What Is the Traditional Clothing of the Philippine People?

Men in the Philippines traditionally wear the barong tagalog, an embroidered long-sleeved outer shirt that reaches mid-thigh and is made out of pineapple fibers, raw silk or grass fibers. Women wear the terno, a type of shirt with butterfly sleeves, and a matching skirt. They also wear black for up to six weeks after a funeral as a show of mourning.

The barong tagalog is worn over a collarless shirt called the camisa de Chino, named for the Chinese influence evident in its design. Women also wear an outfit called the baro at saya; it’s a matching blouse and skirt worn for formal occasions.

Although the younger generation prefers more westernized garb, adults and elders in mountain villages still wear traditional attire. Made out of lightweight material, the barong tagalog is well-suited for the Philippine’s humid climate. It’s worn for formal occasions and for weddings.

Traditionally, neither men nor women wore shirts, but women began to cover their torsos with blouses and shirts, which eventually became known as the baro. The saya, the long skirt that women wear, was introduced during the colonization of the Philippines. Both are made out of sheer fabrics and decorated with embroidery.

Both the barong tagalog and the baro at saya are worn by dancers and folk performers celebrating Philippine culture and history.