Everyday Barongs are here! Plus Free Alterations on Custom Barongs, International Shipping and Installment Payments via Shop Pay are available

Journey of the Barong Tagalog, Addendum Part 11.17: 19th Century English Artist Illustrations of Life in the Philippines

C. W. Andrews' Los Batas - A mother in baro't saya stands with her 3 kids. The boy wears an indigo barong and knickers

This illustration is titled Los Batas [The Children] (1859 / 1860) by English artist C. W. Andrews. It was published in the Philippine periodical Ilustracion Filipina. Our descriptions of Andrews and Ilustracion Filipina are in our previous installment 11.7.

In this piece, the subjects appear to be a mother with her three children being sheltered by a grass or leaf roof. They are possibly standing in front of their store or other business.

The matriarch stands in the center, dressed in baro’t saya (top and skirt) and tapis (overskirt), holding the youngest child, wearing only a baro (top), on her hip. The mother wears two necklaces around her neck that could be wallets or money holders, which also suggests she is a vendor of some sort in front of her shop.

The oldest child, appearing to be a boy, sits on a bench to the left dressed in a common working class outfit: matching indigo work Barong Tagalog with indigo knickers. It was not uncommon for children to work in this period, and this boy’s size and outfit suggest he may help support his family by working.

The “middle” child, appearing to be a girl in a dress, stands to the right and eats what looks like a piece of sugar cane.