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Journey of the Barong Tagalog, 20th Century Philippines, Part 4: President Sergio Osmeña

Sergio Osmeña, Sr. was a Filipino politician with a long and remarkable career in government. He served as Governor of Cebu (1906 to 1907), member and first speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives (1907 to 1922), and Senator (1922 to 1935). Osmeña served as Vice President under President Manuel L. Quezon from 1935 until Quezon’s sudden death in 1944. Upon Quezon’s death, Osmeña became the fourth president of Philippines from 1944 to 1946. He was 65 years-old when he was sworn in as president, making him the oldest president to assume office until current President Rodrigo Duterte. Also of note, Osmeña was the first Visayan to become president, and he was one of the founders of the Nacionalista Party with President Quezon.

Going through available photos of President Osmeña, he was most often photographed in suits and ties. These pictures make up the vast majority of what we found. It seems that he only began to wear the Barong Tagalog in photos later on in his career and life, like previous Philippine presidents we have posted about so far.

Sergio Osmeña addresses an audience in a Barong Tagalog in 1960

Osmeña addresses an audience in a Barong Tagalog in 1960.

Sergio Osmeña seated in a Barong Tagalog in 1960.

Osmeña seated in a Barong Tagalog in 1960.

Sergio Osmeña seated in a Barong Tagalog at his Cebu home next to US General Douglas MacArthur in July 1961

Osmeña seated in a Barong Tagalog at his Cebu home next to US General Douglas MacArthur in July 1961. Osmeña passed away three months later.

Sergio Osmeña is publicly honored some time in 1950. He wears a Barong Tagalog

Osmeña is publicly honored some time in 1950. He wears a Barong Tagalog with the iconic rectangular ethnic style front embroidery design.

Sergio Osmeña is sworn in as President of the Philippines by Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court Robert H. Jackson on August 1, 1944
Osmeña is sworn in as President of the Philippines by Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court Robert H. Jackson on August 1, 1944. Osmeña wears a suit and tie.