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Barong Tagalog: Filipino's Old School Tagalog

barong tagalog

The barong Tagalog, also called barong, is a heavy, double-layered national dress for Filipinos and also an internationally recognized embroidered long sleeved formal shirt for males. Barong Tagalog incorporates elements from both the pre-social indigenous Filipino and western European clothing styles. It is probably best recognized by its use of the word "Tagalog" (Filipino Language) to refer to both the dress and the cultural practices of Filipinos.

Barong Tagalog means "long cloth." It has been a staple garment in the Philippines since the early 20th century, when English colonizers brought their European fashion sense and clothes from Europe with them. The white-collar white shirt with black trousers became the symbol of the Filipino peasant worker during the early colonial period. Although there have been variations in design, the basic premise of Barong Tagalog is the same. It is called such because it is long, covering the arms and legs, while the long, slack-fitting pants are similar to those worn by European farm workers.

It is believed that Barong Tagalogs was created during the early Batakkad days. Some historians think that these articles were introduced by Americans during their occupation of the Philippines during World War II. Men mostly wore them, while women mostly wore pants. Barong Tagalog is often referred to as long jogging pants, which were also worn by the Americans during their occupation. The American soldiers, in their effort to wear something that would be comfortable, brought their own variants of this article.

Today, the barongs or shirts are available in various materials, designs and styles. There are also several unique types that are available on the market today. The most common type of barong is the traditional, two-piece outfit that features long pieces of woven cotton fabric, with buttons on each side. However, there are also some barongs which are equipped with zippers or Velcro along the seams to provide a tighter fit.

In the Philippines, men and women commonly wear Barong Tagalog together. They also go by the names, sarong and tapestry shirt. Tapestries can be bought in local stores, or in online shops and stores. Some people also wrap tapestries around their waists or around their ankles. Both are popular Filipino traditional attire.

Barong Tagalog has become one of the Philippines' signature fashion statements. It has even reached Hollywood, where many famous people have made a show about wearing the clothing. Movie stars such as Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez have worn the Barong Tagalog. Other actors who have made a Filipino connection through this include singer-actor Natividad; former Manila Mayor Vicente Lenilla; and singer Leopoldo Javi, whose real name is Jose Maran.


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