Sunday, February 7, 2010

Blog # 6- Power through Dress

In Mina Roces' article, Women, Citizenship and the Politics of Dress in Twentieth-Century Philippines; she talks about how people have "manipulated dress precisely because it is a very visible marker of one's allegiance, identity, and political colour" (Roces pg. 8) Basically, people have used dress as a way of stating what class they are, their ethnic identity, and their allegiance to a particular country. Roces talks about appearances in the Philippines during the time of American Colonialism. She talks about how the men had the opportunity to wear the modern and western clothing, the Americana, whereas the women were forced to wear the traditional Terno. In a way, this forcing of the women to wear the traditional clothing, was to the men, a way for the women to bear the traditions of the country's past. However, if we were to look at Philippines history today, it consisted of 400 years of colonialism and control from Spain, and after America. So why would the Filipino men choose to have their mothers, wives, and daughters bear the painful history that befell them all those years? In a way it was oppression of the voices of women, the men lived in the modern society, whereas the women were left in the past. Like what Mina Roces says, " Filipino men by donning Western attire were associating themselves with the powerful colonizers" (Roces pg.8) This meaning that the Filipino men wanted to associate themselves as the strong figure, and the women the past, the weak, "native dress was worn by women, who as disenfranchised citizens, epitomized the colonized subject." (Roces pg. 8)

In an article posted by, a website that talks a lot about traditional Filipino wear, Mina Roces stated that "the campaign for Filipino Independence during the American colonial period raised different issues for men and women... men refused to share the place with women- this meaning that men did not want to include the women in this new nation." ( Although women were already attending universities, they were still required to wear the traditional clothing; the women however found it difficult and proposed to wear the western clothing that seemed far more practical in wearing when working in labs and in school. I can sort of relate this thinking in clothing to modern day Philippines because I find that a lot of the Filipinos tend to buy clothing that is considered a foreign brand. I'm not saying all Filipinos are like that, but from my own experience, cousins of mine in the Philippines tend to ask for name brand things that are associated with America. I'm not sure if the American colonization of the Philippines has anything to do with my cousins' love of foreign clothing, but I know for sure that as long as it’s something from America, they love it. They have to have the biggest letters or emblems on their shirts, shorts, and anything to show that their clothes are not from the Philippines. In a way this also ties in with the reading about how dress is a "public marker" from which class you are from. I think they associate American apparel as a sign of a higher social class.womenwearingtraditionalwithmen-2.jpg picture by lalala2989

even if the men were wearing a barong tagalog, they still had a western flare with the top hats they are wearing.

Flipswearingsuits-1.jpg picture by lalala2989

Filipinos wearing Americanas

This leads me to the Compact Challenge! I didn't buy anything this week, and I added another dollar to my "dollar a day" savings plan, well 7 actually since its been a week, thats a total savings of $35 bucks! Even before the Compact Challenge was given to us, I was already at a point which I always asked myself why people would buy 100 dollar jeans when you can get the same thing for 30 dollars or less. Isn't it just the name you are paying for anyways?! Well, my cousin went and bought some jeans from some store that cost him 100 or more dollars and complained to me about how broke he was for 30 mins. I'm not going to put myself in a financial situation just because I want some pair of jeans that look the same as the ones that cost 30 bucks or less; if you have the money, more power to you, but seriously.. jeans that are tattered and patched up ---> like these DistressedJeans.jpg picture by lalala2989 so not worth it... SO, in following the Compact Challenge, I looked up ways to make my old jeans look like these, but not have to pay for them, and I found this great wikihow! when I have time, I shall have to try it for myself!

Works Cited

Moral, Cheche. "The Terno in Fighting Form". (5.Mar.2005). Daily Inquirer, 8Mar.2005. Web. 7 Feb. 2010

Roces, Mina. "Women, Citizenship and the Politics of Dress in Twentieth-Century Philippines" (2004).Print

Images (in order of apperance) :


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