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.
It’s great to see clothing with Baybayin on it especially in the Philippines. While checking out conversations about Baybayin on Twitter, I came across a photo of this dimply girl with a character chart shirt. The problem besides the obvious reference to Alibata, it shows non-standard characters such as Xa and Qa. The chart looks it was based on work by Ricardo Mendoza and Jayson Villaruz. I suspect that they just lazily Googled “Alibata chart” and went to images and spotted the as the 1st result and used it.
I’m all for the modernization but if the biggest Kultural store in the Philippines did in fact put this out, it’s irresponsible. Not just for the fact that they didn’t do enough research but it will lead to confusion for people starting out who may think that it’s a standard. If the shirt said modern “Alibata”, that would’ve been better. Stick with the basic 17 characters 1st as the foundation. I’ve received more than a few emails asking about X, Z, J and etc based on these modern charts.
Maybe they got the idea from Bench
Can anyone verify if this shirt is for sale at Kultura?
My domain Baybayin.org currently points to the Baybayin Facebook page, the biggest Baybayin online community with over 4,000 members. I want to develop Baybayin.org is a place to discuss script standards as defined by actual writers. In order for this to succeed, we will need a mixture of enthusiasts, artists, scholars, etc. Coming up with these standars would include case presentation, justification and defense. I assume this will need to be a democratic system.
The goal would be to brainstorm, discuss, document and define standards for all things Baybayin. Some deliverable examples could be a base character set, character order, kudlits, modern characters, etc. I do not think we should set goals on script names at this time. The focus should be on items that solve the problems that deliver actual value now.
I’m also looking for the community to share documents and other resources in order to provide historical context.
Please provide me with your feedback and if your interested in helping out