This Intramuros clothing store champions Philippine history one shirt at a time – Manila Bulletin

Better make a stop at Pilibustero on your next Intramuros trip

One of the best ways to study the history of the Philippines is to examine the attitudes of dress of the past. First, there were the indigenous pieces such as the bahag, the malong and other items made from local weavings. When the Spaniards arrived, camisa tops and saya skirts became the fashion standard for women, and men donned more elaborate versions of the barong. Around the 1920s, butterfly sleeves or the terno began to flourish, a design that combined Western and Filipino styles.

Today, at a time when history is distorted by misinformation, fashion continues to be a tool for learning history. In Intramuros, a local brand champions local culture and history, one shirt at a time.

Photos by Pilibustero/Facebook

Founded in 2020, Pilibustero shines a light on the country’s past through contemporary designs printed on shirts. Founded by siblings Jorrel and Joyce, respectively majoring in history and majoring in apparel technology, Pilibustero is the culmination of their interests and experiences in apparel production. This month, their brand opened its flagship store in Intramuros, which is fitting as August is also observed as history month in the Philippines.

“Pilibustero’s new store features all the ‘Pilibustero classics’ graphic shirts and bucket hats ever released. Available designs can also be viewed in our online store, www.pilibustero.com. We also sell tote bags and books. New t-shirt designs are also on the way and will be released very soon,” Jorrel told Manila Lifestyle Bulletin. “Recently, we have received consignment requests, and we would like to carry other local products that will go well with our brand, to promote Filipino arts and crafts. We are also planning to hold mini-events on place, like an open mic night and maybe a tour.

But setting up the store was no small feat. In a post shared on the brand’s Instagram page, before being a warm and inviting boutique, the Intramuros spot looks trashed and neglected. With a limited budget to work with, the siblings were able to create their dream store, with luck on their side. They came across second-hand furniture that suits their home decor. They were able to seal a lot for the store counter in a closed store in one of the malls in Quezon City. While their four identical stock shelves went on sale a week before they opened.

“We can truly say that there must have been divine direction during the whole process,” reflects Jorrel. “It took us about a month and a half to complete the renovation. There were times when we felt discouraged from continuing with the build due to issues we encountered, but the little fortuitous things that solved our problems make us want to believe that the space was really meant for our small business. We are very grateful for all the support and how well received the flagship store is by everyone. It was far beyond our expectations. »

Besides putting history lessons into clothes, Pilibustero is also known for his collaborations with local artists. In the past, the brand has worked with creatives such as Therese Cruz, Marcel Antonio and Dengcoy Miel for its 2021 holiday collection, reinventing Filipino heroes through graphic shirts. And it looks like more creative partnerships are on the way.

“In the 90s, a popular shirt circulated featuring the face of Che Guevarra, worn by many Filipinos, who may or may not know the history of the face depicted on it. Western intellectual figures like Einstein are also favorite prints on shirts graphics. We thought our country had great men and women who deserved to be worn and known, just the same,” says Jorrel. “We believe that clothing is a really powerful way to convey a message of nationalism. Representation visual of our history as a nation is a beginning to strengthen our Filipino identity, thereby also preserving the memory of our great ancestors who dreamed and fought for a better Philippines.

Pilibusteros flagship store is located at General Luna Gap 2, cor. Muralla Street, Intramuros, Metro Manila


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