Baybayin and Hebrew

In 2010, I was invited to the Contemporary Jewish Museum to have a conversation with their resident scribe (Julie Selter) who was working on a project to hand writing the Torah. In our 1+ hour conversation, we talked about our common struggles in trying to revive our writing systems. Here’s a portion of our discussion.

Christian Cabuay, Artist & Author of “An Introduction to Baybayin” and Julie Seltzer, Artist & Torah Scribe-in-Residence, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, share their perspectives on the commonalities between Hebrew and Baybayin (a pre-Spanish Phillipine writing system). What do you think?

A multimedia collaboration between the Contemporary Jewish Museum and the Asian Art Museum.

Endangered Alphabets

Here’s an interesting project called “Endangered Alphabets” that features Baybayin. It’s great to see where our script is within context to other endangered writing systems. The carver and person (Tim Brookes) speaking in the video makes some interesting comments regarding the current state of Baybayin.

He states that it’s purely a graphic element and devoid of meaning. He fails to mention that there are actually still a few tribes that use the script. Modern Filipinos are beginning to use it in communication via Facebook and Twitter. Baybayin has a lot of meaning to Filipinos in the literal and spiritual sense from the Babaylans, faith healers and to even those who get the script tattooed on them. I believe that Baybayin as part of an abstract expression as I do in my artwork is not really prevalent. People (Filipinos) usually buy shirts because of the meaning, not design.

What do you think?

Baybayin dance & martial art

In 2008, Bonifacio Comandante developed seven forms of movement, miming the ancient script and referred to it as the Liping Baybayin.He developed a fitness dance and aerobic exercise, not patterned after Western fitness programs but acting out each Baybayin character. He describes another wellness exercise “to be better than Tai-chi and smoother (to perform) because Baybayin (characters) are not angular (in form).”

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