Culture and Traditions

baybayin

ancient filipinos

 

baybayin
baybayin translator

 

picture of ancient filipinos
picture of ancient filipinos

 

I learned from a filipino historian at indiohistorian.tumblr.com that, the ancient system of filipino writing is known as “Baybayin”.  Baybayin is a syllabary that means that each symbol makes a complete syllable.  So Baybayin is more like Japanese Hiragana than Romanized English.   There is now some research suggesting that Baybayin came from Indian traders.

In the Baybayin translator above you can see beautiful curvatures of the baybayin font.  Its no wonder so many choose this filipino tattoo design.

One of the most remarkable things about Filipino people is their ability to quickly adopt and then master a language faster than other people.  In my travels all over the world, I meet OFWs and they can usually speak the local language well enough to hold a job.  It amazes me because I know they usually already know two or three other languages.  In talking to some friends with filipina spouses, fiance’s or girl friends, they say they are shocked by the same thing.  And then tell me some incredible story about how their filipina learned some language in a very short period of time.

What is interesting is that the Spanish Conquistadors actually noticed that most Filipinos (especially women) could read and write Baybayin:

So accustomed are all these islanders to writing and reading that there is scarcely a man, and much less a woman, who cannot read and write in the letters proper to the island of Manila.” – Pedro Chirino (1604)

Throughout the islands the natives write very well using [baybayin]… All the natives, women as well as men, write in this language, and there are very few who do not write well and correctly.” –Antonio de Morga (1609)

They [the Visayans] have their letters and characters like those of the Malays, from whom they learned them.” – Miguel Lopez de Legazpi (1567)

Miami Ink – Filipino Rose 

Ami gives Tina a rose tattoo surrounded with baybayin to remember her grandmother, and fits in some heavy flirting as well.

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