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….

Meet Chichimonster

Finally had the opportunity to meet and interview a dude I’ve been following on IG for a while. I like his style as we have similar influences and backgrounds in destruction of private property :)

Emerging from Manila, Archie Geotina also known as Chichimonster, is a multi-disciplinary artist with roots heavily seeded in the street and graffiti culture of the Philippines. Archie’s influence is not “street” in the traditional sense—it is the culmination of growing up in a raw setting filled with colonial influence, extreme social disparity, and religious undertones. It is the vibration of the developing world, with rich insight on how new political power operates in this modern world. His art depicts the irony and the truth of being in an environment that nurtures luxury and poverty at the same time. He co-founded the graffiti crew Katipunan Street Plan (KST) in 2006, which marked the beginning of his evolution from the traditional graffiti to creating his own unique style. Combined with a stream of consciousness process that taps into the countries historical references, he bases his graffiti lettering on the lost Philippine alphabet, the Alibata. His style is also inspired by the multitude of local cultures within the Philippine islands. From murals to portraits, Archie mixes different materials of acrylic paint, spray paint, ink, resin, and wheat paste to create his pieces. He has also used fire extinguishers in his mixed media pieces. His art has led him to work in Manila, Baguio, Cebu, Bacolod, Los Angeles, and New York.

In my 1 hour interview with him for my documentary, Sulat ng Malansang Isda, we talked about everything from art, business, old vs new and of course Baybayin. Lookout for a future event with Philippines based Baybayin artists. If you’re in Manila, check out his upcoming solo show April 16 at A Space Gallery in Makati.

chichi monster

EVENT: The Manila Collectible co 3/29 in the Philippines

kristian kabuay baybayin

I’ll be in the Philippines 3/29 at the Manila Collectible co

Right after our final tour of The Manila Collectible Co., you’ll get to meet Kristian Kabuay in his live Calligraphy and Baybayin Exhibit! Can’t wait to see everyone there!

Free Entrance. 3rd Floor Villa Blanca Bldg. (behind Manila Cathedral), Cabildo cor. Beaterio Sts., Intramuros, Manila.

Team Manila goes Baybayin

One of the Philippines most popular brands, Team Manila, releases a Baybayin collection. I remember living next to these guys back in the day in Ortigas. Now look where the brand is! They’ve got stores all over the country and brought a sense of “Streetwear” to the Philippine masses. In their Baybayin Collection, they use the script as a pattern rather than words. Maybe in order to avoid mistakes? Notice the use of the diacritic markers similar to Arabic calligraphy. Props to Team Manila! This is great for the promotion of prePhilippine scripts. At least they used their own original artwork rather than ripping of artists like Walker Underwear.




Baybayin Summit 2015 – Philippines

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