MANILA, Philippines – It’s the time of the year again, as President Benigno Aquino III delivered his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to the public at the House of Representatives at 4pm, July 28.
But aside from his speech, the SONA is also when lawmakers and their partners, as well as other attendees, dress in their best ternos and barongs, made by the country’s top designers.
Prior to the start of the SONA, the senators formally opened their session at the Senate. The women wore colorful ternos. Sen. Grace Poe wore a white gown by Paul Cabral, as she posed for a photo with her husband and son.
Sen. Pia Cayetano wore a pink terno next to her sister-in-law Mayor Lani Cayetano. Sen. Loren Legarda, known to be a champion of cultural preservation according to her website wore a traditional outfit by the Mandayas of Mindanao.
Sen. Cynthia Villar sported an orange outfit designed by Noli Hans, while Sen. Nancy Binay drew mixed reactions about her Randy Ortiz outfit at the Senate.
Other personalities seen at the SONA were Assunta da Rossi (Mrs. Jules Ledesma), and Heart Evangelista, who accompanied boyfriend Sen. Chiz Escudero. Heart wore a white terno by Joey Samson.
Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez, wearing a nude champagne-colored terno by Randy Ortiz, was accompanied by husband Richard Gomez.
The sister of the President and TV host Kris Aquino was also present, wearing a gown by Cary Santiago.
Rep. Lani Mercado was photographed near an entrance, but she was not wearing a terno or a gown.
House allies of the president wearing barongs also wore yellow ribbons as a sign of support. Those who recently supported the impeachment complaints against President Aquino decided to wear peach-colored outfits.
Here are more photos from the SONA:
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Photos by Jr Belardo and Inoue Jaena / Rappler
Did you watch the SONA? What did you think? Get the SONA highlights on Rappler's SONA 2014 microsite.
Tell the President how you feel about his 5th SONA by voting on Rappler's SONA 2014 Mood Meter. – Rappler.com
Editors’ Note: A previous version of this article said that Senator Loren Legarda wore an Ifugao-inspired outfit, but it is actually a traditional Mandaya ensemble. The article also previously said that Senator Nancy Binay wore an outfit by Paul Cabral, but it was actually by Randy Ortiz. These errors have been corrected.