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.

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The roots of Alibata on the internet

Why are there so many crappy post about  Alibata on the internet? 2 words: SEO Philippines. SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines. – Wikipedia

In 2007, there was a contest to see who could get their website to rank the highest in search engine page results if someone searched for Alibata. This resulted many posts with duplicate content that didn’t provide much context.

“I think at that time I was going with the bayanihan flavor, so the contest keyword had to be definitely Filipino with a low SERP footprint. I wanted to indirectly help put focus also on the subject.” Marc Hil Macalua of SEO Philippines

While the spirit of the contest was good, most of the authors didn’t care about educating the public on the script and frankly don’t know much of it. These websites were abandoned right after the contest was over but the damage was done. If you search for Alibata, these sites still come up.

Here’s a sample post entry that polluted the internet around 2007-2008.

http://philippinesparadise.blogspot.com/2007/12/alibata-2nd-contest-keyword.html
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A post about the mechanics of the contest
http://elmersparadise.blogspot.com/2008/02/final-post-for-alibata.html
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Here’s another example with a bit more detail. Mostly copy and pasted info from Wikipedia. Notice the category “SEO Contest”. 
http://www.shawie.com/2007/12/16/alibata-ancient-philippine-writing-system/

Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 3.52.43 PMBecause this post showed up high in search engine results and has more content compared to the others, people started asking for assistance and commenting. Nowhere else on his website does he write about the script. People don’t see a response and try to figure it out themselves leading to errors.

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Baybayin Summit 2015 – Philippines

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