Abakadang Rizaleo


I first heard about this modern version of Baybayin in 2008 from my friend Ray Haguisan who showed me a photocopy of one of the pages he got from someone at a Filipino Festival. The book Aklat sanayan ng abakadang Rizaleo (1994) by Marius V Diaz. Since then, I’ve been been looking for a copy of the whole book. While filming my documentary, Sulat ng Malansang Isda (Writing of the Stinky Fish) in Manila in 2012, I learned that there should be a copy at the National Library. In order to visit the Filipiana room, I needed a library card. One of the requirements to register for a card is a 1×1 photo. I walked out the building and searched for the 1st photo booth that I found at the “Seafarers Center”, the epicenter for the Philippine maritime industry. I got in line with applying seamen to get a photo taken. The line was going fast and guys were just putting on the white uniform and grabbing their necessary epaulet. When it was my turn I didn’t feel like explaining my situation so I put on the uniform and picked my shoulder strap. I didn’t want to pick something the previous guys got in case they question me so I randomly picked one. Turned out to be for an engineer. There’s much more to the story but I’ll save it for another time. Basically, it was an ordeal to find it.


The book itself is 50 pages and starts off with a short introduction then workbook style pages on how to write the strokes.


Also in the book are different styles of the script


It ends with a story about Jose Rizal


While the script is based on Baybayin, it was heavily modified with extra characters like TH-X-Z. The way its written is like an alphabet rather than an alpha-syllabary as seen in the example below.


In Mount Bahahaw, there are some signs written in the script by Rizalistas. Check out Philippine based photographer, Sydney Snoeck’s website for more photographs.

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

Proposed Baybayin banknote in the news a year later

A proposed banknote with Baybayin featured on here on Baybayin.com way back in April and July 2011 has come back to life thanks to people spreading it online via Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter.

News outlets have just picked up and even prompted the BSP to publicly state:

“The BSP has never issued nor is planning to issue such type of a banknote. Therefore, any 150-piso commemorative note or similar banknote is fictitious,” it said.

The public is advised to report individuals who are passing these P150 fictitious notes to the police or the Investigatove Division, Cash Department, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in Quezon City. The BSP can be contacted at 926-5092 and 929-7071 local 618 or via e-mail bspmail@bsp.gov.ph.

Another win for Baybayin but it’s unfortunate that none of the media was able to find out that it was only a proposed design that Malaya Business Insight wrote about in January 2010.

There is a proposal submitted to the Governor of the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas for a 150-peso bill carrying the portrait of Jose Rizal as the central feature in the front portion. The intent is to promote the 150th birth anniversary of the Philippine national hero.

Spend more than a 10 minutes doing research online and they would’ve been able to find this out.

Pistahan recap – Live Art, Jose Rizal, Baybayin School and toys!

Once again, Malaya Designs and Baybayin.com promoted Baybayin for 2 days during the Pistahan festival in San Francisco.

Great weekend for us and the Filipino community. We held the 1st Filipino themed custom toy show in the US (I believe), did multimedia presentations on Jose Rizal’s Baybayin hardwriting, Baybayin School module presentation, Ray was burning bamboo live, painting, scribbling and good ‘ole conversations.

Also as usual, FREE “translations” galore

The new Jose Rizal bill?

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jose rizal 150 baybayin.com

An interesting article came out 1/20/11 on the Malaya Business Insight website about a proposed P150 Jose Rizal bill to celebrate his 150th birthday.

There is a proposal submitted to the Governor of the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas for a 150-peso bill carrying the portrait of Jose Rizal as the central feature in the front portion. The intent is to promote the 150th birth anniversary of the Philippine national hero.

The photo above has some interesting elements like the Angono Petroglyphs featuring the theory of Baybayin numerals. Also featured is the Taklobo and “Republika ng Pilipinas” in modified/modern Baybayin. What do you think?