MANILA, Philippines — “Goodbye Philippines” trended on Twitter Tuesday after news broke that Senate and House bills were passed to give President Rodrigo Duterte special powers during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

READ: Senators defend amendments in bill granting Duterte special powers

While the phrase was used to express disappointment at the government’s move, other Filipinos, including celebrities, sought to give a different perspective. The trending topic had over 58,000 tweets as of writing.

Actor Juan Miguel Severo gave alternative actions that Filipinos could do to make change happen in the country instead of bidding it goodbye. These included “Register to vote, Philippines,” “Educate our voters, Philippines,” “Resist, Philippines” and “Thrive, Philippines.”

“All of this and more but never goodbye. Our bullies shall not take what is ours,” he said.

Comedienne Ethel Booba chimed in: “No to Goodbye Philippines. Yes to God bless the Philippines and Go Go Go Philippines. Charot!”

Folk singer-songwriter Bullet Dumas urged, “Tayô! Laban!” (Let us fight!)

Musician Johnoy Danao said that in saying “goodbye, Philippines,” it was as if the hopeless were being abandoned.

“Padayon lang, hindi lang para sa sarili,” he said. (Keep going, not only for yourself.)

Director Kip Oebanda meanwhile said, “The stories of sacrifice, generosity, of art and humanity can’t make me say Goodbye Philippines. I believe in the Filipino people. I just don’t trust the leaders. There’s a difference.”

He quipped, “Pwede ba Goodbye Cayetano na lang?”

House Speaker Alan Cayetano recently drew flak after a special session on Monday where he held up a manila paper with the statement “Together with doctors and frontliners, we went to work for you, so please stay home for us.” Joining him in the photo-op were other House representatives.

READ: ‘I will do it again’: Cayetano gets flak over special session ‘gimmick’

Without mentioning the trending topic, singer Moira Dela Torre also gave messages of hope on Twitter.

She declared, “Babangon tayo. May pag-asa tayo. (We will rise. We have hope.) Filipinos are BRAVE.”


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