“WHO DID THIS TO YOU?”

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.