12 barong choices for Rody
DAVAO CITY—What to wear to his inauguration on June 30 is the last thing on President-elect Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s mind: He has at least a dozen barong Tagalog to choose from.
But his son, Sebastian, will make a fashion statement with a barong made of Mindanao silk.
The staff at Chardin, a high-end clothes shop in Davao City, said on Saturday that they had sent six barong to Duterte.
“We’re finishing six more,” said Bobby Castillo, one of the clothesmakers.
“It’s up to the President to choose which one from the 12 barong Tagalog to wear to the inauguration,” said Bonnie Adaza, another clothesmaker at the shop.
No order for 12
Castillo said Duterte did not order 12 barong.
“We’re just doing it because we know that what to wear to his inauguration is the least of his concerns,” he said.
“We can even do duplicates—one for his functions in Malacañang and another for him to wear here,” he added.
Hermenigildo Balagon, master cutter at Chardin who has been making clothes for Duterte since 2003, said no changes were made to the design of the barong for the President-elect.
“It’s still the same pattern, the same cut. If I were to decide, I would make some changes so that he’d look different from the rest. But the mayor won’t like it, so there won’t be changes,” Balagon said, referring to Duterte, who has been mayor of Davao City for most of the past two decades.
All the 12 barong for Duterte will be made of jusi, he said.
“It’s piña-looking jusi because the mayor has sensitive skin. He finds piña itchy to the skin,” he added.
Helping silk industry
Sebastian, or Baste, will wear a barong designed and made by the Davao Fashion and Design Council (DFDC).
Aztec Barba, DFDC president, said his group decided to use Mindanao silk to help revive the island’s silk industry.
“We hope that Baste, in wearing Mindanao silk, can help the industry,” Barba said.
Mindanao silk is woven by members of Ayala Beneficiaries Association Inc., based in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental.
Farmers belonging to the Claveria Agricultural Producers Cooperative in Claveria, Misamis Oriental, grow silkworms and process the silk into yarn.
In recent years, production of Mindanao silk has declined because of low demand and lack of marketing.
“We want to help revive the use of Mindanao silk so that farmers and workers who produce it will have a stable livelihood,” Barba said.
“And we are happy that Baste is willing to wear it,” he added.
Baste runs a shop in Davao that sells locally made, hand-printed Reefside shirts.
Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of the President-elect and the incoming mayor of Davao, has already gotten the royal blue gown that she will wear to the inauguration from her favorite local designer, Silverio Anglacer.
Anglacer also made the baby pink gown for Elizabeth Zimmerman, Duterte’s former wife.
Paolo, Duterte’s son and the incoming vice mayor of Davao, will wear a barong made by local designer Erwin Lee Tan.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.