EVENT: Union Square – San Francisco 8/26 2-4PM

On Sunday August 26 from 2-4PM, I’ll be doing live Baybayin art at the world famous Union Square in downtown San Francisco.

Brought to you by Kularts

The Skyflakes, an indie band based in Milpitas, are often lovingly described as ‘cute and bubbly’ or ‘sweet and sugary.’ But underneath the indie rock swirls and cuddly pop hooks are sharp lyrics about putting bullets into yourself, dropping acid, talking shit about co-workers, and meatheads with body image problems. Composed largely of family members, the band is musically and familialy “tight” – with well-crafted electro-garage-pop melodies, hooks, and harmonies.

Dirty Boots is a multi-instrumentalist band focused on vocal harmonies and dynamic song-writing. Members James Dumlao (Drums), and Rachel Lastimosa (Bass/Piano) met each other through a vocal-jazz ensemble in college. Their unique sound combines jazz, hip-hop, indie, and soul influences. Dirty Boots released their self-titled, debut EP in May 2009. In 2011, Dirty Boots served as the house band of the monthly open-mic, In Progress, @ Mama Art Cafe in San Francisco, CA. Their first Full Length Album “Where We Go” was released September 2011.

Cassandra Farrar + The Left Brains is a fusion of folk/pop/rock sounds. With fun, quirky, and upbeat tunes, Cassandra Farrar and her Left Brains bring a variety of relatable and honest music to the table, with unique vocals and catchy hooks to get stuck inside your brain. Born and raised in SF, Cassandra has been writing songs since the 7th grade. Shortly after her high school years, Cassandra met Chris Mayrena of Hyper Raje Records. There, along with Dave Demuth, they began collaboration on her 2nd CD and the final teaming of her band mates the Left Brains, came together. Cassandra Farrar+ the Left Brains are proud to release their debut CD as a band, “Hello My Name Is…”

Join us for live mandala chalk art with talented artists: muralist/painter Paolo Salazar and Baybayin artist Christian Cabuay – grab a piece of chalk and add your own color to Union Square!

Shogun vs Vera – UFC on FOX: An important day for Baybayin

Today is is an important day for Baybayin. Why? Because one of the most visible people with Baybayin tattoos will be on the main UFC event tonight. Ever since Brandon Vera made is UFC debut, people have been curious as to what his tattoos mean. I won’t go in to that in this post but you can read about it here and here.

During the pre-fight feature, Brandon Vera’s wife specifically mentions “Filipino Culture” in her interview. The world knows that he’s Filipino and his tattoos are of Filipino origin. When his photo showed on the big screen at the LA Staples Center, it had his Baybayin script as his background. That is a big deal!

Even though Vera ultimately lost, the world wide spotlight he brought to Filipinos and Baybayin was unprecedented.

 

Interview with Victor Quimson from Eagles Corner

Here’s a short interview I did with Victor Quimson from Eagles Corner. He’s the man that created one of the 1st online Baybayin translators.

Christian – What is your Baybayin story? How did you 1st come across it?

Victor – I first learned about Baybayin from history class back in high school. The late Teodoro Agoncillo wrote about it in his book “History of the Filipino People” and included pictures of the symbols. I was quite amazed to learn that the early Filipinos had their own system of writing.

Christian – Your Baybayin translator has helped so many learn the script quickly and fairly accurately. What inspired you to create the tool and what were some of the challenges?

Victor – I had just taken a Perl programming class and was looking for an interesting project to work on so I can practice web programming. At around the same time, my interest in Baybayin was reborn after seeing the Baybayin pendants being created by Ray Haguisan of Malaya Designs (www.malayadesigns.net). It was a natural fit. Thanks to Hector Santos’ website, I decided to read more on how Baybayin is properly written. From there the Baybayin translator was born. I’m still amazed at how often it’s used.

It turns out that it wasn’t too difficult to do. There really weren’t any challenges. Baybayin isn’t difficult to learn, so writing the code for it was fairly easy.

Christian – Do you plan to release an updated version?

