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Monday, August 24, 2020

While Baybayin is cool, signages should be functional


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The newly-renovated Manila City Hall underpass can be used already. Admirable it may seem, because these projects do make locations more appealing to the eyes and are bonus points for tourism and equally an appreciation for Manila residents and visitors.

A portion of the mural painted at Lagusnilad underpass also pays tribute to frontliners in the battle against  health COVID-19, which includes healthworkers and delivery workers.

There are also signages that are also co-written in Baybayin, an ancient pre-colonial Filipino writing system.

However, many would like to debate on the need to use baybayin for a few  but valid reasons.


There is nothing wrong in advocating for baybayin, but remember that it is not the only system of writing we have in the country. Baybayin cannot encapsulate the culture of a whole nation when you exclude the other systems of writing.

No one even uses baybayin on a daily basis. Besides, baybayin isn't even supposed to be used for foreign words. We can't even use baybayin for the current form of Tagalog because it doesnt fit. Is this a useless move?

To adapt baybayin in order to "reclaim" our roots could just be futile because we have many ancient writing systems before. Baybayin does not even encompass the entirety of it.

Syllabic writing system, Baybayin is. You don't convert per letter. Acronyms should be written in Baybayin script as they are pronounced by native Filipinos in their native tongue...thus it should be /el/ /ar/ /ti/ at /es/ em/ mo to convert properly.


Recommendable na isalin muna sa Filipino yung mga Ingles na salita kung ilalapat sa baybayin. Hinggil naman po sa letra, balik po tayo sa rule na kung anong bigkas, siyang baybay. kaya nga po sana kumonsulta muna sila sa NHCP, NCCA, at/o National Museum.

Actually parang walang “standardized rules” pa ang baybayin... kaya maganda talaga na napag-uusapan at napag-aaralan.

Is this a good way to promote the writings? Will we have even the slight urge to study baybayin?

But then, this promotion may serve only those who can actually learn it. I mean lahat kaya naman pero would it be practical for many. Pero, as stated, this is a good way to promote the handwriting system of the Filipinos.


For me, the level of performative wokeness has me screaming. you know what would have made sense?

Yes it looks good, but are we really using baybayin just for the sake of aesthetics?

Why use Baybayin in a place where almost no one uses/understands it? Also bakit Baybayin lang? What about the other 15 documented pre-colonial writing systems? Kakalimutan na lang? Naiinis ako ha ginagawang aesthetic lang kasi ito eh.

Also, this is really impractical and unnecessary knowing that MOST filipinos don't know how to read and write baybayin.

The intent to promote the Filipino heritage is good, but out of 109 million Filipinos, how many can read Baybayin? with that, what does this make us?....never mind.

Well I'm just saying that if you want to learn it, sure no problem. But if you're saying that it's for "decolonization" and ''revival" aba eh, mahaba-habang usapan yan mga mars.

Not to mention that's not ours to begin with but from our IPs.

What's the use of using Baybayin if we don't even write our signs in Tagalog?


ICONS for the illiterate
TRANSLATIONS for tagalog readers
NOT BAYBAYIN as basically no one is proficient

🚉 Istasyon ng tren - LRT 1 sentral
🏛 Bulwagang panlungsod ng Maynila
🏢 SM Manila

While having Baybayin is cool, let's not forget that signages are supposed to be functional. There is a science behind it, ensuring maximum visibility, readability and viewer's safety.  With these considerations, I'd rather not put a "cool" translation that no one can actually read.

The national government's hard push for Baybayin is a performative bit of essentialist "nationalism" that prioritizes aesthetics over any actual meaningful attempts at building awareness of our history or dialoguing with our identity.


 📸: DTCAM, MB

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