Martes, Abril 23, 2013

Philippine History: Fashion from the Spanish Era Spanish Influence on Philippine Fashion

When we speak about fashion or clothing during the Spanish Colonization of the Philippines, we would think baro’t saya, Maria Clara dress, barong tagalog and camisa de chino. But during this period, there existed a colonial caste system. This colonial caste system also determined the type of clothing a certain class would wear.

The Negrito Class was the descendants from pure Aeta clans. Their clothing was very simple. Both the male and female negrito would wear wrap around.

The Indio from the Austronesian ancestry has vest type tops and baggy pants. They wear jewelry like necklaces and bracelets which are thick bangles. Aside from jewelry, tattoos are also common to Indios and are also a tradition passed down and carried on from their ancestors.

Mestizo de Sanglay, Mestizo de Espanol, Tornatras
The “mixed” class had very similar clothing. Mixed as in mixed blood or people from different ancestral origin. Mestizo de Sanglay is Chinese-Malay mix. Mestizo de Espanol is Spanish-Malay mix. Tornatras are people who are mixed of all three – Chinese-Spanish-Malay blood. They had clothing with the form of the baro’t saya. With some etched design at the end of their sleeves. Also, the men wear the camisa de chino.

Insulares are people who are of pure Spanish blood but born in the Philippines. As you would see in the photo, the Insulares wear a similar dress as the Mestizos but in this case, the top garment of their clothing would be lacy in nature.

The Peninsulares are the Spaniards. Of pure Spanish blood and born in Spain. As seen in the photo above, men wear a uniform. Most of them wore chainmail underneath their metal vests. Men wear this kind of clothing because of their job as part of the army or as being soldiers. You would also see this uniform on Ferdinand Magellan when he invaded the shores of Mactan.

Aeta Photo -
Indio Photo –
Peninsulares Photo –

Biyernes, Marso 2, 2012

Philippine History: Music from Spanish Era Spanish Influence on Philippine Music

Nowadays, we call it old-fashioned serenading. Harana originated from the Spanish Era here in the Philippines. The Harana is practiced in small towns and rural places. This is how the men court the women from before. A man accompanied by his friends would visit a woman and sing to her love songs to make her fall in love with him. The man is usually accompanied by his friends to give him moral support and also help him with the songs he will use to serenade the woman.
Harana is also called “Habanera Filipina”. This is so because its rhythmic element came from the Spanish Tango or Habanera.
There are variations of the Harana. “Tapat” is from Ilocos, this serenading is started by the man and the woman answers back also with a song. This will go on until the two agree on their relationship. Also, some examples of Harana songs are "Walay Angay", "Ay Kalisud", "No Duaduaem Pay", "Silayan", "Alaala Kita", Bituing Marikit", and "O Ilaw".

Another traditional way of serenading is the Kundiman. Kundiman came from the Province of Batangas. The Kundiman may be similar to Harana because the song is dedicated to a woman. Although in Kundiman, a man is singing about his longing for a loved one. This was also used in the Spanish Era as a means to express one’s love for country and longing for freedom. The Kundiman was used in this way because the Spaniards did not allow songs pertaining to patriotism.

J. Sonny Santos (1995, October 22). Harana. Retrieved from

Harana by Carlos V. Francisco -
Kundiman by Ramon Estella, Director Excelsior Pictures -