HISTORY OF DRESSING IN THE PHILIPPINES



As time passes, people are being more fashionable sa pananamit. From time to time, nagbabago, new
mixing or combining of colors, styles, designs. There’s always something new. But before all these
fashion trends and everything, alam kaya ng people kung ano history o pinanggalingan at learnings natin
kung paano manamit looking forward to how we dress up ourselves these days?


Marahil bilang lamang ang nakakaalam ng history ng dressing, specifically here in the Philippines. Well,
as a matter of fact, before we were colonized, ang namumuno lamang sa Filipinos noon ay mga Rajah
and chieftain. During nung time nila nung sila pa ang namumuno, Filipinos were not dressed with
clothes. Nakabahag lang or mostly bare naked, wearing nothing as in – there’s no malice pa kasi, it’s not
existent in our country noong mga panahong iyon
Pero noong ma-colonized tayo ng Spain, we learn to dress. Why? Because noong bago pa man tayo
masakop ng Spain, sa kanila nakaka-panamit na sila ng maayos. They already have fashion, which we
were able to adapt from them then.
The early pre-colonial clothing of groups gaya ng Tagalogs and Visayans included pareho ang baro and
saya na gawa sa silk in matching colours. This style was exclusively sinusuot ng mga kababaihan from the
upper caste, while yung nasa lower caste ay nagsusuot ng baro made from pounded white bark fibre.
Women also usually wore jewelries tulad ng gold necklaces at mga hikaw na nagsisimbolo ng wealth at
beauty. At sa ibang tribes, ang mga kababaihan ay may mga tattoo which signifies beauty, power and
wealth.
When Spaniards came and nagsettle sa bansa natin, nagbago ang fashion drastically as yung Spanish
culture na nagsucceed na makapang-impluwensiya ay ang higit na naka-affect till these modern days.
Noong 16 th -18 th century, ang mga kababaihan ay nagsusuot ng Hispanicized na bersyon ng baro’t saya
composed of a bodice—na kung tawagin ay camisa, often gawan sa pineapple fiber o muslin – and a
floor length skirt.


By 19 th century naman, since ang Western culture at fashion scenes continuously rises, ang pananamit
ng kababaihan ay nagbago. Full wide skirts na ang gamit instead of simpleng floor length skirts, at
camisa na ibig sabihin ay “blouse” in English at panelo, a big square cloth folded triangularly at sinusuot
na parang ruffle or collar. In total, the attire was composed of four main pieces, the camisa, saya.
Panuelo at tapis. Ang mga kababaihan ay nagsusuot ng ganitong fashion noon. But today, these kind of
clothing or dressing ng mga kababaihan ay tinatawag na “Maria Clara” dress, na ipinangalan after the
character Maria Clara from the novel of Dr. Jose Rizal, “Noli Me Tangere” – na naging symbol ng
tradisyunal na Filipina, which known rin as being modest, elegant and conservative.
Sa pagdating naman ng mga Amerikano (1900s-1920s), nagremain for five years ang fashion, for the
mean time lang, then nagbago rin. Mas naging bago at modern sa paningin ang fashion in contrast sa
conservative style ng previous centuries as the Americans started na impluwensyahan ang modern
Filipino culture. Traje de Mestiza, the more modern version ng Maria Clara ang sinusuot na ng mga

kababaihan. May bigger sleeves and narrower length skirt na tinatawag na “saya de cola” na pumalit sa
full wide skirt.
Noong 1920s, yung style ng skirt ay hindi nagbago; the Butterfly sleeves na pumalit sa “Angel Wings”
sleeves at yung panuelo ay na-reduce ang size. And yung mga kababaihan na nanirahan sa US and
European countries are nagsuot ng western 1920s fashion with loose dresses and knee length skirt.
As we’re continuously influenced by the Western countries, palagi ring magbabago ang fashion. If you
will notice, before hindi dapat skin-showing ang dresses ng kababaihan. Pero ngayon, more exposure of
the skin ang makikita from women, not just here in the Philippines, maraming bansa na rin kasi ang
nagiging interesado sa fashion.
Still it’s a good thing na nakakasabay tayo, updated tayo sa kung ano ang “in” might it be local or
worldwide.