Contrary to what administration officials claimed that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) would be “simple” and “traditional,” it seems the pomp and circumstance is back in the red carpet of the annual speech at the Batasang Pambansa.
Donning dresses made by acclaimed Filipino designers, politicians and their spouses, including other guests invited, dressed up for the newly-elected President’s first SONA.
Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio, who arrived early in Congress to witness the election of Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez as House Speaker, wore a Bagobo Tagabawa traditional dress, a “homage” to her Mindanaoan roots.
Ormoc City Mayor Lucy Torres-Gomez and her daughter, Juliana Gomez, wore custom-made Filipiniana dresses by renowned local designer Leonora Luisa Cabili, the founder of Filip + Inna known for using indigenous garments and local fabrics.
Kapuso Actress Heart Evangelista, attending as her husband newly-elected Senator Chiz Escudero’s plus one, arrived in a Mark Bumgarner-designed all-white Filipiniana dress, and a terno during the Senate’s first session in the 19th Congress.
Biñan City, Laguna Representative Len Alonte arrived wearing a Michael Leyva-designed classic white Filipiniana dress in white lace and a drap detail.
Meanwhile, Senator Risa Hontiveros, one of the only two opposition in the Senate in the incoming 19th Congress, wore a more traditional baro’t saya during the opening session of the Senate, made from piña fabric and woven in Aklan. She matched her dress with a hand-woven Tikog bag from Samar, and a Marikina-made pair of shoes.
Although dresses with political messages were initially banned, this did not stop lawmakers from the progressive Makabayan bloc from wearing outfits that carry their respective sector’s advocacies.
ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro wore a black shawl with a hand-painted teacher holding a torch. The black shawl, according to Castro, represents “the darkness brought by the return of a Marcos in Malacañang and the proliferation of disinformation and historical distortion.”
Women’s group Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Broses wore a hand-painted skirt to match her Filipiniana top dress, which symbolized Filipina’s struggle amid rising prices of goods in the market.
On Pres. Marcos Jr.'s first State of the Nation Address (SONA), Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas wears a Filipiniana attire depicting the Filipino women's struggle against rising prices of oil, food, and basic necessities in the "Era of Golden Prices" of the Marcos Jr. regime. pic.twitter.com/2RRe76U7ot
— Gabriela Partylist (@GabrielaWomenPL) July 25, 2022
Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raoul Danniel Manuel wore a Barong Tagalog with hand-painted visuals of clasped hands that symbolize genuine national unity based on social justice and progress, which transforms into a phoenix.
Ito rin ang barong na suot ko noon sa graduation bilang summa cum laude. Now the barong has fresh meaning dahil bitbit na niya ang Youth Agenda. Salamat ulit, Albert Raqueño!
Makakapasok kaya ako sa SONA while wearing this? Dapat. Abangan. pic.twitter.com/Hyp4VDNFqS
— Raoul Manuel #Kabataan (@iamRaoulManuel) July 25, 2022
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