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Sona: Time to roll out red carpet, photo booths

/ 02:14 AM July 19, 2013

This is for those with the sweetest smiles and the smartest gowns.

Knowing that the President’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) is an occasion to dress to the hilt, the House of Representatives has installed not one but two photo booths for those attending the affair on Monday.

Besides beefing up security and rolling out the red carpet, the House also wants to make sure the guests would be able to get an instant souvenir of their presence in one of the top political and social events of the year.


The photo booths will be set up on the north and south lobbies of the Batasang Pambansa’s main building for those who would want to record their attendance for posterity, according to Bernadette dela Cuesta, head of the House Public Relations and Information Bureau.

The photo booths will be similar to those available during birthday parties, with guests posing before a camera hooked up to a computer and a printer that would reproduce their photos within minutes.

No-fly zone

The House is all set for President Aquino’s fourth Sona, according to Secretary General Marilyn Barua-Yap.

As in every Sona, the traffic flow would be restricted near the Batasan complex and the movement of House and media personnel within the compound would be limited for security purposes.

The airspace within a 2-kilometer radius above the compound would be a no-fly zone.

Pictures delivered

Yap said she was grateful to the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority for playing key roles in preparing the Batasan complex for Monday’s affair.


As early as Thursday, the red carpet has been laid out on the lobbies. By Monday, the photo booth would be ready.

The photo booth idea is nothing new, Dela Cuesta said. One was actually set up at last year’s Sona.

But this year, two booths will be set up on two of the lobbies used by the Sona guests, she said.

“Arriving guests taking the red carpet can use the photo booth,” she told reporters.

Using the booths would be optional, she said. If the guests cannot wait for the pictures to be developed, House personnel could deliver the pictures to them later.

P5,000 for 3 hours

Dela Cuesta said renting the photo booths was not expensive, costing about P5,000 for three hours’ use—cheaper than constructing a backdrop against which guests could pose for souvenir photos.

Aquino’s Sona is viewed as a crucial event. It is when the President details his accomplishments for the past year and sets the direction he wants the government to take.

Legislators take their cue from his statements when deciding which bills to make their priority.

But with many prominent personalities attending the Sona, it has also become a social event of the year. The outfits of guests are given prominence—if not inordinate attention—in the media.

Originally posted at 03:25 pm | Thursday, July 18, 2013

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, Congress, House of Representatives, Lifestyle, News, Philippine president, Philippines, photo booths, Photographs, Photography, Politics, public events, Sona, SONA 2013, State of the Nation Address
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