first take a look at a few facts about the speech.

The SONA is delivered annually by the Philippine president, wherein the chief executive reports on the state of the country, proposes legislative measures to Congress, and presents the government’s agenda for the coming year.

It is required by the 1987 Constitution under Article VII, Section 23.

How long are SONAs?

Since SONAs cover a variety of issues and topics, they tend to be lengthy, at least for most presidents.

On January 27, 1969, Ferdinand Marcos delivered the longest speech, with a total of 29,335 words. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, meanwhile, owned the shortest, with only 1,556 words on July 25, 2005, according to Malacañan.

But what about the other presidents?

Here’s a look at the average length of SONAs (based on word count) delivered by Philippine presidents:

 

SONA-Length-infograhics_CNNPH.png  

 

Did you know?

On November 25, 1935, Manuel Quezon delivered the first ever SONA before the National Assembly, in which he focused on the implementation of a well-grounded system of National Defense.

With regards to most number of SONAs delivered, Ferdinand Marcos gets the top spot. Because of his 21-year reign, Marcos surpassed all other presidents with a total of 20.

He was also the only chief executive who didn't deliver SONAs in front of Congress (1973,1974, 1975, 1976, and 1977).

The president who gave the least number of SONAs is Sergio Osmeña, who delivered only one.

SONAs are usually delivered by the president in Congress, but there was one instance, on January 23, 1950, where it was delivered through a radio broadcast. Then Pres. Elpidio Quirino was confined at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the United States.

Aquino’s SONAs

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Looking back: Aquino's past SONAs

President Benigno S. Aquino III has made a couple of innovations in the SONA tradition.

On July 26, 2010, he became the first and only president to deliver the entire speech in Filipino as past presidents have either delivered entirely in English or included some portions in the vernacular.

In the following year during his second SONA, Aquino had an English translation of his speech delivered in real-time for the benefit of the Diplomatic Corps.

On Monday, Aquino is set to deliver his sixth and final SONA. But most Filipinos won’t be intrigued with the length of his SONA or whether or not it was delivered in Filipino.

For them, what’s important is what’s in it.

CNN Philippines’ intern Zyrile Gomez contributed to this story.