MANILA, Philippines – It’s that time of the year again for lawmakers, government officials, and personalities to gather at the Batasang Pambansa for the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).
The 2016 SONA on Monday, July 25, is the first of President Rodrigo Duterte, and as heralded in his campaign, change has come to the SONA, too.
Unlike in previous years where barongs and ternos were extravagant and intricate, this year, guests were asked to come in business attire or Filipiniana dresses not longer than knee-length. (READ: SONA guests asked not to wear long dresses)
“We will downplay the event. It will not be a fashion show,” said Finance spokesperson Paola Alvarez, who is also part of the SONA committee.
Here’s a look at what the SONA attendees wore this year:
Senator Chiz Escudero and wife Heart Evangelista
Senator Chiz Escudero and wife Heart Evangelista, former pres Erap Estrada arrive at Batasan pic.twitter.com/Ered112T3T— Mara Cepeda (@maracepeda) July 25, 2016
Quezon City Representative Alfred Vargas and wife Yasmine Espiritu-Vargas
Senator Loren Legarda
Ifugao Representative Teddy Brawner Baguilat Jr
Senator Joel Villanueva and wife Gladys
Senator Richard Gordon
Taguig representative and former senator Pia Cayetano
Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez
Senator Grace Poe and husband Neil Llamanzares
Manila mayor and former president Joseph Estrada
Former president Fidel Ramos
Batangas Representative Vilma Santos-Recto
Senator Leila de Lima
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and wife Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano
Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista
Vice President Leni Robredo took a photo with her daughters prior to the SONA.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and wife Alelee Aguilar-Andanar
Singer Bayang Barrios wore a Joel Acebuche creation when she sang the Philippine national anthem.
According to Jeff Crisostomo, communications and legislative officer for Dinagat Islands Representative Kaka Bag-ao, Bayang’s outfit paid homage to her Manobo roots, with its colors – black, red, and yellow – and its intricate bead work.
Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III
Former House Speaker Jose de Venecia
PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II
Education Secretary Leonor Briones
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana
Willy Villarama (candidate for Bulacan vice governor, 2016)
Oriental Mindoro Representative Rey Umali
Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate
Kabayan Representative Harry Roque
Leyte Representative Yedda Marie Romualdez
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Earlier in the day, the lawmakers were seen wearing their outfits during the opening of the 17th Congress:
House of Representatives
Representative Kaka Bag-ao of Dinagat Islands wore a Joel Acebuche number during the opening of the 17th Congress at the House of Representatives.
Former president and now Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo arrived at the House of Representatives, days after being released from hospital arrest.
Newly elected House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez made a promise to keep his barong simple in accordance with President Duterte’s call for simple outfits this year.
Davao del Norte D1 Rep Bebot Alvarez is expected to win speakership today. How is he feeling? "Normal lang!" pic.twitter.com/iQzOHBNhTz— Mara Cepeda (@maracepeda) July 25, 2016
Jinkee Pacquiao wore an Inno Sotto terno at the Senate with husband, Senator Manny Pacquiao.
Actress Heart Evangelista accompanied husband Senator Francis Escudero. According to Heart, her Filipiniana outfit is by Ivar Aseron, with one of her own hand-painted clutch bags.
Jinkee and Heart posed for a photo:
Tootsy Angara, wife of Senator Sonny Angara, wore a green terno while accompanying her husband at the Senate.
Senator Risa Hontiveros, according to a press release, wore shoes made in Marikina on her first day of work at the Senate.
Senator Joel Villanueva and wife Gladys Cruz-Villanueva