MONDAY'S State of the Nation Address of President Benigno C. Aquino III was highly anticipated as was his inaugural address and from the 36 minutes ten-second message he delivered, it was apparent that he knew the anticipation waiting for him.

Like just before his inaugural address, different interest groups were hankering for focused programs instead of staged melodramatic promises like Mang Pandoy and the "presyo ng galunggong" and the unbelievable bankang papel.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

That he set out clear directions without the melodrama and actors somehow gives substance to how he ended his speech saying, "Iba na talaga ang sitwasyon pwede na muling mangarap."

He stood by his campaign promise to stop corruption and vowed to go after those who have pillaged our country. That is good, but we can only wait.

Of greater interest for us in Mindanao, however, is how he looks at the problem that has been besetting the land -- the insurgency of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and the Moro unrest.

That he intends to push for negotiation was made clear, and the bakwits whose homes and villages have been bombed for decades now can rejoice with us.

That he clearly mentioned the lumads (indigenous peoples) as being part of the negotiation for peace, is a big step forward to these group of people who have long been swept to the sidelines, unattended, unheard, but rendered just as homeless and helpless as the bakwits.

"Hindi po nagbabago ang ating pananaw, mararating lamang ang kapayapaan kung mag-uusap ang bawat apektado: Ang mga Moro, lumad, at Kristyano," he said. He has laid down the tone for the consultations, let Mindanaoans make sure that this is followed.

"Iiwasan natin ang pagkakamaling nangyari sa nakaraan kung saan binulaga na lang ang mga mamamayan ng Mindanao," was a direct reproach of the memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain (MOA-AD) that sparked off widespread violence in Northern and Central Mindanao.

With regards the communist rebellion, it was clear that he wants nationwide ceasefire but only if the NPA will silence their guns. "Mahirap magsimula ng usapan hangga't may amoy pa ng pulbura sa hangin," he said. It's an idealistic call that will surely make the rebels balk.

The challenge, however, should have rang loud and clear among the rebels' hierarchy: "Handa na ba kayong maglaan ng konkretong mungkahi sa halip na batikos lamang?"

The Sona was good to listen to, but we know it will not be that easy to implement. While our president seems determined to straighten out the corruption and avarice, we know that the corrupt and avaricious are still well-entrenched in power.

The president knows that as well and even acknowledged their presence in his speech when he said, "Mayroong mga nagnanasang hindi tayo magtagumpay dahil pag hindi tayo magtatagumpay makakabalik na naman sila sa kapangyarihan."

Moreso, we have a bankrupt government to deal with. There is a big problem at hand, but we just have to remember, that this time, it is not Mang Pandoy's dream, it is not the dream of the three children who were supposed to have sent out that "bangkang papel" to Malacañang, but the dream of the whole Filipino people.

"Iba na talaga ang sitwasyon pwede na muling mangarap."

We may not believe he can do everything he promised, but we can always heed his call not just to "makialam" but to "makilahok" because "pakikialam" is passive, while "pakikilahok" means involvement.

He did say we should "makilahok", and so while he remained silent on environmental issues and mining in Mindanao and there was nothing about the overseas Filipino workers, this time, it was very clear to us that the administration will be all about our "pakikilahok"; about us.

We may not believe he can do everything he promised, but most of the time, leaders only need a clear vision and inspiring presence to bring forward a people and its country.

"Tayo nang tumungo sa katuparan ng ating pinangarap..."