Why were President Trump and President Duterte twinning?

Tuesday, 14 November 2017, 02:26:15 PM. President Trump and Rodrigo Duerte were wearing a traditional Filipino menswear called a barong.
Watching President Trump and Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte on news shows all day Sunday, wearing matching shirts, shaking hands and clinking champagne glasses at a dinner honoring South Eastern Asian nations, I became curious. It was a cool look, and appropriate for the hot climate. But what was the significance? The leaders’ collared, ivory-hued button-downs are Barong Tagalogs. The top is a traditional Filipino men’s shirt fashioned from lightweight natural fibers indigenous to the Philippines, like pineapples or bananas. The Barong’s history can be traced back to the 15th century, the early days of the Spanish colonial era. Back then, the Spaniards forced indigenous Filipinos to wear the blousy shirts untucked, so as not to be confused with the ruling class. In the 1950s, former Filipino President Ramón Magsaysay made the shirts fashionable when he wore one to his inauguration and to his subsequent private and public events. These days, Barongs are worn to very special occasions, as tuxedos are here. Trump isn’t the first president to wear a Barong when in the Southeast Asia. Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush have all worn them out of respect. In 2015, Barack Obama wore one fashioned from the fibers of pineapples on the red carpet at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila. When heads of state take the time to dress like the world leader they are visiting, it’s a sign that they “are trying to make a connection,” said Clare Sauro,...Read more
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