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MANILA, Philippines – On the day of the third State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the President, Senator Pia Cayetano will have two dresses, one each for the morning and afternoon events, her office told media outfits on Monday.
Dubbed as the “Oscars red carpet of the Philippines” the annual SONA has drawn lawmakers and their spouses into what Senator Joker Arroyo said is a “usual fashion show.”
As early as 11 am, several lawmakers already walked on the red carpet, giving out interviews, mostly answering the question: “Who are you wearing?”
For Cayetano, the question was answered in an early text message sent out to reporters:
“Sen Pia Cayetano’s outfits today are by Jojo & Mia Urquico. AM: Gray 1950s inspired gown w/ sliced petal Modern Filipiniana sleeves. PM: Great Gatsby (1920s) inspired , stretched champagne beaded Modern Filipiniana gown embellished w/ feathers on layered tulle. For live SONA updates ff @piacayetano on Twitter.”
Curious if another lady senator, Loren Legarda, was wearing something noteworthy, we sent out a text query and got this reply: “Senator Legarda’s outfit and accessories: Bracelet is jade on ebony borrowed from celestina. Bag is also PHL made. Gown is recycled p[ina top on black by Paul Cabral. Earrings are gold diggings from my late mother. Ring is pamana of grandmother. All Filipino outfit.”
But Cayetano wasn’t the only one who seemed quite prepared for the “fashion show,” with a wardrobe change between the morning opening session at Senate and the SONA proper in the afternoon.
Akbayan Partylist Rep. Kaka Bag-ao sent out strips of paper detailing her dress on SONA day before walking the red carpet.
“Bag-ao’s outfit reflected the color of her passion for farmers and the environment. The forest green silk gown is a contemporary take on the mestiza dress with a modern panuelo created by Joel Acebuche. The garment is accentuated by petal payettes, embossed flowers and gold details.”
Former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros also sent out details on her dress before arriving at 3 pm at the Batasang Pambansa:
“Hontiveros wore a ‘North meets South’ ensemble of T’nalak and Abel Iloco by Joel Acebuche. The use of the two fabrics symbolizes unity and diversity of Filipino culture. The T’nalak bolero features traditional butterfly sleeves and a high structured collar to mirror the fusion of old and new. The bodice is yellow Abel Iloco serpentine.”
Twitter talk: 'Shallow'
Some Twitterers found the early press release of these lawmakers quite troubling.
“Shallow. SONA is about social issues not socialite fashion,” said Via Malaya (@VMalaya).
“Yan daw naman kasi ang Oscars nila, hayaan mo na. But wait, I don't think the biggest Hollywood stars even do that,” said Angeli Soneja (@iamqweenangel)
During InterAksyon’s special pre-SONA forum in UP Diliman on Friday, socio-political commentarist Lourd de Veyra predicted that the half of the media coverage on PNoy's annual report to his 'boss' would center on how many applause he gets and the fashion worn for that day.