What do you feel when you look at barongs? Would you look at it as just apiece of clothing? Well, it’s a type of clothing, alright, but it has gone through a lot for centuries. As it went through a colorful culture and tradition, its dark historical past became a symbol of resistance and struggle. But there are fun and exciting things we can learn from barongs that we should not miss. So here they are.
It’s the oldest street wear
We may not wear them very often on the streets today because of the various cultures and trends that we have every season, but it has been worn in the streets for a long time. According to Philippine history, barong has been widely used by ordinary people in their ordinary lives. Wearing barong has been instituted by the Spanish government for 300 years during their occupation in the Philippines. This was to set the difference between the poor and the rich.
Since Filipinos are lower class citizens during those times, barongs are worn ordinarily on the streets, using it for their daily activities. That is why barongs have a deep meaning in the history and culture of Filipinos. But no one gets so emotional because no one has lived in those years that are still alive today.
Wearing the barong only without wearing undershirts could expose you
Don’t you know that you will be practically naked when you wear only the barong fabric? It is made of sheer, lightweight fabric woven from the fibers of piña or abacá. Because of that, it becomes a see-through fabric that would expose your body if you wear it without camisón or camiseta as an undershirt. These undershirts can be worn in long or short sleeves. So do not wear barongs without them.
What was once so low is now on high
We know that barongs are considered as the clothing of low-class Filipino citizens before. But as centuries have passed and many different things have happened, the barong Tagalog becomes a respectable formal dress. It is now a dress worn by people in high society. Politicians, church leaders, and even the president wear barong Tagalog as a symbol of authority, dignity, and honor. What was once considered the lowest now is the highest.
There was once when barong was hated by Filipinos
Quite a controversy but it was part of the history of Filipinos. The Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos issued a decree that barong Tagalog would become the official national attire. He even declared June 5 to 11 as the barong Tagalog week. Apparently, he is one of the presidents who would wear barong Tagalog most of the time in public.
However, after the EDSA revolution, Marcos was called the dictator president whom they accused of various crimes and has set the country into chaos. The negative reputation of Marcos has affected barong Tagalog since it was the Philippine clothing he loved. Some people don’t want to wear that anymore. But as years pass by, people have come to some point realization and have accepted barong Tagalog again.
It’s cheaper to buy pineapple than buying barong made of pineapple fabric
Pineapples are good fruit both for eating and drinking. But why is it much cheaper to buy pineapples than buying barongs made of pineapple fabric? Well, that’s because it is arduous and labor extensive to extract the delicate fibers from pineapple. Also, they have to weave it into a cloth and design it. That is why it is very costly. So if you want to sell something costly, you have to work hard for it.