Duterte: I dress for comfort, and not to impress
He dresses for comfort, and not to impress anybody.
That, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday, was why he folded the sleeves of his barong Tagalog during the recent Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit, which the Philippines hosted.
Mr. Duterte received flak online after he showed up for the summit in a creased barong whose sleeves he folded halfway to his elbow.
“You know, I dress not to please anybody. I dress to be comfortable. That’s why I rarely wear an Americana (coat and tie). (For) one, it is not an attire for the Filipino. It’s too hot to wear,” he said during the launch of a program for farmers and fisherfolk in Davao.
The President described his look as “gusot-masa,” which literally refers to “a poor man’s creases,” as differentiated from the popular expression “gusot-mayaman,” that refers to the easily wrinkled jusi, a more expensive fabric for the barong.
Mr. Duterte said he bought his barong at Tutuban Center, a downscale shopping mall in Divisoria, Manila.
The President, who presided over marathon meetings during the summit, said he was there “not to please any state figure, prime ministers or Presidents. Of course not. I go there and I want to please myself,” he said.
He explained that he folds the sleeves of his barong so it would be easier for him to move around. He was just emulating the style of former President Fidel Ramos, he added.
As usual, the President ended his speech with a joke. When he dies, he said, he’d like to be in a coat and tie. In his many visits to funeral parlors, he added, there were times when he and the deceased were wearing a similar barong.
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