This Unisex Short Sleeved Barong with open lapels boasts epic batok embroidery pattern, meaning the design is not only in the front area, but it is also across the back and the sleeves. And the meaning of this embroidery... are you ready for VINTA storytime?
This embroidery design features the Dita Tree (Alstonia scholaris). This tree is native to the Philippine archipelago and can be found in Cagayan, northern Luzon, to Palawan and Mindanao, and in most or all islands and provinces, in primary and secondary forests at low and medium altitudes. Its leaves and bark have an enormous amount of medicinal and practical uses. In the Philippines, the bark is regarded as a remedy for fevers, chronic diarrhea, dysentery. Earlier Spanish records report the Dita bark alkaloid was used in hospitals as a quinine substitute.
In our "Kultura ng Pagdidiwata" (Harmony with the Deities, Creative Forces of Nature and Ancestral Spirits), this tree is believed to be “Puno ng Demonyo” because this is where bad spirits and engkantos live.
In 2009, 37 people, made up of 7 families, including a 2-week old baby in Quezon City, climbed a large Dita Tree and were saved from the 40 ft flood waters that rose from Typhoon Ondoy. The "Puno ng Demonyo" has since been rebranded as "Puno ng Buhay".
We use this tree as symbol in a couple of ways; one, as a symbol for the value of planting trees; and two, as a metaphor for Filipino resilience in the face of adversity-- and further, how the Philippines is a nation of resilience. But we put Kontra (anti) with Katatagan (resilience) in quotations to challenge it. In this design, we want to address the problem with our "resilience" -- and that is the speed by which we transform trauma into acceptance, and the faithful platitudes that has turned toxic positivity into Filipino custom.
The matching Barong Shorts Are sold separately here.
Each Unisex Short Sleeved Barong is handcrafted by the VINTA Gallery team in our atelier in the Philippines.