Next to Sona, ‘terno’ most applauded



It was as if somebody wrote a memo and everybody read it—wear “terno.”

Of course there was no memo—in fact, the invitation to the State of the Nation Address (Sona) of President Aquino merely said Filipina dress for women and barong for the members of the Senate and House of Representatives, and barong or suit for the other guests.

But unlike the previous years, Monday’s Sona saw the majority—almost all, even—of the women in terno. Previous Sonas saw the women in various interpretations of the Filipina dress, from terno to baro’t saya or Maria Clara.

Monday, it seemed, the women upped the glamour ante and wore long ternos, either in jewel colors or muted shades and in various draping or ruching treatments of soft, supple chiffon, crepe or silk.

As expected, Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez stood out in a pale pink Randy Ortiz terno with rosettes of the same color sprinkled on the bodice and skirt. Statuesque, she sat gracefully in the cramped plenary hall seat that hardly left room for her terno’s train.

Like a garden

“I look like a garden,” Pampanga Rep. Anna York Bondoc exclaimed as she greeted a congressman’s wife.

Bondoc was in an attention-grabbing black terno with huge flowers. Even its butterfly sleeves of multicolored tulle bore miniature flowers. She was easily the most visible in the plenary hall, even from the third-floor gallery.

“Malinaw na malinaw,” a session hall page gushed.

Roy Gonzales of the venerable fashion house R.T. Paras and who used to be the designer of the House of Jean Patou in Paris, did Bondoc’s gown.

Makati Rep. Abigail Binay was in an Ivar Aseron blush pink gown with diamond dangling earrings and diamond-studded white gold lace cuff.

Sen. Miriam Santiago lit up the red carpet in a burnt gold terno by Inno Sotto.

Party-list solons

Party-list representatives were not to be excluded from the fashion talk. They made their political statements through fashion.

Luzviminda Ilagan of Gabriela was in a white skirt with slim black stripes symbolizing prison bars to highlight the plight of distressed overseas Filipino workers. She wore a purple and fuchsia kimono and a bag printed with the words “Bring Them Home.”

Gabriela’s Emmi de Jesus was in a pink and gray Maria Clara with the words “Scrap E-Vat” on the shawl.

Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño was in an Edgar San Diego barong with the words “Right to Know Right Now” embroidered in red to stress the clamor for the passage of the Freedom of Information bill.

Paul Cabral

At least four legislative spouses favored designer Paul Cabral, who also did the barong of Mr. Aquino for this Sona.

Newly elected Ilocos Sur Rep. Ryan Singson’s wife Patricia Savellano was in an off-white Cabral terno made of abel Iloko and white gold drop earrings.

Alexandria Gonzales, wife of Mandaluyong Representative Neptali Jr., was in a white and lilac off-shoulder piña gown with a tambourine pearl choker with a big gold pendant. Her long hair, with highlight tint, hung on one side—“I’m channeling Taylor Swift,” she said.

Cindy Ejercito, wife of San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito, was in an unembellished magenta gown that showed off her whistle-bait figure.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano’s wife Lani, the mayor of Taguig City, also showed off her cinched waist in a celedon green gown with lace embroidery on the sleeves and bodice.

Former Cibac Rep. Kim Bernardo Lokin wore a fuchsia number with black feathers on the waist secured by bright yellow band.

PCSO Chair Margarita Juico was in an emerald green empire-waist terno and pearl choker.

Pacquiao couple

Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao was in a Paul Cabral and wife Jinkee was in a gown by young designer Martin Bautista.

Tootsie Angara, wife of Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, was in a Chanel-inspired black and white Chantilly lace terno with ivory gazar overlay by Randy Ortiz.

Melanie Alvarez, wife of Palawan Rep. Antonio Alvarez was in a yellow embroidered piña silk gown with floral pattern.

Jip Remulla, wife of Cavite Rep. Crispin Remulla, was in an emerald silk chiffon terno by Jojie Lloren.

First Sister Kris Aquino was in a blush terno by Cary Santiago.

A very slim Assunta de Rossi was in a cobal blue beaded gown by Cheryl Vicente.

Helen Gamboa, wife of Sen. Vicente Sotto III, was in a vintage white and black Maria Clara by Patis Tesoro.

Best dressed

Easily among the best dressed was Kaye Tiñga, wife of Taguig Rep. Sigfrido Tiñga. She was in a most innovative Pepito Albert Maria Clara—its kimono top done like a piña shawl draped on the shoulders, over a black skirt. Pepito Albert gold jewelry complemented her look.

Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda R. Marcos—the woman who made the terno a global fashion icon and who, at the peak of her power, had all Filipino designers at her beck and call—was in a pink terno. It was “un-designered” and she said she just picked it out of her baul.

