MANILA, Philippines – In keeping with simple tastes, President Rodrigo Duterte and his partner Honeylet Avanceña are likely to re-use outfits worn to other events for the 2017 State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Designers from Chardin, the Davao-based design house frequented by the couple, told Rappler on Thursday, July 20 that this was the plan relayed to them by Avanceña. (READ: The evolution of Duterte's First Lady: Honeylet Avanceña)
The President's common-law wife said Duterte prefers to use one of his old barongs for his second SONA.
"When I asked Ma'am Honeylet about it, she told me President would rather choose his old barongs to wear," said designer Bonie Adaza.
Adaza said it's likely Duterte will choose one of the 7 barongs he designed for him for the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
Duterte wore only two of those in different ASEAN events.
But just in case the President changes his mind, Adaza prepared a new barong for SONA.
Chardin designer Bonie Adaza designs a new barong for President Duterte for SONA 2017
In keeping with recent events, this barong is inspired by Marawi City, ground zero of clashes between Muslim extremists and government troops.
The new barong, made of piña jusi, features two-toned embroidery in okir designs. Okir or okkil is a type of geometric design used for depicting vines, leaves, and other folk motifs. It can usually be found in Maranao or Muslim-influenced art.
"It's a technique done in stores in Marawi. The Maranaos use it for carvings, weavings. The pattern of embroidery is geometrical, emphasizing it's Marawi-inspired," said Adaza.
Designer Aris Estarilla said Honeylet Avanceña decided to reuse the green gown she wore during the week of the 30th ASEAN Summit, but with improvements.
At the bottom of the skirt, he added multi-colored okir embroidery, again inspired by Marawi.
"There is embroidery on the bottom using okir, with a flowy pattern of leaves and vines in vibrant colors," said Estarilla.
' Honeylet Avanceu00f1a asks Chardin designer Aris Estarilla to add designs to an old gown
Asked why Avanceña decided to go with an old gown, the designer said, "Alam mo naman si ma'am, simpleng tao. Ayaw niya magdraw attention to people. Ayaw niya na mapansin na bago."
(You know ma'am, she is a simple person. She doesn't want to draw attention to people. She doesn't want people to notice it because it's new.)
Estarilla also decided to make a new gown just in case Avanceña changes her mind.
This Marawi-inspired creation is another SONA gown option for Honeylet Avanceu00f1a, designed by Aris Estarilla
He created a two-piece outfit composed of a beaded piña jusi barong top and beaded skirt using inaul, a famous handwoven fabric from Maguindanao known as a symbol of royalty.
The Chardin designers expect the clothes to be picked up over the weekend, ready for the big day on Monday, July 24. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.