MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – When the leaders of the member-nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meet for the annual summit in Manila next month, they will be donning the Philippine national attire for males. It’s called the Barong Tagalog.
World leaders like Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau and Enrique Peña Nieto all looked dashing in their Filipino attire last during the last Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila.
But for this year’s ASEAN summit, Filipino fashion designers are refusing to make a Barong Tagalog for Trump, in protest of his anti-immigration stance which impacts thousands of Filipinos now in, or planning to move to, the U.S.
Well, Trump will just have to wear the boring coat and tie.
LOS ANGELES, California (The Adobo Chronicles, Los Angeles Bureau) – Many Filipino Americans living in Los Angeles coughed up big bucks (translation: U.S. dollars) to be among the selected few to witness a performance of one of the most revered cultural/dance traditions of their homeland — the ‘Rigodon de Honor.”
The Rigodon is a traditional dance from the Philippines that evolved from dances brought to thePacific islands by Spanish settlers in the sixteenth century. Historically, the dance is meant to represent a certain sense of elevated status among those who take part in it, and is often performed at galas, balls and other formal occasions celebrated by the rich and powerful.
It was supposed to be a highlight of the fundraising gala sponsored by FASO, the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra Foundation, billed as a night of music, dance and culture.
But alas, what invited guests witnessed was a Rigodon de Dishonor, highlighted by the presence of Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo who turned the prestigious cultural event into a laylayan political event.
Nobody in the audience wanted to listen to her lies about the Duterte government, Martial Law in Mindanao, the Philippines’ war on drugs and her supposed fundraising for the victims of the Marawi City terrorist siege. But Robredo was oblivious to the evening’s purpose.
And so, as she took to the podium (actually a music stand) to deliver her packaged speech prepared by Georgina Hernandez and her socmed staff, the guests walked out in disgust.
Now, FASO has been deluged with letters, phone calls and emails demanding for refunds of the cost of tickets paid by the invitees who were so looking forward to witness the Rigodon de Honor.
It must be a dishonorable next few weeks for FASO. But it should be a lesson learned. Well learned.