SHEER GENIUS: The 21st Century Barong

As the Philippine Independence Day eclipses us, there is this patriotic urge to think locally, explore the locale, and honor the heritage and history of being Filipino that looms over everyone year after year. It is probably the joyous atmosphere and vigorous support that encourages us to confidently showcase our intrinsic Filipino attitude, culture, and influence. And nothing speaks more of the Filipino than the iconic barong Tagalog. This recognizable traditional wear is an essentially Filipino garment that has graced the shoulders of every Filipino in the country. Versatility, breathability, and classicality, these are the desirable qualities that the barong Tagalog offers. Its light sheer material, made from piña , lends to the notable refreshing feeling that it generates when worn. The carefully embroidered front details also add to its allure signifying the meticulous eye of Filipino craftsmanship.

Over the years, the evolution of the barong has churned multiple exciting interpretations that have revolutionized its essence far-off its affiliation as formal wear. Today designers design the Filipiniana as an integral everyday piece that is deliberately more youthful and fresh that caters to the modern Filipinos; opposing the seclusive identity of the barong as only “for this or that” and reinstating its relevance to the next-gen Filipinos. Not only do these designers reimagine the local fashion scene as seemingly more engulfed with history, heritage, and culture, but it brings awareness and patriotism to the forefront of everyone to digest and practice.      

In honor of Independence Day, the ACIIID Team has curated and selected 6 contemporary designers who are proactively changing the tune of this traditional garment that both paraphrases and respects its narrative as a cultural symbol and fashionable clothing. 

Tong Baptiste (@hubaderostudio)

Photos by Tong Baptiste

Kelvin Morales (@kelvinmmorales)

Photos by Kelvin Morales

Gabbie Sarenas (@gabbiesarenasph)

Photos by Gabbie Sarenas

Jann Bungcaras (@jannbungcaras)

Photos by Jan Mayo , Styled by Ryan Hinayhinay, Grooming by Migz Saracho, Headpiece by RSE Jewelry

Jaggy Glarino (@maisonglarino)

Photos by Jaggy Glarino

Vinta Gallery (@vintagallery)

Photos from

Pick your barong arsenal among these contemporary designers and proudly flaunt your identity! Be proud! Be loud!

Curated by Titay De Guzman

Cover photo by Gabbie Sarenas from @gabbiesarenasph

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