Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1852 Tagalog ilustrado
Subject: ilustrado / maginoo 'enlightened'
Culture: Tagalog-Spanish mestizo / Filipino
Setting: late Spanish empire, Luzon 19thc

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Linn 1989 p3-4
"In the mid-nineteenth century, a Filipino reform movement emerged which was determined to secure a more equitable arrangement of both political and economic power.  Ilustrados, educated Filipinos exposed to European liberal and nationalist ideas, sought to reform the Spanish imperial system.  Broadly speaking, they wanted to curb the power of the religious orders, open up official positions to qualified Filipinos, exclude the Chinese and assume the political authority their education entitled them to.  The ilustrados were supported by provincial landowners who wanted to consolidate their political and economic power in the countryside without outside interference.  These principales were receptive to the ilustrados' criticism of Spanish and friar abuses and their call for more political and economic opportunities for Filipinos.  The ilustrados also struck a chord with the Filipino secular clergy over benefices and appointments.  The elitist background of the ilustrados made them unwilling to advocate radical social or political change and limited their base of support to wealthy Filipinos.  The Spanish government responded to this mild reform movement with enough brutality to supply it with martyrs but not enough to crush it."

* Ileto 1979 p269
"Ilustrado[:] The 'enlightened'; the educated segment of the native population"
"Maginoo[:] The Tagalog equivalent of datu; a gentleman of rank in the nineteenth century"

* Espiritu 2005 p1-2
"[I]lustrados expressed themselves through patriotic writing and oratory and achieved notoriety for their outrageous behavior.  Moreover, they believed in Spanish conceptions of honor and manly displays, such as fencing and dueling, which earned them the respect of Spanish contemporaries.  Despite their attempts at assimilation, Spanish colonial rulers continued to regard the ilustrados as inferiors and blocked their efforts at political, educational, and penal reform in the Philippines.  Facing the reality of second-class citizenship at home and abroad, those expatriates began to develop a sense of nationalism, appropriating 'Filipino' as a general term for all Philippine natives."

* Nepangue/Macachor 2007 p79
"[D]uring the latter part of the Spanish colonization, the natives indulged in European fencing. The ilustrados like Antonio Luna learned the sport in a private school in Intramuros, Manila from a certain Martin Cartagena, a retired officer of the Spanish army. In 1895, master fencer named Gregorio Pardini, gave an exhibition of simulated attacks in fencing at the Zorilla Theater in Manila[.]"

* Nepangue/Macachor 2007 p113
"[T]raditionally, eskrima is not a favorite past time [SIC] of the elite and the tenderfoot.  In fact the elitists in the latter years of the Spanish colonization preferred European fencing -- the kind of fencing as practiced in Europe.  Though it is true that eskrima was greatly influenced by the European fencing, the fact also remains that it underwent a great radical change to be considered not European anymore."

* Ileto 1979 p3
"Economic changes in the nineteenth century, such as the opening of the islands to foreign trade and capital investment, led to the rise of a prosperous class of mestizos and native elites, or principales.  For the first time, families could afford to send their sons to universities in Manila and Europe.  Influenced by Western liberal ideas, educated Filipinos called ilustrados, or 'the enlightened,' were determined to have the radical changes in the mother country applied to the colony itself.  In other words, they wanted to be treated equal to the Spaniards, the main obstacles to this being the powerful religious orders that dominated colonial life.  In spite of the ultimately narrow class interests behind their agitation, the ilustrados managed to stir up a nationalist sentiment among the masses by focusing upon friar abuse that was universally felt in varying degrees.  And so, even as the reformist or assimilationist movement faltered and died in the early 1890s, the upsurge of nationalism was such that a sepratist movement -- the Katipunan -- was able to take root among the masses."


* Rodell 2002 p115
"By the early nineteenth century ..., upper-class Filipinos began wholesale adoption of the Spanish style of dress, which even included walking canes, as a way of integrating themselves into the colonial power structure.  In the face of this native imitation, a regulation was passed in the 1830s requiring natives to wear their shirts outside of their trousers -- the practice of tucking in one's shirt was a privileged manner of dress reserved for Spaniards.
​    "The discriminatory dress code soon made the lowly baro a symbol of nationalism.  Faced with colonial snobbery and derision, the nationalist sought to embrace what his oppressor rejected.  It was not long before the baro became today's barong tagalog, the physical embodiment of things Filipino and of national pride.  In its process of transformation, the baro gained a collar and was made in long and short-sleeve versions.  The formerly plain shirt also became colorful with differently dyed cloth, design patterns, and elaborate embroidery.  No matter what the color, decoration, or peculiar cut of the individual shirt, the baro was always made of a sheer native cloth, which made them especially well adapted to the country's tropical climate -- certainly more so than the heavy layering of thick fabric required of dressing in a European fashion."

* de la Gironiere 2009 online (writing in the 19thc)
"The Indian and the half-breed wear upon the head a large straw hat, black or white, or a sort of Chinese covering, called a salacote; upon the shoulders, the pine fibre kerchief embroidered; and round the neck, a rosary of coral beads; their shirts are also made from the fibres of the pine, or of vegetable silk; trousers of coloured silk, with embroidery near the bottom, and a girdle of red China crape, complete their costume. The feet, without stockings, are covered with European shoes."