Sunday, July 7, 2013

Japanese or Filipino? Kimono or Baro't Saya?

Wazzup Pilipinas!

What if you were given an opportunity to choose which nationality will you have? Will you choose to have a new nationality, which is to be a Japanese? Or will you still choose to stay in the Philippines and be a Filipino?

In this upcoming August, Filipinos will be celebrating "Buwan ng Wika". As expected, Filipinos should be wearing the traditional barong tagalog (for men) and baro't saya (for women). The Baro’t saya is the unofficial national dress of the Philippines and is worn by women. The name is a contraction of the Tagalog words baro at saya, meaning "dress and skirt". The barong Tagalog (or simply barong) is an embroidered formal garment of the Philippines. It is very lightweight and worn untucked over an undershirt. In Filipino culture it is a common wedding and formal attire, mostly for men but also for women.


But come to think of it, if you were a Japanese, and not a Filipino, you would be wearing a kimono or yukata. Traditionally yukata were mostly made of indigo-dyed cotton but today a wide variety of colors and designs are available. As with kimono, the general rule with yukata is that younger people wear bright, vivid colors and bold patterns, while older people wear dark, matured colors and dull patterns.

Today, kimono are most often worn by women, and on special occasions. Traditionally, unmarried women wore a style of kimono called furisode with almost floor-length sleeves, on special occasions. A few older women and even fewer men still wear the kimono on a daily basis. Men wear the kimono most often at weddings, tea ceremonies, and other very special or very formal occasions.


As you can see, just by knowing the traditional clothes that Japanese wear during special occasions, and the traditional clothes worn by the Filipinos, we can easily say that Japan is very much different from the Philippines. While the Japanese wear wedding kimonos, the Filipinos wear wedding gowns with a touch of the traditional baro't saya.


I haven't witnessed a Japanese wedding before, but I've seen a Filipino wedding once. Unlike the weddings here in the Philippines, which are usually held at churches, Japanese weddings are held in Shinto style at a Shrine. Nowadays, this shrine may be located inside the hotel where the festivities take place. A Shinto priest conducts the ceremony, which is visited by only the close family members of the couple.

According to what I've read in, in the wedding ceremonies at Japan, the couple is purified, drinks sake, and the groom reads the words of commitment. At the end of the ceremony, symbolic offerings are given to the kami. A kami is the japanese word for an effigy, a principle and anything that is worshipped. Usually the party is visited by about 20 to 200 guests among whom are relatives, friends, co-workers and bosses of the bride and groom. The party normally starts with the introductions of the bride and groom.


For me, a Japanese wedding ceremony is not that different from the Filipino wedding ceremony. The place may be different, but most of the things they do during the ceremony are the same. For example, the groom and bride will exchange their vows, and a priest is the one who conducts the ceremony.

After reading all of these, ask yourself again, will you rather be a Japanese or a Filipino? Me, I would still choose to be a Filipino and wear the Philippine traditional outfit, baro't saya.

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  1. EEEEEEEEH UHM Okay, I had a hard time choosing between your last question there....

    I am proud of being a Filipino, yes. I love the Philippines and its culture but I think that I-.... I don't know.

    I certainly love Japan and would definitely want to live there someday but I wouldn't want to leave the Philippines...


    But still, this article is very informative and the writing and visuals are very good! Good job writing this!

  2. Hmmm... choosing between where to be married.. hmmm..
    Well, it's a hard question since I love both of Philippine and Japanese culture but if I would be given the chance to experience both, well, why not?
    Anyway, this is an interesting article worth reading.

  3. Take a look at these beautifully made Piña cloths that surely marks as our Philippine pride. We Filipinos are truly blessed with being artistic and creative. We're loom weaving fibers from Piña and Abaca. Aklan's Piña fabric is the Queen of Philippine Textiles

    We offer Filipino barong (short jack and long sleeve) for men, ladies barong (hand embroidered), barong calado, shawl, piña cloths (per yard), and handpainted fans. If you are interested, just send us a message.



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