Calligraphies in Conversation 11/7 & 11/21


I’m taking part of this rare calligraphy art show to be held at the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California in Oakland 11/7 to 12/12. Check out the opening reception at 5pm 11/7 where artists will be in attendance for a discussions and demos. Over 70 artworks were curated out of over 250 submissions from local, national and international artists and calligraphers including Canada, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Italy, India, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, UK, and USA.

Additionally, I’ll be taking part of a side event of the show at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center on 11/21





Asian Art Museum 10/4

Had a successful day with Lane Wilcken at the Asia Art Museum for Filipino American History day. Activities included talks, art performance and a showing of my personal library of books on prePhilippine scripts and old items. Be sure to check out the Hinabi Project on display. Look out for our next event, unKonference on November 14, 2015 at Fort Mason.

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Introducing the StinkyFish Podcast. IPO & Philippine Culture of Theft

Here we go again! After calling out the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines in my blog post, it made the rounds of social media and mainstream news.  ABS-CBN, Philstar, When in Manila, thousands of views, netizens comments on the IPOPHL FB page. I myself took part of the fun until I was banned by them :( At least I got a rating in. They can’t delete those. So with all that news coverage and comments, they had to make a statement and in typical lawyery fashion, they did and boy was it typical of the cancer that eats at Philippine government.

Here’s the PDF if you want an “official” copy. Apparently you have to release it on PDF to be official. Now let’s breakdown the 2 last points. You can watch the video below for my reaction to the whole thing below…more on that later.

– Baybayin characters are commonly used as in the logos of several government agencies such as the National Museum, National Library, NCCA, AFP and others.

– Baybayin is an ancient script, and no one has the exclusive right to use it.

First of all, so what if Baybayin is used on several government agencies. What is the point? Did they steal their logos from a designer? All their logos are original artwork. How does that justify stealing?

The 2nd point is where I didn’t expect them to go because even a child knows that if they create artwork using ANY writing system, they know it’s their personal creation. It’s also the same language Walker Underwear used to justify stealing my IP (artwork).

They mentioned “ancient” so does that mean that if it wasn’t, it would be OK? What’s their definition of ancient or did they just get that from somewhere else? They forgot that they’re dealing with Baybayin experts. For arguments sake, let’s say that it’s true that nobody can claim IP for Baybayin because it’s an ancient writing system no matter if they designed art based on the characters in illustrator or painted them. Using IPO’s same definition, the roman alphabet is also an ancient script so anything created using it as a base for the artwork cannot be claimed as IP. What does that now say about the logo for Shoe Mart? Is it not protected because nobody has the exclusive rights to the roman alphabet?


Here’s something I created for a Surf Company. The Baybayin says Lakas. Because Baybayin is an ancient script, it’s not my intellectual property and anyone can copy the artwork on the shirt and use it for commercial purposes?


Can people also use the SM logo and make products with it? Hell no! They would protect roman alphabet design to death but since they themselves stole a Baybayin based design, it’s OK for others to do so. Because IPO doesn’t know shit about Baybayin, they treat is differently. They’re basically saying that they will protect the roman alphabet but not Baybayin. How colonial minded can you get? The issue isn’t Baybayin but the artwork created from Baybayin. Get it? prePhilippine script design, typography, art and etc have to be protected the same way the roman alphabet would be. IPO was recently one of the organizers of a jewelry competition. Since nobody owns the rights to precious metals and stones, are their creations not intellectual property? Their logic is extremely flawed.

I do have to thank IPO though for getting me annoyed enough to take action and finally get my new podcast up and running. It’s called Stinky Fish podcast named after my upcoming documentary, Sulat ng Malansang Isda. IPO is definitely a Stinky Fish. Future podcasts will probably be audio only because video takes too long to edit :)

Here’s a Dropbox link as mentioned in the video to some of the evidence including concept designs presented, an invitation as a Baybayin resource speaker and timestamps. Want more evidence? Wait for John Leyson to drop the bomb soon.

The sad part as I read though all the hundreds of comments about this issue is that Filipinos aren’t surprised this happened. They’re used to theft, corruption, and being let down.

PS: Ticao Masbate Rizal stone was correct :) My prediction of this Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines issue is that it will go to trial and IPO will win because of corruption.

PSS: The way IPO handled the issue shows how backwards thinking they are. You never delete comments! It shows your weakness and pisses off the people even more. Don’t be anonymous cowards. Sign your stupid PDF statement and let the public know who’s in charge. Also, don’t let your dumb employees comment on the issue praising where she works and giving you a 5 star rating while pretending to be a regular person. Below is a screenshot of Szn Crd defending IPO and rating 5 stars. Thanks to 龍瀧幽歌‎ from Baybayin discussion group on FB. That’s free advice. No charge.


Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines steals Baybayin logo

Yes, you read that right. Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines stole their Baybayin logo. As you may know, I’ve gone through own issues with theft from Philippine companies. For the record, I contacted the agency for help but never got a response. My buddy Norman de los Santos goes through this several times a year as well with his fonts. This one issue is special because the agency that’s supposed to be the protectors of Intellectual Property in the Philippines stole a concept presented to them during the pitch phase! Design veterans know what I’m talking about. You have your pitch presentation and the client seems to like it then all of a sudden they used your ideas in the product. Very shady shit. So around 2011, John Leyson, who at that time was running the design agency, Liquid and Liquid pitched a redesign of the logo.


As you can see there’s quite a difference from the cluttered original version. Below is John’s explanation of the logo and you’ll see that they even copied the description.

From IPO

This type of blatant behavior coming from the very top is disturbing. It sets a precedence for other companies who’ve already been stealing artwork. This is not fair use or taking inspiration. How can the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines enforce IP laws when they’ve broken it themselves and refused to acknowledge it? John Leyson and team have tried to resolve the issue directly with them but the arrogance of the agency forced this issue to be public. We’ve called them out on their FB page but they just delete the comments. Stay tuned….

EVENT: Oakland Museum 8/21

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This Friday, 8/21, I’ll be with Ray of Malaya Designs and Joe of Bayani Art at “Friday Nights @ OMCA” 5–9 pm. We’ll be representing preFilipino culture with pendants, apparel, and artwork. Click here for more info.

Join OMCA and Off the Grid on 10th Street every Friday for a taste of local music, food, art, and culture! Savor California beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages around the Koi Pond at the Blue Oak beer garden. Enjoy half-price admission, live music, hands-on activities for kids, and extended OMCA Store hours. Bring the whole family to OMCA for a sampling of the best in Bay Area curbside cuisine!

What to expect on August 21:

5–9 pm: Half-off gallery admission for adults, free for ages 18 and under
5–9 pm: Local beer and wine specials in the Blue Oak beer garden
5–9 pm: All Museum galleries open late
5–9 pm: Gourmet food trucks from Off the Grid featuring the best in local cuisine: get the weekly list here
5–9 pm: Gardens open for family fun, with a special lawn bar by Blue Oak café and lawn games available for free with a photo ID
5–9 pm: New! Family-friendly Books & Blankets program available for free with a photo ID at the Level 2 ticketing desk
5–9 pm: OMCA Store pop-up in the Redwood Burl area
5–9 pm: Featured artists with ties to Pacific Island communities of California selling unique pieces, from sculpture to surf-inspired art and jewelry selling their wares in Redwood Burl area
5–6:30 pm: July resident DJ Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist spinning hits in the 10th Street Amphitheater
5–8 pm: Family-friendly drop-in art activity: make a bee antenna, inspired by the special exhibition Bees: Tiny Insect, Big Impact
6:30–7 pm: Hula dance demonstration with Kumu Mahealani Uchiyama of The Mahea Uchiyama Center for International Dance in the 10th Street Amphitheater
7–9 pm: Unique Polynesian music by Mahea Uchiyama in the 10th Street Amphitheater
7–7:30 pm: a pop-up talk, featuring artist Mark Thompson on our relationship to honeybees in the Natural Sciences Gallery

Cost: Half-price gallery admission for adults, ages 18 and under are free. Admission for Members is always free. Cash bar. Prices vary for Off the Grid food trucks.

Transportation: OMCA is located one block from the Lake Merritt BART Station. Event parking is available at the Museum for a $5 flat fee after 5 pm.

Presented in partnership with Off the Grid: Lake Merritt @ OMCA.  Friday Nights @ OMCA is made possible in part by generous support from Bank of America and the Koret Foundation. Friday Nights @ OMCA art programs are made possible by generous support from the Walter and Elise Haas Fund. Media support provided by East Bay Express.


EVENT: Baybayin in Hawaii

Baybayin Hawaii
Kamusta mga kaibigan!
It’s been a while since I’ve written to everyone. This summer has been pretty busy with a few events and filming of my documentary, Sulat ng Malansang Isda. Next month, I’ll be going to Hawaii to teach Baybayin for the first time! To make this event as awesome as can be, we’re raising some funds. Rewards for this campaign are exclusive Puso (heart) hats and shirts. My colleague, Ray Hagusan, has provided his hand-made Pangalapang necklaces. Check it out

FB invite: Baybayin sa Baybayin