Protest attires persist: A look at SONA 2022 outfits with political messages

July 25, 2022 - 9:26 PM
Representatives from the Makabayan bloc wearing their political statement pieces. From left to right, Lumad bakwit school graduate Katkat Dalon, Kabataan Party-list Representative Raoul Manuel, ACT Teachers Party-list France Castro, Teacher Joy Martinez, and Gabriela Party-list Arlene Brosas. ( Purnell)

The progressive Makabayan bloc representatives highlighted their politically symbolic outfits during the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. despite the recent ban on attires with political messages.

Representatives Arlene Brosas, France Castro and Raoul Manuel showcased their party-list group’s advocacies through their “political attires” on the SONA red carpet. 

Wearing clothes bearing “political messages” was prohibited during this year’s SONA, according to the July 20 Memorandum issued by House Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza.

RELATED: Reactions to first-ever SONA ban on attires with ‘political messages’

Era of golden prices

Rep. Arlene Brosas in her symbolic Filipina attire designed by Michael Joselo (The Philippine Star)

Rep. Brosas (Gabriela Party-list) arrived at the red carpet of Batasang Pambansa wearing a symbolic Filipina skirt amplifying economic issues affecting Filipino women: price increases in oil, food and basic necessities. 

In a tweet, Gabriela credited high school art teacher Michael Joselo for designing the attire.

Light amid darkness

Rep. France Castro wearing a hand-sewn and hand-painted shawl. (ACT Teachers/Twitter)

Meanwhile, Rep. Castro (ACT Teachers Party-list) came in a dark terno. 

A teacher holding a handsewn lit torch was painted on her black shawl, which represents the role of teachers in shedding light and bringing hope amidst the “darkness brought by the return of a Marcos in Malacanang” and the propagation of disinformation and historical revisionism.  

This hand-sewn and hand-painted shawl was a creation of ACT volunteer Roja Castillo.

Flowing optimism of youth

Rep. Raoul Manuel in his blue phoenix Barong Filipino (Rep. Raoul Manuel/Twitter)

Wearing a hand-painted barong Filipino, Rep. Manuel (Kabataan Party-list) graced the red carpet of SONA 2022. The barong with a large blue phoenix design was hand-painted by youth artist Albert Raqueno.

Quote tweeting a video from Raqueno, the party list posted the barong Filipino attire of Manuel a few hours before SONA. 

“Ang fashion ay politikal at bahagi ito ng ating freedom of expression,” it said. 

In a Facebook statement dated July 22, Kabataan Party-list condemned the recent advisory banning political messages in clothing, stating that the barong sketch is part of the party’s way of bringing light to the “legitimate demands of the youth.”