Timeless beauty: Twelve historic photos of charming Filipinas

Since the earliest days of photography, visitors to the Philippines have been keen to capture the country’s stunning landscapes, vibrant village life and, of course, the grace and beauty of its women.

Here, in no particular order, are 12 historic photographs that capture the unchanging and eternal charm of the Filipina through the ages.

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Francisco van Camp, 1875. An unnamed woman of mixed Filipina and Chinese heritage in traditional dress with fan. This is perhaps the most well-known historic photograph of a Filipina beauty. Museo Oriental, Real Colegio Padres Agustinos, Valladolid.

 

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Two young ladies wearing their finest most elaborate outfits for a Sunday, or some other special occasion. Picture from the Keystone-Mast Collection.

 

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A group of women in traditional dress, taken at an unknown location some time in the early 1900s.

 

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An upper-class Spanish Mestiza in Bais Eastern Negros, 1890. Picture from the University of Michigan Special Collections Library

 

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This young village woman remains the very picture of elegance even while working hard fetching water. Date and location unknown. USC Digital Library.

 

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Another rural Filipina again looking elegant while working in traditional dress. Date and location unknown. USC Digital Library

 

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These two village girls have the natural grace to somehow make a banana leaf look more like a piece of couture headwear. Date and location unknown. Keystone-Mast Collection.

 

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This upper-class Spanish Mestizo appears lost in thought. Date and location unknown. Keystone-Mast Collection.

 

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A formal portrait of a Filipina by Francisco Van Camp. Late 19th Century.

 

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A 19th Century portrait of a young Chinese Filipino. Date and location unknown. Picture from the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Madrid.

 

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This portrait from the 1870s shows a fair skinned Filipina in an ornately embroidered lace shawl.

 

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Another portrait from the 1870s shows a less formally dressed girl on the cusp of womanhood.

For more vintage photographs of the Philippines, visit Sepia Era, Snapshots from Ages Past 

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