Puey Quinones’ take on the Barong Tagalog for the 19th Asian Games was inspired by the country’s modern-day warriors: the national athletes.
The Barong Tagalog is a Filipino wardrobe staple. As the country’s national attire, the Barong has become a symbol of Philippine culture recognized worldwide, so much so that it is now much more than just formal wear. Filipino artists have long been designing Barongs in their own creative interpretations to symbolize what local culture means or looks like to them. In the 19th Asian Games, well-known Filipino fashion designer Rodolfo ‘Puey’ Quinones showcased his spin on the Philippine classic.
At the traditional parade at the Opening Ceremony of the 19th Asian Games, the Filipino athletes marched into the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium to greet a crowd of 80,000 sports fans, each wearing a Barong Tagalog designed by Puey Quinones for the event.
Team Philippines’ attire for the 19th Asian Games Opening Ceremony takes on the silhouette of the traditional Barong Tagalog with a more vibrant design. The upper portion of the Barongs was intricately stitched with bright yellow rays with patterns that mimic the tattoos of Visayan warriors.
“My design pays homage to the Mandirigmang Pintados, the tattooed warriors of pre-colonial Philippines, capturing the essence of strength, courage, and resilience. Through this design, we celebrate the athletes as modern-day warriors, facing challenges head-on with the same spirit and determination as the Pintados of old,” Quinones explained on his social media pages.
As athletes become a huge source of national pride, they, as Quinones explains, become symbols of the strength of our country’s ancestors, and their attire strengthens the ties that bind the old and the new in the country’s local culture. Wearing this meaningful interpretation of the Philippines’ national attire, the Filipino athletes stood out as they walked into the Asian Games, led by flag-bearers EJ Obiena and Margielyn Didal.
The Filipino designer’s take on the traditional Barong is one that truly suits the country’s national athletes. The Opening Ceremony of the Asian Games resembles a warrior’s march before heading into battle, precisely what the Philippine delegation flew to China to do — to compete for the flag.
Banner image from AFP.