State of Damnation

Written By bryanboy


That’s the question that went inside my head (aside from HOW MUCH DID YOU PAY TO LOOK LIKE THAT?) while looking at the photos of the guests at yesterday’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) by current Philippine President Benigno Aquino Jr.

Philippine SONA 2011 Miriam Defensor Santiago

Filipinos, from all walks of life, tune in to their television sets, if not online, to see what the President has to say about the state of the nation. It’s a gargantuan affair attended by the country’s politicians, their wives, their minions and cronies, celebrities, and such. These are the very few people whose job is to legitimately (they were mostly elected, after all) represent their constituents.

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Over the years, the President’s SONA became the Filipino political equivalent of the Academy Awards red carpet. Women attendees attempt to put their formal best but end up with their formal worst.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, photo above, looked GROTESQUE. I have respect for the woman for having balls in the political arena but really? As someone who is known to be one of the most highly-opinionated figures in the history of the nation, she sure dressed her eccentric self. I posted a photo of her on Twitter and the response from my followers were hysterical and on point.

  • “I wonder if she found her Beast by the end of the night.”
  • “I wonder what kind of meds she’s prescribed with.”
  • “Ferrero Rocher called, they want their wrapping back.”
  • “She looks like a Christmas tree ornament.”

I cannot help but wonder how much these clowns women paid to look like that.

I almost choked when I saw a video of Congresswoman Mitos Magsaysay describe what she wore. She said she wanted to look “classy” by wearing “black AND gold”. Classy, yes, for the season premiere of Real Housewives of Zambales. Mitos, why not look at Mons Romulo who I thought looked terrific. Simplicity is key.

SONA 2011 Guests
Jinkee Pacquiao in Martin Bautista at SONA 2011

Filipino boxer Manny Pacquaio’s millions (dollars, mind you, not pesoses) failed to inspire young designer Martin Bautista to create something a wee bit tasteful for wife Jinkee. Her frock lacked a sophisticated punch. Sorry Martin, I love you bakla pero walang personalan. She doesn’t look like a million bucks!

I liked Risa Hontiveros’ interpretation of the Filipina terno. I thought it was a powerful statement to convert traditional attire into a trouser version. Yes, women can wear trousers, too.

From what I’ve seen online, Lani Mercado outshined them all. Devoid of garish colours, the intricate details of her demure dress spoke for itself. It was anything but vulgar.


  1. Bryan, kindly explain to us what’s with the sleeves of the dresses? they’re all the same.

  2. Lol so right… by the way; what’s with those sleeves? three women wearing the same kind of sleeves? did they shop together? maybe it’s a filipino designer staple.. but never seen those sleeves. They look kind of cool; in a robotic kind of way

  3. There were plenty of women who looked amazing that night. Of course, the disasters make it interesting, but put a Lacroix label on Miriam’s frock and youd probably pee your Kenzo. That black and white ensemble is fun as well. Kaye Tinga among others looked marvelous. * Cattirun, those are Maria Clara sleeves. Its a classic Filipino silhouette, like those Balmain shoulders, before crack or Christophe.

  4. SONA- SOOO NAKAKA LOKA ANG MGA SUOT! specially,the three women! very BAD taste!!! LOL

  5. Gerardo Arenas

    OMG as you put it
    i would never, ever buy filipino fashion, it’s horrible
    the only good think of all that disaster’s are the sleeves very Armani Prive of them
    talking of good designers, why if they are so influential , didn’t wear a beauty and flattering Chanel Haute Couture dress or Givenchy one ?

  6. I think half of the women on here actually look nice. I agree with Plutogray. Consider this: isn’t it possible that if a “traditional model” wore these clothes and they were made by a European label (Balenciaga’s modernism comes to mind) they would be incessantly oggled over? Plastered all over the web? To have 50% of the women look nice says a lot. In the end, personal politics influences ones aesthetic sensibility too.

  7. strange. this is like the ‘state of the union’ here in the U.S., right? such bad taste to be wearing such flamboyant (and most likely expensive) gowns while most of the country is living in poverty.

  8. Why did the reporter say so many English terms. Do you guys speak Phillipinglish?

  9. The ladies are wearing the Filipino national dress called the TERNO. Popularized by former First Lady Imelda Marcos, it is characterized by large “butterfly” sleeves. And that’s why all the sleeves look the same.

    Gentlemen were wearing the BARONG TAGALOG, the Filipino national dress for males. Made of delicate pina (from the pineapple) or jusi fabrics (also a local plant), they are a true organic fiber.

    Thanks for featuring the SONA (Philippine State of the Nation Address), Bryan Boy!It’s an honor to be featured in your blog. We are proud of you as a world class and talented Filipino. Salamat na salamat. Pinagmamalaki ka namin.

    Mabuhay ka Bryan Boy and more power to you.

    Anna York P. Bondoc, MD

  10. “OMG as you put it i would never, ever buy filipino fashion, it’s horrible the only good think of all that disaster’s are the sleeves very Armani Prive of them talking of good designers, why if they are so influential , didn’t wear a beauty and flattering Chanel Haute Couture dress or Givenchy one ?”

    @gerardo arenas- amusing how based from one “political” event you would generalize the whole of filipino fashion as horrible. These are politicians/politician’s wives mind you- not all of them come from good breeding nor have the time to ponder about their wardrobe.

  11. @ OOO… Since English is the language of business all over the world it is incorporated in varying degrees into the lingua franca. Especially because the Philippines was formerly an American colony. BTW the term is Taglish (Tagalog/English).

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