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Philippine Dress: Barongs, etc. (Lots of Pics)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by emptym, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

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    As I was posting some pics on a thread on Manila tailors, I wondered if there was a thread devoted to the barong (tagalog) or other types of traditional Philippine styles of dress. Couldn't find one. So here it is.

    Thought I'd start it off w/ some pics of former presidents and their first ladies -- or first something in Aquino's case (not sure if the male mannequin in the pic is of Benigno or not).

    They are all taken from a family museum at Villa Escudero. I think they're all the real thing. It's interesting to see the different styles over the years. Never heard of people wearing barongs w/ white or cream pants, for example. Here they are:

    Emilio Aguinaldo:
    [​IMG]

    Manuel L. Quezon:
    [​IMG]

    JosÃ[​IMG] P. Laurel:
    [​IMG]

    Sergio Osmeña:
    [​IMG]

    Manuel Roxas:
    [​IMG]

    Elpidio Quirino:
    [​IMG]

    Ramon Magsaysay:
    [​IMG]

    Diosdado Macapagal:
    [​IMG]

    Carlos P. Garcia:
    [​IMG]

    Corazon Aquino:
    [​IMG]

    I skipped a few presidents and first ladies: Marcos and Imelda, mostly out of disgust for their actions; Ramos mostly out of distaste for the style, and Estrada, out of a mixture of both.

    Pls. feel free to add your own pics. I'll add some more too.
     
  2. HRoi

    HRoi Senior member

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    are the pics in chronological order of their presidencies? interesting how it goes from traditional (military?) at the start, then becomes Western, then back to traditional...
     
  3. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

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    ^Yes, they are in chronological order. I found that interesting too. Of course, I don't think they wore these costumes always. There are pictures of presidents in barongs whom the collection depicted in suits and vice versa. The first one, in military uniform, was a general who helped lead the revolution against Spain.

    If anyone has a chance to see the temporary (a few years?) exhibit of clothes from the 19th century at the Ayala museum, I would definitely see it. Amazing stuff. So interesting to see the mix of Spanish, Chinese, and more native styles. Men wore loose blue pants with embroidered accents with multi-colored barong-type shirts, for example. Incredibly refined embroidery. Here's some pics from the Ayala website. I'd have taken some pics, but cameras weren't allowed in the museum.
    Here are a couple more shots from the Escudero one though, I marveled at how fine the first, more formal hat was in comparison to the second, leisure one:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Made from pineapple fibre (traditionally) and used only for special occasions (weddings, funerals, state affairs, birthdays, etc)
    For those who are unfamiliar, some reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barong_Tagalog
    OP please post the outfits of the missing presidents.
    All world leaders (not assassinated) are evil anyway so no need to pick on Ramos & Marcos.
    It would stil be interesting to see the clothes. Salamat!
     
  5. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

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    ^You're probably right. Sadly, I didn't take pictures of those three. In the thread on Manila tailors (linked above), I posted a picture of some pina fabric I bought in a town that specializes in it: Lumban, Laguna. I would say that pina barongs are reserved for special occasions, but others -- made of jusi, linen, or other fibers, in short and long sleeved versions -- are worn daily by people from executives to drivers, waiters, etc. Pina is certainly the most formal and traditional, functioning like a tux. And it is incredibly difficult to make, from scraping the fibers out of pineapple leaves, to knotting fibers into threads, to the delicate embroidery. Here's a website with pretty good descriptions, pictures, and videos of its making and uses. Pina does have its disadvantages, including being more delicate than the second most formal type, jusi, which is is made of raw silk. Below is a pic of the pina fabric I got (on the right). Next to it is a version in jusi, bought by one of my students. Despite the bad photography, you might notice a few differences, including the darker color, rougher texture, and less even, hand embroidery of the pina version: [​IMG]
    By buying the fabric in Lumban, we got the pick of a hundred designs and paid about half the cost in Manila. We brought the fabric to a tailor I've been working w/ for the past several years, Cornell's in Makati. Should be done next week and I'll post a pic then. We both had to go custom since we're tall and thin. Any barong that fits me in the sleeves is too loose in the neck. Here's a pic of me in a jusi, rtw barong, w/ my mom, at a wedding in NYC last year:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  6. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    I find it interesting how traditional women's dresses all have the high puffed shoulders.
     
  7. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have a bespoke barong.
     
  8. texas_jack

    texas_jack Senior member

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    I find it interesting how traditional women's dresses all have the high puffed shoulders.

    It's a look I associate with Thailand
     
  9. acidboy

    acidboy Senior member

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    sf lament: too bad people here also forgot how it was to dress up appropriately. I have old "back in the day" pictures that showed how people back then dressed well- light colored suits, straw hats and spectators were the order of the day back when my folks were young.
     
  10. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

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    I have a bespoke barong.
    Neat. Who made it? Any pics?
    It's a look I associate with Thailand
    I always assumed it was Spanish.
    sf lament: too bad people here also forgot how it was to dress up appropriately. I have old "back in the day" pictures that showed how people back then dressed well- light colored suits, straw hats and spectators were the order of the day back when my folks were young.
    Post na post! (Was that an appropriate use of "na"?)
     
