Here’s the fashion accessory Filipina powerhouses wore at the SONA

For this year's SONA, female politicians wore their support for the local fashion industry.

Araw brooch

The annual State the Nation Address (SONA) has always been among the greatly anticipated events of the country. Apart from the President’s status report, it is a cultural display as interpreted by politicians and fashion designers. In the past years, the red carpet took on a rebellious and symbolic approach with barongs painted like protest murals and ternos with distinct design elements (think of Senator Imee Marcos’ red and yellow ombre Mak Tumang dress).

This year’s SONA is definitely a historic one as it is the first to happen in the middle of a pandemic. As for its dress code, female politicians also made history by uniting to support Philippine culture, fashion, and spirit through wearing a piece of artisan work.

The honorable women of the House of Representatives, led by Deputy Speaker Congresswoman Rosemarie “Baby” Arenas of the third district of Pangasinan, have banded together to show their support for the Philippine fashion industry by wearing the Araw brooch.

Deputy Speaker Congresswoman Rosemarie "Baby" Arenas

Derived from the sun icon in the Philippine flag, Philippine Fashion Coalition’s (PFC) Araw brooch symbolizes Filipino confidence, wisdom, stability, and unity while facing major challenges. It is done in the coalition’s dark blue coloration reflecting and representing the deep waters surrounding thousands of Philippine islands. It also features the inabel fabric incorporated into the eight rays of the sun.

“This Covid-19 crisis has had a continuing and severe effect on the people whose lives depend on work that is related to the fashion industry,” says the PFC. “We partnered with the respected women of the House of Representatives to shed light on our plight, and bring to the fore our aim to be the business support organization for all of Philippine fashion’s subsectors.”

Composed of creative professionals from different facets of Philippine fashion, the PFC intends to be the umbrella organization that will advocate for the needs and concerns of the industry.

Apart from Congresswoman Arenas, other women of the House of Representatives, including Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda of the lone district of Antique, Deputy Minority Leader Representative Stella Quimbo of the Second District of Marikina, Congresswoman Lani Cayetano of the Second District of Taguig, Senior Deputy Minority Leader Congresswoman Janette Garin of the First district of Iloilo, Deputy Majority Leader Congresswoman Camille Villar of the Lone District of Las Pinas City, and Congresswoman Lucy Torres-Gomez of the Fourth District of Leyte, and many other respected supporters such as Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles’ spouse Marga Nograles, wore the PFC Araw brooch at the SONA. 

Congresswoman Lani Cayetano
Congresswoman Ging Suansing
Congresswoman Stella Quimbo

An ivory-colored version has also been produced especially for the occasion as an option for the ladies. 

Deputy Speaker Evie Escudero
Congresswoman Kristine Singson Meehan
Congresswoman Vilma Santos Recto

The brooch, when purchased, comes with a matching face mask made of Filipino textile. This special set is a fund-raising effort for the PFC. Proceeds will support planned projects that will benefit the local fashion industry. 

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles with his wife Marga Nograles
Congresswoman Sharon Garin
Congresswoman Sol Aragones
Congresswoman Lena Alonte

“We are grateful for these patronesses of culture and the arts who, by uniting through this effort, shine a light on the Filipino fashion industry as an essential and integral part of the backbone of our country in terms of providing jobs and preserving our national identity,” the PFC ends.

Visit PFC’s Instagram and Facebook page for more information on how to purchase the Araw brooch.

Special thanks to Marga Nograles for the images.