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The Baro’t saya is the unofficial national dress of the Philippines and is worn by women. The name is a contraction of the Tagalog words baro at saya, meaning "dress (blouse) and skirt".


Pre-Hispanic clothing of Tagalog nobility in the 16th century Boxer Codex, featuring a woman dressed in a prototype to the Baro't saya

This indigenous mode of dressing of the natives of the Philippines was influenced during the Spanish Colonization of the archipelago. In early pre-history, the half-naked style consisting of only the saya (long wrap-around) or tapis (knee-length wrap-around) covering the lower half of the body with bare upper torso, was gradually covered with a collarless blouse called a "baro", which is the Philippine cognate of the Malay "baju".

The early pre-colonial clothing of groups such as the Tagalogs and Visayans included both the baro and saya made from silk in matching colours. This style was exclusively worn by the women from the upper caste, while those of lower castes wore baro made from pounded white bark fibre. Modern groups whose attire still closely resembles these more ancient forms of dress include the Tumandok people of Panay—the only Visayan group that were not hispanised; various Moro peoples; and the indigenous Lumad tribes in interior Mindanao.[1]

A family belonging to the Principalía or lowland Christian nobility, wearing the Barong Tagalog and Baro't Saya.

Under the Spanish colonisation, the basic outfit had evolved into a many-layered ensemble consisting of several pieces:

  • kimona, or inner blouse.
  • baro, an often gauzy outer shirt with fine embroidery and wide sleeves.
  • pañuelo or piano shawl, starched to achieve a raised look.
  • naguas or starched petticoat. The name is derived from the Spanish enagua, and is mentioned in the folk song Paru-parong Bukid ("Farmland Butterfly").
  • saya or the skirt proper. This is laid over the naguas and either bunched at the back to mirror the then-fashionable polonaise or given a de cola or finely-embroidered train.
  • tapis, a descendant of the pre-colonial wraparound skirt, which covers the upper half of the saya.


Some variations of the baro't saya are the Maria Clara gown, the ensemble having the addition of the alampay or pañuelo, a large kerchief or shawl wrapped around the shoulders, and the more daring ternó (which sometimes disposed of the pañuelo altogether), having the butterfly sleeves and streamlined look which mirrored the then current tastes and influences of the American colonists. This design was especially popularized by the former First Lady Imelda Marcos.



See also[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baro't_saya — Please support Wikipedia.
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Daphne in her Baro't Saya

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126 videos foundNext > 

4 news items

Minda News
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 05:56:15 -0700

The Philippine Terno (from the Spanish word “to match”) evolved from the Baro't Saya, an indigenous type of dress which comprised four parts: the Camisa (a short blouse with sleeves), the Pañuelo (a shawl worn over the camisa), the Saya (a long skirt ...
BusinessWorld Online Edition
Tue, 25 Mar 2014 08:01:17 -0700

For example, Senator Loren Legarda, a strong supporter of the exhibit, donated her mother's (Bessie B. Legarda) baro't saya with pañuelo for the collection. Made of abaca cloth from Bicol, the three elegant baro't saya feature floral prints and embroidery.


Thu, 10 Apr 2014 12:20:31 -0700

The five pieces she picked out from the ultra young collection of Tesoro showcase the ease and modern ways young ladies can approach Filipiniana, without the fussy trappings of a full on terno or the baro't saya that Tesoro popularized in the last century.
Sun, 30 Mar 2014 09:07:30 -0700

The smiling lady in baro't saya was nodding her head to earphones as colorful birds flew around her hair. From Studio 1616, I pulled from a bull clip an extremely colorful collage of colors with hints of faces emerging. It was by Alee Garibay, a recent ...

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