MANILA, Philippines — Dionisia “Mommy D” Pacquiao caused such a huge commotion on the red carpet at the House of Representatives before President Aquino’s annual speech that journalists were herded out after she left.
Mrs. Pacquiao’s more famous son, world boxing champ and Saranggani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, arrived at the venue with his posse sans wife Jinkee minutes earlier.
After Manny left, reporters already trained their attention to the outfits of fashion favorite, Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez, and neophyte Sen. Grace Poe when Mommy D arrived in an immaculate white terno with a tulle skirt and green sequin spots scattered on the bodice.
Her hair was pulled back in a bun but her bangs made her appear younger. She wore simple pearl studs.
The new fashion darling said she could not recall who made her gown, only recalling that “someone from Manila (basta, taga-Maynila)” made it for her.
As Mrs. Pacquiao filled in a group of television reporters about her threads, some kibitzers broke protocol by skipping the velvet rope that separated mortals from VIPs and suddenly took selfies with her.
Members of the House sergeant-at-arms also failed to contain civilians who turned unruly at the sight of Mommy D.
After she left, security told reporters that the red carpet coverage was over even if some well-dressed guests continued to arrive at the South Wing of the Batasang Pambansa where the annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) would be delivered.
The House red carpet event happens every year right before the President delivers the SONA.
It is the country’s fashion equivalent of the Oscars in Hollywood and Fashion Week held in major sartorial capitals all over the world.
Torres-Gomez came with her husband, actor Richard Gomez, wearing a champagne-colored cocoon serpentine terno by Randy Ortiz that had intricate vintage baroque basket-weave callado and embossed flower embroidery.
Poe, on the other hand, wore an off-white creation of upcoming designer Roulette Esmilla that was also heavy in intricate embroidery.
Her simple ponytail contrasted with her drop pearl earrings, pearl bracelet and gold clutch.
Early bird Joni Villanueva-Tugna, wife of Cibac party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna, had a cobalt blue satin gown, a modern take on the tapis by Jo Rubio of Bulacan.
Senate spouse Cindy Ejercito, another red carpet regular, wore a red chiffon terno with fine ruffle finishes and horsehair trimmings by Paul Cabral.
Pangasinan Rep. Rosemarie “Baby” Arenas was striking in a red Cabral creation made of Thai silk.
Aklan Rep. Teodorico Haresco’s wife Yulia was a vision in an eggplant gown with embroidery cutout by Rajo Laurel.
Jenny Montejo, wife of An Waray party-list Rep. Neil Benedict Montejo, wore a Rajo serpentine terno made of nude tulle embellished with lilac embroidery that highlighted her parure of diamond earrings and necklace.
Angeline Lee-Tupas, wife of House justice committee chair Niel Tupas Jr. wore an off-white stylized barong over a magenta gown by Edgar Santiago.
Sen. Cynthia Villar wore an orange terno embroidered with vines and cherry blossoms on the bodice that was designed by her cousin Noli Hans.
Cecille Guidote-Alvarez wore an aqua Maria Clara from Tesoro’s.
Former Cibac party-list Rep. Kim Bernardo-Lokin wore an apple green Aureo Alonzo that offset her gold necklace.
Actress Assunta de Rossi, wife of absentee Rep. Jules Ledesma, came in an off-shoulder Kim Gan off-white number with a mermaid tail.
Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-Ao went monochrome with a champagne terno by cause-oriented favorite Joel Azebuche and a similar-colored clutch and drop earrings.
Her colleague, former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros went dramatic in a white modern jusi barong over a black sheath gown also by Azubuche. This she partnered with champagne pearl earrings and a gold minaudiere.
Quezon City Rep. Alfredo Vargas III’s wife Yasmine caught attention with her bold lip that contrasted sharply with her mint green terno by Stephanie Gan.
Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronald Singson’s precocious daughter Samantha (“call me Ariel”) and her cousin Elise (“call me Cinderella”), daughter of Ilocos Sur Gov. Ryan Singson, elicited oohs and ahs with their red carpet debut. Both wore similar-looking dresses in cream.
Cebu Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia wore an old rose, off-shoulder number by Philip Rodriguez that she paired with a brass and mother-of-pearl minaudiere.
Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita “Ging” Suansing wore an Ivarluski Aseron nude gown with red embroidery.
Senate President Franklin Drilon’s wife Mila wore a yellow outfit with an opera-length pearl necklace.