Victor – It’s been almost 10 years since I created the site, and I’ve barely touched it since. I had been toying with the idea of writing either a Facebook or iPhone app, but my time is limited nowadays.

Christian – Regarding your disclaimer, has anyone comeback advising of a messed up tattoo based on the output of your translator? I’ve come across people who9 think they could enter “Sister” and receive a translation.

Victor – I haven’t heard from anyone who had a messed up tattoo. Every now and then I come across people with tattoos with symbols that seem to have been copied from my site, and once in a while I’d find tattoos with really bad translations.

I added that disclaimer after I realized that people have been using them for tatoos. Except for a few special cases, I’m pretty confident in my translator’s accuracy in translating original Tagalog words (not words borrowed from Spanish or English), however; I can’t control what the user types in.

I still get a few requests for translations for tatoos every week, but I rarely answer them. Most of the questions I get could be easily answered by going to the “tips” page or through any other Baybayin website. My belief is that if you really want a tatoo that represents your culture, then you should take the time to learn more about it. Baybayin is so simple that one can learn it in a few hours. I’ve heard from some people that other sites charge up to $25 for translations. I’m thinking of doing the same, but I’ll send the money to one of the charities I support back home.

Christian – Does your program log any statistics? It would be interesting to see what the % breakdown would be for Original vs Spanish modified. What do you think people are using?

Victor – I don’t keep any statistics other than the number of words that have been translated. I would prefer that people would use the original version more than the modified one, of course that’s not entirely realistic.

Pnoy Apparel: Jose Rizal Baybayin shirt

One of my favorite Filipino American shirt companies just released their spring/summer collection around the theme of “No History, No Self”. The standout design is a skull version of the iconic Jose Rizal image with a unique Baybayin style saying “Walang kasaysayan Walang Sarili” literally translating to “No History No Self” in Tagalog. What’s also interesting is the usage of the X as the kudlit for the Da/Ra and La characters for the word Sarili. At 1st glance, one may confuse it as vowel cancellations (Virama) for the word above. What are your thoughts on this technique?

Here’s a description from their website:

Every where you look we are presented with sun and stars, Filipino this, Filipino that, and every variation of Pacman you can think on a tee as “Pinoy Pride”. No substance, no history. The lack of accessible Philippine curriculum in schools, studies, and products inspired our “Death of Philippine education” theme for our S/S collection. We took an iconic Philippine image in Jose Rizal, but with a skull. Babayin/alibata (first written script of the Philippines) in our own handwritten script font translated “No History, No Self”.

Visit Pnoy Apparel

Baybayin with no Baybayin

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I’m releasing a new hat to follow my collaboration with WIPCaps from Manila. This time it will be a sample black on black with white outlining that simply says BAYBAYIN. Plain and simple but with no Baybayin on it. My reason for this is to promote Baybayin without showing it. I could’ve easily had the text in the script but the goal of this piece is to get an inquiry from someone as to what Baybayin is. If I had the script, it would be obviously foreign to most people and intimidating as well. Using a writing system and language familiar breaks down that wall and can lead to conversation. I’ve had the hat only for 1/2 a day and had 2 inquiries already from strangers. A cashier and someone on the train. This is a similar strategy I’m using when I launch Baybayin School.

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr as to when this will be released.

GMA's Philippine Treasures

GMA should win a cultural award for their promotion of Baybayin this year. This past Sunday Sept 11, GMA aired they much hyped Philippine Treasures special. In one of the segments, they featured…..you guessed it! The rock you love to hate, The Ticao Stone, AKA Rizal Stone, AKA the rock that may have buried Lapu Lapu (yes, that’s a real quote), AKA the Dremel Stone and AKA (insert your own).

Why was there so much emphasis on the Ticao Stone when it hasn’t even been proven an artifact? I get why but it’s an insult to the Golden Tara.

Besides the unproven Ticao artifact, they briefly showed the Laguna Copper Plate, Calatagan Pot and various Hanunóo and Tagbanwa scripts.

Overall it was pretty good and worth watching.

My favorite part was seeing the ex-long “distance speculator”, Christopher Miller checking out the rock.

Watch the Baybayin segment while you can