Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Celebrating my Heritage in a Barong Tagalog

Happy October Friends!!!
I can't believe it's already October, it's my birthday month but it's also Pilipino American History Month/Filipino American History Month or PAHM/FAHM which brings us to today post. When I was in college I used to celebrate this by going to different events at my college, since then I haven't really celebrated so I figured I can celebrate it by bringing it to my blog and celebration my heritage through fashion. So today I'm wearing a "Barong Tagalog," which is known as the national dress of the Philippines.
The Barong Tagalog is a upper garment that is thin and transparent that is used during special occasions in the Philippines. It is normally worn by males and styled un-tucked with a shirt underneath. The Barong is usually made of Piña fabric that was hand loomed from pineapple leaf fibers and is very delicate material, or Jusi fabric which is mechanically woven. The Barong is usually embroidered in the front in a U-shape that is either hand or Machine embroidered. I honestly think the embroidery is what makes it special because I've seen so many different designs on Barongs. The Barong is traditionally a off white color but recently it comes in many different colors. 
The Barong I am wearing is my Dad's and I was surprised that it even fit me and I think it's because it's really loose on my dad. But I decided to modernize it for today's post. The one I am wearing is made of Jusi fabric and you can see the U-shaped embroidery on the front of the shirt I talked about above. 
The Barong is typically styled un-tucked because supposedly back in the day it was used by the Spaniard's when they colonized the Philippines to differentiate themselves from the natives. But since I wanted to modernize it I thought why not tuck it in and go against the norm. I also wanted to play with texture and decided to pair the light fabric with a heavier one like my faux leather skirt. 
picture from (here)
In 2012 Valentino put out several pieces from their Spring Runway show that were reminiscent of the Barong Tagalog. I thought this was really interesting because it showed how the Traditional top could be worn as a high fashion garment.
The fabric of the Barong is made of really light and thin material that helps with the warmer weather of the Philippines. I actually really liked the light material it was very cooling to wear, I wore this on a pretty warm day and it wasn't as bad as wearing a long sleeve shirt. 
[Barong:Dad's from Philippines] [Skirt:I heart Ronson from JCpenny] [Shoes: LoveD]
I decided to wear a Barong because it's a piece of clothing for Filipino's everywhere to show their pride in their culture and heritage. I am really proud to be Filipino American because it is who I am and you can say..."No History No Self...Know History Know Self!
Thanks for reading today's post, it was a little different but is something near and dear to me because it's about who I am and my culture. By the way if you would like to see more about the Barong Buzzfeed did a cool list about them.(here)
Have you heard of a Barong before? What do you like to do to celebrate your culture/heritage? 

XOXO - Nina
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  1. Happy FAHM! I think this is such a neat theme for a blog post. I know next to nothing about Filipino culture and love when you share traditions and foods on your blog and Instagram. I know I've seen these shirts before, and now I know they're called a Barong and a bit of the history behind them as well! I think you've done a fab job of modernizing the garment while still nodding to your culture. I agree that the embellished front makes it a very special top and means that designers can get creative with making one-of-a-kind designs. Thanks for sharing this with us, Nina!

    <3 Liz

    1. Thanks so much Liz, I'm glad you learned a little something about my culture. :)

  2. Take a look at these beautifully made Piña cloths that surely marks as our Philippine pride. We Filipinos are truly blessed with being artistic and creative. We're loom weaving fibers from Piña and Abaca. Aklan's Piña fabric is the Queen of Philippine Textiles
    We offer Filipino barong (short jack and long sleeve) for men, ladies barong (hand embroidered), barong calado, shawl, piña cloths (per yard), and handpainted fans. If you are interested, just send us a message.

    Visit http://www.our7107islands.com/


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