Category Archives: Dress/Fashion

#27 Pasiking

Pasiking (PAH-see-king) is a rattan backpack made or crafted by the mountain tribes in Northern Luzon, particularly by the Igorot ethnic groups in the Cordillera Region. 

A sturdy woven backpack, the pasiking became a rage in Manila and urban cities in the 1980s when young Filipino students introduced it into the mainstream. But to the Igorot makers and highland  tribes the pasiking has long served as a handy carry-all, a multi-purpose bag used in farm work, when travelling or simply as a container for personal items or knick-knacks.

There are several versions of the native pasiking, some made out of animal skins such as goat skin or pig skin, with varying forms and motifs depending on the region or mountain tribe that crafted the bags.

The rattan pasiking are known for its durability even in inclement or rainy weather since the rattan contracts when wet, making the weave tighter and less prone to splitting.

Long live local handicrafts!

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#2 Barong Tagalog

Barong Tagalog or “dress/shirt” of the Tagalogs-  the Tagalogs being the generic name for the ethnic tribes living in the lowlands of central and southern Luzon Island.

Although this attire may be a tad ethno-centric that reflects the bias towards the Tagalog-speaking population in the Philippines, this shirt/dress has evolved from the country’s colonial Spanish past to become one of the most enduring Philippine icons.

Materials range from cotton, polyester to the more expensive imported and native silks such as the handmade jusi and pina fibers. Only the wearer’s imagination and taste set the limit regarding the tailoring and embroidery of the barong Tagalog.

Corrupt government officials and Pinoy movie stars are fond of attiring themselves with the barong Tagalog when receiving bribes and film awards.

Thus, the barong Tagalog  can provide both effective cover or render a certain air of decency and cosmetic distraction to  the eye of the beholders. In other words, this is the Pinoy version of  “dress to impress.” 

Try one and you will see that the finest barong Tagalog is a perfect, albeit stylish match to the tropical heat.

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Filed under Dress/Fashion, Icons