On the Philippines Not “Fashion Forward”

Forgive me if I am bringing up this issue as this was something being talked about on the blogosphere early this month (and suddenly disappearing into thin air, just like any other “controversy” or what).

On the Philippines not fashion forward, as said by the fashion blogger, Tricia Gosingtian

Here’s my opinion regarding the issue.

Roam around the streets of Manila and its surrounding cities and you would see majority of the people dressed simply. A shirt and a pair of jeans and you’re good to go. We cannot deny that many of us do not really prioritize fashion, but there is nothing wrong with it, is there? Some of the reasons why are because:

We are a conservative people. It’s something instilled in our culture.

We face so many problems each day, and what about the clothes we would wear tomorrow? There are more things to prioritize. We think of more practical things. A lot of us worry about what our families would eat the following day. Oil price hike, fare hike, tuition fee increase -just to name a few.

Black Boots 15
Boots when riding the jeep? Probably not. Image by Ayanami_No03 via Flickr

We live in a country that lies above the equator so our weather doesn’t really permit us to dress in a fashionable way to the extent that we would be wearing faux fur jackets and stylish, foxy boots, because we would look absolutely ridiculous, needless to say. (Okay, I was probably exaggerating on that.) Well, unless you want to stand out in the crowd and drown in your own sweat.

You would be looked at in a “different” way since you have a different fashion statement from the majority, like the fashion blogger. She dressed atypically from the rest of the crowd, which is probably why she rose to popularity and was known -her style being different from the typical. It was also probably also how she carried those type of clothes. Like what I said in the aforementioned paragraph, if you would wear faux fur jackets and boots (and you happen to be riding the jeepney), more likely, people would look at you from head to toe with one brow raised and think how eccentric and queer you are. “Ano ba ‘yan, sasakay lang ng jeep, naka-boots pa!”

On the other hand, in Filipino culture, we always take pride and be proud of someone who represents our country and race, especially if he or she makes it in the international limelight and scene. Instead of promoting the Philippines in a positive light, she somehow degraded it — well, as she said on her apology, she was just being “completely honest” -that’s where the Filipino “pride” should have come in.

Well, come to think of it — she wasn’t a a Philippine representative mismo. Hence, the Filipino pride again.

What enraged the people may be when she said, “…so, like when I post photos there, like, I get lots of attention from it coz, like, people are not used to that kind of fashion…”

A lot of readers who commented on her apology mentioned how she self-glorified herself, how selfless and conceited she was merely thinking about herself, where in fact she mentioned the Philippines.

Being an internet celebrity she is, she just experienced something inevitable that almost every celebrity goes through -criticism. As I’ve mentioned, this issue was all over the blogosphere (and Twittersphere) and after a couple of days, it just suddenly disappeared into thin air, like a firework -so big but when it disintegrates, it’s as if nothing happened.

It was her choice of words, I guess.

Now, let’s open our eyes to more socially relevant issues, shall we?


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