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Why progressive groups are wearing blue this SONA

Aside from being a huge political event, the State of the Nation has always been a huge fashion spectacle. Celebrities, socialites, and politicians are often stalled on the red carpet with questions like, “who are you wearing today?” or “can you tell us what you’re wearing today?” Sure, fashion looks fancy. But at its core, it’s political.

This year, we are not excited to see the expensive ternos and lavish jewelry. Instead, we’re looking forward to the political statements of leaders and progressive groups through clothes.

Read more: Hey young people, how are you preparing for SONA?

Last week, we already saw Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate’s barong. Painted by Atty. Ma. Sol Taule of Karapatan, the barong makes a statement about the dispute between Filipino and Chinese fishermen over the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago, on the other hand, will arrive with Russel Hopio, who belongs to a family of fisherfolks residing in Manila Bay, and Sheerah Escudero, a sister of an extrajudicial killing (EJK) victim in Angeles, Pampanga. They will be wearing hand-painted sashes that depict EJKs and the displacement of urban poor communities.

Cong. Sarah will also wear a dominantly blue sash. This, according to Kabataan, “demonstrates the youth’s commitment to safeguard our victory in the WPS, continue to defend our sovereignty.” Blue will also take over the streets during SONA ng Bayan.

Read more: Sarah Elago of Kabataan Partylist tells us why being woke is not enough

“Blue not only reflects our country’s abundant coastal and marine resources, but also represents our hope that springs eternal from the victories of those before us who have long fought for a truly independent and prosperous Philippines,” Kabataan Partylist said in a statement.

Even BAYAN secretary-general Renato Reyes, Jr. encourages participants to wear blue during today’s SONA ng Bayan. Like the significance of blue in our Philippine flag, the wearing of blue to protest against the current political climate also signifies the Filipino people’s desire for peace, truth, and justice. This also relates to our fight for Sovereignty, while our oceans and natural resources are being exploited—at a time of worsening global heating, mind you.

So, if you haven’t decided on your OOTD for today, it’d be a good day to wear blue.

Header art by Renz Mart Reyes with photos from Kabataan Partylist


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