Clothing brand penalized for bastardizing IP traditional clothing by pairing it with a bikini

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Malungon Municipal Mayor Mayor Tessa Constantino cried and was fuming mad after seeing a Tagakaulo traditional blouse, disrespected and used as summer promotional material paired with a bikini.

Malungon Municipal information officer Isagani Palma, in an interview with Newsline.Ph revealed, Constantino raised strong objection over a feature which was photographed and shoot by the Filip + Inna, a clothing line promotions owned by a certain Ms Len Cabili, which appeared in a national newspaper.

INSENSITIVE. This how Malungon Municipal Mayor Tessa Constantino described the use of Tagaulo traditional clothing as a pair for a bikini.- Photo Courtesy Isagani Palma (Malungon Information Office)Constantino examines the

Palma quoted Constantino saying “the publication has caused deep dismay for what it appears to be a show of cultural misappropriation to IPs.”

The feature shows a model wearing a Tagakaulo cloth as top paired with a bikini.

Malungon Information Office  in a Facebook post stated, “ Matched with only a bikini by a summer wear model during a pictorial in El Nido, Palawan, the publication has sparked controversy not only to the entire tribal community as it likewise goes on a viral over the internet”

Palma narrated, upon seeing the publication, Constantino called the attention of Filip + Inna, who also responded to the invitation of Constantino and came all the way to Malungon and met Constantino and tribal leaders at the mayor’s Office on April 13.


IN THE EYE OF THE STORM. Tagaulo tribal leaders met Filip + Inna publisher and brand producer Len Cabili, she apologized for inappropriately using the traditional tribal clothing of the Tagaulo Tribe of Malungon. Photo Courtesy :Isagani Palma (MIO)

“The Mayor cried because she is a half-blooded B’laan and she felt that the publication and the wearing of the traditional clothes is a sign of disrepect,” Palma revealed.

Cabila apologized to the Mayor and the tribe, she claimed she was not aware that the customary practices of the Tagakaulo tribe and is not aware of the traditional practices governing the use of the tribal clothes.

The tribal leaders accepted Cabila’s apology but she was penalized. The Tagakaulo leaders do not want money for the penalty.

Edmund Pangilan, the provincial tribal chieftain of Saranggani, after discussing with other tribal leaders, penallized Filip + Inna and Cabali to pay four agongs, three pieces of cloth for Tagakaulo blouses and a pair of royal traditional clothing.

Tagaulo tribal leaders met Filip + Inna publisher and brand producer Cabili at the office of Malungon Mayor Tessa Constantino. Photo COurtesy :Isagani Palma (MIO)

Cabali, who was crying and apologetic during the meeting, promised to give the penalty, saying she will try to even give more for the tribe.

Canstantino, Cabali and the tribal leaders also agreed, that the publication will re-publish the same article, this time with public apology to the tribe.

In Davao City, inappropriate wearing of the traditional clothes of indigenous people is sanctioned by law and it gives prescription when and how it should be used.-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.Ph

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