This Silent Film is the Philippines Earliest VLOG

The short silent film "Luzon Lingerie" is one of the earliest known films shot in the Philippines. Although titled as such, the film is actually more about the production of fine embroidery products using native fabrics such as piña and banana.

The film is dated 1905, but other researchers suggest it was made around 1920. Regardless, some still argue that it was produced in 1905, and was possibly re-edited in 1920 using better techniques.

In any case, it documents the Philippine embroidering industry. It shows men designing the patterns and women embroidering the cloth. The film is ten minutes long and comes with short text commentaries in between shots. It also shows shots of groups of women at work and provides a glimpse of everyday life in the pre-war Philippines.  The film also shows workshops and workplaces that are forever lost in history.

The silent film is attributed to Burton Holmes, an American from a well-to-do Chicago family. He is credited with coining the word “travelogue,” and specializes in sharing his exotic travels around the world. Thanks to him and this preserved piece of our history, we get to have a glimpse of our pre-war past - the then glamourous Manila.

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