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The Reason for DepEd to Wear “Sablay” in Replace of Traditional ‘Toga’ by Alain del Pascua

The Department of Education (DepEd) proposes to wear “Sablay” in replace of using traditional “Toga” during the graduation rites in Elementary and Secondary schools.

Education Undersecretary for Administration Alain del Pascua authored the proposal of changing Toga to “Sablay” to be practiced in observance of graduation rites as stated in his written summary called the “aide memoire.”

The said “aide memoire” dated on Tuesday, February 18 2020, outlined some important items suggesting diplomatic communication in the form of agreement and sent to the DepEd Execom and Mancom Groups for their consideration and review and to get their feedback, Pascua wrote on his Facebook post.

No photo description available.

According to Pascua, the reason he introduces using “Sablay” during graduation rites instead of ‘Toga’ because the traditional ‘Toga’ originate from the “deep Western roots” that reminds us of colonial past. He also said Toga does not symbolize to the Filipino culture and does not inspire loyalty to the country.

In addition, he also said…

“Renting or buying a toga, with gown and cap, is an additional expense and an added burden to parents,” he said.

Pascua also added that wearing ‘Toga’ during the graduation rites is impractical and uncomfortable in a tropical country like us here in the Philippines.


Pascua said, the garment of ‘Toga’ does not described the country’s cultural diversity, while the propose “Sablay” promotes local and national diversity and describes patriotism and nationalism among Filipino students which also of the same effect promoting core values of “Makabansa and Makakalikasan.”

“Sablay” also nurtures ethnic roots and help indigenous people to produce local textile which will give avenue to boost rural development to empower Filipino weavers and gives job opportunity as well as revive and sustain traditional weaving enterprises


Pascua also clarify that the said “aide memoire” remains a proposition not until the Execom-Mancom level has discussed the matter.

“We at the Department of Education value feedback and encourage everyone to voice their concerns and ideas,” he added. 

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