Thursday, July 30, 2009


Before Havaianas, Crocs, Nike and Birkenstock--there was the bakya, the Philippines' national footwear. These clogs, made of lightwood, were first shaped to size, then the sides were carved with native designs as local flowers, birds, landscape, and in this example, bahay kubo. Today, the term "bakya" refers to anything low-class or unsophisticated, but there's nothing cheap and tasteless about this example. The carving is refined and detailed, the vibrant color choices, excellent. The strap is made from expensive velvet, intricately embroidered with beads. Only 6.5 inches in length and 2 inches high, thsi pair must have been made for somebody's spoiled daughter!

Chunky, noisy bakyas fell out of favor starting in the 50s, but tiday, they are being collected as fine examples of Pinoy folk art. I was lucky to find this pair in great condition from an online shop at a super affordable 'bakya" price!


  1. time to bring them back in style.
    the fact that they're custom made is a plus for me. even here, finding footwear in my size is a big problem.

    i still remember my grandfather's bakya, obnoxious yellow with some japanese looking fabric. panakot nuong bata kami.

  2. Well, someone is planning to have a Vintage Bakya Exhibit soon!