Celebrate Baybayin Festival
In this special season of the year, fiestas or religious cum socio-cultural festivals are celebrated in many parts of the Philippines. There is the Moriones Festival in Marinduque, Pahiyas in Lucban, Quezon, Panagbenga in Baguio, Sinulog in Cebu, Dinagyang in Iloilo, Masskara in Negros Occidental and Fiesta Pilar in Zamboanga, among others. And there is a nationwide festival called Flores de Mayo. From the Northern to the Southern part of the Philippines, fiestas are endemic to every community.
The common thread of these festivities is the awesome showcase of Philippine indigenous culture, food delicacies, Roman Catholic patron saints and the loud colourful celebrations that go with them. Celebrating these events has become a popular tradition passed on from one generation to another.
On 30 April 2011, however, at the least expected site in Robinsons East Mall, Pasig City, a new fiesta will be borne --The Baybayin Festival. This festivity, which is promoted by Taklobo Baybayin, Inc., a non government organization advocating that language and culture as core foundation for national development, is the first in our long history of festivals.
What makes the festival unique is it goes beyond mere traditions of religiosity and popularity. It is centered on Baybayin, our old Philippine writing script, which was erased in the pages of our culture, educational system and now the knowledge of our young people. The festival will attempt to revive Baybayin, specifically starting off from the Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs, the Manunggul Jar, the emblems of the KKK and up to the Philippine Armed Forces and the modern Philippine currencies.
A workshop will also be held to feature the different Baybayin scripts, from the Paris Codex circa 1590, Tawid Pinta, Tawbid Ukit to the Tawbid Simple. How many from us know any of these scripts from Adam and Eve? Do you know that Dr. Jose Rizal learned and wrote Baybayin in Europe? In Noli and Fili? Do you know that there are two volumes of dictionaries on Baybayin written by Dr. Paterno and Taverna?
It may interest you to note that in the US and Canada, Baybayin is already being popularized either as body tattoo, taught in a university seminar-lecture, or practiced by a renowned Filipino martial artist bearing the name of Dan Inosanto.
Here at home, an award winning U.P. Professor, Dr. Bonifacio Comandante, has been training state scholars on Baybayin and how it roots to our nationalism. Meanwhile, Taklobo has come up with a software application (“apps”) using the Tawbid Simple script and bagged the 2010 apps competition at Globe Telecom. The Baybayin apps is now up for sale at the Apple Store and may be downloaded at the Globe website for free.
Furthermore, you should see the beauty of Baybayin inspired and designed Barong Tagalog which certainly can stand at par, if not beat, the popular couture available in our major markets and department stores. Do you even know that Philippine Barongs are mostly Spanish designed? So you think you’re nationalistic now?
Finally, the festival will hear an inspirational message from Congressman Leopoldo Bataoil of the 2nd District of Pangasinan who has authored a Bill seeking to propagate the use of Baybayin in our modern society. The man who’s made popular being a spokesman is now speaking of a loftier cause than his previous post.
In sum, the first ever Philippine Baybayin Festival seeks to achieve a host of short term and long term objectives for our country. In the short term, it is hoped that public consciousness will be raised about our very own national writing system. Towards this end, Taklobo will conduct seminars and symposia to educate our people on how to use the script in everyday life. In the process, learning of the script and the script per se will be an effective instrument for change, pride and nationalism.
In the long term, the group looks forward that majority, if not all, of the Filipino population, will learn and employ Baybayin in their written communication, either locally or abroad. The script will be used for educational materials, marketing programs, art shows, business signages, cultural programs and other economic and social events and activities. Commercial products and services will then be produced to prove that Baybayin has social functions and business utility and is no impediment to economic growth. As such, one day, foreigners will be required to learn our writing system much like they learn the Japanese, Koreans and Arabic in order to do business with those nationals.
The Festival thus will set the pace of forthcoming social events and activities about Baybayin all over the country. It will propagate a “change” agenda to the greater members and institutions of our society
It is a whole new concept of fiesta altogether. An unprecedented one which will change our views about our past, understand the present and lift our future. It’s raising the notch of our national consciousness. It’s a departure from our traditional popular fiestas. The beginning of a new beginning. Let’s give way to Baybayin Festival and discover a fresh inspiration and innate powers within to advance our Filipino culture, society and economy.
Time is now ripe for our country to ride on the winds of change in line with but independent of what our national government has to offer. It’s time we return and use Baybayin back in the Filipino way of life.