The Rizal Stone and the Hot Chick


Prediction: They will not be able to scientifically date the stone and will be left with a blah statement that it’s probably pre-colonial because of the old words and “primitive” nature of writing without kudlits. The statement will say that kudlits were probably not invented yet but have no hard facts why the resemble writing samples found in Spanish texts. It could be a simple coincidence or natural marks of. The stone will be place back on the mantle and will be declared an ancient artifact.

CASE CLOSED

Today, another linkbaiting article came out by our friends at GMA “Heated debate surrounds origin of recently found stone” by JM TUAZON

“An international debate has erupted over a stone slab recently found in Masbate engraved with ancient Tagalog writing after some overseas experts suggested that it may not be more than a century old. “

Expert Baybayin carver, Ray Haguisan said the other day that “This Baybayin Ticao Stone drama is almost as bad as passing a kidney stone.

Yes it is and I want to piss it out so that I can personally move on to other things like my mobile Baybayin translator app. However, some comments by Arnold M. Azurin in the article need to be responded to.

“It is too presumptuous to regard the kudlit-studded style of baybayin syllabary as the only authentic way. It oversimplifies the need or presence of such markings,” Azurin told GMA News Online via Facebook.

We can only presume this because that’s what we currently know about the script. That’s what is tought in Philippines schools via recycled material. When has Baybayin ever been written without kudlits? All the related predecesor abugida scripts I’ve seen have the virama (vowel cancellation) and kudlit. Where is that brand new information coming from? What book? What research paper? What documentary? How come I haven’t heard about this. I need to know to curb my strange obsession with the script.

He pointed out that some Mangyans knowledgeable in baybayin use dashes or underscoring etches, the group’s variant of inscribing which they have innovated over time.

Innovated overtime with the external help of Antoon Postma. If it had not been for his intervention and introduction of the pamudpod, the script would most likely have had gone the way of the ignored Tagbanwa and Buhid scripts.

“It is like using the Roman alphabet. One may inscribe it slanting or upright, all caps or lower case, or mixed with texting symbols,” he said.

Azurin is mixing up writing style with general “rules” of writing systems. If I write cat as CAT, cat or jejemons style cAt, or graffiti style they still spell cat. It would be different if I wrote CT. We can agree that CT isn’t cat.

 

Azurin went on to say that “knee-jerk conclusions… reek of arrogance to presume that there’s only one way of writing the baybayin.”

Nobody is coming to any conclusions. Azurin mistakes common and current knowledge as arrogance. Is it arrogant to think that 1+1=2 based on what we were taught since gradeschool? One can argue that it can also equal 11. Why not presume that Baybayin was written with kudlits when that’s what is currently taught in Philippine schools? When and where did Azurin get this idea that pre-colonial Baybayin was written without kudlits? Was it just recently as a response to “critics” or was it hidden in a stack of papers? Why wasn’t this idea brought to light a long tim ago to correct school material?

“If we can decode it and it would appear to convey that Lapu-Lapu was buried beneath it, that would be a good lead as to its historic significance or provenance,” he said.”

This seems like he’s reaching to find the next LCI or Manunggul Jar. Again, too early to speculate? It’s only opinions. If we see an unidentified object crash to the earth, we as curious beings guess what it is. It’s human nature. Is it too early to speculate what features the iPhone 5 will have? Nope, it’s not a big deal. The question is, why don’t they want the Baybayin community to speculate?

Real or not, the “Rizal Stone” has flushed out some longstanding issues and they are not necessarily Baybayin or even Filipino related.


1) Pinoy vs Foreign
As mention in my last post

2) Digital divide
I come from a generation spoiled with technology. I’m want information now. The frustration from the Baybayin community is that they are also used to getting information instantly. If it’s not found on Google, it DOES NOT EXIST for them. Is that fair? No, but it’s reality. We expect the professors to act fast, document what exactly is being done, who’s doing it, with times/dates, photos, Youtube videos with Twitter and Facebook updates so that I can read about it on my iPhone. Is it fair for the professors? No way but that is the world my generation lives in. We don’t like to rely on others but in this case, we must. The professors are in an offline world while we are hooked-up 24/7.

2) Traditional academia vs crowdsourced education
This issue reminds me of this time when I was living in Manila and was helping my friend work out. I was giving her suggested exercises and spotting her. I knew what I was doing because I took physical therapy courses and worked out a lot. One day, the resident muscle head pulled me aside tells me that I shouldn’t be training her because I’m not certified like he was. I was pissed and thought, what an ass. I didn’t stop helping my friend but though about his intentions. It was either 1) He was jealous because my friend was hot or 2) He sincerely didn’t want to see her get hurt.

I think it was #1 because he never pulled anyone else aside to tell them to stop but # 2 is valid also.

