FILIPINO designer Paul Cabral takes pride in creating unique Barong Tagalog for each of the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders who are here in Manila for the group's annual meeting.
It was disclosed in an official release that Cabral started conceptualizing the design as early as April.
He was hands-on in the production of the Filipino formal wear usually made from pineapple fiber.
"Since the Philippines is the Apec host economy, it is fitting and appropriate for the Economic Leaders to wear the Barong Tagalog for such a significant event," he said.
Cabral added: "We did a lot of research. For every participating economy, we researched on their arts, culture, crafts, and used those as the basis for all our designs. So when you see the Barong Tagalogs, you can really identify them."
President Benigno Aquino III, for instance, will wear a barong Tagalog with embroidered patterns inspired by Filipino ancestral houses.
The go-to designer of celebrities and prominent figures said the barong will serve not only as a gift of the president, but of the Filipino nation as well.
"Our provision of formal wear for the world leaders is reflective of our renowned hospitality and conveys our people's warm welcome," Cabral said.
Cabral also designed similar attires for the attending first ladies.
"For the First Lady of Japan, the design concept was based on the hanami or sakura festival, so we did cherry blossoms," he said.
The designer added he is already excited to see the 21 world leaders, including United States President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, wearing his creation during the photo session.
"As a designer, there is no greater honor than seeing one's creation being worn by the different heads of economies. As a Filipino, it gives you so much dignity and pride," Cabral said.
The Apec Leaders' Summit is on November 18-19. (Sunnex)