Style Up your Independence Day with these Barong Tagalogs

In celebration of the Philippine Independence Day, our  fashion feature today is fitted to the traditional fashion of the male Filipinos: the Barong Tagalog.

Barong Tagalog is the formal men’s wear in the Philippines. It has a pre-Spanish origin and it’s something that Filipinos should take pride in.

Barong is actually short for Barong Tagalog, which describes the formal men’s wear of the Philippines. It is properly referred to as the ‘Baro ng Tagalog’ (dress of the Tagalog). Contracting the first two words produces ‘Barong,’ which literally means ‘dress of.’ So, if we want to be correct, we wouldn’t say just ‘Barong.’ But, the slang way of referring to one of the beautiful formal shirts is simply Barong. Yes, the Barong Tagalog is a dress, a garment, a coat in itself. It is not merely a ‘shirt’. If it were, then it would need a coat or a jacket over it to qualify as formal wear and would have to be worn tucked inside the trousers.

source: MyBarong

With a fabric derived from pineapple leaves, the barong tagalog is lightweight to wear, attuned with the Philippine tropical climate, which is hot and humid.

Worn untucked, barong Tagalog has gone through transformations in fashion as donned by Philippine presidents, politicians and even by foreign dignitaries and leaders invited by the Philippine government during significant international events such as APEC Summits and ASEAN Summits.. And through the years, the famed men’s wear of Filipinos have also gone through different embellishment; albeit in a conservative tone and manner as to the occasion it should be worn.

But in this age, where people are getting more experimental in their fashion sense, the Philippines national dress for men can also undergo a certain transformation with a colorful twist. The typical formal attire can be worn in such as way that will also project a personality to the ones wearing it, especially to the modern Filipino men with a fashionable sense.

In this post, my sense of style for barong Tagalog has been inspired by a sense of patriotism despite my half-Filipino blood. Honoring this national dress is parallel to my sense of fashion.

Barong Tagalogs should have styles.

The traditional Barong Tagalog can be embroidered or hand-painted. It is boring to see a cloth that is just too plain. Embroidered Barong Tagalog can have patterns, embellished in such a way that retains the Filipino symbolism. This kind of Barong Tagalogs is really elegant to see.


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Hand painted Barong Tagalogs are another variety. Designers paint the Barong Tagalog as if it is a canvas board.


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Identity of being a Filipino, even if not full-blooded 

Barong Tagalog is always tagged to the Philippines. Even if less than half of the world population know about this Philippines dress, but for many in the world who are sophisticated enough of the existence of the Philippines, barong Tagalog is equivalent to being a Filipino.

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The notion of wearing a Barong Tagalog

Sadly, most Filipinos determine Barong Tagalog as clothes for the old, for government officials and worst, a costume for the dead.

The wearing of the barong was determined for Filipinos to have a lowly status during the Spanish times but, thankfully, it is not anymore. he importance of our national dress is for us to be determined that we Filipinos love our beloved country The Philippines. The Barong Tagalog is not a joke Fashion but a traditional fashion that can be worn by anyone, anywhere and anytime during a formal event.

The importance of our national dress brings a sense of worth for Filipinos. who love the Philippines.

The Barong Tagalog is an elegant kind of clothing regardless of who wears it. Its fashion, though the embellishments and additions are constantly evolving, always remains to be a Filipino.

If you want to don patriotism in the Philippine Indepence Day, why not choose something that is still a barong Tagalog with a kind of style that fits your elegant personality during a formal setting.

You may be invited to a certain independence day party today. The barong tagalog styles I have shared here may give you an idea what to wear in that kind of party.

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Designed and Hand Painted Barong Tagalogs by Roger Salazar
Photographed by Seiji Sakata

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Written by Seiji Sakata

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