FASHION SENSE: THE BARONG TAGALOG

NEWSBREAK. The Chinese didn't blink at Scarborough shoal. Singkit lang sila.

Filipinas should envy Indian women with their six-meter long sarees - a boon to the textile industry. Pinays have stopped using the balintawak or any traditional dress to work. But they would sport the latest Paris or New York fashion.

At least our menfolks retain a traditional haberdashery, and even improve on it. The Barong Tagalog or just the ''Barong'' is the male Filipino dress. The shirt originated from Philippine colonial history.

When we were a colony of Spain, the natives or Indios were obliged to wear shirts without pockets (so that they could not steal). The shirt was also to be made of diaphanous material (so that they could not conceal weapons). And the natives were also to wear their shirt-tails out, to distinguish them from their betters - ''insulares'' and ''peninsulares'' - who tucked in their shirts.

The dress code was clearly a position of servitude. But the Indio gave the shirt to his wife, who embellished it with her needlework; and, rather than being a mark of shame, the shirt is worn today with national pride. This was the Filipino's cultural jujitsu on his oppressor.

When I told this little anecdote to Fr. Paul, a Catholic priest from Kerala, he recalled that there is a similar fashion in Christianity. He said that the cross was an ending for the worst of criminals...and became the sign of Christian salvation.

Material: The barong material may be in any organic fabric: piña (from pineapple fiber), jusi (from banana fiber), ramie (from abaca fiber), or cotton. The first two fabrics are diaphanous and used for formal wear. The gusot mayaman looks like Detective Colombo slept in it.

Manner of wear: Piña and jusi are worn with a kamisa tsino undershirt with sleeves and buttons on the front, to give flexibility whether the shirt is to be worn with open or closed collar. (Gibo Teodoro may have lost some votes for wearing a crewneck T-shirt which showed under the collar. And, under pain of anathema, never, never wear a tank shirt (sando) underneath.

On formal occasions, the barong is worn with the neck collar buttoned up; French cuffs; studs may be used; dark trousers. For informal occasions, the collar is left open; light-colored trousers. (A casual version is the short-sleeved polo barong).

Decorations: The Philippine honors code prescribes that a rosette, if worn, should be placed at the third buttonhole (from the neckline). From the Book, Bababa, ba? Anecdotes of a foreign service officer.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • A weekend of premium cars
    A weekend of premium cars

    Good news to all luxury car fanatics as PGA Cars, the exclusive importer and distributor of Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini and Bentley cars in the country, will be holding the PGA Cars Premium Festival from May 29 to May 31 at the PGA Center in Global City in Taguig. The 3-day event will showcase PGA’s latest […] The post A weekend of premium cars appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • APEC ministers to endorse Boracay Action Agenda
    APEC ministers to endorse Boracay Action Agenda

    Trade ministers at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Boracay, Aklan agreed yesterday to endorse the proposed Boracay Action Agenda to the member countries’ leaders, presenting opportunities for global trade for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). In a press conference following the conclusion of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, who also served as chairman, said ministers agreed to recommend the adoption of the …

  • Talks with China over sea row urged
    Talks with China over sea row urged

    The Philippines should engage China in bilateral talks in its efforts to maintain peace and order at the disputed West Philippine Sea, Sen. Francis Escudero said yesterday. Escudero supports the government’s move to bring the issue before international arbitration but also stressed the need for the Philippines to pursue talks with China. Escudero made the statement after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea. …

  • House panel tackles bill on regular disaster drills
    House panel tackles bill on regular disaster drills

    The House committee on national defense is deliberating on a measure mandating the regular conduct of disaster risk reduction drills in educational institutions nationwide. Authored by Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., the bill mandates that risk reduction drills be held annually in all educational institutions throughout the country in coordination with the schools’ respective local government units. “The Philippines’ location along the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator …

  • PCSO running out of funds
    PCSO running out of funds

    Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman Ireneo Maliksi has admitted that the revenue-generating agency is running out of funds as it continues with its mandate to provide financial assistance to indigent Filipinos. Aside from providing financial help to individual recipients, Maliksi cited at least 13 laws that mandates the PCSO to provide mandatory contribution to different government agencies. Just last week, PCSO released P100 million to the Commission on Higher Education as …

  • Cops receive mid-year bonus
    Cops receive mid-year bonus

    Active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP)have received their mid-year bonuses. However, the bonus of personnel with pending administrative and criminal cases has been deferred as per administrative policy, according to PNP spokesman Senior Superintendent Bartolome Tobias. The PNP has released P1.9 billion for the mid-year bonus of the 155,000 active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel. …

  • Catholics organize to promote pope's climate change message

    NEW YORK (AP) — There will be prayer vigils and pilgrimages, policy briefings and seminars, and sermons in parishes from the U.S. to the Philippines. …

  • Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored
    Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Carroll Heath didn't have it easy growing up in the Great Depression. His father wasn't around, his mother was a patient in a mental hospital and he kept largely to himself. Soon after graduating high school, he enlisted in the Army and wound up in the Philippines, where he's believed to have died sometime in 1942. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options