MANILA, Philippines — Not to be outdone by celebrity guests, senators, congressmen, and other top-level invitees on Monday walked at this year’s State of the Nation Address red carpet in the Batasang Pambansa clad in dresses and suits mostly using traditional and indigenous fabrics, with some even creatively infusing adornments imparting political undertones.
Hours prior to President Rodrigo Duterte’s speech at the House of Representatives, guests arrived in trickles and stopped for selfies, photo ops, and media interviews along the way.
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Senator Joel Villanueva, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Department of Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, and Health Secretary Francisco Duque came in their best Barong Tagalog.
Presidential son and Davao 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte wore barong, too – in ash gray color.
Usually coming in a somewhat shockingly-tinted suit, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo opted to go black in this year’s Sona but not without some obscure images drawn on the left side of his coat.
Other lawmakers accompanied by their wives or partners also donned ensembles enough to call attention for their unique material and style, a mix of the customary and contemporary.
Progressive party-list representatives showcased hand-painted drawings of their advocacies on their formal shirts and terno – Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sara Elago had her group’s logo in her baro’t saya while Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate’s barong became the canvass for sovereignty issues in the West Philippine Sea.
Similar to her simple Paul Cabral midi dress during the morning session at the Senate, Senator Grace Poe wore another white garb for the Sona while Senator Pia Cayetano came in a sparkly, red number. /kga
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