Introducing the StinkyFish Podcast. IPO & Philippine Culture of Theft

Here we go again! After calling out the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines in my blog post, it made the rounds of social media and mainstream news.  ABS-CBN, Philstar, When in Manila, thousands of views, netizens comments on the IPOPHL FB page. I myself took part of the fun until I was banned by them 😦 At least I got a rating in. They can’t delete those. So with all that news coverage and comments, they had to make a statement and in typical lawyery fashion, they did and boy was it typical of the cancer that eats at Philippine government.

Here’s the PDF if you want an “official” copy. Apparently you have to release it on PDF to be official. Now let’s breakdown the 2 last points. You can watch the video below for my reaction to the whole thing below…more on that later.

– Baybayin characters are commonly used as in the logos of several government agencies such as the National Museum, National Library, NCCA, AFP and others.

– Baybayin is an ancient script, and no one has the exclusive right to use it.

First of all, so what if Baybayin is used on several government agencies. What is the point? Did they steal their logos from a designer? All their logos are original artwork. How does that justify stealing?

The 2nd point is where I didn’t expect them to go because even a child knows that if they create artwork using ANY writing system, they know it’s their personal creation. It’s also the same language Walker Underwear used to justify stealing my IP (artwork).

They mentioned “ancient” so does that mean that if it wasn’t, it would be OK? What’s their definition of ancient or did they just get that from somewhere else? They forgot that they’re dealing with Baybayin experts. For arguments sake, let’s say that it’s true that nobody can claim IP for Baybayin because it’s an ancient writing system no matter if they designed art based on the characters in illustrator or painted them. Using IPO’s same definition, the roman alphabet is also an ancient script so anything created using it as a base for the artwork cannot be claimed as IP. What does that now say about the logo for Shoe Mart? Is it not protected because nobody has the exclusive rights to the roman alphabet?


Here’s something I created for a Surf Company. The Baybayin says Lakas. Because Baybayin is an ancient script, it’s not my intellectual property and anyone can copy the artwork on the shirt and use it for commercial purposes?


Can people also use the SM logo and make products with it? Hell no! They would protect roman alphabet design to death but since they themselves stole a Baybayin based design, it’s OK for others to do so. Because IPO doesn’t know shit about Baybayin, they treat is differently. They’re basically saying that they will protect the roman alphabet but not Baybayin. How colonial minded can you get? The issue isn’t Baybayin but the artwork created from Baybayin. Get it? prePhilippine script design, typography, art and etc have to be protected the same way the roman alphabet would be. IPO was recently one of the organizers of a jewelry competition. Since nobody owns the rights to precious metals and stones, are their creations not intellectual property? Their logic is extremely flawed.

I do have to thank IPO though for getting me annoyed enough to take action and finally get my new podcast up and running. It’s called Stinky Fish podcast named after my upcoming documentary, Sulat ng Malansang Isda. IPO is definitely a Stinky Fish. Future podcasts will probably be audio only because video takes too long to edit 🙂

Here’s a Dropbox link as mentioned in the video to some of the evidence including concept designs presented, an invitation as a Baybayin resource speaker and timestamps. Want more evidence? Wait for John Leyson to drop the bomb soon.

The sad part as I read though all the hundreds of comments about this issue is that Filipinos aren’t surprised this happened. They’re used to theft, corruption, and being let down.

PS: Ticao Masbate Rizal stone was correct 🙂 My prediction of this Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines issue is that it will go to trial and IPO will win because of corruption.

PSS: The way IPO handled the issue shows how backwards thinking they are. You never delete comments! It shows your weakness and pisses off the people even more. Don’t be anonymous cowards. Sign your stupid PDF statement and let the public know who’s in charge. Also, don’t let your dumb employees comment on the issue praising where she works and giving you a 5 star rating while pretending to be a regular person. Below is a screenshot of Szn Crd defending IPO and rating 5 stars. Thanks to 龍瀧幽歌‎ from Baybayin discussion group on FB. That’s free advice. No charge.


