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Journey of the Barong Tagalog, Addendum Part 11.9: 19th Century English Artist Illustrations of Life in the Philippines

El Indio Viejo by C. W. Andrews (1859) - elderly native Filipino man in white work Barong Tagalog and dark pants

This piece is titled El Indio Viejo (1859) 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.

The older native Filipino man in this drawing stands barefoot in typical working class clothing. He wears a loose-fitting white Barong Tagalog that does not appear to be translucent. It is likely made of a substantial and durable material, like cotton, abaca or ramie. The long sleeves are rolled up as he holds and works on the objects in his hands. His pants are dark, long and wide-legged with the bottoms rolled or cinched up. They are likely made of the same type of material his barong is made of.

Andrews wrote this of the subject of his illustration:

An elderly indio, of the pure Filipino type; well-built, strong and tough in spite of his years. His features exude a kind of impassive gentleness; his gaze reflects the delicate and flexible sentiments of a docile and malleable spirit. His entire being, and even his gray hair, shows that neither strong emotions nor heartaches have disturbed or harmed an existence that has been serene and tranquil, thanks to a unique but natural stoicism unrelated to that of the Greek philosophical school of Xenon and Chrysippe.