Over 300 years of Spanish colonialism, the Filipinos adapted to the Roman alphabet and eventually lost the Baybayin script, our early form of writing. So, what if the Filipinos never lost the Baybayin Script?



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While today, there is a resurgence of the younger generation learning Baybayin, many Filipinos didn’t grow up with it. The Baybayin script dates back to 300BC but was wrongfully known in history books as Alibata–a form of Arabic alphabet. Only a number of elders in tribes of smaller islands and provinces truly use Baybayin. Due to colonialization, the script was almost extinct by 18th century. No one in three generations of my family, as far as I know, has ever even written a Baybayin letter.


As a designer that focuses on typography, knowing that a Filipino script exists affects me greatly. I first came into graphic design because of my love of letterforms. Growing up with the Baybayin script would radically change my experiences in design, as I wouldn’t have been studying letters that are known to the world, only Filipinos. As a result, I want to give the same importance to the Baybayin alphabet and give Baybayin modern platforms that it has missed out on.


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