It was hilarious actually, watching media make a mess of their SONA 2016 coverage — and we’re not even talking about those “power shots” of the President’s nostrils and hands.
In fact, I’m not even talking about the SONA itself — for how can media mess up that coverage when we were all stuck with video from Brillante Mendoza? I’m talking about the pre-event coverage, when our congressmen and senators arrive at the Batasang Pambansa. In the past, this was the time and place to talk about what the women of Congress and the Senate are wearing, an opportunity to talk designers, a veritable fashion show.
But with the directive that guests wear “business attire,” it seems the media got the red carpet pulled from under their feet. Because what do they now talk about? What questions do we ask? What stories can we spin, with no clothes, fashion, designers to talk about?
One had hoped, given that this new dress code was announced early enough that the media would then work towards asking better questions, building a narrative from what red carpet fashionistas would say about other things, like you know, what they think of this new President, what they wish to hear from him, how they’d like to be the change they want to see in nation.
Elsewhere in the world, during the last awards season, celebrities took a stand against being asked solely about who and what they’re wearing, and demanded #AskHerMore. Celebrities from Reese Witherspoon to Sally Field even released questions they’d rather be asked, instead of being made to answer about their looks.
And we’re talking celebrities. At the SONA, we’re talking politicians’ wives, congresswomen and senators. That media had nothing relevant to ask them is telling of us, and our limitations. It’s also telling of how media views our women, and what they think is most important to ask them, what they think the media must here from our women. It’s all a very sad state of affairs.
Senator Grace Poe could’ve been asked about what she expects to hear from President Duterte, especially since they had fought it out in the last elections. She could’ve even been asked about the bills and laws she sought to pass, or about FOI, which she also pushed for and has since become EO. But alas. They apparently asked her a question about her “simple attire.”
This one didn’t even seem to ask a question, and just decided to invent a “trademark,” like no one else EVER wears white to the SONA, i.e., Heart Evangelista all these years.
Speaking of Heart, I’ve interviewed her before and she sure has a good head on her shoulders, and I’m certain that she had more to talk about than the brand she was wearing.
At least Heart had a name, this media enterprise could’ve even be troubled to spend a minute or two to search for the name of Senator Sonny Angara’s wife, Tootsy — who, by the way, is articulate and intelligent, and for sure had something to say about this SONA with this new President.
Ah, but who is always fodder for social media attacks on SONA day but Senator Nancy Binay, who for sure had much to talk about in terms of bills and laws she’s been working on in the Senate, but who is rarely asked anything at all about the work she does. This SONA was no exception: media posts a photo of Senator Nancy in her terno, social media goes crazy saying she broke the dress code, except that many others kept to their long ternos for the morning rituals of the first day of Congress.
No one cares to clarify that the dress code was the for the SONA, in the afternoon, not the event before it, after all, it’s just Senator Nancy who will suffer — and she always suffers during SONA, she can’t do anything right, and really mostly because she’s a Binay. Nothing else.
Here she is shown in “a more corporate Filipiñiana <sic>.” But too late, the bashing was already happening online.
Though the women were not the only ones to suffer this media mess at SONA 2016.
There was Rep. Teddy Baguilat, who came in indigenous Ifugao wear unlike any other Congressman or Senator. And he did so without fanfare. And so media did not know what to say.
Case in point: “His native garb” like it’s not OUR Philippine indigenous wear ‘no?
And a tweet that was taken down, but of course was screencapped anyway, where OUR indigenous wear is considered as “a literal dress down.” Hay.
See, if media can’t even level-up the discourse on the red carpet, how do we expect “a higher intelligent” anywhere else?