SONA fashion: Barongs with a political statement

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 17 2013 03:07 PM | Updated as of Jul 18 2013 08:56 PM

MANILA -- Lawmakers will be wearing their hearts and advocacies on their sleeves when the 16th Congress holds its inaugural session for the State of the Nation Address this coming Monday.

True to form, congressmen are now preparing to make their fashion statements on Monday.

Makabayan bloc representatives will be wearing Filipiniana attire and barong Tagalog to symbolize their advocacies.

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares will be wearing a barong Tagalog with an anti-Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) theme, while Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate will be wearing an anti-Charter change and anti-mining themed handpainted barong.

Gabriela party-list Rep. Luz Ilagan also described her gown.

"Like in previous years, my gown has political statement. This time, I will wear a simple straight cut fuschia gown. This is the color of Gabriela women's party. The upper part is a stylized Filipiniana made of tinalak, an indigenous cloth woven by cultural communities in southern Mindanao, where I come from," she said.

"The bolero Filipiniana is fully beaded and with T'boli bells, a traditional design of that tribe. The clasp is a pin designed like a backhoe, to symbolize the Maguindanao massacre which has not been resolved. To summarize, the gown will highlight the plight of the cultural communities, victims of human rights violations, government neglect and loss of ancestral domain. It will showcase the beauty of indigenous culture struggling to survive amidst poverty and deprivation."

Gabriela party list Rep. Emmy de Jesus will be wearing a handpainted gown with a theme against the privatization of public hospitals. The gown will depict the worsening plight of marginalized women and their children's access to health services in the context of Private-Public Program of the Aquino administration, specifically the privatization of public hospitals, she said.

The fabric used for the gown is "maong" which also depicts the harsh condition of the toiling women, the peasant and workers.

District representatives were not to be outdone.

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat will be wearing a barong accented by Ifugao fabric.

"Appreciation siya sa ating mga habi lalo na ang mga pinaglalaban ng mga Katutubo -- ang kanilang kultura. Bahagi rin ng aking ethnic barong ang advocacy ko for rights of IPs bec in proclaiming that I'm proudly pro-IP and an IP. Yung woven blanket kasi represents Ifugao statesmanship. So kailangan igiit ang karangalan ng pagiging legislator through bills such as the [Freedom of Information] Bill," he said.