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.
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.
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. pic.twitter.com/W6qU3QeSi5
— Bayan Muna Partylist (@BayanMuna) July 21, 2021
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.”
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.
Nag-send ng update ang artist na gumagawa ng aking barong para sa nalalapit na SONA. Nagreply ako ng “TAPUSIN!” Akala niya minamadali ko na siya na tapusin na ang artwork niya. Habol ko “paglilinaw, tapusin na ang palpak na pamumuno.” Magkita-kita tayo sa protesta! pic.twitter.com/f3leZmkAWb
— Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite (@FerdinandGaite) July 16, 2021
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.
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.
Mga kabataan, sa nalalapit na huling SONA ni Duterte, handa ka na bang tumindig at lumaban upang wakasan ang pahirap, palpak, korap at pasistang paghahari ng kanyang rehimen? pic.twitter.com/CuKsUxbwmh
— STAND Central Luzon (@STAND_CL) July 14, 2021
Handa na ba kayo? Kasi ang “Bapor ng mga Inutil” effigy ng ST ay hinahanda na!
Magkita-kita sa July 25-26 sa nalalapit na huling SONA ni Duterte!
— kael (@KaylAnghelo) July 21, 2021
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.