Traditional Filipina Dresses for Kids

Written by natalie andrews
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Most kids love dressing up and the excitement is even greater when they dress up in traditional clothes. Kids interested in wearing traditional Filipina dresses have several choices. The Philippines is a multicultural archipelago, rich in heritage, and steeped in traditions; its traditional Filipina dresses are proof of this richness and diversity.

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The Terno

The terno is a pairing of a blouse and a skirt incorporated into a seamless single-piece ensemble. The upper and lower pieces are made using the same material. The flat upright sleeves resemble the clipped wings of a butterfly, framing the wearer's neck, collar lines, shoulders and face. It is a prime example of how a national costume has evolved from simple beginnings into a sophisticated, contemporary garment.

The Patadyong

The patadyong is a woven garment worn daily by women in the Philippines, long before the Spaniards arrived. It's described as a tubelike mantle of varicolored woven cotton strips. It is also worn by men at their waists as a wraparound. It may lack the elegance and formality of the Terno, but its functionality and the ease the wearer gets from its simplicity in structure, makes it a practical choice.

The Baro't Saya

In keeping with Filipina modesty in the Spanish era, the two-piece ensemble known as the baro't saya was originally composed of four parts. The sleeved, collarless blouse, called Baro or Camisa, is demurely covered by a wraparound called the Alampay, while the long skirt, or Saya, had an overskirt, the Tapis. The Baro is enhanced with delicate embroidery of various designs. This outfit has a train, which is looped around in the hand while the wearer is moving about.

The Libet (Tapis) and the Sadey (Sadi or Kambal)

For kids interested in wearing traditional clothing from the northern Philippines, the Libet can be a great choice. Worn by the northern Ibaloi tribe, the Libet is a length of colourful cloth intricately woven on a loom, in the Abel Iloko way. It serves well as a full, striped, long skirt wrapped around the wearer's waist. Horizontal stripes of yellow and green usually take precedence over all other supplementary colours, such as white, red and black. The upper component, a blouse called the kambal, caps off the colourful ensemble.

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