Sneak peek of ‘protest barongs’ to be worn by two lawmakers during SONA 2021

July 22, 2021 - 12:31 PM
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On the left: Draft design for the barong of Rep. Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna (Twitter/Bayan Muna) On the right: Barong of Rep. Ferdinand Gaite of Bayan Muna (Twitter/Ferdinand Gaite)

Two lawmakers are set to wear “protest barongs” during the State of the Nation Address on July 26.

A “protest barong” is the traditional barong adorned or painted with images and artworks depicting the common man’s struggles during the current administration.

READ‘Protest barongs’ make a different kind of fashion statement for SONA

On Thursday, Bayan Muna Partylist shared on social media photos of the draft design to adorn Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate‘s outfit for the much-anticipated event.

In the post, Bayan Muna said the barong was designed by Allyster Arroza, a Fine Arts student from the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

“Work in Progress: SONA Protest barong of House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. @kaloi_zarate. Designed by people’s artist @artsyallyster, a Fine Arts student and a member of Alay Sining in UP Diliman,” the group said.

It also explained the symbolism of the design.

“The design highlights the need for aid and vaccines of Filipinos during this time of COVID. It also brings to the foreground President Duterte’s inutile, militarist and palpak handling of the pandemic,” it said.

Zarate also wore a protest fashion statement during the fifth SONA in 2020.

He wore an abaca face mask with a paint over it depicting images of people who clamor for ramped up COVID-19 mass testing initiatives and the revocation of the highly controversial Anti-Terrorist Act of 2020.

It was designed by Karaptan lawyer and artist Maria Sol Taule who also explained that the face mask showed “the indignation and disgust of the Filipino people on how the government is handling the current health crisis.”

READArtist-lawyer shows handpainted face mask to be worn by solon during SONA 2020

Aside from Zarate, Rep. Ferdinand Gaite of Bayan Muna also shared images of the design of his barong for the coming SONA.

The artwork which was painted over the left side corner of the clothing showed a caricature of President Rodrigo Duterte riding a jet ski in reference to his campaign promise in 2016.

In his regular pandemic address last May, Duterte stated that this 2016 comment about him riding a jet ski to the West Philippine Sea was merely bravado and a “campaign joke.”

The fisherman who asked the question more than five years ago, however, expressed how hurt and disappointment he was in a radio interview.

READ: Fisherman’s disapproval of Duterte’s ‘jet ski’ joke could get him harassed, social media warns

Other preparations for SONA

Aside from fashion statements, some progressive groups have also initiated their pre-SONA activities and rallies since last weekend. This will culminate on Monday.

The Philippine Press Institute, a private journalism organization, also held a virtual meeting last Wednesday, wherein attendees discussed Duterte’s legacy and their expectations for his last SONA.

Duterte, himself, had also rehearsed for his last SONA, according presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in a briefing on the same day.

“Well, unang-una po ‘no, may rehearsal po si Presidente ngayon para sa SONA. So ito po iyong kauna-unahang rehearsal na. So nasapinal na po ang kaniyang talumpati; at based on past SONAs, ayaw ni Presidente na binabago-bago iyong kanyang speech. Pero in the end, siya mismo nag-i-edit as he rehearses,” Roque said.