Who’s dressing up whom for the Sona?


Even the biggest names in local fashion speak with apprehension when asked who they’re dressing for the annual State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, July 23.

It’s almost like in the Oscars, when fashion houses and the stars’ stylists find out, along with the rest of the world, who the celebrities will end up wearing only when  they stride down the red carpet.

For instance, Randy Ortiz, go-to designer of the likes of Ormoc Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez and Kris Aquino, made two dresses for each for Monday’s Sona, the one political event that’s increasingly becoming a much-anticipated fashion spectacle.

For the TV host and President’s sister, Ortiz made one yellow dress and one teal dress. The yellow dress is an off-shoulder modernized kimona with no sleeves, but with a panuelo wrap attached to the bodice. It sports new embroidery and appliqués inspired by kalabasa leaves.

“I’m not sure if she will end up wearing either one, though,” Ortiz says. “You know Kris, she might have other options.”

Ortiz is more confident that Torres-Gomez will wear one of his dresses. One’s an apricot full calado dress with  piña overlay. There are no floral details on the terno this time (rosette is a Randy Ortiz trademark). Instead, it’s embellished with gold bullion embroidery.

Ortiz also made clothes for two of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s daughters—a powder-blue piña gown with  modern tapis for Anne Binay-Alcantara, and a T’nalak corseted terno for  Nancy Binay-Angeles. The designer, who traces his roots to South Cotabato, is pushing for the T’nalak fabric of the south.

The other Binay sister, Makati Rep. Abby Binay-Campos, turned to Ivarluski Aseron for her Sona frock. Aseron made a lace terno for the young congresswoman, with matching dress for her toddler daughter.

Aseron also made a gown for Diwa Party-list Rep. Emelyn Aglipay.

Tootsie Angara, wife of Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, is also expected to wear Randy Ortiz, an off-shoulder kimona made of silk and piña.

Loyal clients

Jojie Lloren will dress up two of his loyal clients, Liza Araneta Marcos and Jip Remulla.

Remulla, wife of Cavite Rep. Crispin Remulla, will wear a terno with multiple seam lines in shades of black, turquoise and lavender made of silk dupioni. Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s wife Liza will don a red and black terno.

Dennis Lustico, who typically dresses Sona red-carpet standout Mons Romulo, made a dress for a businesswoman-guest of Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.

JC Buendia, the designer who has made clothes for President Aquino and then-President Macapagal-Arroyo, is dressing up a congressman’s wife.

For Rep. Lani Mercado, Rajo Laurel is making a sari tailored jacket with scarf skirt, and for Rep. Monique Lagdameo, a pink chiffon terno with lace appliqué.

New designer Maureen Disini gets to send her first Sona dress on the Batasan red carpet this year as she dresses up a public administrator from Marinduque and one of P-Noy’s assistants.

Kaye Tiñga, wife of Taguig Second District Rep. Freddie Tiñga and another red-carpet favorite, will wear Pepito Albert. She has no idea what the dress will look like.

“Pepito says it will be a contemporary terno. I don’t really know,” Tiñga says with a laugh. “He surprises me. We’ve done this before; he has made me a dress for the Sona four days before the event. Our tastes are so similar so I trust him.” Albert has been her go-to designer for 15 years.

Sen. Loren Legarda is torn among several choices: her lola’s antique terno, a gown by Paul Cabral made of recycled antique piña, a Tingguian costume and a T’Boli outfit.

“What do you think?” the senator asked this writer via SMS. An advocate of local weaves and fabrics, Legarda says she has worn at least two of those dresses during the Arroyo administration, and she describes them as “beautiful.”

Like the rest of the country, we won’t find out the usually well-dressed senator’s final choice until Monday.

But in case Ortiz is still wondering, yes, Kris Aquino will wear one of his dresses come Monday.

“What I asked Randy to make, that’s it,” Aquino texted from Bangkok, where she’s doing a shoot. “I just asked him to use Pinoy weave.”

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  • Mananandata69

    ok lang yan elegant clothes basta galing from their own pockets. pero kun kinuha sa pondo nila as congressperson, that is unacceptable

    • 2011Empoy1120

      ..only FOOLS will believe that money spent on these things came from their own pocket. Knowing tong-gressman and sena-tong, this is not hard to believe, yes?

    • HuwagKalimutan

      Yes, nakakaiyak ang asal ng ating mga membriyo ng senado at kongreso! Nakakaiyak, nakakahiya, nakakasuka! Nasa lahi nating ang kayabangan! Yan ang napulot natin sa kastila. Yan ang mga Dona Victorina ni Jose Rizal!

  • ting0508

    What do you think will be worn by Miriam Santiago? A dress from Bingbing Sanchez?

  • renato_dangal

    what is this Oscars? Filipinos should do away with this gay attitude. SONA is a serious business. scram! che che this is a free nation but choose messages that is not bordering on making fun of the national interest. talk about the issue not the clothes…

  • handsomeb

    When people start talking about dresses rather than what the President has done for the last 2 years, I know somethings wrong with the Philippines.

  • 2011Empoy1120

    …Philippine Politician at its best, ang gagaling ninyo! Bulagsak na ang pinas, gina-gago pa tayo nag tsina. Marami ang mahirap samantalang kayong mga politico eh, nag tatampisaw sa karangyaan. Mga tahimik kayo kapag tsina na ang umaapi sa ating pero kapag pabonggahana eh, ang iingay ninyo!  Mga hayup kayo, ang kakapal ninyo!

  • 2011Empoy1120

    ….yang ang gobyerno natin, nagiging showbiz na.mga walang kwenta. May naalala ako, minsan may isang SONA si GMA, isang ton-gresswoman from Quezon City went to Congress riding on a Roll’s Royce car. Ang kapal talaga, habang naghihirap most of QC resident, heto siya flaunting wealth na kinurakot niya….


    WALANG KWENTANG balita yang who’s dreessing whom…..commonplace and pure copycat of US lifestyle.  ANG maganda at catching news byline ay: “WHO’S UNDRESSING WHOM….” 

  • HuwagKalimutan

    Is this decadent fashion show really necessary? This is a very poor reflection of our Filipino sense of values. Instead of focusing on the state of the nation, PDI even encourages this nauseating display of opulence in the midst of an impoverish society!

    Mr. PDI editor-in-chief is this good news for you? Does your paper really encourage this extravagance? Have you seen the simplicity of America’s or Japan’s state of the nation address? Your news on what the lawmakers’ wives or the lady lawmaker themselves will wear puts to shame Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee celebration.

    Mr. PDI editor-in-chief you do have a moral obligation to society! Your news is utterly disgusting!

    What poor taste! They think they’re going to the Oscars!

  • cato_the_younger

    I find it totally distasteful and gauche to turn such an august event as the SONA into just another fashion show. For a poor country like the Philippines, I find it scandalous that members of congress and their families preen in expensive designer duds. It is so different from the behavior of our lawmakers here in Canada. Just today, when I went to buy hotdogs from one of the foodcarts for lunch, I saw one of our Members of Parliament (the equivalent of Congressman in RP) going to his vehicle – no army of body guards and hangers on, no sense of self-importance, he even asked how I was doing and chatted for a bit with the vendor and just as quietly as he came went into his car withoput any fanfare. I once saw our Premier (the equivalent of a governor in RP) go out of the Legislative Building all alone by himself and drive his own car away. For a country infinitely richer than RP, the actuations of RP’s ruling classes leaves so much to be desired.

    • renato_dangal

      that is part of the wang wang culture that our politicians have become…

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