MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – The barong tagalog is the Filipino equivalent of the black tie or tuxedo — the male formal attire that comes with strict rules on how to wear it.
It is no secret that Filipino designers frown at President Rodrigo Duterte’s rogue style of wearing the barong which might just give birth to a new, unconventional fashion sense.
When wearing the barong, the rules are clear: button up all the way to the collar, cuffs neatly pressed against each other and secured by metal or bejewelled links, well-pressed black or dark plants, plain black socks and shiny black shoes — exactly the way Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wore his during the most recent Asia Pacific Economic (APEC) Summit meeting in Manila.
But who dares dictate how Duterte should wear his barong? His preference is unbuttoned up to three levels down the collar, rolled up sleeves (ready to go to work), blue denim pants and brown shoes.
Former President NoyNoy Aquino had his own fashion style — bright yellow t-shirts or yellow ribbon pinned to his suit or barong. Nobody complained.
So why would anyone complain about Duterte’s style? After all, he has said in the past that the barong tagalog is worn at funerals, so give the man some slack.