Team Philippines: Ready for battle, dressed in style

When members of Team Philippines paraded Friday night in the opening ceremonies of the Southeast Asian Games, they came out ready for battle and, of course, dressed in style.

Alyssa Valdez, the country’s volleyball queen, walked ahead of the mostly female pack into Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, donning the country’s colors in chic, tailored, and contemporary style.

Designer Francis Libiran made sure the finest Filipino athletes are dressed fittingly before heading into the fortnight of athletic wars there In Cambodia.

He said the barongs and pants ensemble – worn by 50 female Pinoy athletes – was chosen from among five different designs he presented to the Philippine Sports Commission.

Libiran said the proto-typing and production took just a month and a half to accomplish.

The “Araw” element was prominent in the design which was placed on the left chest of the barong.

“My inspiration was the Philippine flag so we played around with the use of the blues and the reds and the focal point is really the araw, the rays which extend all the way to the shoulders, to the sash, to the back,” Libiran said in an interview.

“In 2019 we did the flag barong, and last year we did the Agila which represents inspiration and hope in the time of crisis during the pandemic,” he added.

The barong design will be available online through and also in stores in Shangri-La and Greenbelt.