Malaya Designs

My partner in crime from Malaya Designs just relaunched his website.  When I just heard of the script, he was already doing his thing.

We have a booth at the 5th Annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration right in front of the Asian Art Museumn
Larkin Street near McAllister. Take Bart and get off at Civic Center

Saturday, May 16, 2009
11:00am – 6:00pm
Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin st
San Francisco, CA

Check out the Faceboook Event page

Malaya (ma-la-ya) adj; 1 free 2 not in someone else’s power 3 not controlled or enslaved by another 4 free from the influence of others 5 free to speak one’s mind 6 a free people.

About Malaya Designs: The First and Original
A Baybayin practitioner since 1994, Malaya Designs was established in 1997 in the San Francisco Bay Area, to celebrate the richness of our heritage. The first and original company anywhere to offer; custom, handmade wearable art made of wood or bamboo. Through our art we aspire to promote, propagate, and educate in the discovery of a rich culture that is Filipino.

Interview: Suku, New Sun Artistry

suku art

Christian Cabuay
How and when did get started with Baybayin?

Christine Balza
My father was in the US AirForce, we had been stationed at Clark AFB in 1976-79 where I attended Lily Hill Jr High on the base. We studied Filipino Culture and aside from the general information we were introduced to ancient history. Including a brief description on our ancient script, Baybayin. Over the years I had glimspes of it on tattoos that family and friends proudly adorned. I carried a print out of the script and a deep curiousity of how it worked. With the internet I had been able to teach myself the basics.

Mixing Baybayin with my crafts… I made my sister a pendant for Mother’s Day(which said “Ina”)and it caught the eye of one of the tshirt vendors at a street fair and I followed my heart…

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Interview: Philippine Script Designs


Christian Cabuay
How did you get into baybayin and when?

Michelle Ruschman
In 2007 I was on the internet looking for jewelry celebrating the Philippine culture and came across it then. I instantly fell in love with it and it really became a PASSION to learn it and express it.

My mom and I immigrated from Cebu when I was two. With my mom believing in immersion (learning English to help me in school and embracing our adopted culture) and my American dad (who adopted me), I became more American than Filipino in how I expressed who I was. My dad eventually joined the air force and during an active duty assignment we were stationed at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. It was during this time the ousting of Marcos was going on so we got to witness the revolution first-hand. As a young Filipina who was really being introduced to her culture for the first time, it changed how I would see myself forever. Watching my countrymen fight this oppression was more inspiring than I can express. At one point, when I was 15, I was sitting in a bar in Manila (I wasn’t immune to teenage rebellion) and the elderly bartender, hearing my American accent, said, “No matter what you sound like, you remember the blood that runs through your veins.” It was the moment I knew what it was to KNOW and FEEL Filipino pride. It truly is a tangible thing.

PhilippineScript Designs came about so that my daughter knows this feeling of pride in her heritage. She’s mestiza (half German descent and half Filipina…our little Gerpino, if you will) but I want her to know about being Filipino in a way that I missed as I was growing up. Of course, I’m still finding my own way but this business, my legacy to her, will be a way for us to do it together.

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