‘Barbie,’ lato-lato inspire SONA protest art

July 24, 2023 - 3:08 PM
Some protesters drew inspiration from pop culture Barbie and lato-lato to represent their advocacies and calls for the national government on SONA day on July 24. (MangingisdaSays, AngPandaySining/Twitter, Facebook)

Barbie and lato-lato are notable inspirations for protest materials in this year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Progressive groups have started their massive demonstrations along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City ahead of the second SONA of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday, July 24.

Marcos is scheduled to hold his address at 4 p.m.

Amid the placards and banners, some protesters were spotted referencing pop culture in their calls for better governance through artwork and clothing.

Mitzi Jonelle, spokesperson of the Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines (YACAP), and Aries Soledad, head of Pamalakaya Pilipinas, were spotted in pink outfits inspired by the popular movie “Barbie.”

They also held “This Barbie Is…” pink frames. Jonelle was “anti-imperialist Barbie” while Soledad was “anti-reclamation Barbie.”

An activist with the Twitter handle @MangingisdaSays posted a photo of them on the platform.

“Abante, babae! Palaban, militante!” his tweet reads.

While their frames express different messages, both YACAP and Pamalakaya Pilipinas are fighting for climate justice and a sustainable future in the Philippines.

“Barbie: The Movie,” meanwhile, is a Hollywood film that re-imagines Barbie and Ken in the real world. Directed by Greta Gerwig, the movie is now showing in theaters nationwide.

RELATED: Want to look like Barbie IRL? Here’s why Vicki Belo is against it ‘My two moods’: Shopping app joins viral ‘Barbenheimer’ craze 

Members of Panday Sining, on the other hand, created a large-scale figure resembling the popular toy clackers called lato-lato.

In a statement, Mariel Orpiada, vice chairperson of Panday Sining, explained that the lato-lato balls symbolized the education sector’s policies. The centerpiece, meanwhile, represented the youth who felt “beaten up” by these policies.

“Kaya ang tawag sa aming effigy ay ‘Kabataan, hindi magpapalato-lato kay Marcos!’ upang ipakita kung paano binubugbog ang mga kabataan ng mga ‘bola’ ng mga pahirap na mga polisiya sa edukasyon katulad ng Tuition Fees and Other Fees Increases at Mandatory ROTC na kasalukuyang pinakamainit na mga isyu sa sektor ng edukasyon,” the youth leader said.

The toy clackers have become a widespread sensation in different countries across Asia.

It also raised concerns about how the clackers can cause injuries to children and how they disrupt tranquility in some places.

READ: New social media trend: The good vs bad of the viral ‘lato-lato,’ toy clackers

Other notable sculptures, figures

A doble kara or two-faced effigy of Marcos in a gold coin was earlier burned down on the road by some members of progressive groups.

RELATED: Clean Air Act highlighted amid effigy burning on SONA day 

The large coin art piece showed two versions of the chief executive on each side.

Panday Sining Makati started a sticker movement where members posted colorful stickers with their advocacies on the walls and doors of establishments in the city.

They called this campaign hashtag #StickmONA on SONA.

Agham National, a pro-people science organization, created eerie models of SIM cards with “eyes” on them.

Members held banners and posters expressing their opposition against “state bombings” and “state surveillance.”