Rayadillo – A Matter of Dignity

A white cotton fabric with thin blue stripes from the Spanish verb rayar meaning to draw lines was the material for uniforms of the Philippine Revolutionary Army in 1898. Enlisted soldiers were given rayadillo pants and coats, the long sleeved top coat had a pointed collar, breast pockets and brass buttons. This was worn with a salakot, later replaced by a straw hat with its front brim pinned up. Officers were distinguished from the enlisted men by their shoulder boards, epaulets and boots.
The wearing of rayadillos by the Philippine Army goes back to our revolutionary years, particularly during the Philippine Revolution  of 1898 when there were hardly any funds for the army to acquire uniforms or arms and the revolutionaries  had to pillage rayadillos from the  Spanish arsenals. 
Eventually the uniform was redesigned by Juan Luna the famous artist- brother of General Antonio Luna who funded the making of the uniforms. 
Apparently the general wanted to modernise and organise the army, and having an official military uniform of their own, was a way of showing unity and nationalism of an army that was going to war with the Americans. No more pillaged hand me downs!
The Herald Suites doorman wears a modified version of the rayadillo uniform with a traditional gourd katukong as headgear ••••
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