Tuesday, April 26, 2016
128. Problems and Prospects of D30 2016: 4. The Death of the Dress Code
In the 1990's, our moot court professor Judge Oscar Pimentel used to berate us for folding the sleeves of our Barong. Young and impressionable law students that we were, we couldn't understand why Judge Pimentel disapproved of such fashion sense among the male would-be lawyers when then Pres. Ramos himself was going around his official functions in long sleeves Barong with the sleeves folded up to the elbow. Apparently, Pres. Ramos's handlers thought it was a symbolic way of showing that the President was hands on with his job and his official wardrobe's formality was getting in the way of his work. With Duterte, however, it seems the entire Barong, not just the sleeves, is on its way out. I haven't seen Duterte in any official wear, and his wardrobe appears to be composed mostly of jeans and sports shirts. This reinforces Duterte's image of being a man of the ordinary people as indeed, it is easy to alienate others if one comes in a Barong or even a coat and tie. Thus, much to the dismay of Judge Oscar Pimentel, the entire Barong, not just the long sleeves, would be retired during the Duterte Presidency, assuming it happens. As in the Ramos era, the Barong's formality would also get in the way of work as it can be easily soiled by stains of blood. Pesteng yawa.