It is strikingly akin to most basic female garments in the Southeast Asian world, and seems somehow related to the Indian sari. The Filipino wrap-around skirt called tapis or patadyong my have emerged from environmental conditions and technical repertoires similar to those that produced the sarong and the sari.
As the female counterpart to the loin cloth, the tapis covered the genital area. Again, fertility may have been an associated value – but in what precise ways? One can only guess.
The tapis was wrapped around the lower half of the woman’s body and tied at the waist or below the breasts. It was secured in place by the knotted ends or by a length of braided material. In some societies, belt-like pieces were used.