Pilyong Balong

Ang kwento ay tungkol sa isang bata [Balong] na lumaki sa probinsya kung saan ang mga batang mag-aaral ay naglalakad ng malayo sa kanilang pagpasuk sa eskwela. Sa mga paglalakad ay madalas maglaro at magbiruan ang mga bata dahil sa pagkakaroon ng pagkakataon na makasama ang isa’t isa ng matagal. Ngunit sa gayon ding pagkakataon ay di naiiwasan ang malabis na pagbibiro at mga pagkakapikunan, at para kay Balong, ito ay naging isang libangan.

Sa kwentong ito ay makikita kung papaanong ang isang inosenteng bata ay nagiging isang pilyo sa kaniyang mga kabata at kung papaanong sya’y natuto sa kaniyang pakikitungo sa iba.

Bili na!

Way of the Ancient Healer

Way of the Ancient Healer – Sacred Teachings from the Philippine Ancestral Traditions by Virgil Mayor Apostol was just released and has a section on Baybayin. He covers the script in the”Inheritance and Documentation of Knowledge” section of Chapter 1. What’s interesting is that Virgil covers how early Baybayin was probably also used to “Record, formulate of magical and religious significance”. Check it out

Diwata press release

(Cover design by Sandy Knight. Cover image by Christian Cabuay.)

I recently had the pleasure working with Barbara Jane Reyes on the artwork for her Diwata poetry book. She chose my piece, Masamang balita galing sa mga bituin – Bad news from the stars. It’s a perfect fit. Here’s the press release:

New from BOA Editions, Ltd.


Poems by Barbara Jane Reyes

In her book Diwata, Barbara Jane Reyes frames her poems between the Book of Genesis creation story, and the Tagalog creation myth of the muse, placing her work somewhere culturally in between both traditions. Also setting the tone for her poems is the death and large shadow cast by her grandfather, a World War II veteran and Bataan Death March survivor, who has passed onto her the responsibility of remembering. Reyes’ voice is grounded in her community’s traditions and histories, despite war and geographical dislocation.

“Reyes has accomplished a masterpiece by conjuring and weaving the dialectics and elements of Malakas and Magandá – a Filipina poetics of the strong and beautiful. This alone merits praise. In majestic prose and deep story, in rhythmic caesura and hunter woman voices, in genius image brushwork and long and short line archipelago, we learn lessons for the 21st Century: that colonial invasion, the horror of cultural dismemberment, is not exhaustive: Asia, the Philippines, Manila spirit, all of us – can rebuild and continue in América, in many ways become whole again, by the alma and ceremonias, the tellings kept for centuries and beautifully recast in this book. I was mesmerized by the true Diwata that lives in these pages. Diwata – she instructs us, lures us, takes us deep into her jeweled river, then breathes into us our Creation Story – one we thought we could no longer remember, write, speak, or call our own.” — Juan Felipe Herrera

“Barbara Jane Reyes’ Diwata is a book that would have raised the hairs on the nape of Emily Dickinson’s head upon recognition of its poetic backbone. She injects Filipino words like calamansi, kastoy, and pananaghoy into the sinew of American poetry with panache and fearless abandon. Hers is an incomparable talent from which we cannot avert our gaze.” — Nick Carbó

September 2010 • 88 pages $16.00 paper • 978-1-934414-37-8

BOA titles are distributed to the trade by Consortium Book Sales & Distribution 1-800-283-3572

Press kits and other promotional materials are available upon request from BOA Editions. Contact Peter Conners, 585-546-3410 or conners@boaeditions.org

Updates: Free consulting, Baybayin book, Prints, LA, Gallery

Been pretty busy for the last 3 months getting the 1st of my planned Baybayin books ready. I have a few project updates coming this this month….

FREE Consulting via Yahoo Messenger
I’ve setup a Yahoo Messenger account to answer any questions you have about Baybayin. Add BaybayinSchool on YM.

An Introduction to Baybayin
I just received a production copy of my Baybayin manual today. I’ll look it over to make sure my spelling and grammar isn’t too bad 🙂 I plan make it available for ordering online this week. A digital version will also be available. Check out the video below.

New prints
I haven’t really displayed my prints on this site. They are mostly for sale at my events. Anyway, I’ll have a couple more this month as part of my “Baybayin Sand Series”.

Los Angeles
I’m planning to make it down south for the 1st time to promote my artwork at a couple Filipino festivals in September and October. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.

I finally put up a gallery of my artwork. It’s a bit disorganized but should suffice for now.

Paul R. Verzosa's Pangbansang Titik nang Pilipinas – How Baybayin was named Alibata

I recently finished reading Paul R. “Verzosa’s Pangbansang Titik nang Pilipinas”. He’s the man responsible for coining the term Alibata. You might have read the quote that’s been re-quoted over and over again from Paul Morrow’s site:

In 1921 I returned from the United States to give public lectures on Tagalog philology, calligraphy, and linguistics. I introduced the word alibata, which found its way into newsprints and often mentioned by many authors in their writings. I coined this word in 1914 in the New York Public Library, Manuscript Research Division, basing it on the Maguindanao (Moro) arrangement of letters of the alphabet after the Arabic: alif, ba, ta (alibata), “f” having been eliminated for euphony’s sake.”

While that quote is accurate, it doesn’t tell the whole story as to why he did it. There wasn’t any explanation why he linked the script to Arabic but there were some interesting points that may give you an idea of his motive.

He writes about the origin of the word “Alphabet” and his seemingly admiration of of other cultures who have names of their alphabet.

The Japanese call theirs the KANA and HIRAGANA SYLLABARIES invented by a Budhist mon in 700 AD which are based on the simple Chinese symbols. The Hindus call their Sandskrit alphabet DEVANGARI meaning “THE CITY OF GOD.” (Pangbansang Titik nang Pilipinas pg 11 – Paul R. Verzosa – 1939)

Maybe one of his goals to rename the script was to uplift it. He does acknowledge that the writing was indeed called Baybayin by the natives.

The first Spanish conquistadores and missionaries who came to the Philippines after the death of Magellan in the Island of Mactan found that the Tagalogs used to write their spoken speech in their native system called BAYBAYIN, and equivalent of Alphabet; but he litteral meaning of Baybayin is TO SPELL OUT or SYLLABICATE.(Pangbansang Titik nang Pilipinas pg 11 – Paul R. Verzosa – 1939)

It looks like he wasn’t content with the generic term equivalent of Alphabet. He wanted something more majestic in order to perhaps give the Filipinos a sense of pride. Putting all that aside, it still doesn’t really explain why he chose Arabic as a base of the script. He does document that Baybayin is a direct descendant of Sanskrit.

Asia adopted the various simplified and popularized Sanskrit alphabet and handwriting, of which the Tagalog handwriting is its distant but direct descendant.(Pangbansang Titik nang Pilipinas pg 17 – Paul R. Verzosa – 1939)

The book is broken down in 3 parts:
Part1: Historical Background
Part2: The Structure of the Language
Part3: How to Read and Write

At the end, there were advertisements. Check out BPI. Mapua also had one as well.