Our girl in the House of Representatives

Photograph by edjen oliquino for the Daily Tribune Edjen Oliquino, Daily Tribune’s Office of the Vice President and House of Representative reporter.

September 9, 2022

Only more than a year with the Daily Tribune, Edjen Oliquino has proven her mettle at her desk work. It wasn’t long before she became a full-time reporter and assigned the plum beat of the Office of the Vice President and the House of Representative.

For the recent State of the Nation Address, she and two other top Daily Tribune reporters, Mish Quilang (who covers the Office of the President) and Jom Garner (who reports from the Senate) took their pick of outfits at the iconic Filipiniana department store, Tesoro’s, on Arnaiz Avenue.

Thanks to Beng Tesoro, who sits at the helm of this top go-to store of balikbayans as well as locals in need of indigenous outfits, both formal and casual, accessories as well as home decor and souvenir knick knacks.

Here is the last of our three-part interview on our smart and dedicated reporters who covered the SONA of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

Daily Tribune (DT): How many SONAs have you covered live?
Edjen Oliquino (EO): The SONA 2022 was my first SONA coverage as an official reporter. I’m delighted that I had the chance to cover it live.

DT: Which part of the SONA caught your attention?
EO: Well, as a first-timer, I was amazed to see the congressmen and senators in person.

DT: Why did you choose Tesoro’s for your outfit?
EO: I chose Tesoro’s because it has a wide range of locally created formal wear. I believe  they truly represent our Filipino blood and tradition.

DT:  What do you like about what you wore?
EO: The Filipiniana I wore was handwoven and made of natural fabrics, which  I appreciate.

DT: How would you compare your attire with those worn by others?
EO: I noticed that I didn’t have the same Filipiniana style as others. So, I was pleased I wore a Tesoro’s.

DT: Of those present, who did you appreciate most for their attire?
EO: Of the gentlemen, it was Senate President Migz Zubiri who looked good in his Tesoro’s barong. Of the ladies, it was Senator Chiz Escudero’s wife, of course, Heart Evangelista-Escudero. She looked so elite in her simple yet very elegant triple white Filipiniana.

DT: What did you look forward to in this special event?
EO: Of course, I looked forward to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivering his SONA. Given that it was his first ever SONA, I wanted to hear about his plans for the country, which he did not emphasize during the campaign period.
DT: How would you describe your coverage of the SONA?
EO: It was exhausting but fulfilling. I went to bed at midnight the night before and woke up at 3 am to prepare for our 6 am appearance in the House of Representatives. The procedure was extremely lengthy. But we called it a day after we sent our stories to the desk straight after the SONA.

DT: What is your advice to your officemate who will next cover the SONA?
EO: Make sure you’re prepared for the SONA coverage, as it will be one of the most important and memorable  coverages you’ll ever do as a journalist.

DT: On hindsight, what was the best part of your whole-day coverage?
EO: The best part was that Speaker Romualdez finally took his oath of office after waiting for years. In 2019,  he was running for the Speakership but settled for the majority leader position to promote camaraderie and unity in the House to give way to Reps. Alan Peter Cayetano and Lord Allan Velasco, who both served as Speakers in the previous Congress. That sacrifice, to me, was a noble act of statesmanship.

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