The Oldest Barongs in History

The Philippines is the center of the Barong Tagalog outfit. The country is also rich in history, culture, and tradition. As we look back to the Filipino’s culture, history, and tradition, we would inevitably notice the most loved barong attire. What are the oldest barongs we have in history? Do we still have records and documents of these old barongs? Let’s find out.

As we search and look for facts and details about the oldest barong, we can’t avoid going down to its history. So here are the oldest barongs we have found.

The Nobility Baro in 1590

Who would have thought that the favorite barong would be this old? The pre-colonial era or the era before the Spaniards colonized the Philippines has records of native Filipinos wearing barong. But during those times, it was not called barong Tagalog but rather it is called “baro.” This is where the name barong came from.

The name “baro” is a Tagalog word which means shirt. In some Filipino dialects, it called “bayu.” For Filipinos, to have something to wear is essential. It’s not the typical look of barong that we have today, but we can see where our modern-day barong came from.

The Long Barong with Ruff Collar in 1841

This one looks close to the barongs we have today. Painted by Justiniano Asuncion, a famous Filipino painter in the 7th century, his painting shows an extrinsically detailed barong. The embroidery and its long garment depict that only the elite or nobles could wear them. The painting is entitled “El Mestizo,” which means half-blood. Aside from pure-blooded Spanish, the mestizos are those that they consider the elite during those times.

This Spanish colonial attire is called the barong mahaba. The word “mahaba” means long, which characterized the typical outfit of those who are rich and famous. We can see it by the overall look of the person.

The Working Class Commoner Barong in 1855

If the elite and high-class people have their long barong attire during the Spanish colonial era, the commoners have their barong too. We can see how they wear their traditional working-class barong. It looks like they are all set for the day, ready to do their daily routine.

The Working Class Commoner Barong in 1855

The baros or barongs are the everyday attire of commoners during that period. Its design is simple, with embroidery on the collar and chest. It’s long and comfortable to wear, allowing them to move freely and comfortably.

The Dark Colored barong in 1870

As years pass by, the barong Tagalog becomes common in various classes of Filipino people. This dark-colored type of barong is common among business people and government workers—the kind of practice that is continued until today.

This dark-colored barong has unique designs and features, but it still has its distinguished translucent fabric. Therefore it requires one to wear a shirt inside, mostly white-colored shirt or white “Camisa de tsino.” It’s a Chinese type of shirt that has no collar, which becomes a typical inside shirt for barong Tagalog.

The Dark Colored barong in 1870

Wearing barong is one traditional practice that Filipinos will and will never forsake. As years pass by, barong Tagalog becomes fit to every era. Thus, making it the most versatile and ageless attire for Filipinos in the past, present, and the generations to come. It also reached the global community as other people of different nationalities are wearing barong Tagalog. Now barong Tagalog is not only the traditional Filipino attire but is now starting to become global and international

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