SONA 2021: The stories behind some of this year's 'protest outfits'

Published July 26, 2021, 3:29 PM

by John Legaspi

Activists and action leaders are making a political statement through fashion

It looks like effigies and banners aren’t enough this time as activists and action leaders are using fashion as an avenue to rebel. They have turned the traditional barong and terno into “protest outfits” and wear them during a rally at UP Diliman in Quezon City on July 26, 2021, ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address. Here’s what we’ve seen so far.
Photo by Ali Vicoy
Bayan Muna Representative and House Deputy Minority Leader Carlos Isagani Zarate dons a barong designed by fine arts student and Alay Sining UP Diliman member. According to Bayan Muna, “the design highlights the need for aid and vaccines of Filipino during the pandemic” and represents “President Duterte’ inutile militarist, and palpak handling of the pandemic.”
Photo from Sarah Elago Twitter
Sarah Elago’s SONA protest attire is made of inaul designed by local brand Balik Batik. She wears it with a custom “sash-panawagan” by Albert Raqueno inspired by youth agenda such as safe reopening of schools, education aid, and strengthening health systems.
Photo from Eufemia Cullamat Twitter
Eufemia Cullamat, a Bayan Muna Representative, honors victims of Lianga Massacre 2.0 with her abaca sash.
Photo from Gabriela Women’s Party Twitter
Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas wears a red terno to call out the attacks on women’s rights by red-tagging their defenders, and to bring light on the freedom of female political prisoners.
Photo from ACT Teachers Twitter
Assistant Minority Leader ACT Teachers Representative France Castor wears a design by Roja, a junior high school student. The creation highlights “children in war and peace zones and the prioritization of our national budget for war, state abandonment, and neglect to education.”
Photo from Teddy Casino Twitter
Lastly, Mae Paner a.k.a Juana Change as Zara Daughterte, mocking the presidential daughter in a teal long gown accessorized with pearl jewelry.