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  • Alvic Josol

    SONA is becoming a fashion event for these Congressmen and their spouses (Filipino version of Oscars)… But the difference is, the money spent is from the coffers of the government or from tax payers. These designers are not cheap and they make a lot money during this time of the year. Hope our Congress will pass a bill to limit these extravagant event to happen.  

    • mega chat

      extravagant? our barong and terno are beautiful. don’t you want these to be showcased even once a year? and how sure are you that people’s money is used for that? and please, remember, many people get to earn something because of this “event” (the designers, cutters, mananahi). at least may kumikita from their pawis. and don’t be sexist, huh. may congressmen AND congresswomen.

  • Anonymous

    That’s expected. Women’s passion is fashion. That’s make them beautiful.


    Not everyone can just carry a terno even if she had don an expensive outfit from a designer. Its a total preparation, i saw that one lady didnt even had time to fix her hair properly. Kahit may mahal kang sapatos kung di mo nadadala ang damit sorry, pangit pa rin sya sa yo

  • Anonymous

    And the winner is?….

  • Anonymous

    freakin pinoys are superficial as always. kaya walang asenso. while the whole country wallops in poverty, hunger and unemployment, here you have politicians flaunting their excesses. how can you, as a senator or a congressman, wear expensive ward robes when your constituents neither has anything to wear nor anything to eat? how?? as the popular saying goes….”it only happens in the philippines!”

  • Anonymous

    freakin pinoys are superficial as always. kaya walang asenso. while the whole country wallops in poverty, hunger and unemployment, here you have politicians flaunting their excesses. how can you, as a senator or a congressman, wear expensive ward robes when your constituents neither has anything to wear nor anything to eat? how?? as the popular saying goes….”it only happens in the philippines!”

    • Ladyofmanila Lupague

       kung meron mang mga kababayan na wala ng malamon..sino ang maysala? di ba sila mismo dahil mga lazy.di na ngtrabaho.kung meron namang trabaho,saan nila dinala ang sahod nila,di ba sa sugalan,inuman,sigarilyo..bisyoso kaya ang mga filipino men.aminin nyo..kahit pa siguro mg sahod ng 1k perday,di pa rin magkasya dahil hindi kuntento kung anong meron sila..

  • Jao Romero

    the SONA is a microcosm of the Spanish galas of Philippines past. uncanny!

  • Anonymous

    Galing sa kaban ng bayan ang ipinagbili ng mga yan.
    May magandang terno, ngunit may quality ang mga batas na maipapasa nila, kung mayron man?
    Hindi bali nakabakya lang basta ang batas ay para sa mahihirap, sana.
    Sa mga batas na ginagawa nila, ilan ba ang para sa mahihirap, ilan ba ang para sa pagpaunlad ng mga barangay? Siguro wala.  Karamihan ay pagpalit ng pangalan ng bayan, paghati ng lalawigan, pagbuo ng lungsod.
    Kailan ba ipapasa ang ANTI-DYNASTY LAW?  Dapat ipasa na nila ito sa madaling panahon para maiwasan na ang wangwang sa kongreso at senado.

  • Anonymous

    i still find the extravagant showcase of ternos and gowns by the country’s leaders inappropriate considering the very sad plight of the poor masses who elected them to office. yeah, i applaud our fashion sense and the artistic ability of the Filipinos especially our top-notch fashion designers but, when you attend the president’s SONA  and the poor state of the nation still hasn’t improved, oh well, turning up in your expensive gown and making this event fashion-centered is like slapping the poor really hard. ironic when the president himself was urging everyone to be simple! they can still be fashionable without being excessive. does listening to a president’s speech require expensive designer clothes now? there was never so much fuss about SONA’s in the years before. now, it’s like watching the oscars complete with the red carpet. onli in the pilipins indeed can you see so much disparity between the rich and the poor. 

  • hustlergalore

    walang bang ganito:

    reporter: what are you wearing, ma’am?

    ma’am 1: PAGCOR!

    reporter: what are you wearing, ma’am?

    ma’am 2: PCSO!

    joke lang!

  • hustlergalore

    ang OA naman ng mga reaction!!!!
    wala akong nakikitang extravagance.
    pormal ang okasyon.
    filipiniana kadalasan ang suot. dapat lang yan!
    ang mga reporter lang naman ang nagbibigay ng atensyon sa mga damit at dati hindi naman pinapansin ang mga damit na yan e.
    pati nga mga reporters dyan, nakafilipiniana e.

