A sneak peek at SONA 2013 fashion

Pia Ranada

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Here are what Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, Lucy Torres Gomez and others are expected to wear

FEMININE BARONG. JC Buendia's study for Eliza Drilon Luna's outfit. All photos by Pia Ranada/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Every year, at the State of the Nation Address, the traditional Filipina formal wear that is the terno is in the limelight.

Monday, July 22, will be such another special occasion.

Fashion designers spent the last few weeks applying the finishing touches on the elegant ternos and barongs they’ve prepared for government officials and their families who will attend President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address.

In this event, what our officials wear is meant not only as a fashion statement but a political one as well. SONA attendees have used distinct colors and accessories on their clothes to get their message across.

WATCH VIDEO AND READ: SONA as a fashion event

So what can we expect at the red carpet on Monday?

I spoke with fashion designers Randy Ortiz and JC Buendia who have been designing ternos and barongs in preparation for this event for more than a decade. Their ternos cost an average minimum of P25,000 each.

Here’s what I found out:

1. Sen. Nancy Binay

The newly elected senator and daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay will wear a tiffany blue and coral pink terno by Randy Ortiz. The designer said he chose these light pastel colors to go with the 40-year-old senator’s complexion. This being Binay’s first walk down the SONA red carpet as a senator, Ortiz wanted to keep her look simple and understated.

2. Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares

The word from her staff is that Poe will wear a white Filipiniana as a nod to the white tops she wore during her election campaign. Rajo Laurel, who designed barongs for the senator’s father, the late Fernando Poe Jr., also contributed to the design. Designer Kristel Yulo of Bacolod created the embroidery on Poe’s gown.

3. Rep. Lucy Torres Gomez of Leyte (4th district)

She’ll be dressed in a dove gray Randy Ortiz terno. Last year, she was seen in a light pink terno with silver and white accents. The light hues are sure to complement her pearly complexion.

TRADITIONAL. Buendia, who has designed barongs for President Aquino, made this for Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano

4. Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano

The senator from Taguig will wear a barong by Buendia, who has also styled clothes for President Aquino. This barong has buttons made from coconut shell and is made to look more “traditional,” compared with the more modern-looking Buendia barong to be worn by the senator’s younger brother, Lino.

5. Tootsy Angara

The wife of Sen. Sonny Angara will also wear a gray terno. 

6. Rep. Mila Tan of Samar (2nd district)

Ortiz’s look for the congresswoman will be more dramatic. She’ll wear a terno in electric blue, black and red orange.

7. Gov. Sharee Tan Delos Santos of Samar

Ortiz has designed a peach terno for the young governor.

8. Eliza Drilon Luna

Sen. Franklin Drilon’s daughter will wear a feminine-cut barong over a blush-pink serpentina skirt by JC Buendia.

COLORS OF PINOY PRIDE. Buendia's ensemble for Presidential Management Staff chief Julia Abad

9. Julia Abad of the Presidential Management Staff

Buendia’s design for the PMS head is a baro’t saya in indigenous prints. The ensemble colors of blue, red, yellow, and green are meant to highlight the beauty of her brown skin. – Rappler.com

Who do you look forward to seeing on the SONA red carpet? Feel free to comment.

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is Rappler’s Community Lead, in charge of linking our journalism with communities for impact.