‘Araw’ brooch is this year’s fashion statement at SONA

Women lawmakers have banded together to show their support for the local fashion industry by wearing the “Araw” brooch in Monday’s fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Duterte. 

Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo said the wearing of the SONA brooch, which has a half-sun shape signifying hope and unity and costs ₱5,000 each, is part of their campaign support to the local fashion industry and country’s products as well. 

(Amina Aranaz-Alunan / MANILA BULLETIN)

“This SONA brooch is our little way of showing support to our local fashion designers. Kapit lang po, sisikat din ang araw (Hold on, the sun will rise). Pagtulungan natin na magtuloy tuloy ang negosyo (Let’s work together so that businesses will continue). Salamat din na ginagawa ang lahat para manatili ang mga empleyado (Thank you for exhausting all means to ensure that your employees keep their jobs),” she said in a Viber message. 

Quimbo said the brooch is a creation of Amina Aranaz-Alunan, president of the Fashion and Design Council of the Philippines, and Rajo Laurel, one of the top Filipino fashion designers, with the Philippine Fashion Coalition (PFC), an umbrella organization of fashion professionals from various sub-sectors. 

The opposition lawmaker said the brooch comes in two colors, cream and blue, symbolizing the collective aspiration of the PFC, and is designed by a young Filipino accessory brand that works with various Gawad Kalinga communities, quoting the PFC, the Marikina lawmaker said the blue version of the brooch reflects and represents the deep waters surrounding our thousands of Philippine islands and symbolizes confidence despite challenges, profound wisdom, stability, and unity. 

“Indigenous Inabel fabric is also incorporated into the traditional eight sun rays as the Philippine flag, but interpreted in a half-sun symbol that is meant to show that we are always collaborative and become relevant when complemented and made part of the story, and succeedingly, history,” the PFC said. 

Laurel admitted that the local designers face huge uncertainty as they “decide on a month to month basis.” 

“Demand for “slow fashion” is practically gone. Demand has now shifted to essential wear such as PPEs and lounge wear, for which margins are minimal. Meanwhile, designers are doing everything they can to keep their workers. And this is a luxury for the relatively established designers. For the new designers, there is no other option but to close shop,” she said in his article titled “Women Legislators Support Local Fashion: Walk the talk in the time of COVID.” Quimbo is the principal author of House Bill No. 6815, the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy of the Philippines (ARISE) bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives last June 4. 

“The ARISE bill provides for a 1.3 trillion peso economic stimulus plan for the nation, with the aim of promoting business continuity and reviving business, consumer, and worker confidence so that the economy is re-opened safely and ultimately, so that Filipino workers are protected from layoffs,” she said. Late entry to list of House delegates to SONA House Speaker-in-waiting Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco is a late addition to the very exclusive list of House of Representatives personalities invited to attend President Duterte’s SONA. 

In the final approved list of House attendees that was acquired by Manila Bulletin Sunday, Velasco was one of five new attendees in what is now a 30-person list. Velasco’s name was not in the initial list of House participants to the SONA that was obtained by House reporters last Wednesday. 

The solon, who is known to be very close with presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, is listed in the Palace entourage for Monday’s event, sources said. 

Velasco and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano of Taguig-Pateros district have a term-sharing agreement for the speakership in the 18th Congress. 

Under the gentleman’s agreement that was brokered by the Chief Executive, Velasco will take over the leadership in November this year. 

This will have given Cayetano 15 months at the helm, while the Marinduque solon will have the next 21 months as speaker. 

On Sunday morning, a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test or swab test was administered on the attending House members and their staff. 

Those who will turn out negative for COVID-19 will again undergo a rapid test Monday morning, the day of the SONA. 

Those with positive results from either test will not be allowed to attend. Sources said the President will undergo a swab test right after his speech. 

Like Velasco, presidential son House Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte is a late addition to the final list of attendees for Monday. 

The other three are Reps. Sharky Palma, JayJay Suarez, and Claudine Diana Bautista. The initial list is composed of Cayetano, House Deputy Speakers Johnny Pimentel, Luis Raymund Villafuerte, Dan Fernandez, Raneo Abu, Dong Gonzales, and Rodante Marcoleta; House Majority Floor Leader Martin Romualdez; House Minority Leader Benny Abante; House Deputy Minority Leader Janette Garin; House Secretary General Jose Luis Montales; House Deputy Secretary General Brian Raymund Yamsuan; House Sergeant-at-Arms Ramon Apolinario; and Reps. Robert Ace Barbers, Michael Defensor, Elpidio Barzaga, Eric Go Yap, Lani Cayetano, Juan Miguel Arroyo, Boying Remulla, Wes Gatchalian, Chicoy Alvarez, Divine Yu, Jonathan Sy-Alvarado, and Bambol Tolentino.