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Journey of the Barong Tagalog, Addendum Part 10.18: 19th Century French Artist Illustrations of Life in the Philippines

Habitans de Manille, 1850, by F.J. Collignon. Two men in barongs and a woman in Manila smoking cigars and interacting

François Jules Collignon (1800-1850) was a French artist, painter and lithographer. He painted the piece featured here titled Habitans de Manille [Inhabitants of Manila], 1850. Collignon depicts three Manila residents in local attire smoking cigars and interacting. The city and the bridge of Manila are in the background.

The man on the left wears a long Barong Tagalog that extends to the knees with pleats on the bottom half. The barong is light brown with stripes and a white collar. The man wears a red neckerchief around the collar, which was only allowed for Spaniards per edict. He wears a cape on his left shoulder, striped slacks, slippers, and a fancy salakot (helmet-like native hat). He carries a cigar in his right hand and a sheathed sword in his left. This man could very well be a Spanish officer by how he is dressed.

The man in the center wears a blue Barong Tagalog with white collar, wide leg red pants with the bottoms rolled, and a straw salakot. He holds an umbrella in his right hand. The blue barong, rolled up pants, straw salakot and bare feet suggest this man is working class.

The woman wears a short sleeve white camisa (shirt), striped long saya (skirt), slippers and a white mantilla (veil) on her head. She smokes a cigar with her right hand, as many women of this time are portrayed, and she carries a white handkerchief with her left. She wears multiple gold necklaces, which suggests she is middle to upper class.