MANILA - (UPDATE) Senators of the 18th Congress wore mostly piña barong and white dresses for the opening of the Senate session on Monday morning.
The only exception was Senator Imee Marcos who wore a dark colored dress with a shiny top and a skirt made from abel - a woven fabric from Ilocos. Completing her outfit designed by Val Taguba was a dark blue blazer with a flower brooch.
Also wearing local fabrics was Senator Pia Cayetano, who donned a “Modern Maria Clara” outfit by Michael Leyva. The white top and black pants was accentuated with a belt made from Yakan fabric. Cayetano’s staff said it is the senator’s way of “giving tribute to our indigenous weavers and artisans in Mindanao.”
Senator Nancy Binay wore a classic terno gown from her go-to designer Randy Ortiz. It has callado cutwork and baroque embroidery details. Binay once went viral for wearing a dress that netizens said made her look like Princess Fiona from the animated film Shrek.
Senator Risa Hontiveros also used local fabrics for her contemporary piña barong designed by Joel Acebuche. It is made from textile woven in Kalibo with embroidery done in Lumban. She wore shoes made from Marikina, saying it is “matibay (sturdy).”
Senators Grace Poe and Cynthia Villar also kept it simple but are expected to change outfits for the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday afternoon.
Poe wore a white dress by Paul Cabral, who also designed her Filipiniana-inspired gown for the SONA. It will also be simple with no heavy beading.
Meanwhile, Villar wore a short embroidered piña dress by Noli Hans.
According to her staff, Villar will be wearing for the SONA a traditional kimona with panuelo collar and a tapis covering a pleated silk chiffon skirt.
Among the male senators, Senator Bong Go caught the eye of the public as he wore a barong with the Philippine flag embroidered on it. It was designed by Bonie Adaza of Chardin.
Meanwhile, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian wore a barong gifted by a constituent from Valenzuela.
Tootsie Angara, wife of Senator Sonny Angara, wore an all-white outfit also designed by Leyva.
The Duterte administration has repeatedly stated that the President preferred a simpler SONA. It could be recalled that in previous years, the SONA red carpet ended up being a mini fashion show as politicians and other attendees showcased grand or flamboyant designer gowns and outfits.