Ancient Filipino writing systems that aren’t Baybayin

Baybayin is just one of at least 16 different writing systems that were used in pre-colonial Philippines. Illustration by ELLE BATTUNG via cnnphilippines

By Chang Casal/CNNPhilippines.com – When a House committee approved the “National Writing System Act”, which seeks to declare Baybayin as the country’s national writing system and aims to put the script to use in street signs, public facilities, government halls, publications, and even food labels, many linguists, historians, and even average Filipinos got upset, to say the least. Baybayin has enjoyed a resurgence over the past few years, with many Filipinos taking an interest in learning the script as a means of tracing one’s roots and connecting with one’s culture.

According to Leo Emmanuel Castro of Sanghabi, an NGO which conducts research and workshops on Filipino culture, most of the people who took an interest in Baybayin in the early days of its resurgence some five to 10 years ago were Fil-Ams. “Kasi ito ‘yung mga tao who grew up in an American society and their parents did not teach them the culture of their parents. So nagkaroon ng tension between their identities,” he says. “They began looking for their roots.”

Castro says another catalyst for the renewed interest in the ancient script was the boom of arts and crafts and calligraphy in the country. As Filipino calligraphers wanted to hone their skills, they sought out a writing system they could identify with instead of practicing in Japanese or Korean, which they could not understand. Fast forward to today and Baybayin can be found on T-shirts, jewelry, and even on tattoos.

FULL STORY

Find more like this: Culture

  • U.N. Rights Council to Investigate Killings in Philippine Drug War
  • Philippines declares national alert after 456 die from dengue fever
  • Trying to save the stories of a Philippine culture, one scan at a time
  • Pinoy archaeologist brings new human species discovery to Australia
  • Philippines a slowly ageing society – PIDS study
  • Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

    Entertainment

  • Nickelodeon releases first look at rebooted classic kids program Blue’s Clues with Filipino-American host Joshua Dela Cruz
  • How Marvel’s first featured Pinoy superhero can save society
  • This play tells the urgent story of a Filipino comfort woman
  • Will ‘Sahaya’ be the first Pinoy series on Netflix?
  • Z-GIRLS, Z-BOYS with Pinoy members to debut in Korea
  • MORE...

    Features

  • My story, and the new story of Filipino immigration
  • An appreciation of Moro food can bring Pinoy Muslims and Christians closer, says this Muslim chef
  • Showcase of PH culture, heritage
  • US and Philippines: Friends, Partners, and Allies
  • A Transgender Paradox, and Platform, in the Philippines
  • MORE...

    Tourism

  • Northern Blossom Flower Farm: Atok’s floral carpet
  • Philippines records ‘all-time high’ 7.1M tourist arrivals in 2018
  • Philippines island Boracay reopens for test run following huge cleanup
  • Philippines closes ‘cesspool’ tourist island of Boracay
  • Boracay Set to Ban Tourists for Six Months During Island ‘Rehabilitation’
  • MORE...

    Sports

  • Filipino speed skater bags spot in 2020 Winter Youth Olympics
  • Pinoy gymnast Carlo Yulo earns historic qualification in worlds
  • Finding a way to bring the NBA to the Philippines
  • First Filipino table tennis Olympian Ian “Yanyan” Lariba dies at 23
  • Skateboarder Margielyn Didal wins 4th gold for Philippines
  • MORE...

    OFW News

  • Filipino maids’ dragon boat team makes splash in Hong Kong
  • DOLE suspends OFW deployment to Kuwait
  • Some OFWs turn to vlogging to beat loneliness, share life abroad
  • Overseas Filipino Bank to serve immigrants, workers
  • The ‘bagong bayani’ of the Philippines
  • MORE...

    Environment

  • ‘Sordid Chapter’ Ends As Philippines Sends Back Canada’s Trash
  • Southeast Asia became dumping ground for plastic waste – study
  • Boracay Set to Ban Tourists for Six Months During Island ‘Rehabilitation’
  • Boracay: the good, bad and ugly sides to Philippine island for tourists
  • Luzon has greatest concentration of unique mammals
  • MORE...

    Pinoy Places
    and Faces