follow us on

LOOK: The Tokyo 2020 Olympics PH Team Wears Barong and Filipiniana

Fashion designer Rajo Laurel updates our traditional garb. Good luck PH team!

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics is finally well underway. After a series of delays and backlash due to the pandemic restrictions, 11,000 athletes, 7,000 event officials, and 15,000 people from the media gather to kickstart the biggest sporting event there is. At the opening ceremony last night, the Philippine team flag bearers wore the official Philippine tracksuit while the officials wore barong and the minimalist saya by Rajo Laurel.

The Philippine delegates with official flag bearers Eumir Marial and Kiyomi Watanabe | Philippine Sports Commission

Last night in a three-hour ceremony, the delegates from all around the globe paraded in an empty stadium. The athletes slowly filled the arena. Our Philippine team was headed by boxer Eumir Marial and judoka Kiyomi Watanabe who raised our flag in sleek red tracksuits. Part of the parade were chef de commission Nonong Araneta, Philippine Swimming Inc. President Lani Velasco, Gymanstics Association of the Philippines President Cynthia Carreon, taekwondo coach Carlos Padilla, boxing coach, Nolito Velasco, and skateboarding coach Daniel Bautista.

The House of Laurel designed a cocoon silk barong matched with black wool pants. "I feel very honored the Philippine Olympic Committee asked me to design for the delegation," Rajo tells Metro.Style on this second stint at the project. With just about 2 days to prepare for the delegation, Rajo jokes that he felt like a Project Runway contestant. 

Rajo took inspiration from the alampay, a tribal-wear detail in which he infused into the barong Tagalog look to modernize it. The alampay was made from Benguet weaves, playing with the idea of merging details from the different islands of the Philippines.

The opening ceremony wasn’t devoid of other exciting show of fashion. Japanese singer-songwriter Misia opened the show in a rainbow-dipped gown by Tokyo-based designer Tomo Koizumi.

We wish the Philippine team the best of luck as they journey their way to our country’s hopefully very first gold medal!

Art by Raff Colmenar