Meet the designers of Duterte’s inaugural barong


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President Rodrigo Duterte worn a Mindanawon-inspired Barong Tagalog designed and created for him by Chardin, a Davao City-based haberdashery.

Bonie Adaza and his partner Richard Pulache have been designing for Duterte — including his signature plaid polo shirt — for many years, but this is the first time they are designing for a President. They are creating 12 Mindanawon-inspired barongs for Duterte.

“We’ve been making barong and plaid polo  for the President for years even before I entered here almost seven years ago,” Adaza said.

He said choosing the right design out of the 12 barongs to wear to the inaugural is definitely not one of the top priorities of Duterte for his inauguration on June 30. It is the incoming President’s common-law wife, Honeylet Avanceña, who’s taking the lead in this area, and she is making sure Duterte’s barongs are all finished in time for the ceremony.

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Adaza said Honeylet left a note saying the President’s barong should not be bulky on the shoulder area. “We left that to the expertise of our master cutter who’s been servicing the mayor since 2003,” he said.

“We’ve designed 12 boxed-style embroideries for the barong of the mayor,” he said. A single design usually takes one day to finish.

Adaza said he drew inspiration from the 12 tribes of Davao City, focusing on the intricate designs on their clothing. “For instance, I got one of the designs patterned from the skirt of the Manobo tribe,” he said.

“You wouldn’t notice the design of the embroidery immediately because it is not colorful just like how the culture 0f Mindanao is portrayed,” he added.

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Instead, the designer used three-dimensional colors like beige, ecru, and light brown for the 12 designs of embroideries.

The main material to be used for his barong is gusi, a synthetic fiber, while pure cotton will be used for the sewing of Duterte’s slacks.

Chardin will also create Duterte’s daily office barongs that he can use for meetings. “As of now, I have already made some but it is not finished,” Adaza said.

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