Baybayin Script the National Script of the Philippines
Baybayin (Tagalog pronunciation: [baɪˈbaɪjɪn]; pre-kudlit: ᜊᜊᜌᜒ, post-kudlit: ᜊᜌ᜔ᜊᜌᜒᜈ᜔) (known in Unicode as Tagalog alphabet; see below), known in Visayan as badlit (ᜊᜇ᜔ᜎᜒᜆ᜔), and known in Ilocano as kur-itan/kurditan, is an ancient Philippine script derived from Brahmic scripts of India and first recorded in the 16th century. It continued to be used during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines up until the late 19th century. The alphabet is well known because it was carefully documented by Catholic clergy living in the Philippines during the colonial era.
The term baybay literally means “to spell” in Tagalog. Baybayin was extensively documented by the Spanish. Some have incorrectly attributed the name Alibata to it, but that term was coined by Paul Rodríguez Verzosa after the arrangement of letters of the Arabic alphabet (alif, ba, ta (alibata), “f” having been eliminated for euphony’s sake).
Baybayin is one of a number of individual writing systems used in Southeast Asia, nearly all of which are abugidas where any consonant is pronounced with the inherent vowel a following it—diacritics being used to express other vowels (this vowel occurs with greatest frequency in Sanskrit, and also probably in all Philippine languages). Many of these writing systems descended from ancient alphabets used in India over 2000 years ago. Although Baybayin does share some,[clarification needed] there is no evidence that it is this old nor is there evidence that it is recent.
The Archives of the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, one of the largest archives in the Philippines, currently possesses the biggest collection of extant ancient Baybayin alphabets in the world.
A Baybayin bill, House Bill no.4395 and Senate Bill 1899, which is also known as the National Script Act of 2011, has been filed in the 15th Congress since 2011. It was refiled in the 17th Congress of the Philippines through Senate Bill 433 in 2016. It aims to declare Baybayin, wrongfully known as Alibata, as the national script of the Philippines. The bill mandates to put a Baybayin translation under all business and government logos. It also mandates all primary and secondary schools to teach Baybayin to their students, a move that would save the ancient script from pure extinction and revitalize the indigenous writing roots of Filipinos. The writing system being pursued by the bill is a modernized version of the Baybayin which incorporates the common segments of numerous indigenous writing forms throughout the country. The system is a more nationalistic approach due to its comprehensive range, contrary to reports saying the bill will create further regionalism or cultural disintegration.
Bonus: The Eskaya Script
Eskayan is the constructed script of the auxiliary Eskayan language of the island of Bohol in the Philippines. Like Yugtun and Fox script, it is based on cursive Latin. The script was developed approximately 1920–1937. “Although the script is used for representing Visayan (Cebuano)—a widely used language of the southern Philippines—its privileged role is in the written reproduction of a constructed utopian language, referred to as Eskayan or Bisayan Declarado… the Eskayan language and its script are used by approximately 550 people for restricted purposes in the southeast of the island of Bohol.”
In roman script, the unusual trigraph ⟨chd⟩ has the sound of English j.
Eskayan has letters for V, CV, VC, and CCV syllables (where CCV is either CrV or ClV). For CVC, the final consonant is written with a subscript character, as shown in the table at right. A basic subset of the script, the 46-character abidiha, is mixed alphabetic/syllabic; the first 25 letters are alphabetic or function as either a consonant or a syllable ending in /i/ (the Spanish name of the letter). The full syllabary, or simplit, comprises about 1,065 characters, the precise number depending on the text, with some rendering syllables which do not actually occur in the language
Bonus: The Eskaya Script