PRESIDENT DUTERTE: PLEASE WEAR THE BARONG PILIPINO PROPERLY

CULTURAL NOTES
July 29, 2016

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: PLEASE WEAR THE BARONG PILIPINO PROPERLY

By Arturo P. Garcia

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I criticized former President Fidel Ramos on his habit of folding his Barong Pilipino, the national costume for men during his term as President from 1992 to 1998.

Actually, President Ramon Magsaysay started this national tradition when he took his oath of office as President of the Philippines in December 30, 1953. His Barong Tagalog then was ripped when he waded with the crowd who all wanted to shake his hands.

I find it in bad taste, because Barong Pilipino is a formal wear. It is our national custume for men and woman. To treat it like a long sleeve or an informal wear is a disgrace. It is like being informal after a party or an event, when you fold it up ¾ style.

Americans or Europeans do not roll up the sleeves of their buiness suits.

Maybe President Duterte loved General Ramos so much that he is copying his style. But I find it still in bad taste because he is the president.

But no protocol can stop Duterte because unlike us, Manilans who take pride in wearing our Barongs on special occasions, he is not used to wearing Barongs. He is used to wearing long sleeves and folds it.

In fact, he finds it’s itchy and he is not fond or used to wear it as a formal wear. Thus he is used to folding it ¾ style, like a Troubinise long sleeved polo shirt.

But he must be used to wear it as a formal wear of a President. If not he will be copycatting General Ramos, who loved to show that he is working “ because he rolled up his sleeves.”

But “rolling up sleeves” does not mean you are working. Duterte is the President but if that’s how he would like to wear it, its better not to wear the Barong then roll up his sleeve.

Mr.President, please respect our national costume.

That is my unsolicited advice to him.

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