Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Family Reunion

My parents, Allan, and Michael are flying home now from the Philippines, where they attended a large family reunion. Allan wrote a big post about this the other day, which is the closest any of us has come to an historical account for the size of the clan.

DATI Clan Reunion

By the way, if you look up 'barong' in the English dictionary, it is a long, broad, leaf-shaped knife used as both a weapon and tool by the Moros of the Philippines. But it's also a traditional garment worn by Filipinos at formal events. From what I remember, it's transparent, usually made out of pineapple fibre and worn over a white undershirt. From what I've read, it apparently dates back to Spanish colonial rule:

"From the beginning of the Spanish rule in the Philippine archipelago, the Spanish rulers demanded the Filipino men to wear the barong tagalog. The Spaniards wanted to make the differences between themselves and the 'natives' visible by the dress. Therefore they prohibited to tuck the barong under the waistband. That was the mark of the inferior status of the natives.

Next to that, the cloth material should be transparent. That should make it impossible to hide any weapon that could be used against the Spanish rulers. Furthermore, it was forbidden to have any pockets in the barong. This had to prevent any thievery.

Even at the time that some Filipinos became successful business men or successful in agricultural activities, these lucky and more important middle class men had to wear the barong tagalog just as the Spanish rulers demanded.

In th[is] Spanish period, the new middle class started to put more attention to the design of the barong. The front of the barong showed more and more a hand-work design. It was the beginning of becoming a symbol of resistance to colonization."

Source: http://www.philippines.hvu.nl/clothes2.htm (more photos shown here)

Bugnay is our family name, but some of my relatives, including my father, took 'Edwin' as their surname instead.