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by Lionel Emil Javier |

by: Lex Perry


Photos from: VinceKids & Paolo Nicomedes


Lookbook & Art Illustrations from: @kidillus & Josh Tiu

Braving the streets of Manila early in the morning, we can’t help but be mesmerized by the hustle and diligence of hardworking Filipinos. If you often pass by Quiapo, Recto, Intramuros, and the other busy areas around the metro, you probably see these people I’m referring to. These are the guys who are already grinding early in the morning; perhaps some of them even start earlier than sunrise.

Sad to say, notorious crimes and unwanted events also happen in this area but it would be wrong to paint the place as a venue where only unfortunate things happen. Truth be told, there is nothing wrong with being aware and facing the fact that there is a tendency where unwanted incidents can escalade at any time, but let us not get too carried away by our worries.

Home to many things exotic and extraordinary, from a variety of different kinds of goods and tasty foods, this place will make you feel a certain type of way and I do believe that this is a place that strongly manifests the Filipino identity – not that I’m trying to give too much sensation on Manila, or trying to discredit the other great locations in the country, but there is a special reason why it’s hailed the capital of the Philippines.

Speaking of which, one of the reasons why we get to enjoy the country freely is because of our ancestors who fought for our independence. For the celebration of the Philippine Independence Day, we commemorate and remember the people who served for us through a special shirt release. After all, it is a great privilege for us to give honor and recognition to some of the people who helped establish the camaraderie and well being of our country for it’s the least we can do as the beneficiaries of their wisdom and bravery.

One of the earliest icons, a datu and ruler of Mactan in the Visayas region who resisted colonization from foreign explorers is Lapu Lapu. Widely recognized for his stint in the Battle of Mactan, he remains prevalent in Philippine history that in his honor, a statue was created in Mactan Island and the town of Opon was renamed to Lapu-Lapu City. Also, you can find his image in the seal of government bodies Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Fire Protection.

Known as a fierce general and the second chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, General Antonio Luna was said to be a man who was committed to bring discipline to the military and serve the Republic especially during the Philippine-American war. What others may not know is that besides being a military specialist and the brother of painter Juan Luna, Antonio also studied pharmacy, literature, and chemistry.

The next one is hailed as the “Father of Philippine Revolution” and the president of the Tagalog Republic. Andres Bonifacio is also one of the founders of the Kataas-taasan, Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan or KKK and momentarily worked with La Liga Filipina – a propaganda and movement that sought for Philippine Independence.

Last but not the least and arguably the most well known among the four national icons is Dr. José Rizal. Having statues and monuments, being part of the Peso currency, being the subject of biographical films and TV series, and being surrounded by towns and cities containing a street named after him, how could we not remember the man?

With a great number of thought-provoking novels, essays, poetry and even plays under his belt, he fought for freedom and advocated liberty through peaceful means instead of violent revolutions.

Now what they all have in common is that they all possess the qualities of a leader, they all know how to make use of what they have and fight the fights that matter. DBTK is a brand that strongly believes in character building and maintaining valuable principles and we believe that upholding integrity at all times will not only allow us to do great but also create and leave a remarkable impact to the people around us.

The independence and freedom of our country is not celebrated for nothing. Know your roots – represent your own.

Now that you know the inspiration behind the shirt, the release of our special Phlippine Independence shirt will be on Tuesday, June 12 exclusive only in the DBTK Flagship Store – If you want to see the complete arrangement of the lookbook, click HERE.