Barong Warehouse caught up with Henry Edwards, our first barong tagalog model and a member of the popular group and TV5 show, Juan Direction. Henry was born in Angeles City, Pampanga in 1990. But when Mt. Pinatubo erupted, his parents brought him to be raised in England. For most of his life, he grew up in South East London and Essex.
So, Henry never got to know much of his Filipino roots including the most widely sought after Filipino traditional garment, the barong tagalog. But when he modeled in it for Barong Warehouse, he learned a little more about Filipino culture.
Henry stated, “Yeah that’s very true when I modeled the barong tagalog, I didn't know much about its history, pero now I know more about its tradition. It made me happier to wear it and know more about my Filipino history.”
In March of 2011, Henry moved to Manila, Philippines. His parents wanted to retire in the capital city already and proposed to Henry and his brother Matt to try living here. Now the half-Filipino and half-Brit brothers are in love with the Philippines. In less than three years of being here, Henry’s already made a mark in the entertainment industry with his group, Juan Direction.
Juan Direction consists of five British-Filipino guys including Henry and his friends named Brian Wilson, Charlie Sutcliffe, Daniel Marsh, and Michael McDonnell. Their group first became a YouTube sensation and now their show airs every Saturday night on TV5 at 10p.m.
Juan Direction on TV5
In an effort to learn more about how to be more Filipino, the boys travel around Manila and other cities doing different activities that the locals do. Their un-pretentious and humorous approach to showcasing common Filipino lifestyles makes the show a delight to watch for many types of audiences. And, the show is a great way for Henry, his co-stars, and their viewers to learn more about Filipino identity.
When asked if the show has changed his life, Henry answers, “Well, Juan Direction has not changed my life. I'm still the same person and still do the same things I did before this all happened. Pero I'm happy it has got the fans to know each and every one of our personalities more in detail. We get to show and learn new and old Filipino jobs, history and we get to teach other Filipino kids and people things they did or didn't know in a more funny and educational way.”
A fact about Henry that his fans might not know is that he can play the keyboard and the drums. In 2014, he says he wants to share more of his music with collaborations and music videos. In particular, he wants to show his rapping prowess in the British Hip-hop genre, Grime.
Though Henry’s initials of his full name (Henry Amos Tecson Edwards) spells out HATE, Henry gives nothing but love to his fans and fellow Filipinos. To Henry: Thank you for being our first barong tagalong model. Barong Warehouse wishes you all the best in your bright future in entertainment!
Check out Juan Direction's pilot episode below.
To get a great deal on a barong like the one Henry is wearing, check out the Barong Warehouse Collection.