Ok, I’ve been here for a little more than 7 years already and in most ways, I have really adapted to the local culture. I will never be Filipino, but at least I can adapt to local customs as much as is comfortable for me. Today, I started down the road to one more move in that direction.
I ordered a Barong Tagalog to be made!
For those who don’t know what a Barong Tagalog is, it is a formal shirt that is worn here. A Barong is what you would wear for most formal occasions. If, in the west an occasion would call for a suit to be worn, then a Barong Tagalog is the proper thing to wear here.
I have never owned a Barong. If an occasion happened where I needed to dress in a more formal way, I dressed up a bit, but never a Barong.
Well, yesterday, a person who is very close to me delivered an invitation to me for his upcoming wedding. I am one of his sponsors in the wedding. This guy has worked for me in the past, and I really like him a lot, and I respect him for his intelligence and his work ethic. He is a great guy. He told me that the proper attire was a Barong. I told him that I don’t normally wear a Barong, and he said it was OK. But, as I thought about it, I decided that I want to get one to show my respect for this young man. He deserves it.
In addition to this upcoming wedding, I am beginning to get some requests for speaking engagements. I spoke at a college commencement earlier this year, and I have two speeches scheduled in a few months, so a Barong Tagalog will be more fitting for those occasions too.
I am kind of excited to get the Barong Tagalog. I am having it custom made at a local tailor here in Davao. Maybe I’ll post a photo of me wearing it after it is available. Then again… maybe not! 😉