Is this a real Baybayin artifact?

GMA news is reporting that a stone was found in Masbate with Baybayin. If it turns out to be real, it will be the 1st artifact that clearly has our writing system on it. More on this breaking news in a bit. Check out the video

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11 thoughts on “Is this a real Baybayin artifact?

  1. Just the fact that the letter shapes are nearly identical to the ones in the 1593 Doctrina Christiana raises my skepticism firewall. Few people know about the variety of ways that Baybayin was actually written by different people in all the documents that have come down to us, only a very few of them similar in some ways to the DC most of them very unlike it. I’m especially bothered by the “V3” s[a] shape, for all intents and purposes identical to the DC letter and one that is found in no authentic handwriting. My first reaction is that this is probably not authentic. 

    I also notice that the scholars they talk to don’t seem to have found an obvious reading, which would be strange. They appear to be guessing at isolated groups of letters that seem *similar* to modern words in various languages but can’t find even a single clear sentence, if I understand right. 

    And why are there just individual base letters and no vowel marks? That is very strange. And there are no vertical bar separators either like you find in almost every authentic Baybayin text. 

    I also wonder if all the writing fits nicely within the irregular edges of the stone? If so, that would be strange. When you find an inscription on a nice, regular, flat surface, that means the stone has been carefully prepared for an inscription and will also be a regular rectangle in shape. When we find old inscriptions on irregularly shaped stones like this, there are portions missing that correspond to the parts that appear to have broken off from the original rectangular shape. Think of how the 1625 land deed with water damage has lost parts of its text from the pieces of the originally rectangular page that have torn off… Same thing for stones. 

    • I agree. A lot of folks don’t realize that some of the character shapes printed in the Doctrina Christiana are the way they are because of printing issues. And that subsequent handwriting samples gathered from a later date may already have been influenced by the way DC printed baybayin and how other books printed stylized types (fonts).

      Sadly, this “artifact” having either “conveniently” or “unintentionally” mishandled by cleaning it up – obliterates the chance for correct dating. Leaving it up to experts, so-called experts, and zealots to argue amongst themselves about this piece of rock’s authenticity is divisive and counterproductive.

  2. It’s my understanding that dating epigraphs (writings on stone) can be
    difficult if someone decides to give the stone a cleaning as well. But
    it seems very odd that the text doesn’t follow even basic Baybayin
    writing conventions as Christopher writes.

      • Right, that was my thought when seeing the video. Also, as carving stone takes a LOT of work and time, and usually, are carefully planned out. If an ancient Filipino were going to take the time out of his/her day to carve a stone tablet, you’d expect a much neater, finer piece of work.

        In comparison, the Ashokan edicts (written in Brahmi) carved on rock faces are much more carefully carved, and the carvers weren’t working with a flat, even surface. This tablet however is rough and looks like it was haphazardly done. In my opinion it’s a poor forgery.

  3. It seems like a an electro-mechanical scriber was used. Noticed the smooth flow of lines. Case close – total hoax. It will be a total waste of resources from the govt if they even bother to put effort on this one.  I’ve seen a better fake than this one.

  4. Hi… I’ve watched the video. So let’s just say it’s fake, so does this mean we are not going encourage our fellow citizens to be somewhat, have the “Knowledge and Understanding” with our native calleography? 
    How much proof do we have to fake, for us to have our own, I mean “Very Own” scribing and speech? 
    I’ll just say this from my heart, and since I’m a native Filipino then I’ll have to say this in my native tongue; Ang nakalisud man gud sa ato-a, kung naa gani’y kalambu-an na ipadayag sa atong kabanay, gub-on dayun sa kadaghanan, unya sa kadaghanan pa gyud! Kung naa man gani ta’y lig-un nga kamato-uran sa atong wikang Baybayin, ang sinulti-an ug sinulatan; asa man na ninyu nakuha gyud? Ka’y kung kada nalang “Ibidensya” (Evidence) nga ipakita ka’y “Pike” (Fake), diin man diay mu anang Baybayin ninyu ron? Masmaayo pa’ng magTinabangay nalang ‘ta para mabalik nato atong lumad na sinulatan, kay Pilipino man kaha ‘ta, sa dugo ug sa panit, maninuod ta sa atong katuyo-an. Unsaon, nasagulan man lagi’g dugo’g Katsila, mao na’ng tapulan, sige’g reklamo wala’y buhat. I’m so sorry if I have stated this, but sadly, we are not moving further… 

  5. Pingback: Rizal Stone: What’s next | (aka Alibata) art, translations and tutorials

  6. Pingback: Itinaga sa Bato – GMA iWitness | (aka Alibata) art, translations and tutorials

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