Right on the heels of the Ticao Stone conference comes the 1st Philippine Baybayin conference in the Manila area. I know what some of you are thinking – Why are these conferences revolving around unproven Baybayin artifacts? Perhaps it’s need to help market Baybayin to the masses? Besides that, I think it’s an undeniable benefit to have this conference. The dialog has started! Could this be the core group all of you have been asking for who can implement a standard? What do you think?


November 30,2011 @ Thunder Bird Resort Hotel & A-B Petroglyphs, Binangonan, 7am-12nn.
1) To create awareness among Filipinos on the historical and importance of our language, our ancient writing system, the Baybayin.
2) To provide a forum for stakeholders among the academe and other related agencies regarding the relevance of the theory by Dr. Bonifacio Comandante Jr. Baybayin Artifacts for educational purposes.
3) To help boost the tourism not only educational trips but for local guests and foreigners as well.


2nd District of Pangasinan
Author, House Bill No. 4395, An Act Providing the Protection and Conservation of Baybayin and declaring Baybayin as the National Script of the Philippines.

DR. RICARDO NOLASCO , Mother Tongue Based – Multi-Lingual Education
Ph. D. Lingusitics, University of the Philippines
Board Member, Linguistic Society of the Philippines
Komisyon ng Wikang Pilipino
Adviser, Foundation for Worldwide People Power on Mother
Language Education Initiatives

DR. ZEUS SALAZAR, Kamalayang Pilipino sa Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs
A historian, an anthropologist and the proponent of the Pantayong Pananaw.
He was former chairperson of the University of the Philippines-Diliman Department of History (1987-1989) and a former dean of the university’s College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (1989-1992)

HOWIE SEVERINO, Role of Media in Baybayin Advocacy
Ph.D. Suxxes University, London, UK
MA in Tuft University, Boston USA
Editor-In-Chief, GMA News TV Online

MR. JOSE JAIME “JAY” R. ENAGE, Baybayin to the World
Founding Chairman, Taklobo Baybayin, Baybayin Buhayin, and
Teachers@Work Journey Group International.

MR. JOHN NL. LEYSON, Baybayin Use in Design and Technology
President & CEO, Liquid and Liquid
President, Taklobo Baybayin
Vice President, Baybayin Buhayin

DR. BONIFACIO COMANDANTE, Baybayin Forms of Andres Bonifacio
Ph. D. Anthropology Multi-awarded Marine Biologist, University of the Philippines Professor
Director, Taklobo Baybayin

‎DR. GRACE BARRETO TESORO, What We know about the Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs
Ph.D. Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

DR. MARICOR SORIANO, 3-D Imaging of the Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs
Officer-in-Charge, National Institute of Physics UP Diliman and Deputy Director for Academic Affairs, NIP UP Diliman

Has anyone seen this "Alibata" shirt at Kultura Filipino?

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.

alibata baybayin chart

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?

Return of the Ticao Stone!

It’s the return of the Ticao AKA the Rizal Stone! This past August 5-6 was the 1st Philippine Conference of the Ticao Stones where various speakers from different disiplines provided their insight on the infamous stones and other related topics.

Many of us couldn’t go but the organizers have just uploaded the presentations for the 2 days. I’ve read through some of it a couple weeks ago thanks to Christopher Miller who was in attendance. I must say the research is very comprehensive and well documented. However, there was no definitive conclusion as to the authenticity of the stones. As expected, it will take more time. The question is how long and what will be the communication method?

One of the interesting presentations was:
Integrating Baybayin Scripts into the School Curriculum
(Speaker: DepEd Region V Curriculum Expert)

Download all the presentations


  • What do you think of this conference?
  • Is it premature make Ticao Island the epicenter of Baybayin when it hasn’t even been proven to be a “real” artifact?
  • What are some of the interesting things you read in the documents?

The Indian connection

At my event last week, I talked to people about the Philippines connection with India. After talking about shared words like Guro, Diwata and topics like the Visayas, it made sense to them but wondered why we don’t acknowledge or know about it. Is it our own discrimination or just a lack of education? Perhaps both?

This morning, an article came out on the Bangalore Mirror about the work of Graphologist Rajul Shah. She showcased some of the long forgotten Indian scripts, from which several South Asian languages have originated – including Baybayin.

Not much was said in the article about Baybayin but it was good to see the connection made from the Indian side.

Pistahan recap – Live Art, Jose Rizal, Baybayin School and toys!

Once again, Malaya Designs and Baybayin.com promoted Baybayin for 2 days during the Pistahan festival in San Francisco.

Great weekend for us and the Filipino community. We held the 1st Filipino themed custom toy show in the US (I believe), did multimedia presentations on Jose Rizal’s Baybayin hardwriting, Baybayin School module presentation, Ray was burning bamboo live, painting, scribbling and good ‘ole conversations.

Also as usual, FREE “translations” galore

EVENT: San Francisco 8/13-14 Pistahan

It’s that time of the year again! The 18th annual Pistahan event is happening in San Francisco Yerba Buena Gardens this weekend 8/13-14. Besides showcasing Baybayin, we will have a custom toy show titled “Heritage and Heroes”. I believe this is the 1st Filipino themed custom toy show.

What else is going on?

  • Live Baybayin wood burning
  • Free name translations
  • Art showcase
  • Baybayin App demo
  • Workshops
  • What else???????

Come hang out with Ray and I this weekend

Check out Pistahan.net for more info

Photo: Custom Munny’s by Eggay Gonda

Android mobile translator application now available.

