Change has come indeed to the red carpet of President Rodrigo Duterte’s second State of the National Address (SONA) on Monday, which saw female legislators, senators and lawmakers’ spouses, and other guests generally adhering to the declared dress code of “knee-length Filipiniana or business attire.”
While a preview of this “toned down” SONA fashion took place during Mr. Duterte’s first address at Batasang Pambansa a year ago, there were still several personalities who could not resist glamorous designer ternos.
This year’s SONA showed how effective fashion can be in sending a message as the Maranaw and Mindanao-inspired attires symbolized support for the government troops in Marawi and the civilians affected by the clashes there.
Some senators’ wives turned heads, starting with Heart Evangelista-Escudero, wife of Sen. Francis Escudero, who looked regal at the opening of the Senate session in her pristine white, knee-length Jo Rubio terno. For the SONA she changed to a simple Boom Sasson navy blue and gold-detailed suit.
Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara’s wife Tootsy arrived at the Senate in what she revealed in her Instagram account as a “26-year-old Pitoy Moreno Filipiniana.” She said her off-shoulder Filipiniana was the same dress she wore during her junior-senior prom in 1991.
Jinkee Pacquiao, wife of Sen. Manny Pacquiao, looked fresh in a Paul Cabral Filipiniana, comprised of a white Peter Pan-collared top and ankle-length floral detailed skirt. In the afternoon, she opted for a Filipiniana blouse paired with a flowing black and white skirt, also from Cabral.
Sen. Miguel Zubiri’s wife, Audrey, twinned with her husband as she wore a stylized Joey Samson Barong Tagalog with a high-waisted skirt.
Sen. Rissa Hontiveros looked simple in her white Joel Acebuche dress with sheer embroidered overlay, which she wore to the Senate and House of Representatives.
Sen. Grace Poe, meanwhile, went for a white ankle-length, short sleeved dress, whose only embellishment were minimal beadwork as piping. She later changed into a simple white mid-length dress escorted by husband Neil Lamanzarez to the SONA.
Sen. Nancy Binay, a favorite among the fashion police every SONA, was finally a winner for her new side-parted bob hairstyle and a stylized Filipiniana top.
Ode to Maranaos
Of those wearing Maranao and Mindanao-inspired attires, indigenous fashion advocate Sen. Loren Legarda was a winner in her hand-woven Maranaoan malong and off-shoulder vintage top blouse. Earlier at the Senate, she likewise wore a two-piece ensemble made from colorful Maranao fabric.
DIWA Party-list Rep. Emmeline Aglipay Villar chose a T’boli-inspired dress with Lankit Maranao weave and silk tassel skirt by Rhett Eala, as did Rep. Sol Aragones in her T’boli-inspired Xernan Orticio dress adorned with minimal Mindanao inspired beadwork.
Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos also showed her support for the victims of Marawi by donning a full-length dress made from Mindanao fabric with a modernized barong jacket. Ormoc Rep. Lucy Torres, who arrived with daughter Juliana Gomez, looked glamorous even in a toned down turtle-neck silken top and a deep purple pencil skirt with indigenous patterns.