Let’s meet the National footwear of the Philippines: bakya


Getting to know The National Footwear of the Philippines ” bakya “

The bakya is a slipper made out of wooden clogs with a plastic strap produced from native light woods such as santol and laniti. 

bakya image

These were shaved until smooth after being cut to the correct foot size.  

The side of the bakya itself was thick enough to carve floral, geometric, or landscape motifs into. The bakya were then painted or varnished. 

Bakya were popular souvenirs in the late 1940s and 1950s, especially among US troops stationed in the Philippines. The shoes were popular until the 1970s when they began to fade in favor of cheaper rubber slippers. Bakya became associated with low-income people’s shoes, and the term bakya ” became synonymous with bad taste. 

Several attempts have been made to reintroduce the ‘ bakya ‘ as a current-market fashion style. The traditional hardwood base was curved and a leather strap replaced the original plastic to make bakya fashionable.


More Information of bakya

The word BAKYA refers to everything that isn’t in with the Crowd, anything that isn’t mod or hip.

Its antonym is class which can also be used as an adjective to signify stylish, elegant, smart, fashionable, and expensive. 

Tagalog films in general, as well as the theaters that show them, are bakya; Hollywood films, on the other hand, are usually class, with suburban theaters like Rizal and New Frontier being particularly so, Turo-turo restaurants are absolutely bakya; the dining rooms of major hotels such as the Hilton or Savoy represent the pinnacle of luxury. A Single-color scheme (otherwise known as ternong-terno kung magdamit: light-brown socks, dark-brown shoes) for a boy is mocked as the poor man’s idea of elegance in clothes.

Use of bakya

use of bakya
Tagalog wearing bakya


The Bakya has been used in the Philippines for centuries.

First, in the pre-colonial period and then more commonly throughout the Spanish era, from the 16th to the 18th century.

During the Colonial period, new designs and motifs were added. Its popularity peaked in the 1950s. 

During the American Colonial era, it was a popular memento for visitors from the United States of America. 

With the introduction of rubber slippers, the Bakya industry withered. Although it was common footwear used at cultural displays and in the Anitism lifestyle in the 1990s, it was rarely utilized by them. It was revitalized by the upper crust of society and Anitism believers in the 2010s. In some parts of the Philippines, footwear is also given as wedding gifts and utilized as a trophy for competition winners.

Why do Filipinos wear slippers? 

Slippers or tsinelas, are more than simply a sort of footwear among filipinos born in the 1970s and 1990s: They are also a weapon for physical punishment and an implement for playing tumbang preso a filipino street game.

Barefooted Visayan and Tagalog


The majority of pre-colonial Filipinos walked around barefoot. Filipino nobility wore elegant apparael in the 1500s, such as silk doublets with glod embellishments, gold rings, and thick gold chains around their necks. However, there appears to be nothing to protect their feet.

Why bakya is the national footwear of the Philippines? 

Since, its popularity, the finished product has became a symbol of the masses. The use of the bakya has been resurrected by the top levels of society since the early twenty-first century, effectively shifting the symbolism of the footwear from mass representation to holistic societal representation.


The bakya has been nominated as the Philippine National Slipper since 2014. A Bill in the Philippine Congress characterized it as having ” connection to the Filipino’s humble roots.”

It is a great reminder that filipinos are very simple and humble.





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