It took me few days to bring my Barong Tagalog for its much needed dry cleaning to the laundry shop located just in front of the building of our appartment. I wore it proudly when I and my family graced the 2012 Malaysia International Tourism Blog Awards in Saloma Theater, Kuala Lumpur last May 8th. You all know by now what happened in the awards night; now here’s what happened inside the laundry shop :

  • Me : Hello! Good afternoon! Do you do dry clean here, Sir?
  • Old Malaysian man about age of 60s, perhaps : “Yes! What do you call that? ….Philippine!”
  • Me : It’s called Barong. Our national costume in The Philippines.”
  • Old Malaysian man : “Ahhhhh…. Barong!”
  • Me : “How much do you charge for dry cleaning a Barong, Sir? And when can I collect it?”
  • Old Malaysian man : “Today is Saturday, so tomorrow Sunday -store is closed. You can collect it on Tuesday. You pay 6 ringgit.”
  • Me : “OK, Sir, I’ll pay now and I shall collect it around 6:30PM, Tuesday.”
  • Old Malaysian man putting my Barong closer to his chest : “Can you wear Barong without a shirt inside?”
  • Me : “Oh no, Sir. We wear it with plain white undershirt underneath. Barong is worn in formal occasions.”
  • Old Malaysian man : “Ohhhhhh… Can you wear it with jogging pants, like this?” –pointing to what he was wearing.”
  • Me : “No, Sir. We wear it with slacks or formal dark pants.”
  • Old Malaysian man : “So if I want Barong, I go Philippine and buy. Where can I buy and how much?”
  • Me : “You can buy Barong Tagalog from Department stores or even in huge public markets.”
  • Old Malaysian man : “Ohhhhh… I see. How much?”
  • Me : “The price usually varies with the material or the cloth that was used. This Barong, I only got cheap for around hundred ringgit (FYI, I bought that particular Barong in Tutuban Mall in Divisoria, where else?) But as I have said, prices go up depending on the material. It can go as high as one thousand ringgit (Php 14,000) or even more expensive specially if it’s a designer’s label and/or the cloth is made of pineapple fiber.”
  • Old Malaysian man : “Ohhhh….the one worn by Marcos.


    1. @jeanny : i was surprised when he associated barong with marcos of all pinoys. sikat si apo macoy hanggang ngayon sa penang! at least the old malaysian man didn’t mention anything about politics.

    1. tagalugin ko ang reply ko, baka mahalan ako ng singil next time ni manong e!
      …mura nga ang 6 ringgit. years ago, sa fabricare sa timog, PhP 115 na ang dry clean ng barong e. mas mahal sa atin. well, depende siguro sa shop; mayroon din dito RM10 per barong.

    1. akala ko nga tahasang isusukat ni manong ang barong, e mas malaki sya sa akin. 🙂

      …ang aga ng comment mo ah, 4:40AM! gising na? kamusta kuala lumpur? …yeeehaa!

    1. hindi naman! 🙂 barong ko galing divisoria, kay marcos mahal! 🙂
      …iba talaga si marcos–he left an IMPACT globally (either you perceived his contribution negatively or positively).

  1. nice. kakatuwa yung conversation kala ko kung saan mapupunta yung usapan. i was surprised. natawa ako dun sa barong with jogging pants.

    it was really good that you had the chance to showcase it during the awards night. galing!

  2. FYI, its not really correct to call Barong (or any Filipiniana) a ‘costume’ (e.g. national costume). Costumes are worn on plays, cos-plays and by the Boyoyong Clowns. The proper term to refer to Barong would be ‘traditional wear’ ;o)

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