  • Anonymous

    hustlergalore, wala kang nakikitang extravagance? is that because you yourself has turned a blind eye sa mga mahihirap? nakita mo ba yung suot ng iba na akala mo buong garden ang dala nila? just read the above article on how their gowns are being described and you don’t need to see it on tv. i-imagine mo lang gano ka garbo! yes, formal ang occasion, filipianiana ang theme but you can be elegantly dressed without being excessive. eh kung i-parade sila naka red carpet pa! yeah, the media has put so much attention to all these because aminin natin na talagang fashion circus sya. hindi pinapansin yan dati because growing up as a kid, there was never much fuss about sona’s kasi hindi fashion event dati, political event sya. and let’s take a look at the recent royal wedding in england, mas simple pa ata ang suot ng mga dignitaries at royal guests duon. bihira ang naka gown. etong sona ang OA kasi makikinig lang sa report ng pangulo, akala mo kung anong fashion show, daig ang OSCARS! this reflects what kind of values we have as a nation.

    • Ladyofmanila Lupague

      well.. ano naman ang problema mo kung mag attire sila ng ganun. alangan namn kung magsuot sila ng t-shirt…kahit siguro ikaw.ganun din ang i- attire mo.. maganda ang looks nila they can afford naman sila mg suot ng ganoon.

      • Anonymous

        ladyofmanila, think about your question first before you throw it. ang t-shirt ba pang pormal na occasion? of course not. have you seen the royal wedding sa england? yung mga royal guests ba naka gown? hindi di ba pero pormal pa rin tingnan. and if the royal couple themselves thought to go simple as compared to previous royal weddings dahil na rin alam nila hirap ang maraming tao with  the looming economic recession, now that’s what i call being sensitive to your people. eh tayo, lugmok na nga sa utang and the whole world knows about it, tayo pa yung gustong magpa garbo. this is fine, if it was a private function like yung wedding anniversary ni santiago or wedding nina korina at mar, but a mere sona (talumpati lang po yun kung ano ang nangyayari sa bansa which unsurprisingly wala pa ring pagbabago), siguro naman di kailangan na ipamukha sa dukha na walang kinakain, na ang mga mambabatas nila na pinili nila sa election ay maraming pera na puedeng ipang fashion show lang. alam mo, kulang ka lang sa compassion. you sound so shallow!  

  • Tonee Flores

    tawagin nyo na akong “KJ:, “OF” etc…but i think its about time we stop this “sona fashion shows…
    others went painstakingly  public about their attires being “pamanas”. recycled , pinaglumaan na whatever,
    still tumatayo pa rin mga balahibo ko pag nakikita ko at naririnig ko mga side comments ng magagaling nating mambabatas. sa senado man o kongreso.
    kasi wala naman akong nakikitang ginawa sila para  maibsan ang kahirapan natin at ma iangat ang estado ng ating pamumuhay.
    kay imelda pa lang, how soon ay para bang nakalimutan na…parang kailan lang  hanggang ngayon ay namamalimos pa rin tayo sa mga mambabatas nating ito. sino ba amo? sila o tayo?
    sana sa susunod na sona, di na natin matutunghayan itong mga palasyonistas na mga to.

  • Anonymous

    dapat kasi inde na lang invited yung mga questionable ang naging pagyaman or ang mga kayamanan ay ill-gotten wealth. pwede kaya yun? baka naman wala matira dahil lahat questionable? 

  • Ryan Demanila

    This is newsworthy?  They should be ashamed of themselves, and the level of journalism appears to have deteriorated   Hmmm.  Future doesn’t look good.  Just a thought.

  • hustlergalore

    sorry. OA  pa rin. at pormal ang okasyon. dapat lang yan

  • Anonymous

    hustlergalore at ladyofmanila, you are entitled to your opinion as i am. but it just goes to show the different kind of values we have. obviously, you give more importance to your outward appearance rather than be compassionate and sensitive to the needs of others. it is indeed a formal occasion pero puede naman sigurong maging pormal without being excessive. tapos may report pa na the politicians think dapat magsuot ng magagarbo dahil sa mga social networking sites nakikita na tayo sa buong mundo. but what picture do you think we paint to other countries? alam ng buong mundo na ang ating bansa ay hirap na hirap at lubog sa utang. aren’t we hypocrites?! eh kung ibang first world countries nga are minimizing sa lahat ng aspects ng kanilang gastos, heto naman tayo nagpapakarangya! at ladyofmanila, kung maka judge ka ng kapwa pinoy mo, akala mo masyadong kang angat! hindi po lahat ng poor people as shallow as you mag isip. look at the bigger picture. hindi lahat ng tamad mahirap. after all, your politicians and your elite hindi lahat honest. pera ng bayan ang nagdamit dyan! 

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