Meet Chichimonster

Finally had the opportunity to meet and interview a dude I’ve been following on IG for a while. I like his style as we have similar influences and backgrounds in destruction of private property 🙂

Emerging from Manila, Archie Geotina also known as Chichimonster, is a multi-disciplinary artist with roots heavily seeded in the street and graffiti culture of the Philippines. Archie’s influence is not “street” in the traditional sense—it is the culmination of growing up in a raw setting filled with colonial influence, extreme social disparity, and religious undertones. It is the vibration of the developing world, with rich insight on how new political power operates in this modern world. His art depicts the irony and the truth of being in an environment that nurtures luxury and poverty at the same time. He co-founded the graffiti crew Katipunan Street Plan (KST) in 2006, which marked the beginning of his evolution from the traditional graffiti to creating his own unique style. Combined with a stream of consciousness process that taps into the countries historical references, he bases his graffiti lettering on the lost Philippine alphabet, the Alibata. His style is also inspired by the multitude of local cultures within the Philippine islands. From murals to portraits, Archie mixes different materials of acrylic paint, spray paint, ink, resin, and wheat paste to create his pieces. He has also used fire extinguishers in his mixed media pieces. His art has led him to work in Manila, Baguio, Cebu, Bacolod, Los Angeles, and New York.

In my 1 hour interview with him for my documentary, Sulat ng Malansang Isda, we talked about everything from art, business, old vs new and of course Baybayin. Lookout for a future event with Philippines based Baybayin artists. If you’re in Manila, check out his upcoming solo show April 16 at A Space Gallery in Makati.

chichi monster

Baybayin documentary filming in the Philippines

I’m currently in the Philippines doing a lectures, art shows, a product launch, research and continuing filming my documentary. I started filming some street scenes around Katipunan, Cubao and Edsa this this week. Interviews will also start this week as well.

There’s a lot more going on in Manila since I was last here in 2010 and to help document those observations on this trip, I’ve setup a blog for



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 film update

Quick update on the filming of my Baybayin documentary in Manila. 1 word….change

So much has changed since I lived here from 1996-2003 and visited last visited in 2005

While all the annoying crap like traffic, poverty, lateness and etc is still here, there’s a growing youth scene fueled by a sense of Filipino pride. However, I don’t yet know what the context is of the pride. I have an idea but I would need more time to come to any conclusions.

So far, I’m about 1/3 though my filming. I had the please to interview Dr.Bonifacio Comandante for about 2 hours about his research. Above is a sketch of where he believes the Baybayin Ka character came from.

Prior to coming here, I forgot that we would be in the middle of elections (May 10). Some of the people I had scheduled asked to postpone until after May 10. There seems to be some election day jitters considering this is the 1st time electronic ballots will be used. A failure of elections could really screw up this project. Either way, I’ll be documenting it as an underlying theme. In fact, all the non-Baybayin stuff is an entire project.

Yes, there is a Baybayin community here in the Philippines and it is alive.

Baybayin documentary

Next week, I will start filming my Baybayin documentary. Over the past 2 months, I’ve been busy organizing, writing and figuring out how to do this ambitious project. My biggest issue was, what kind of Baybayin film do I make? I don’t consider myself a scholar. I don’t have the funds or the time to travel all around the Philippines to document various scripts still used today.

So, what’s the story? I don’t intend to make a National Geographic type of doc that’s for sure. The truth is, I don’t know yet. That’s why I’m going to the Philippines at the end of the month to find one. I plan to interview quite a few people regarding Baybayin and Filipino culture in general.

A couple notes:

  • This project is currently self financed but I’m open for sponsorships. I have a few ideas if your business is interested. Contact me at info (at)
  • I’m planning to attend a couple Baybayin related events while in Manila. Follow me on the Baybayin Facebook page for the latest about this project.
  • Detailed updates about this project can also be found at
  • Interested in taking part? I will be in Manila 4/23. Contact me at info (at)

Movie: Green Rocking Chair. A Juan Baybayin Story


Came across this documentary today. I badly want to see this. Too bad it’s not on DVD yet. It was released 2008 in the Philippines and directed by Roxlee.

The filmmaker’s personal search for Baybayin or Alibata, the original Filipino writings before the Spaniards came and colonized the Philippines in 1521. The search will determine of such ancient alphabet still exists and practices all over the archipelago.
IMDB info