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Journey of the Barong Tagalog, Addendum Part 11.8: 19th Century English Artist Illustrations of Life in the Philippines

Tasio (1858) by English artist C. W. Andrews - Filipino man in Barong Tagalog, work pants and salakot

The illustration featured here is titled Tasio (1858) by English artist C. W. Andrews, which was published in the Philippine periodical Ilustracion Filipina. Our descriptions of Andrews and Ilustracion Filipina are in our previous installment 11.7.

Tasio is the name of the man in this drawing, set in a rural area, as he stands with his rooster and holds it by a leash. Tasio wears a loose-fitting work Barong Tagalog with the long sleeves pulled up, work pants with the pant legs pulled up and a wide-brimmed salakot on his head.

Andrews’ accompanying description of Tasio says he is a tall, nimble and strong middle-aged native Filipino man. Andrews also describes him as rustic, happy, simplistic, physically active and agile. Tasio is accustomed to outdoor life, jumping through the brush, scaling rough paths, and spending days in the water. He is indifferent to the sun, heat, rain, and tremors, and he has no fear in handling snakes, lizards and other reptiles with his hands.

Tasio's wardrobe choices probably had function in mind. His barong and pants are likely made of breathable and durable materials, like cotton, ramie or linen, for his active lifetstyle as described above. The wrinkles and creases show just how active Tasio is. The loose fit allows for movement and airflow. The long sleeves and long pant legs are probably chosen for cover from the sun, which he can roll or pull up if needed for comfort and ease of movement during activity. His salakot also protects him from the sun and rain.