Android mobile translator application now available.

My Baybayin mobile application is now available in the Android Marketplace

★ ★ ★ LAUNCH SALE! ONLY 99 CENTS!  OVER 50% OFF REGULAR PRICE ★ ★ ★

This is a limited time sale

“Nothing beats personal interaction with an actual practitioner, but this app is the best digital primer to learn Baybayin.” – Ray Haguisan, Founder – Malaya Designs

———– ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ———–
VERSION 1.0 FEATURES
✔ Baybayin characters display automatically when you start typing
✔ Quickly switch from Traditional and Modern methods.
✔ Turn on a guide to display Roman characters
✔ Instant error messaging if you type an unsupported character
✔ Learn the basics of the script with the usage guide and chart
✔ Comes with a list of common male and female names in Baybayin
———– ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ———–
Planned in future releases
✔ Post to Facebook & Twitter
✔ A list of common Filipino last names in Baybayin
✔ Video tutorials
✔ Incorporation of BaybayinSchool.com
✔ Much more!

*Please note that this is not a language translator.
**Please send all support and feature requests to support@baybayin.com or visit the forum at www.baybayin.org

More info at BaybayinApp.com

Economics and Baybayin

I responded to a post on the Baybayin Facebook page the other day that revolved around the topic of why some of us charge for our Baybayin work. This has come up more than a few times over the years but with the recent renewed interest of Baybayin in the Philippines it’s time to clarify.

The Baybayin economy is very small and there are only a few of us sucessfully monitizing it. I’m going to tell my story but I’m pretty sure it will echo those of my colegues.

When I 1st got a Baybayin tattoo, I wanted to find a site online to post it. I didn’t find one, so I created PinoyTattoos.com. People complemented the tattoo and asked what it meant. When I broke it down, they started to ask for my help in doing translations. I remember the 1st time I saw my handwriting on someone’s skin; it blew me away. I wanted more, so I offered FREE translation consulting and artwork publicly to see what the demand would be as an experiment. Within 2 months, I got overwhelmed with the requests. Keep in mind I had a fulltime job at the time. After seeing the demand, I got into business charging a minimal rate of $5 per word. After a year, that started to take up a lot time. I then decided to double my rates to see if it could even out. If I lost 1/2 my customers, I would still be making the same amound with time to spare. The customers did not drop and I was the owner of a profitable little side business. I used the money to pay bills, eat out and reinvest in the Filipino community by creating FREE resources like Baybayin.com and traveling around the San Francisco area teaching the script. Booths at these festivals cost $200-$500. I would be lucky if I broke even selling my artwork. There would be some days I would loose $100 plus gas, food and parking. It didn’t really matter be because I was making a little though my online Baybayin services. If I didn’t make some money, I wouldn’t be able to do all of these things. There would be no PinoyTattoos.com, Baybayin.com, book, documentary, mobile application and FREE consultations. All of these projects have a cost associated to them running in the thousands.

Here’s a partial list of my reoccuring expenses to run my Baybayin business

  • Web hosting
  • Domains
  • Ecomerce service
  • Support system
  • Mailing list service
  • Part-time assistant

That doesn’t even include a new computers, hardware, software, contractors, cellphone and internet services. Don’t forget about travel and food expenses for events.

As you can see, it’s a lot. People often ask me how am I able to do all of these projects with the cost and time involved. It’s because of a healthy Baybayin business. Without it, FREE resources would cease to exist.

A perfect example is David Lazaro of the Bathala Project. This dude would spend hours and hours creating videos spreading Baybayin. He recently finished a course in graphic design and is now a freelance designer. Because of that, his blog and videos have pretty much stopped. Why? I haven’t talked to him about this but common sense would tell me that he needs to make a living. Baybayin will not pay the bills. If he was making $4K a month off Baybayin, would he still be doing it? Probably. Who can blame him for putting his Baybayin projects on hold? Nobody can and because of the the reality of life that everyone has to deal with. We have lost (for the time being) a good contributor to our growing community.

I appreciate people who are advocating the use of Baybayin in everyday life but the resistance will always be the external factor of money, especially in the Philippines. How will learning this dead script put money in my pocket tomorrow? That’s why students in the Philippines hate it. Look at Twitter and all you see is people bitching about having to learn this stupid “Alibata“. For the most part, you don’t go to school to get cultured or practice social skills. You go to hopefully learn to use your inherit talent or learn a new trade to make a living.

One of the reasons Baybayin dissapreared was due to economic factors. It simply wasn’t in demand and still isn’t. However, with the use of technology, right marketing and a little hustling – Baybayin can be brought back and be viable. In order for Baybayin to become mainstream, people must be able to make money with it as a skill. I’m not talking part time doing 3-5 translations a week or the occasional tshirt sale, I’m talking about 40-80 hours of work. That’s the goal. Create products, art and services that are so compelling and new that the market will take notice.

While it might be a turn-off and I may seem like a capitalistic Amboy that I always walk about money and Baybayin, it’s because I want to do this full-time.

Baybayin Translator mobile Android application video demo


I’m about to release my Baybayin Translator app for Android mobile phones and tablets. In this demo, I show how the translator works. The app supports traditional and modified Baybayin and has a guide you can shut on/off. What’s cool is that when switching from traditional to modified, you don’t have to retype your word. I was going to figure out how to do this in a future release but decided to push it back until I figured it out.

Want to be notified when it comes out? Head over to BaybayinApp.com and get on the notification list. Not only will you be notified 1st (even before Facebook and Twitter), there will be a surprise.

Have an idea or feature request? Log it here

For iPhone users, I’m waiting for iOS 5 to come out. ETA is September/October.

Itinaga sa Bato – GMA iWitness


Baybayin was again featured in GMA’s iWitness with Howie Severino featuring the controversial Ticao Stone  aka Rizal Stone. You may remember that a stone was found with Baybayin carved on it. I 1st posted this back in June asking opinions if the stone is real or not.

GMA news is reporting that a stone was found in Masbate with Baybayin. If it turns out to be real, it will be the 1st artifact that clearly has our writing system on it.

Since then, there’s been a lot of back and forth dialog leading to a conference in Masbate on Aug5-6.

Check out the whole episode that aired last night.

The interesting part is when Howie visited the Amaya set and asked Vic Villan, a history professor from UP, if there was a connection with Baybayin and the designs we used on furniture. Check it out at 5:12

It was a good exposure for Baybayin but as you can tell by the teachers who attended a talk, there is some hesitance. After watching it, I wanted more. There needs to be a follow-up. What do you think?