WTF: Bench Alibata stamps

Musa snapped some photos of “Alibata” stamps by Philippine mega clothing retailer BENCH for their PinoyLab line. I didn’t see them for sale on their site but I assume they are real and are on display in their store. While I applaud their intention, it misguided in my opinion. Besides the misnomer of Alibata and calling it an alphabet, they added additional characters outside the base 17. I don’t have a problem with the + cancellation kudlit. I do have an issue with the expanded set (C, J, Q, Z, X) made popular by Bayani Mendoza. What’s bad about this is that it will confuse people. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for modernizing the script but we have to get the basics 1st. Walk before running. This is flying before crawling. You don’t learn Baybayin just by looking at a chart. You also need context.

8 thoughts on “WTF: Bench Alibata stamps

  1. It’s awesome how much study you’ve devoted to our ancient language. Great site! I didn’t know that the stamps had that many mistakes. Bench should definitely do more research. Though, I am grateful to them for trying.

  2. Hi Musa, are these at all Bench stores? Do they sell them? If so, how much? Interesting blog, I’ll follow it. Liked the posts on Cinemalaya and Cordilleran art

  3. I can imagine how this came about. Somebody got the idea for “alibata” stamps and found Mendoza’s book. They were mislead by the title, “Ancient script of the Philippines,” not knowing that this book has precious little in it about the real ancient script of the Philippines. It’s Mendoza’s own proposed script.

  4. @Paul: Regarding Mendoza’s book…I have an Alibata book from the 70’s I believe that predates his proposal. I think it has an expanded character set and kudlit marks. I’ll put some scans out.

  5. I have no problem with an expanded Baybayin, and I have in fact done my own quick mock up of one. The problem here is, there is the thought that baybayin is like the Latin alphabet when it is of course not. So, it’s pretty clear that no linguistic thought was put behind these stamps by Bench.

    Even within the Latin alphabet, C, J, Q, Z, and X represent:

    – C – the sound of s, the sound of th as in “thing” (for Spanish), and the sound of k
    – J – In English the “j” sound, but in other languages either the sound of y, the sound of h, German “ch”, the sound of z in the word “azure”.
    – Q – the sound of k, but always in combination with u.
    – Z – in English z is rather specific, but it can represent the sound of s, or the sound of th
    – X – the two sounds k + s, or in various romance languages the sound of h, German “ch”, the “sh” sound

    So adding stamps representing those letters is really a poor decision, in my opinion. Of course, we can’t count on marketing folks to get something like that right.

  6. @Christian Your right that was a mistake and I guess Bench should make a public appologies to all Filipino living around the world cuz thier misguiding our youth specially those with half blood nationalities. As par as I know Alibata or Baybayin translation are done not by letter but by word and syllables. In case that we need to tranlate an english word, our proffesor told us to translate it first in tagalog word then translate it in baybayin/alibata script. For example the word “January(1st month)” in tagalog it is “Enero” then translate it in baybayin script of “E”, “Ne” and “Ro”. One more thing in case that the english word will not have a translated equivalent word in tagalog like the word “jeep” we can translate it in the tagalog as “dyip” then translate in equavalent baybayin script of “D”,”Yi” and “P”. I hope that it will help our Filipino Youth living out in our own mother country long live to you and your work for up rooting our own heritage

  7. Pingback: Has anyone seen this “Alibata” shirt at Kultura Filipino? | (aka Alibata) art, translations and tutorials

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