"[P]lease take this as a sincere apology for borrowing my dad's sablay—and please don't blame anyone else," Torre said in a statement posted on Twitter May 11.
In his statement, Torre explained that the gala's dress code was "multicultural black tie."
Torre noted that he didn't go to UP, but his parents and their fathers did. He said he borrowed his dad's Sablay for one night to pay tribute to them.
"And what I tried to do was share a distinctly Asian-American honor with my family, the Philippines, and her state university," he said, adding that UP is a "truly multigenerational source of pride."
View this post on Instagram
Torre also lamented how social media, without context, "can be hell."
He ended his statement with a trivia that his father only received his Sablay for his 50th class reunion last year.
"But I will never forget the photo he sent our family when he tried it on for the very first time, at age 76, beaming with pride," Torre said.
On May 9, Torre on Instagram shared photos of himself wearing the Sablay over a black suit during a gala night. Asian American nonprofit Gold House honored him as among 100 Asian Pacific leaders "who made the greatest impact on culture and society over the past year." He's an award-winning host, writer, and commentator for Meadowlark Media and ESPN, as well as a magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard University.
Many netizens commended Torre for honoring his family members and, by extension, UP graduates. Others, however, criticized him, highlighting the fact that the university's official costume should only be used during academic functions and activities.