Mindanao-inspired outfits dominated the red carpet walk at Monday afternoon’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) where solons, government officials, and guests wore ensembles made from handwoven fabrics by indigenous groups like the Yakan and T’boli among others.
There was a visible attempt among solons and their spouses to keep their looks subdued in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s desire not to turn the important gathering into a frivolous fashion show.
While past SONA red-carpet parades highlighted the elegant and embellished creations of the country’s top fashion designers, this year’s dominant style mantra was all about keeping it subdued, almost plain, and neutral in color.
Take a look at this year’s SONA fashion:
Expressing her support for Marawi’s culture and heritage, Senator Loren Legarda wore an old blouse inherited from her late mother, and an old Maranao landap woven in traditional inaul style. She paired her outfit with a Marikina-made shoes and a locally-made bag as support for micro-enterprises.
Diwa Partylist Representative Emmeline Aglipay donned a T’boli-inspired outfit made by Rhett Eala. Aglipay appeared with her husband, Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar.
Heart Evangelista, wife of Senator Chiz Escudero, continues to be a head-turner at the red carpet with her Mindanao-inspired pantsuit designed by Boom Sason. Earlier at the Senate, she wore a crisp white Filipiniana made by Jo Rubio.
Representative of the Lone District of Davao Del Sur, Mercedes Cagas, wore an outfit made from T’nalak weaving paired with a headdress made from an ensemble of rooster’s feathers and horse tail.
Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo opted for a pink Yakan-inspired attire.
Department of Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial showed up in a jacket and skirt ensemble that highlights the vibrant fabric of the malong from Mindanao.
Leyte Representative Lucy Torres-Gomez wore an ankle-length Mindanao skirt reminiscent of a malong. She was with her pretty 16-year-old daughter Juliana. The only child of the Gomezes shows she’s just like any teenager as she keeps an adhesive bandage on her bruised knee.
Whites and blacks
Just like last year, Senator Grace Poe opted for a white outfit. The senator’s husband, Neil Llamanzares, joined her at the event.
Tootsy Angara, wife of Senator Sonny Angara, also came in a white outfit that she revealed was what she wore 26 years ago in her junior prom when she was only 15 years old. The outfit was designed by fashion icon Pitoy Moreno.
Senator Risa Hontiveros also chose to wear white, which she said is a symbol for the fight for truth.
In contrast, former senator and Taguig Representative Pia Cayetano wore an intricately beaded black outfit designed by Mia Urquico.
Senator Nancy Binay arrived in a Randy Ortiz barong top paired with black trousers. The senator looked chic and stylish in her new haircut that elicited a lot of compliments.
Here’s another look at the senator’s SONA 2017 look.
Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat, who wore a traditional bahag last year, showed up in a barong accentuated by a black fabric, which he said symbolizes his opposition to Martial Law.
Fashion as protest
The Makabayan bloc of Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate, Gabriela Representative Emmi De Jesus, and Kabataan Representative Sara Elago expressed their opposition to Martial Law through their outfits.
“(The barong) was designed to express Bayan Muna’s opposition to Martial law as well as the all out war directed against the people fighting for genuine and meaningful change; an all out war that only further destroyed the lives of poor people, particularly the Lumads, the Moro and peasants in Mindanao and other parts of the country,” Zarate said in a statement, and added that the shirt was designed by artist Voltz Guray.
Gabriela Representative Emmi De Jesus on the other hand wore an ankle-length Mindanao-inspired skirt paired with a barong with a statement that read, “Regular Jobs Now.”
Fellow Gabriela Representative Arlene Brosas, on the other hand, wore a black ensemble contrasted by a colorful statement that read, “No to Martial Law.”
View our gallery of more SONA 2017 looks: