AGHAM Rep: Beware of fake pina barong

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/16 Sept) — A partly-list representative has warned against the proliferation of fake pina jusi cloth in the market, after the barong Tagalog he wore recently was confirmed to be not made from pineapple fiber.

AGHAM Rep. Angelo Palmones said he will meet with officials of the Department of Trade and Industry to address the matter to protect the consumers and the country’s fabrics industry.

Last month, Palmones, a former broadcast journalist who hails from North Cotabato, bought a barong which was coded and branded as pina jusi, in one of the malls in this city.

He donned it in addressing the closing ceremonies of the regional celebration of the National Science and Technology Week, spearheaded by the Department of Science and Technology in Region 12.

Before hundreds of participants, Palmones claimed it was a fake after he was told as such by one of the scientists in the event.

To confirm the barong was not an original pina jusi, Palmones sought the help of the DOST’s Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI).

“We are misleading the buyers with this kind of practice. This will also jeopardize our local technology products for low quality standard,” he said in a statement sent Friday to MindaNews, which published the fake barong story.

Dr. Carlos Tomboc, PTRI director, said that upon microscopic analysis of the barong that Palmones submitted, researchers found out it was made purely of raw silk.

“While it was said to have pineapple, the analysis showed otherwise. What appears to be pineapple fiber streaks are actually chemical prints sprayed over the fabric,” Tomboc said in a letter to Palmones.

Following the complaint of Palmones, PTRI personnel conducted random inspection of stalls in Divisoria in Manila selling fabrics and barong said to contain pina fiber.

The stalls approached by PTRI personnel selling barongs have at least four different types of materials named pina, Tomboc said.

The sales ladies were fully aware that the fabrics do not contain pineapple fibers and the name attached to each fabric is merely brand or trade names, he added.

“It can be concluded that the branding of the fabrics and garments could really mislead the buyers if they are not familiar with the materials. The big gap in the price of fabric containing pineapple is not an assurance that is different from those which do not contain the same,” Tomboc said.

Based on the data of the PTRI following the Divisoria inspection, the four trade/brand names were identified as Pina Chiffon, Pina Organza, Pina Jusi and Pina Cocoon. They have a price range of P80 to P1,200 per yard but their fiber composition is either polyester or silk.

On the other hand, the price of authentic pina fabric with embellishments ranges from P3,500 to P4,000 per cut for barong, while original pina-silk fabric also with embellishments fetches from P2,500 to P4,000 per cut for barong, P4,000 to P5,000 per cut for gown, embroidered and P8,000 per cut for gown, full-embroidered. (Bong Sarmiento/MindaNews)