What Is Baybayin?

Did you know the Philippines have their own writing system before? It's called Baybayin, also erroneously referred to as Alibata. It is an ancient script derived from Brahmic scripts of India and is widely used until the late 19th century.

Baybayin is a syllabary composed of 17 basic characters. A syllabary is a set of written characters that represent syllables and is used to write a given language. See all the Baybayin symbols at Quimson.Net.

It's a shame that it is no longer popular and few Filipinos are even aware of it. Despite this sad reality, the letterforms are alive to some degree. In fact, it is inscribed in University of Philippine's graduation attire, the sablay and if you look closely at the front of any peso bill, there are symbols on top of the number, it means "Pilipino". Personally, I think the letters would make a beautiful tattoo.

There are two proposed bills that seek to promote the use of this ancient writing system. One is the Baybayin Act of 2013, which is the Senate version and the National Script Act of 2011 of Congress. However, both bills are pending as of today.

Together, the two bills aim to declare Baybayin as the national script of the Philippines. It also mandates all businesses and government agencies to use equivalent translations under their logos. When approved, all primary and secondary schools are required to teach it. The system being promoted is a modernized version of Baybayin which integrates the other commonalities from various indigenous writings throughout the country. The bills, if approved will further cement the Filipino identity.

Meanwhile, let's learn how to write these beautiful letterforms. Quimson.Net has a nifty tool that tranlates original Tagalog to Baybayin. It's fun to use. The resulting characters are in GIF image format.

To get updated on matters about Baybayin head on to BaybayinAlive.

Popular posts from this blog

Best Way Of Tipping The Web

Best Free Online Image Editing Tools

Best Free Website Monitoring Services