I only write Baybayin

This past Saturday, I had an event to commemorate the Marcos Martial Law. I was tasked to create something meaningful in Baybayin. I wrote out the word Kapayapaan meaning Peace in Tagalog. The rest of the text would be from a song Kapayapaan by Philippine reggae band, Tropical Depression.

As I was writing it out on the public sidewalk, people would ask what it said. I would stop and tell them. That occurred a few times so I decided to write the meaning. As you can see its totally missed writing some of the A vowels.

It took me a while to notice it and when I did, I asked myself why did make the mistake again? It happened to me 2 weeks ago at another event.

Here’s the fixed version


I soon realized that I write Baybayin more than the Roman Alphabet. Over the last 15 years, we no longer need to write because of the comforts of technology. The only time I write (non-Baybayin) is when I have to make a quick note on a post-it. I take longer notes on an iPad, I use a word processor to write longer pieces, I email, I text, I Twitter and I Facebook. I rarely write.

Eventually, when we have Baybayin become a font standard in all devices, will this issue happened? I’m sure that other nationalities have come across the same issue where they forget how to write their script but can type it.

EVENT: An Introduction to Kulitan – University of the Philippines

2012 September 26: This week’s Binalot Talk will be given by Michael Raymon M. Pangilinan. The title of his lecture is “An introduction to Kulitan, the indigenous Kapampangan script.” Binalot Talks is a series of lectures held every Wednesday, lunchtime (11:30pm – 1pm), in the University of the Philippines Archaeological Studies Program (UP-ASP) lecture room (Palma Hall Basement).

8 Pinoy designers who make things look better

Baybayin design work has come in as #1 on a list of ‘Pinoy designers who make things look better‘ compiled by Brian Tenorio. It’s awesome that someone like Brian knows the value of Baybayin from a design and cultural identity perspective. I must clarify though that Jay Enage is the face of Baybayin Buhayin and John Leyson, CEO of Liquid and Liquid is the man behind the designs.

EVENT: New Traditions – Asian Art Museum 10/19-21

I’m proud to announce my Filipino Calligraphy event at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum on October 19 to 21, 12-4pm. Joining me with be Japanese calligraphic performer, Aoi Yamaguchi. In the 4 hours, Aoi and I will collaborate on a large piece writing a poem and saying in our own languages, conduct a lecture about our work and a workshop.

The collaboration between Baybayin (pre-Spanish Filipino script) artist Christian Cabuay and calligraphic performer Aoi Yamaguchi demonstrates the history and culture of Japan and the Philippines. Cabuay and Yamaguchi explore the differences and similarities of their art and struggle. By embracing traditions, rituals, and roots, they are pushing the boundaries and creating something anew, integrating international cultural ideas, styles, and forms. Meaning “beginning/origin” in Tagalog and Japanese, Simula and Gen symbolize the artists asserting identity through their calligraphy traditions.

Asian Art Museum
Chong-Moon Lee Center
for Asian Art & Culture

200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
T 415.581.3500
F 415.581.4700

EVENT: Make Your Own Revolution 9/21-22

Saturday night 9/22, I’ll be doing Baybayin chalk art as part of “Make Your Own Revolution: Remembering people’s strength in resistance to Martial Law” by Kularts.

Friday & Saturday | September 21-22 | 6-8:30pm

Bayanihan Community Center
1010 Mission Street @ 6th
San Francisco

Suggested Donation: $5-20

Join Kularts for two evenings of performance inspired by people’s resistance to state violence. Forty years ago, Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law, ushering over two decades of brutal dictatorship, repression, murders (aka “salvaging”), and the subsequent revolution, now known as” People Power Movement.”

Make Your Own Revolution provides a space for the community to commemorate the traumas of martial law and remember the strength of “people power.” Activities include staged readings; live music; participatory sidewalk drawing; and the installation of a bangka, a boat sculpture inspired by indigenous ritual.

Saturday, September 22, 2012:

An Introduction to Baybayin Lecture & Workshop video download

Filmed on 7/28/12 at Capital G, Philippines. This was during my art show and Ka2 hat launch.

Talking points:
– What the Ka logo means
– Why Alibata?
– History
– Filam experience
– Benefits of Baybayin
– Baybayin today
– Issues
– Strokes
– Translation technique
Duration: Approximately 105 mins
File type: MP4
File size: 627mb zipped

Price: Free/Donation
I’ll leave it up to you on how much you want to pay. Even if you make the price $0.00, you will be emailed a link to you to download.

If you do wish to donate (thank you), just enter the amount and click Update Cart. You can then select Paypal or Google Checkout (you don’t need an account to buy).

Why am I doing this? I want to experiment to see if the Filipino community reacts to donation products. I think that people in general are generous enough and will donate a fair price to cover for those who cannot afford to give. Salamat

If your interested in having a lecture & workshop at your school or organization, contact me at christian@baybayin.com

Download now

Baybayin movie – The Palawan Script

A Baybayin movie is coming soon. Not my documentary, but a real MOVIE by Auraeus Solito who’s known around the world for his films such as Busong and my favorite, The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros.

From what I’ve heard, the plot of the story is about 2 sisters (Assunta and Alessandra de Rossi – schwing) in love with a mute man. How will they communicate? Baybayin of course!

This film comes at an interesting time, not based on the resurgence of Baybayin in general but for Palawan culture stepping up and taking the international spotlight. There was the campaign of “It’s more fun in the Philippines” featuring the breathtaking promotion photos and in the San Francisco (USA) area there was a dance project called Tagabanua headed by Jay Loyola.

During my last filming trip to the Philippines, I visited the National Museum where I saw the Palawan script on bamboo from Brook’s Point. I found a book Letters from Palawan by Criselda Yabes about her 1st hand experience searching for the last few people that write the script.

In the Baybayin community, there’s a concern about the preservation of the script there because of the lack of advocates from Palawan. With this film and other cultural events, perhaps one of the artists can spearhead something in Palawan like the Mangyan Heritage Center in Mindoro and Mike Pangilingan for Kulitan from Pampanga.

Can’t wait to see it and I know it will push the Baybayin movement further. Please support this project.