This scenario reminds me of the professors and the Baybayin stone. Why do they want us (me) to stop speculating or talking about the stone? Who would get hurt if we continue?

Who’s the hot chick that might get hurt?

General public?
– Nah, they really don’t care about Baybayin

Baybayin community?
– Nope, most are skeptics

Students?
– Maybe but most just care about is passing the “Alibata” exam

People of Ticao who enshrined the stone like in an Indiana Jones movie?
– Perhaps as they might loose some tourism money or a sense of pride

I think the hot chick is the professor’s reputation

They have a lot to lose while I really don’t. If I’m wrong, it doesn’t hurt me because I already called out that I want to be wrong and that it’s PROBABLY modern. If it turns out the Rizal Stone is “ancient”, I continiue my day job as a web analyst, launch my school, mobile application, documentary, writing another book and run my Baybayin consulting and art business.

If the stone turns out to be “modern”, a lot of questions will arise that they have to answer.

I keep reading quotes about us “Not helping” because of long distance speculations. Then tell us what we can do to help. The community I run is the the go to place to find actual writers of the script. There you will find artists, fans, amateurs, scholars, practitioners and everyone in between. Post a question for an opinion and you will get honest answers. The truth is that they don’t want our help because they are used to this type of investigative work and have done it numerous times. It’s their job. Would you want someone you don’t even know to meddle in your job? Probably not. They just want us to shut the hell up and let them work. Bottom-line is that they don’t want anyone to speculate who’s not a professor. I respect that but it’s not the world we live in. The new way is though transparent collaboration and constant iterations.

I don’t think they anticipated the loud voices of the Baybayin community or even knew it existed.

The Philippine educational system has failed to teach Baybayin properly and without context. Where are the books? I’ll answer my own questions. It’s because Baybayin in the Philippine context DOES NOT MATTER because of bigger issues such as poverty. Baybayin only becomes relevant when the media grabs hold of a story like the Baybayin on the new peso bills or this Rizal Stone.

Why didn’t any anyone in the Philippines call out the irony that a non-Filipino created the fonts for the new bills? It’s because they simple don’t know or don’t care…..and there’s NOTHING wrong with that.

My issue is why all of a sudden these professors care about Baybayin when they have not contributed anything significant to the Baybayin community? If they have, where is it? the output is really lacking. Some typed dissertation sitting on a bookshelf? Get that out there in the open. Publish it please. Why are we doing your jobs?

Why did Paul and Norman have to create all these fonts?
Why does Ray spend his own money to teach hundreds of people every year at Filipino festivals?
Why is Baybayin Buhayin the leaders of promoting Baybayin in the Philippines?
Why did I have to create an online “translator”?
Why did I have to write An Introduction to Baybayin?
What about the team over at Bahay Nakpil?

The community has done a lot, yet our work is dismissed by academia.

Enough of my ranting, what does Kris Aquino have to say about the Rizal Stone?

7 thoughts on “The Rizal Stone and the Hot Chick

  1. WOW… there’s a lot of really stubborn bullheaded posturing going on with these professors. I have to remark on a few of the things you did:- “It is too presumptuous to regard the kudlit-studded style of baybayin syllabary as the only authentic way. It oversimplifies the need or presence of such markings,”PRESUMPTUOUS? Dear god, if I were more excitable, I’d be on the floor. CLEARLY this man has no idea of how any of the Indic scripts work. These are by far the most STABLE scripts as to how they function, and even the most simple still living scripts further east make use of the vowel diacritics. If they have them, the virama/halant (and by the way, Christian, the virama/halant refers to just the vowel killer, not the vowel marks, unless I’ve misunderstood you). The whole use of vowel marks has been used in Indic scripts since Brahmi. ANYONE who’s even read about the other Indic scripts on Omniglot or Ancient Scripts would know that if it does not use vowel marks, it is NOT an Indic script and none of the daughter scripts work that way (as far as I am aware)- “It is like using the Roman alphabet. One may inscribe it slanting or upright, all caps or lower case, or mixed with texting symbols,” he said.NO. WRONG. What a terrible analogy. We’re talking about function of Baybayin and related scrpts, not script style or additional characters. – “Azurin went on to say that “knee-jerk conclusions… reek of arrogance to presume that there’s only one way of writing the baybayin.”Right, okay. Clearly this man has wedged his foot so far into his mouth that he feels the need to dig his hole deeper and deeper. Keep talking, Azurin, you’re hacking away at any shred of credibility you have left. It’s pretty clear by now that this man feels like an enormous fool and keeps back pedaling in order to save his reputation. He needs to get real with himself and realize that he’s said a lot of very wrong things. Give it up Azurin, you’re not helping this situation either. 

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