PHOTOS: Marcos’s first SONA draws dressed up lawmakers, guests

·Contributor
·3 min read
President Bongbong Marcos and Vice President Sara Duterte pose for the cameras after his first SONA in Quezon City, Philippines.
Philippine President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. stands beside Vice President Sara Duterte in a traditional tribal dress, after his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, July 25, 2022. Aaron Favila/Pool via REUTERS

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.

Actress Heart Evangelista and husband Senator Chiz Escudero arrive for Marcos’s first SONA.
Power couple actress Heart Evangelista and Senator Chiz Escudero arrive for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr's first State of the Nation Address (SONA). (Photo: Heart Evangelista/Instagram)

Biñan City, Laguna Representative Len Alonte arrived wearing a Michael Leyva-designed classic white Filipiniana dress in white lace and a drap detail.

Biñan City, Laguna Representative Len Alonte wears Michael Leyva-designed Filipiniana dress for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s first State of the Nation Address (SONA). (Photo: Len Alonte/Instagram)
Biñan City, Laguna Representative Len Alonte wears Michael Leyva-designed Filipiniana dress for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s first State of the Nation Address (SONA). (Photo: Len Alonte/Instagram)

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.

Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros wore a more traditional baro’t saya for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s  State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros wore a more traditional baro’t saya for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

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.”

ACT Party-list Representative France Castro (left) arrives with former ACT Philippines Chair Joy Martinez for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s  State of the Nation Address (SONA).
ACT Party-list Representative France Castro (left) arrives with former ACT Philippines Chair Joy Martinez for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

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.

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.

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