“Baybayin Duha”, Usa means 2 in Bisaya and Baybayin (incorrectly known Alibata) is the writing system used in the Philippines prior to Spanish colonization. Placing the ancient script is a perfect combination of the old and new representing cultural identity through style. The crocodile skin isn’t just for fashion but has a direct connection to indigenous Philippine belief systems and it’s not about the 21ft Buwaya that was found in the southern islands. Crocodile patterns have been used in textiles, swords and tattoos.
I’m releasing a new hat to follow my collaboration with WIPCaps from Manila. This time it will be a sample black on black with white outlining that simply says BAYBAYIN. Plain and simple but with no Baybayin on it. My reason for this is to promote Baybayin without showing it. I could’ve easily had the text in the script but the goal of this piece is to get an inquiry from someone as to what Baybayin is. If I had the script, it would be obviously foreign to most people and intimidating as well. Using a writing system and language familiar breaks down that wall and can lead to conversation. I’ve had the hat only for 1/2 a day and had 2 inquiries already from strangers. A cashier and someone on the train. This is a similar strategy I’m using when I launch Baybayin School.
I’m proud to show you a sneak peak of my collaboration with the premier Philippine hat company, WIP Caps. For those that don’t know, I’m a hat freak and have over 20 fitteds in my collection.
The hat comes in clean white with my Ka logo. The sword represents the struggle and the pen represents art. It will be available in specialty retailers the Philippines and US around July. I’ll also have limited edition edition AP (Artist Proof) that will be individually numbered and hand embellished.
1st of all, I think it’s cool that Baybayin is on a MAJOR clothing company like Affliction but unfortunately, there are a few issues. Here’s Affliction’s Signature Series shirt of Brandon Vera. The front has an eagle and “The Truth”. The back is where it get’s interesting where there are 4 Baybayin words that are tattooed on Brandon’s back. They represent the 4 elements Earth (Mundo), Wind (Hangin), Water (Tubig) and Fire (Apoy). Starting with the tattoo, Earth should probably be “Lupa” as in dirt. Mundo while conversational Tagalog (Spanish rooted) for world/earth. When your speaking about the element earth, I believe one means dirt not the planet Earth. Also the Ma character in Mundo is missing a kudlit that would make it Mu. The tattoo actually says Mando. Easy fix though.
Now to the shirt. The graphic below is a screenshot of the back. Besides being out of order as it s on Brandon’s back, there are some inconsistencies in kudlit writing. I think it’s fine in handwriting and even in art but for a commercial shirt, it should be uniform.
The characters written are Tu-Bi-G. Notice the cancellation kudlit under the last character. Without the + kudlit, it would read as Tubiga.
Looks like the characters written are A-Po-Yo. It should have a + just like the Ga character in Tubig. If using cancellation + kudlits, it’s important that you make sure they look different than your traditional kudlits.
Besides the Lupa and Ma tattoo issue I mentioned earlier, this also has the + issue but this time for the 2nd character Na. The last character looks like it was combined with the kudlit. With the + kudlit and DA errors, it looks like it says Manoda or Manade.
Again, the last character is missing the + kudlit. Now it looks like Hangino.
What sucks is that some people will probably get those wrong words tattooed. How did this happened? Probably the designer found a photo of Brandon’s back online and just reworked it and didn’t bother to research or ask around it it was correct or not.
Filipino pro football paler Eugene Amano has is own clothing line “Amano Island Strength”. Check out the signature line from the myspace page. The Baybayin characters below are S-T-RE-NG-T-H. Kind of a strange transliteration in my opinion. Shouldn’t this be LA-KA or LA-KA-S?
Here’s probably what happened…..a search was made on google for “Alibata translator” and landed on the popular “Eagle’s corner”. Strength was typed in the translator using the modified “SPanish” version because using traditional would only return the “DA/RA” glyph. Some are under the impression that a Baybayin translator is also an English to Tagalog translator as well.