  11. alastiar

    alastiar Well-Known Member

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    omg i could totally see myself going to this year Halloween wearing the milatery outfit (first pix)
     
  12. UberDyologzz

    UberDyologzz Well-Known Member

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    @emptym While I understood what you meant by 'post na post!', it doesn't sound like natural Filipino at all - at least not to me.

    If you want to convey your agreement of the post, then a normal Filipino would use "Tama!" [correct!], or "Tama, tama!" [which would be analogous to "hear! hear!"]

    I was wondering myself how I as a Filipino would convey [if I suspect correctly] what you likely wanted to convey - that the post was a good one. I started to write up some alternatives, but none really sounded truly natural - I suspect that since we're mostly a bilingual country, most Filipinos would use English for this.
     
  13. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

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    @emptym While I understood what you meant by 'post na post!', it doesn't sound like natural Filipino at all - at least not to me.

    If you want to convey your agreement of the post, then a normal Filipino would use "Tama!" [correct!], or "Tama, tama!" [which would be analogous to "hear! hear!"]

    I was wondering myself how I as a Filipino would convey [if I suspect correctly] what you likely wanted to convey - that the post was a good one. I started to write up some alternatives, but none really sounded truly natural - I suspect that since we're mostly a bilingual country, most Filipinos would use English for this.

    Ah. No, I meant it in the sense of "Please post the pictures you just mentioned."
     
  14. UberDyologzz

    UberDyologzz Well-Known Member

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    @emptym Ohhh... In that case, just "Post mo na!" would be more natural. Or "Post na!" "Post na post!" sounds more like you're emphasizing the... post-iness of a post. [e.g. 'mahigpit' [tight] -> "mahigpit na mahigpit" [really tight], 'mahal' [expensive/loved] -> "mahal na mahal" [really expensive/really loved].

    A quick fix would be a comma - "Post na, Post!"
     
  15. SpallaCamiccia

    SpallaCamiccia Senior member

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    Ohh those hand sewn " floral " shirts are great!

    Why are they so dirty , they can´t dry clean those for the museum?
     
  16. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

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    @emptym Ohhh... In that case, just "Post mo na!" would be more natural. Or "Post na!" "Post na post!" sounds more like you're emphasizing the... post-iness of a post. [e.g. 'mahigpit' [tight] -> "mahigpit na mahigpit" [really tight], 'mahal' [expensive/loved] -> "mahal na mahal" [really expensive/really loved]. A quick fix would be a comma - "Post na, Post!"
    Ah, thanks! I just know that my cousins say things like (now properly punctuated), "Eat na, eat!" or "Game na, game!" I only know about 200 words and phrases...

    Ohh those hand sewn " floral " shirts are great! Why are they so dirty , they can´t dry clean those for the museum?

    It is sad. The museum has a very interesting collection imo. But it's poorly maintained and lit. Here's a couple of undershirts they had from men who had been killed in relatively recent uprisings (last 50 yrs). I took the shots because they showed anting-anting -- the protective power from inscription, etc. The stain and holes on the first one show they weren't effective, at least not always. Of course, I'm told their efficacy depends mostly one one's loob: [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I hadn't originally thought of posting those here, but they probably are an important part Philippine dress. I'm wearing a scapular/rosary combo knotted by Dominican nuns for example... I've had it for well over 10 yrs.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  17. neyus

    neyus Senior member

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    These are great pictures. It is a pity though that the museum displays them in those dirty cases... A Barong Tagalog in Jusi or Pina is really nice. Its an interesting shirt but not unique for asian or some other countries around the world. I've posted some examples from around the world Guyabera - Cuba, Mexico [​IMG] Thai Shirt [​IMG] Indonesian Traditional Shirt in Batik fabric [​IMG] Barong [​IMG] Chinese Shirt [​IMG] Kurta or Pajami - India [​IMG] Nightshirt [​IMG]
     
  18. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

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    ^You make a good point. Not only are they similar, but there seems to be a good chance based on indirect historical evidence that they are all related. At the national Museum, we were told that before the Spanish came to the Philippines, the locals almost certainly had contact with cultures spanning from Madagascar to the Americas. This can be seen in burial practices, fabrics, jewelry, sanskrit tablets, and other things I can't remember.
     
  19. Doc4

    Doc4 Senior member

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    Good thread.

    A Barong Tagalog in Jusi or Pina is really nice. Its an interesting shirt but not unique for asian or some other countries around the world.
    Just about every BT I've seen is very see-through, requiring an undershirt (usually white); I guess that for me is the main distinguishing feature of the BY compared to the others you have shown, although I agree with you that many cultures have their own take on the general theme.

    (my personal preference would be for a BT made of a fabric like linen or such that would be opaque enough to not need an undershirt, to help beat the heat.)
    It's interesting to see the different styles over the years. Never heard of people wearing barongs w/ white or cream pants, for example.

    I attended a wedding in Tacloban. The groom wore tan pants with his BT, and all the other men in the wedding party wore black pants. This helped to distinguish the groom, but I felt it also just plain looked better.
     
  20. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    emptym,
    I have a Barong from 1991. It has been worn many times but still looks like new, the problem is it has darkened with age, which I guess is normal for the type of fabric it is.
    Whenever I wear it to an event, my Filipino friends are politely quick to point out 'oh that's old'.
    I am rather sentimental about my Barong as well as pleasing my friends.
    What to do? Buy a new one or is it acceptable to wear an old (approaching vintage) one?

    Edit- Photo's added.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.

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