I first heard about this modern version of Baybayin in 2008 from my friend Ray Haguisan who showed me a photocopy of one of the pages he got from someone at a Filipino Festival. The book Aklat sanayan ng abakadang Rizaleo (1994) by Marius V Diaz. Since then, I’ve been been looking for a copy of the whole book. While filming my documentary, Sulat ng Malansang Isda (Writing of the Stinky Fish) in Manila in 2012, I learned that there should be a copy at the National Library. In order to visit the Filipiana room, I needed a library card. One of the requirements to register for a card is a 1×1 photo. I walked out the building and searched for the 1st photo booth that I found at the “Seafarers Center”, the epicenter for the Philippine maritime industry. I got in line with applying seamen to get a photo taken. The line was going fast and guys were just putting on the white uniform and grabbing their necessary epaulet. When it was my turn I didn’t feel like explaining my situation so I put on the uniform and picked my shoulder strap. I didn’t want to pick something the previous guys got in case they question me so I randomly picked one. Turned out to be for an engineer. There’s much more to the story but I’ll save it for another time. Basically, it was an ordeal to find it.
The book itself is 50 pages and starts off with a short introduction then workbook style pages on how to write the strokes.
Also in the book are different styles of the script
It ends with a story about Jose Rizal
While the script is based on Baybayin, it was heavily modified with extra characters like TH-X-Z. The way its written is like an alphabet rather than an alpha-syllabary as seen in the example below.
In Mount Bahahaw, there are some signs written in the script by Rizalistas. Check out Philippine based photographer, Sydney Snoeck’s website for more photographs.