the Philippines


Manila, Luzon




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Barong Tagalog

explanations for the specific features

Why is it that the barong is tucked out?

There is more than one explanation! 

One explanation says that it is because of the tropical climate,  which favours clothes that are tucked out. However, the historical explanation says that the Barong Tagalog traces its roots in the Spanish-colonial era (1565-1898).

Click to enlarge!

The roots of the Barong Tagalog

From the beginning of the Spanish rule in the Philippine archipelago, the Spanish rulers demanded the Filipino men to wear  the Barong Tagalog. The Spaniards wanted to make  the differences between themselves and the 'natives' visible by the dress.

Therefore they prohibited  to tuck the barong under the waistband. That was the mark of the inferior status of the natives. Next to that,  the cloth material should be transparent. That should make it impossible to hide any weapon that


could be used against the Spanish rulers. Furthermore, it was forbidden to have any pockets in the barong. This had to prevent any thievery.

Even at the time that some Filipinos became successful business men or successful in agricultural activities,  these  lucky and more important middle class men had to wear the Barong Tagalog just as the Spanish rulers demanded.

In these Spanish period, the new middle class started to put  more attention to the design of the barong.  The front of the barong showed more and more a hand -work design. It was the beginning of becoming a symbol of resistance to colonization. 





Details of a barong tagalog

Detail of a barong tagalog

Detail of a barong tagalog


Pictures of the details:

Click to enlarge!

Detail of a barong tagalog

The Barong Tagalog evolved to ' the national dress'!

The Barong Tagalog gained his real 'national prestige' after president Quezon, the first Filipino president, declared the Barong Tagalog "the National dress". So, the Barong Tagalog  evolved from the pre-Hispanic became officially a symbol of the Filipinos' resistance to colonization!

The Barong Tagalog week

In 1975 The former president Ferdinand  Marcos issued a decree proclaiming an official " Barong Tagalog Week " (June 5 - 11). It was the incentive to a wider use of the Barong Tagalog.


Bridegrooms and the Barong Tagalog


In the Philippines of today,  many Filipinos  will wear the Barong Tagalog at important events. It became a custom for bridegrooms to wear the long-sleeved, embroidered Barong Tagalog.


Polo Barong


After the introduction of the short-sleeved variety, the "Polo Barong", the barong dress became  less formal than in the past. In the last 25 years the polo version became the all-around wear of Filipinos.


History of the

Barong Tagalog

to designers of the barong!

to the tailor!

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