Baybayin is dead, long live Baybayin!

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I’m back on the Blog after a couple of years to discuss death and disruption. I’ve always been fascinated with death. One of my early childhood memories was watching a VHS tape of Faces of Death. I was a compilation of clips of people getting into accidents, beheadings, etc. You know, normal stuff you see on the internet now. Back then, it was more of a shock factor.

As I got older, I became interested in dying cultures in Africa and Asia. It was natural I would somehow connect death with Philippine cultural practices. My first instance was a section of my Intro to Baybayin book in 2009, where I had a section titled “The Death of Baybayin.” About four years later, I was taking part in a Super Bowl street fair. After talking to about 50 people and explaining the basic script history, it wasn’t resonating. Maybe it was my voice or lack of eye contact. Maybe it was the story I was telling. It was then; I decided to experiment with using a strong absolute term like DEATH. Death is a bulldozer that forces conversations. I learned when you use strong terms; you get strong reactions with strong emotions. Strong emotions cause action. Action kicks Idea’s ass all day long. Death = Action

Even though this was only a few years ago, much has changed in the “Baybayin scene.” Interest has increased every year. This is measurable with data from my FB Baybayin page and private group.

Facebook Page
Facebook Discussion Group

Scripts have frequent exposure in news programs, social media, and even movies. New advocates have popped-up in the Philippines to expose scripts to a new generation.

For years, I, along with others, have championed the term Baybayin kill the erroneous Alibata term. Now it’s time to kill the term Baybayin. This will be a much more difficult task because there isn’t an obvious replacement…yet but maybe there shouldn’t be. As a refresher, Baybayin is a term that means to spell. It’s not a name but a description of an action. Maybe there shouldn’t be a name, and it should be called whatever the term is for writing/spelling in someone’s local language. More on this on another article. The timing of this also coincides with the recent activity around the National Script Act AKA the Baybayin Bill.

As I mentioned above, Action beats Ideas. Here are my action items:
– Move the blog domain under I’ll keep the domain as a landing page because people will still use the search term. I did something similar with an Alibata domain landing page.
– Acknowledging the issues with the term when conducting lectures similar to what I’ve done with prePhilippine and preFilipino.
– Get rid of the Baybayin School branding in my upcoming project.

Baybayin is dead, long live Baybayin

I present Siya

Coming December 2011….Siya (

It’s a scent inspired by the Manila nightlife. I called it Siya because I wanted it to be for a woman or man. I’ll have a production sample in about a week. Besides Baybayin prominently featured on the bottle, the packaging will be custom artwork hand embellished and individually numbered.

Details and presale info will soon be announced on the mailing list

You can also Like Siya on Facebook

Upcoming projects

If you follow me on Twitter (, you may have noticed that my latest work has been more digital compared to last year. That’s because I spend a lot of time on my iPhone. 1.5 hours everyday on the train, might as well do something constructive. Over the last 5 months, there have been a few apps that compliment my brush style pretty well. Detailed reviews of these apps and how I use them to come later. in the meantime, you can check out this video of Baybayin on the iPhone.

As part of my this website, I’m featuring interviews with different Baybayin personalities. I ‘ve covered most of the known people online but, I’m facing issues finding people to interview in the Philippines. I do have an outstanding invitation for the curators of Bahay Nakpil. Does anyone have any leads?

Over the last 2 years, I’ve been working on putting some sort of Baybayin book together. About 8 months ago, I finally decided on a direction. I initially wanted the book focused on history, modern modifications and art but changed my mind because I didn’t want to simply repeat what Hector Santos and Paul Morrow have already researched. The focus will now be my Baybayin art. For proper context, there will be sections on history and modern usage.

I want to take part of every Filipino Festival this season but the reality is that I cannot afford to pay for the booth space for most of these events. Even if I split the costs, with my festival partner (Malaya Designs), it will still not be feasible. The problem is that this isn’t a business for me.  Although I have some art prints for sale and little knickknacks, I’m lucky if I break even. I believe that Baybayin should be part of EVERY Filipino cultural event just as much as the Philippine Sun and Star shirt and condo vendors. That said, I fully understand the capitalism andwill be working on a project that will give me presence at these events without me going broke. It may not happened this festival season, maybe next year.

Coming soon….
My day job is an Web Analyst and one of my job functions is user integration and documentation. Looking at the current Baybayin educational landscape, there’s a lot of great info out there thanks to Hector and Paul but it can be overwhelming to the newbie. It takes effort to read everything and filter out the crap. With the good info, there’s also inconsistent and some nonfactual material out there. The challenge is gathering all these moving parts and putting it in a clear and concise package. One of the best ways to leqar the script is via workshops. Unfortunately, workshops are limited to physical locations. Online workshops are limited by time constraints.

This summer, I’ll be launching a Baybayin course to hopefully address those issues.