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Journey of the Barong Tagalog, Addendum Part 10.23: 19th Century French Artist Illustrations of Life in the Philippines

As we have covered previously, Dr. Joseph Montano visited the Philippines from 1879 to 1881 with the Department of Public Instruction of France for a scientific mission, and he authored Voyage aux Philippines et en Malaisie about his experiences during this trip. This work was published in 1886. Montano’s personal accounts and illustrations from his travels to the Philippines and Malaysia were also published in magazines in France, Germany, Spain and other countries.

Montano - Plantación del Arroz al Compas de la Música, por los Tagalos - three men in the band wear Barong Tagalog

Montano’s illustration featured here is titled Plantación del Arroz al Compas de la Música, por los Tagalos [Planting of Rice to the Beat of Music, by the Tagalogs] (1886). In the foreground there is a field, and in the background there are mountains. To the left, there is a four piece band playing music, and in the middle and to the right, there are twenty-two people bent down planting rice.


All of the men in this image are shirtless and wear cropped work pants, with the exception of three of the band members. Those three wear work Barong Tagalog of various colors. All of the women here wear cropped tops with sleeves and skirts.