Local craftsmanship in spotlight on State of the Nation Address red carpet
By Julian Cardenas, Marron Joshua Mendoza, and Kyla Marie Victoriano
Several lawmakers and personalities were in style as they attended President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City on Monday.
As attendees wore the required Barong Tagalog or Filipiniana dress code, some had modern takes on the traditional clothes made by local designers. Meanwhile, others took the opportunity to use their outfits to either make a statement or showcase the Filipino culture.
First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos
For the opening of the 19th Congress and the first SONA of her husband, the First Lady wore a simple yet elegant traditional terno designed by Lesley Mobo. Her gown consists of heavy stretch georgette with a piña callado, victorian lace, and gold. She completed her look with a pair of shoes made by Lila Almario.
Senator Imee Marcos
Presidential sister Senator Imee Marcos wore two outfits during the event. For the opening of the 19th Congress, she wore a custom-made blue dress designed by Edgar Buyan, showcasing images of farmers. Meanwhile, for her brother’s SONA, she wore a gray terno with puff sleeves designed by Jan Garcia.
Vice President Sara Duterte
Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte wore a tribal Bagobo Tagabawa dress she borrowed from a tribal leader in Davao City. Netizens called her outfit “offensive” as it contradicts her family’s record on their treatment of the indigenous Lumad people. Her father, former President Rodrigo Duterte, threatened the Lumads during his presidency, and Sara ordered to shut down of Lumad schools in Davao in 2019 while she was mayor.
Senator Loren Legarda
New Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda wore a two-decade-old terno that, according to her, took renowned designer Patis Tesoro a year to put together. She paired it with an elegant handwoven piña seda with traditional hand-embroidered full callado with alsado multipurpose tapis.
Senator Risa Hontiveros
Senator Risa Hontiveros, who became part of the two-member Senate minority bloc along with new Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, wore a modern take of the traditional baro’t saya. Her outfit, designed by Joel Acebuche, is made from Aklan piña fabric and hand-embroidered in Lumban, Laguna. She paired it with a hand-woven Tikog bag from Samar and shoes made in Marikina.
Senator Grace Poe
Like Senator Marcos, Senator Grace Poe also wore two outfits for the event. She wore an elegant terno designed by Marga Nograles of Kaayo Modern Mindanao, handwoven by the Sabangan Inabel weavers from the Ilocos region, and features hand-beading work by the T’boli tribe in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato for the Senate opening session.
Meanwhile, for the President’s SONA, the senator wore a white terno designed by Paul Cabral with earrings from her mother, actress Susan Roces, who passed on last May 20.
Representatives Arlene Brosas, France Castro, and Raoul Manuel
Makabayan bloc representatives, including Gabriela Representative Arlene Brosas, ACT Teachers Partylist Representative France Castro, and Kabataan Partylist Representative Raoul Manuel, wore attires with the advocacies of their respective party lists engraved in their designs, despite earlier bans by the House of Representatives on outfits with political messages. Brosas, Castro, and Manuel’s attires were designed by Michael Joselo, Roja Castillo, and Albert Raqueño, respectively.
Senator Robin Padilla
For the opening of the 19th Congress, Senate newcomer Robin Padilla wore a barong that caught the attention of reporters when he passed by them and proudly told them that he merely got it from the SM Department Store. For President Marcos’s SONA, he changed his barong for a suit designed by Francis Libiran made with Inaul, a traditional woven cloth used by the Maguindanaon.
Senator JV Ejercito
Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito wore Marikina-made shoes that he proudly posted on social media before the event to showcase his support for the local shoe industry.
Once again, actress and socialite Heart Evangelista is serving looks in her modern Filipiniana as she accompanied her husband, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, at the opening of the 19th Congress. Heart modeled her all-white modern draped terno designed by her frequent fashion designer and close friend, Mark Bumgarner.
Heart’s modern-day Filipiniana bares an intricately designed pleated bust, almost giving an illusion that this Bumgarner creation is a two-piece attire due to the contrast in fabrics from her waist down. Heart’s dress also features butterfly sleeves and a low scoop back, adding a little flair to a classic design. For her accessories, she chose a muted exotic skinned mini Hermes Kelly in palladium hardware and a pair of silver platform peep-toe heels. She topped off her look with an array of jewels from a pearl choker, a mixture of yellow and white gold wrist jewels, and a pop of red bracelets.