MANILA - Chard Pulatche, a Davao-based designer, must have been aware of the pressure that comes with making the inaugural barong of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte. Yet, even as he rushed to make last-minute adjustments to the barong late Tuesday, there appears to be little reason to panic.
Pulatche, who has been making barongs for Duterte's favorite haberdashery, Chardin, was all smiles as he shook hands with the country's incoming President after the final fitting, as seen in a photo shared on the Twitter account of state-run People's Television.
He told ABS-CBN News' Kenneth Mangaya-Ay that Duterte expressed his gratitude for his team, which included Chardin's "master cutter" Hermie Balagon and stylist Aris Escarrilla, for making the barong simple and comfortable to wear.
In an earlier interview, Pulatche said the barong was made of piña raya instead of the more common jusi fabric because Duterte isn't fond of "itchy" barongs. It also has a design inspired by the Manobo, an indigenous group based in Mindanao.
Duterte will be sworn into office at noon Thursday in subdued ceremonies at the presidential palace.