My Baybayin mobile application is now available in the Android Marketplace


This is a limited time sale

“Nothing beats personal interaction with an actual practitioner, but this app is the best digital primer to learn Baybayin.” – Ray Haguisan, Founder – Malaya Designs

———– ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ———–
✔ Baybayin characters display automatically when you start typing
✔ Quickly switch from Traditional and Modern methods.
✔ Turn on a guide to display Roman characters
✔ Instant error messaging if you type an unsupported character
✔ Learn the basics of the script with the usage guide and chart
✔ Comes with a list of common male and female names in Baybayin
———– ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ———–
Planned in future releases
✔ Post to Facebook & Twitter
✔ A list of common Filipino last names in Baybayin
✔ Video tutorials
✔ Incorporation of BaybayinSchool.com
✔ Much more!

*Please note that this is not a language translator.
**Please send all support and feature requests to support@baybayin.com or visit the forum at www.baybayin.org

More info at BaybayinApp.com

Economics and Baybayin

I responded to a post on the Baybayin Facebook page the other day that revolved around the topic of why some of us charge for our Baybayin work. This has come up more than a few times over the years but with the recent renewed interest of Baybayin in the Philippines it’s time to clarify.

The Baybayin economy is very small and there are only a few of us sucessfully monitizing it. I’m going to tell my story but I’m pretty sure it will echo those of my colegues.

When I 1st got a Baybayin tattoo, I wanted to find a site online to post it. I didn’t find one, so I created PinoyTattoos.com. People complemented the tattoo and asked what it meant. When I broke it down, they started to ask for my help in doing translations. I remember the 1st time I saw my handwriting on someone’s skin; it blew me away. I wanted more, so I offered FREE translation consulting and artwork publicly to see what the demand would be as an experiment. Within 2 months, I got overwhelmed with the requests. Keep in mind I had a fulltime job at the time. After seeing the demand, I got into business charging a minimal rate of $5 per word. After a year, that started to take up a lot time. I then decided to double my rates to see if it could even out. If I lost 1/2 my customers, I would still be making the same amound with time to spare. The customers did not drop and I was the owner of a profitable little side business. I used the money to pay bills, eat out and reinvest in the Filipino community by creating FREE resources like Baybayin.com and traveling around the San Francisco area teaching the script. Booths at these festivals cost $200-$500. I would be lucky if I broke even selling my artwork. There would be some days I would loose $100 plus gas, food and parking. It didn’t really matter be because I was making a little though my online Baybayin services. If I didn’t make some money, I wouldn’t be able to do all of these things. There would be no PinoyTattoos.com, Baybayin.com, book, documentary, mobile application and FREE consultations. All of these projects have a cost associated to them running in the thousands.

Here’s a partial list of my reoccuring expenses to run my Baybayin business

  • Web hosting
  • Domains
  • Ecomerce service
  • Support system
  • Mailing list service
  • Part-time assistant

That doesn’t even include a new computers, hardware, software, contractors, cellphone and internet services. Don’t forget about travel and food expenses for events.

As you can see, it’s a lot. People often ask me how am I able to do all of these projects with the cost and time involved. It’s because of a healthy Baybayin business. Without it, FREE resources would cease to exist.

A perfect example is David Lazaro of the Bathala Project. This dude would spend hours and hours creating videos spreading Baybayin. He recently finished a course in graphic design and is now a freelance designer. Because of that, his blog and videos have pretty much stopped. Why? I haven’t talked to him about this but common sense would tell me that he needs to make a living. Baybayin will not pay the bills. If he was making $4K a month off Baybayin, would he still be doing it? Probably. Who can blame him for putting his Baybayin projects on hold? Nobody can and because of the the reality of life that everyone has to deal with. We have lost (for the time being) a good contributor to our growing community.

I appreciate people who are advocating the use of Baybayin in everyday life but the resistance will always be the external factor of money, especially in the Philippines. How will learning this dead script put money in my pocket tomorrow? That’s why students in the Philippines hate it. Look at Twitter and all you see is people bitching about having to learn this stupid “Alibata“. For the most part, you don’t go to school to get cultured or practice social skills. You go to hopefully learn to use your inherit talent or learn a new trade to make a living.

One of the reasons Baybayin dissapreared was due to economic factors. It simply wasn’t in demand and still isn’t. However, with the use of technology, right marketing and a little hustling – Baybayin can be brought back and be viable. In order for Baybayin to become mainstream, people must be able to make money with it as a skill. I’m not talking part time doing 3-5 translations a week or the occasional tshirt sale, I’m talking about 40-80 hours of work. That’s the goal. Create products, art and services that are so compelling and new that the market will take notice.

While it might be a turn-off and I may seem like a capitalistic Amboy that I always walk about money and Baybayin, it’s because I want to do this full-time.

Baybayin Translator mobile Android application video demo

I’m about to release my Baybayin Translator app for Android mobile phones and tablets. In this demo, I show how the translator works. The app supports traditional and modified Baybayin and has a guide you can shut on/off. What’s cool is that when switching from traditional to modified, you don’t have to retype your word. I was going to figure out how to do this in a future release but decided to push it back until I figured it out.

Want to be notified when it comes out? Head over to BaybayinApp.com and get on the notification list. Not only will you be notified 1st (even before Facebook and Twitter), there will be a surprise.

Have an idea or feature request? Log it here

For iPhone users, I’m waiting for iOS 5 to come out. ETA is September/October.