During the Spanish occupation of the Philippines (over 300 years from 1561-1889) the barong Tagalog was required by the Spanish government for Filipinos (Indios) to be worn at most times to show the difference between the rich and the poor.. When the Spaniards colonized the Filipinos, they had to make it abundantly clear who the boss was through the imposition of a dress code. Men were not allowed to tuck their shirt tails in. That was the mark of his inferior status. Filipinos (Indios) to be worn at most times to show the difference between the rich and the poor. The poor who serve the rich must always be in uniform. They are in uniform to immediately distinguish them from the employers.
After the inauguration of the Philippine Commonwealth on November 15, 1935 under the tutelage of President Manuel L. Quezon, a variation of Barong Tagalog, known as the “Commonwealth Barong Tagalog” or the Barong Tagalog with the Tydings McDuffie mottif become popular. It was so called because it featured the Philippine Commonwealth flag with the red, white and blue stripes, alongside the American flag. These two flag were crisscrossed in the design that was all over the fabric.
The term "Barong Tagalog" is usually shortened in modern Filipino as "Barong", though grammatically, barong originally is not a word that can stand alone. It contains the suffix -ng which indicates that it is an adjective or an adjective must directly follow but the word has evolved to be a shortened title.
The root word of barong is the Tagalog word baro meaning "outfit" or "clothing". "Barong Tagalog" literally means "Tagalog outfit". The term was originally used to describe what people, both men and women, typically wore in the Tagalog region during the Spanish era. In time, the term caught on for the shirt alone, and other styles of dresses got their own names (e.g. Maria Clara, baro't saya, magsasaka, kamisa de chino, and terno). Though it is not only worn in the Tagalog region in the Philippines/
The finest shirts are made from a variety of indigenous fabrics. They have a sheer appearance and the best are custom embroidered in delicate folk patterns :