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Fashion is least of Duterte’s worries

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President Duterte’s quest to combat illegal activities through his particular brand of crime-busting usually finds its way splashed on the front pages of leading newspapers.

His plans to implement controversial reforms are the subject of polarized debates on social media. In the lifestyle and fashion arena, however, the reportage takes on a different angle.

The president’s fashion formula is simple – and it’s all business.

According to tailor Hermie Balagon, who has been creating Duterte’s formal wear for 13 years, the president favors comfortable barongs.

Since most barongs are itchy, Balangon opted to make use of piña-jusi, which has no lining. “Mainit kasi ‘yun,” he explained of the extra layer, during an interview on Mornings @ ANC.

The president’s low-key style shows approachability and accessibility.

A classic Duterte look has always consisted of comfortable plaid shirts, which he can still wear for more casual official functions or during his personal time – no need to make a drastic transformation, as plaid has become his signature print.

Clothes in hues of scarlet evoke images of his infamous red-hot temper, balanced with earthy colors, which represent an unpretentious and pragmatic temperament.

Duterte’s style requires no intricate and extensive analysis. It’s uncomplicated and relatable. What he teaches is basically the golden rule of fashion: Never compromise comfort for style.

At the end of the day, our democracy has appointed Rodrigo Duterte to serve. The legacy of his style is not about the clothes he wears – it’s about the service, passion, and dedication the masses have come to expect from him to make the Philippines a better country. (MARIA ISABEL SALVOSA and KENN ANTHONY MENDOZA)

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