Government officials often use the State of the Nation Address to make a fashion statement but others who want to send a different message also use the event to air their grievances and protest.
Protesters rode on the trend by making ‘protest barongs’ to take the people’s attention back to the pressing issues.
In the hours leading up to the SONA, members of militant groups posted photos of the ‘protest barong’, the traditional barong used by officials in attendance at the Batasang Pambansa, but with images depicting the common man’s struggle painted over them.
One labor group marching in the U.P Diliman campus brandished their version of the protest barong early on Monday morning.
— Adn Manglinong (@AdnManglinong) July 23, 2018
According to the labor group, the barong was designed by artist Mimi Salibio of the group Saka.
Another version was made by human rights lawyer Maria Sol Taule. Her work is expected to be worn by Rep. Carlos Zarate (Bayan Muna).
ACT Partylist Representative Antonio Tinio was also seen wearing another of the protest barongs before the assembly. His version of the protest barong calls for elevating the national minimum wage and end to the TRAIN Law.
— Philstar.com (@PhilstarNews) July 23, 2018
According to the labor group behind the protest barong in U.P, the barong represent the struggle of those who struggle against contractualization.
The call for an end to contractualization is expected to be one the main concerns to be voiced out by protesters at the rallies in Commonwealth. This year’s demonstration is expected to be larger than those from previous years, as several labor groups are expected to congregate near the Batasang Pambansa.