This is traditional formal wear for men and women in the Philippines. Think tuxedo and ballroom gown.
The Philippines spent 450 years under Spanish rule. The Spanish town square inevitably became the center of social life. Nowadays, Filipinos still gather in a common space, but instead of a town square they use the mall. Everyone here goes to the mall. Everyone.
A tropical sunset backdrops a gigantic Christmas tree that’s been up since September. It’s got to be Christmas in the Philippines.
A more stylized barong (men) and wrap (women) are the next step in Philippine traditional wear.
This is a more typical traditional women’s dress, though I’m not sure about the chunky necklace.
This barong isn’t shear and moves beyond the more traditional, formal off-white color. The wrap is actually the same wrap (but a different color) as pink and white number above.
Another barong. A hipper, more business version of a dress. More jewelry of questionable origin.
Malls here are a bit like the U.S. malls except in the Philippines the mall is packed every day with crowds you’d only see around Christmas time in the U.S> The energy is different, to say the least.
The mall staff reflects the inexpensiveness of labor. Malls are crawling with friendly workers eager to help you with your purchase. How many gray-vested sales people do you see here?
On weekends, this sight isn’t unusual. Five sales people within a one rack radius of each other, all looking to close a sale.
The average height of a Filipino male is 5’4”. There exist, therefore, certain niche markets.
Instant height. I had to give it a try.
Shoes on. Not bad, if I do say so myself.
Shoes off. Can’t stop laughing because of the dramatic step-down in height and pride.
Since barongs are tuxedo wear I’d say you’re looking at a couple of James Bonds. The jeans, t-shirt (Restore Haiti!), and sneaky price tag notwithstanding.