The Fundamentals of Baybayin

Fellow Baybayin artist David Lazaro writes about the “Fundamentals of Baybayin” on

The ability to read and to write is the mark of any civilization.  Thus, it should be no surprise that Spanish accounts reveal that when they first landed on the shores of the Philippine islands, the people of the land were already reading and writing to each other through their own script. The accounts even estimate that the native people of the Philippines may have been writing this script for over a century prior to the first Spanish steps on the beaches of Homonhon made by Magellan himself.  This script that seemingly every local was literate in including women and children was found to be called Baybayin.

Check it out

My Baybayin signature

I was having a conversation with Ray of about how we use Baybayin instead of our western signature. It got me thinking how one would go about “legally” changing your signature if needed. The list of signature major updates would be banks, credit cards, drivers license and passport. The tough part when writing your signature in Baybayin is doing it fast in a cursive way and not picking up the pen.

Cursive style

You could actually do away with the kudlits as it’s not meant to have all the characters just like when you sign your name with the Roman alphabet.

Writing each character would be equivalent to printing each character when signing in the Roman alphabet.

EVENT: Santa Clara University Fiesta 10/10

I’ll be at Santa Clara University’s Barrio Fiesta 2009 providing FREE Baybayin translations and consultations. Drop by check out my artwork and book.

Saturday, October 10, 2009
11:00am – 6:00pm
SCU’s Graham Lawn
The Lawn next to Graham adjacent to the Alameda
Santa Clara, CA

This is Barkada’s first event of the year! It is a great way to just enjoy great food and great performances with the friends and members of Barkada while raising money for the survivors and members of the Filipino community after Tyhpoon Ketsana (Ondoy).

About a week ago, Typhoon Ketsana (known in the Phillippines as “Ondoy”) made landfall, and according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Ketsana dropped 455 mm (17.9 in) of rain on Metro Manila in a span of 24 hours on Saturday – the most in 42 years. A month’s worth of rainfall in a single day washed away homes and flooded large areas, stranding thousands on rooftops in the city and elsewhere. Ketsana later crossed over to Vietnam and Cambodia, where it is still active. Over 360 people are known to have been killed, and damage estimates are reaching $100 million. Unfortunately, another tropical storm may be headed toward the southern Philippines on Wednesday but is still 1,000 km (600 mi) off the coast.

This is our chance as a community to make a difference and show our support back home. Hope to see you there!

Entertainment Lineup:
–Philtered Soul
–Eye Eighty
–Milynne Ibarra
–Those Kids
–Michelle Martinez
–Tracy Cruz
–Parangal Dance Company
–Hiyas of San Jose
–Steps, Styles, & Spotlights
–Eskrima/Serrada Association
–Sleepless Knights (SCU’s Best Dance Crew Winners!)
–FutureShock San Jose
–Kawayan Folk Arts

I'll be at the Asian Art Museum for Fil-Am History Month 10/4


I’ll be at the Asian Art Museum in downtown San Francisco to celebrate Filipino American History Month this Sunday October 4th, 2009 from 10AM-12PM as part of the activities event – “Writing your name in Baybayin”. I’ll be bringing some free Baybayin chart & art postcards.


200 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA‎ – (415) 581-3500‎

Celebrating 422 Years
Filipino American History Month
Target First Free Sunday*, October 4
10:00 am–4:00 pm
FREE admission courtesy of Target*

If Baybayin isn’t your thing there’s a lot of programs such as galleries, lectures, storytelling, book reading, panel discussion, film screening and much more going on though the day. Mel Orphilla, Oscar Penaranda, Carlos Zialcita, Leny Strobel and others will be there. See you there!

Please see the Asian Art Museum site for additional information.

The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is one of the largest museums in the Western world devoted exclusively to Asian art. But we are more than just an art museum—we are your ticket to Asia. Here, you can travel through 6,000 years of history, trek across seven major regions, and sample the cultures of numerous countries.

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