Baybayin Summit 2015 – Philippines

I’m going to try and make it to this! April 9-11 2015, Pangasinan, Philippines

Baybayin art based on your ability to pay

art

 

I’m experimenting with different pricing structures based on your ability to pay for my 8″x10″ custom Baybayin artwork on watercolor paper. The way it works is that there will be 3 different price levels.

$49.99 – Consider paying at the highest level of a Supporter if one or more of the following is true:

  • You got a good job with great benefits and paid way more than the average person
  • Taking a international vacation wouldn’t be big deal to you
  • You bought a car that’s worth a year or more of tuition at a prestigious university

$39.99 – The Mid-level is probably right for you if one or more of the following is true:

  • You can buy organic carrots without comparing the price to non-organic
  • Don’t need to look at prices before entering a new restaurant
  • Spending $80 on a Friday night out doesn’t phase you

$29.99 – The base level is appropriate for you if any of the following are true:

  • You live paycheck to paycheck
  • You have a considerable amount of debt
  • You have multiple jobs

Interested in a unique gift for the holiday season? Check it out at my online shop at BaybayinShop.com

Finally! Alibata may soon be dead….sort of

alibata

Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (Commission of Filipino Language) posted this viral image on their educational FB page Wikapedia. Basically, it says that Alibata isn’t true. It was invented by a teacher who thought it came from the Arabs. Baybayin is the native alphabet of the country. The root is Baybay meaning spelling. It’s ours and not borrowed.

There’s a few issues with image:
1) Hindi totoo ang Alibata (Alibata isn’t true) is a bit weird and misleading because it’s vague. What’s not true? Alibata the word or the writing? Why isn’t it true?
2) Bata isn’t the 2nd character. It’s Ba
3) Baybayin isn’t an alphabet but an alphasyllabary (Abugida)
4) Hindi hiniram (not borrowed) is weird wording as well. Baybayin along with most of South East Asian scripts have roots in India. Is that considered borrowed? Are they insinuating that Baybayin was 100% created in the Philippines without any outside influence?

Virgilio S. Almario, of KWF wrote a blog post with additional details (some incorrect) about why it’s not Alibata along with challenges in changing all the textbooks. What was interesting was that he also mentioned that mass media is also a reason why Alibata spread. The root of that is that they learned it in school through incorrect textbooks.

At the end of the day, if it’s called Alibata, Baybayin or Super Pinoy Power Writing, they haven’t provided any value other than a sense of “cultural pride” to students who want to be lawyers, entertainers or call center agents. It unfortunately is all about economics. That’s the challenge for any endangered writing system/language in the so-called Philippines, Indonesia, Malayasia, etc. So what if DeafEd changes Alibata to Baybayin in textbooks? Will there be new surrounding content to give proper historical, cultural and modern context? What is their value proposition other than passing a test, writing the national anthem and feeling good about yourself for a couple days? Rather than sensationalizing the ancientness of Baybayin and unproven stones, the government should be more focus on living scripts such Surat Mangyan, Kulitan, and save Surat Buhid and Tagbanwa from really becoming extinct.

As expected, there was an ocean of comments about this ranging from stupid, interesting and weird…

Photo Oct 24, 7 01 24 AM Photo Oct 24, 7 00 47 AM Photo Oct 24, 6 59 34 AM Photo Oct 24, 6 58 44 AM Photo Oct 24, 6 59 11 AM Photo Oct 24, 6 57 56 AM Photo Oct 24, 6 57 31 AM Photo Oct 24, 6 56 48 AM Photo Oct 24, 6 55 56 AM Photo Oct 24, 6 55 42 AM

The legacy of Hector Santos & Bayani Mendoza de Leon

Hector Santos

We lost one of the pioneers of Baybayin the other month. Hector Santos passed away July 30, 2014. Hector along with Paul Morrow were one of the firsts to publish legit information about prePhilippine scripts on the internet back in the mid-90’s. I remember the first time I came across Hector’s website. I was living in the Philippines going to school when the internet came out. I used to buy these month old reggae magazines and started to see websites advertised. I wrote all these down and once we got the internet, I looked them all up. I then came across the Yahoo search engine and searched for things like Filipino History, hip hop, buddhism, and the Philippine script. I was surprised to come across “A Philippine Leaf” by Hector. Blew my mind. I didn’t find any of this info in books for years. This kickstarted my deep interest in prePhilippine culture. At that time, he used to have fonts that were on floppy discs for sale. By the time I was able to order them in the US, he advised me that they were sold out and not sure if he would be making another batch. I’ve bugged him about once a year for an interview either in person (he lived in LA) or via email. Never heard from him. Because his website is so invaluable and we don’t know how long it will last, I’ve downloaded the contents and mirrored them at www.bibingka.baybayin.com. Here’s a direct link to his bio.

Bayani Mendoza de Leon past away about a year ago and I actually just heard about his death a few months ago while doing a google search. My first exposure to Bayani was his book, Baybayin, the Ancient Script of the Philippines: A Concise Manual in the 90’s I purchased at a festival. It was the first time I thought about modern ways to write the script. This then lead me to look at his resources and even finding a copy of his uncle’s book, from 1972  “Pinadaling Pag-aaral ng Katutubong Abakadang Pilipino by Ricardo Mendoza. Unlike Hector, Bayani was very open to being interviewed. We exchanged several long emails that culminated in what it looks like is his only interview about Baybayin that can be read here. Too bad I didn’t have the opportunity to go down to San Diego to interview him for my upcoming documentary.

EVENT: Festival of Philippine Art & Culture – LA Oct 4-5

FPAC

This weekend I’ll be back in LA for the annual FPAC event. Visit the art pavilion where I’ll be doing live art and running #Baybayin workshops with the boys Ray Haguisan, Norman de los Santos & Robert J Sison. You can also get a copy of my Kulay coloring book at a discounted price. Not in LA? You got less than a day to pre-order at a discounted price at Kickstarter. See FilamArts.org for info about the festival.