Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wearing your patriotism on your sleeve

The 1800s had the Maria Clara, the baro’t saya, the patadyong and the Katipunan’s signature red folded pants and white kamisa de chino to show that indeed they were Filipinos. Today, the 21st century is witnessing a come back of patriotism – not just in action, but also in clothing. Everywhere you look, you could see random people donning the Philippine flag or other Philippine icons whether it’s designed in their shirts, shorts, caps or other fashion what-have-yous.

Way back then, patriotism meant giving your life for your country, not bowing down to the overlords and selling out to the captors and all other heroic things in between. Today, patriotism has evolved into something easier to grasp – it could be doing a good deed for your fellow Filipino, paying your taxes diligently or even wearing your patriotism on your sleeve.

But what exactly is wearing your patriotism on your sleeve? It’s a declaration of who you are and what you believe in through your clothes and other daily accessories. It’s a stylish way of saying that ‘I am a Filipino and I’m comfortable in my own skin.’

With the commercialization of outfits that show off your patriotism - from the Pilipinas collection of Collezione, wares from island Souvenirs, team Manila, Bayo and many more, Filipinos are imbibing nationalism one shirt and accessory at a time. Local ingenuity is showcased in various shirts with the Philippine archipelago, the Philippine flag and other notable only-in-the-Philippines images. For newbies in patriotic fashion, there are lots of little stuff you could begin with, such as coin purses made from recycled tarpaulin painted with the country code +63 or the peso sign or the Philippine archipelago. If coin purses aren’t your thing, then maybe you’ll find T-shirts more interesting. There are shirts that declare love for the country’s capital city, Manila, while most pay homage to, again, the country’s archipelagic shape while some to the eight-rayed sun and three stars of the national flag. Other stores even offer bags, hats, cardigans, vests and dresses emblazoned with anything that says ‘I am Filipino’.

I have become a fan of this thing I call patriotic fashion, not only because it adds character to my wardrobe, but because I believe it makes the wearer a bit more appreciative of being Filipino. It also educates, not only foreigners about Pinoy culture, but also fellow Filipinos who have forgotten.

Those who started this trend should be very proud of themselves, because today, it may seem like a fashion statement, but soon, it could become a revolution, a state of being, a way of living and a commitment to a country in need of patriots-in-training.

No comments:

Post a Comment