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Journey of the Barong Tagalog, 20th Century Philippines Part 2: President Emilio Aguinaldo

Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy was a Filipino revolutionary, military leader and politician that led Philippine forces against Spain during the Philippine Revolution (1896-1898) and the Spanish-American War (1898) and against the United States during the Philippine-American War (1899-1901). He is the first and youngest president of the Philippines when he took office on January 23, 1899 at just 29 years old. Current celebrations of Philippine Independence Day on June 12 commemorate Aguinaldo’s proclamation of Philippine sovereignty and independence from Spain at his ancestral home in Cavite on June 12, 1898.

Even though President Aguinaldo preceded President Manuel Quezon, we mention him after Quezon because it seems Aguinaldo only began to wear the Barong Tagalog in photos later in his life based on all the available photos found. And, the photos in this post were taken long after Quezon’s Commonwealth Barong Tagalog photos in 1935 or 1936 covered in our previous installment.

Emilio Aguinaldo with his second wife Maria Agoncillo, probably circa 1950’s. He wears a formal barong with embroidery in natural off-white color
Emilio Aguinaldo with his second wife Maria Agoncillo, probably circa 1950’s. He wears a formal barong with embroidery in natural off-white color
Emilio Aguinaldo with his second wife Maria Agoncillo, probably circa 1950’s. He wears a formal barong with embroidery in natural off-white color

The first three photos above show Aguinaldo with his second wife Maria Agoncillo, probably circa 1950’s. He wears a formal barong with embroidery in natural off-white color in all pictures. The barong in the first picture is likely made of jusi (silk), and the barongs in the second and third pics are likely made of piña.

September 15, 1956 - Presidents Magsaysay and Aguinaldo Both are wearing formal barongs at the 58th anniversary of the Malolos Congress, in Malolos, Bulacan

The fourth photo above is from September 15, 1956, and shows President Aguinaldo sitting with the seventh president of the Philippines, Ramon Magsaysay. Both are wearing formal barongs at the 58th anniversary of the Malolos Congress, in Malolos, Bulacan, where the first constitution of the Philippines was written. Both appear to be wearing jusi barongs with front embroidery.