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Journey of the Barong Tagalog, 21st Century Philippines Part 2: President Benigno Aquino III

Benigno Simeon Cojuanco Aquino III is a Filipino politician that served as the 15th president of the Philippines. He is the son of Corazon Aquino, the 11th president of the Philippines, and Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., the prominent opposition leader to President Ferdinand Marcos.

After completing his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics at the Ateneo de Manila University in 1981, Aquino joined his father and the rest of his family in exile in the US. After the assassination of his father in 1983, he returned to the Philippines and worked in the private sector until 1998. It was in that year that Aquino ran and was elected to the House of Representatives. He won re-election in 2001 and 2004, when he also became Deputy Speaker of the House. Since term limits prevented Aquino from seeking re-election again in 2007, he ran for a senate seat and won.

In 2009, after his mother passed away and there was massive public demand for him to run for president, Aquino decided to run in the 2010 election. He won, and he entered the presidency with the same humble, modest and unextravagant values as his late mother.

During his presidency, Aquino wore the Barong Tagalog often, making sure to wear them to most presidential functions. In many of his photos, it appears Aquino wears the same barong or barongs that are very similar in design. They all appear to be made of piña with a half button-down design, a tailored fit, long sleeve, side vents, a pointed fold-down collar, simple u-shaped embroidery and glossy black stone buttons.

Aquino in his presidential portrait wears his signature Barong Tagalog.

Aquino in his presidential portrait wears his signature Barong Tagalog.

Aquino is sworn in at his inauguration at Quirino grandstand. He wears a Barong Tagalog

Aquino is sworn in at his inauguration at Quirino grandstand by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Conchita Carpio-Morales on June 30, 2010. He wears his usual Barong Tagalog.

Aquino gives his second State of the Nation Address in a Barong Tagalog on July 25, 2011

Aquino gives his second State of the Nation Address in a Barong Tagalog on July 25, 2011 during the joint Senate and House session of Congress.

Aquino meets with the Prime Minister of Thailand in his signature Barong Tagalog

Aquino meets with the Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra, at Malacañang Palace on January 19, 2012. He wears his signature Barong Tagalog.

Aquino welcomes Chile’s ambassador to the Philippines, Luis Lillo, to Malacañang Palace. He wears a barong

Aquino welcomes Chile’s ambassador to the Philippines, Luis Lillo, to Malacañang Palace on October 7, 2014. He wears a different Barong Tagalog with simpler embroidery.

Aquino welcomes Pope Francis to Malacañang Palace in his signature piña barong

Aquino welcomes Pope Francis to Malacañang Palace during his visit to the Philippines on January 16, 2015. Aquino wears his signature piña barong.

Aquino and Emperor Akihito of Japan lead the toasts at the State Dinner at Malacañang Palace. Aquino wears a barong

Aquino and Emperor Akihito of Japan lead the toasts at the State Dinner at Malacañang Palace on January 27, 2016. They are joined by Empress Michiko and Aquino’s sister, Aurora Corazon Aquino-Abellada. He wears his usual formal barong