Skip Nav

Alibata – Ancient Philippine Writing System

Notable features

❶Alif is the first letter in Arabic, and Aleph in Hebrew. For additional information on the Tagalog writing system, you can check out the following resources on the Web at:

Written Tagalog

Recent Comments
Inside ThePinoy
Pronunciation

Photo from Wikimedia Commons. With colonization under Spain came the Latin alphabet and the decline and eventual disuse of baybayin. Spanish missionaries, who served as the first teachers in the islands, taught converted Filipinos Catholicism, the Latin alphabet, and the Spanish language. An evidence of this was the Doctrina Christiana, which was published in Tagalog and Spanish. The book outlines the basic beliefs of Christianity and Christian prayers in the Spanish using the Latin alphabet first, then translated into Tagalog in both baybayin and in the Latin alphabet.

The Doctrina does not begin with prayers but with a short instruction in the Latin alphabet, a syllabary, and its counterparts in the Tagalog baybayin script. The alphabet, as it appears in the Doctrina, consist of the following:. Beginning in the 17 th Century, colonized Filipinos followed the Spanish alphabet and its developments. Eventually, the number of letters in the alphabet used In the islands, called the abecedario , reached 32 letters:.

The end of Spanish rule and the arrival of the American style public education in the Philippines introduced Filipinos to the English language and to its letter alphabet. Despite this, the abecedario remained in use by Philippine languages, as many words still used Spanish letters. However, the use of abecedario was threatened by both the English-based educational and Philippine nationalism.

In , following the establishment of the Philippine Commonwealth, the government ordered for the adoption of a national language based on Tagalog, and for the preparation of a dictionary and a grammar book for the national language.

In , Lope K. Apart from rules on grammar, it contained the alphabet for the national language — the abakada , named after its first 3 letters. Following the advice of past scholars, Santos retained only one letter to represent a significant sound in the Tagalog language —for example, since C, Q, and K often made the same sound in Tagalog, only one should be retained.

The resulting product of this logic reduced the 32 letter abecedario into 20 letters. Furthermore, the letters were to be read in an abakada manner as opposed to the English or Spanish pronunciaton of the letters. In that period, questions were raised about the validity of Tagalog as basis of the national language, as majority of Filipinos spoke other native Philippine languages, causing a debate in the definition of the national language.

The Constitution issued a new definition of the national language, renaming it as Filipino and stating that it is a language in the process of development. Based on this definition, a revision of the Filipino alphabet was needed, as abakada was a Tagalog alphabet. This change in the alphabet followed the Filipino Orthography Reform approved by the Institute of the National Language.

The term baybayin literally means spelling. Closely related scripts are Hanunoo, Buhid, and Tagbanwa. The writing system is an abugida system using consonant-vowel combinations. The mark is called a kudlit. The kudlit does not apply to stand-alone vowels. Vowels themselves have their own glyphs. The national language of the Philippines in known as Filipino Wikang Filipino. It is a standard register of Tagalog, and is defined by the Commission on the Filipino Language Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino as "the native language, spoken and written, in Metro Manila, the National Capital Region, and in other urban centers of the archipelago.

Filipino is also influenced by other Philippine languages. Tagalog used to be written with the Baybayin alphabet, which probably developed from the Kawi script of Java, Bali and Sumatra, which in turn descended from the Pallava script, one of the southern Indian scripts derived from Brahmi.

Today the Baybayin alphabet is used mainly for decorative purposes and the Latin alphabet is used to write to Tagalog. The earliest known book in Tagalog is the Doctrina Cristiana Christian Doctrine which was published in It was written in Spanish and Tagalog, with the Tagalog text in both Baybayin and the Latin alphabet. Ang lahat ng tao'y isinilang na malaya at pantay-pantay sa karangalan at mga karapatan. Sila'y pinagkalooban ng katwiran at budhi at dapat magpalagayan ang isa't isa sa diwa ng pagkakapatiran.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

Navigation menu

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Before Spaniard rule in the Philippines, Tagalog was written using the Baybayin or Alibata alphabet, a writing system whose ancestry goes all .

Privacy FAQs

Baybayin or Alibata (known in Unicode as the Tagalog script) is a pre-Hispanic Philippine writing system that originated from the Javanese script Old Kawi. The writing system is a member of the Brahmic family (and an offshoot of the Vatteluttu alphabet) and is believed to be in use as early as the 14th century.

About Our Ads

Baybayin Baybayin is a pre-Spanish Philippine writing system. It is a member of the Brahmic family and is recorded as being in use in the 16th century. It continued to be used during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines up until the late 19th Century. The term Baybay literally means “to spell” in Tagalog. 5 days ago · 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.

Cookie Info

Tagalog was written in an abugida called Baybayin prior to the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th century. This particular writing system was composed of symbols representing three vowels and 14 consonants. Baybayin, not Alibata is the ancient Filipino writing system. One major mistake of history includes the ancient Filipino writing system known to us as Baybayin. Majority of Pinoys mistake this traditional script as Alibata. This gigantic blot in Philippine history can be attributed to Paul Rodriguez Verzosa.