|Languages||Tagalog, Visayan, Kapampangan|
|Time period||c. 13th–19th century|
|ISO 15924||Tglg, 370|
|Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols.|
Baybayin (Tagalog pronunciation: [baeˈbaejɪn]; pre-kudlit: ᜊᜊᜌᜒ, post-kudlit: ᜊᜌ᜔ᜊᜌᜒᜈ᜔) (known in Unicode as Tagalog script; see below) is a pre-Spanish Philippine writing system. It is a member of the Brahmic family of India 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. Baybayin was extensively documented by the Spanish. Some have attributed it the name Alibata, but this name is incorrect (the term "Alibata" 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 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— diacritical marks 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 scripts used in India over 2000 years ago. Although the baybayin does share some, there is no evidence that it is this old.
Baybayin was noted by the Spanish priest Pedro Chirino in 1604 and Antonio de Morga in 1609 to be known by most, and was generally used for personal writings, poetry, etc. According to William Henry Scott, there were some datus from the 1590s who could not sign affidavits or oaths, and witnesses who could not sign land deeds in the 1620s. There is no data on when this level of literacy was first achieved, and no history of the writing system itself. There are at least six theories about the origins of Baybayin
The Laguna Copperplate Inscription is the earliest known written document found in the Philippines.
It is a legal document, and has inscribed on it a date of Saka era 822, corresponding to April 21, 900 AD Laguna Copperplate Inscription#cite note-bibingka-1. It was written in the Kawi script in a variety of Old Malay containing numerous loanwords from Sanskrit and a few non-Malay vocabulary elements whose origin is ambiguous between Old Javanese and Old Tagalog. One hypothesis therefore reasons that, since Kawi is the earliest attestation of writing on the Philippines, then Baybayin may be descended from Kawi.
A second example of Kawi script can be seen on the Butuan Ivory Seal, though it has not been dated.
An earthenware burial jar, called the "Calatagan Pot," found in Batangas is inscribed with characters strikingly similar to Baybayin, and is claimed to have been inscribed ca. 1300 AD. However, its authenticity has not yet been proven.
Old Sumatran "Malay" scripts 
Another hypothesis states that a script or script used to write one of the Malay languages was adopted and became Baybayin. In particular, the Pallava script from Sumatra is attested to the 7th century .
The Bugis-Makassarese script of Sulawesi could have been introduced or borrowed and adapted into Baybayin.
Old Assamese 
Finally, an early Cham script from Champa—in what is now southern Vietnam and southeastern Cambodia—could have been introduced or borrowed and adapted into Baybayin.
The writing system is an abugida system using consonant-vowel combinations. Each character, written in its basic form, is a consonant ending with the vowel "A". To produce consonants ending with the other vowel sounds, a mark is placed either above the consonant (to produce an "E" or "I" sound) or below the consonant (to produce an "O" or "U" sound). The mark is called a kudlit. The kudlit does not apply to stand-alone vowels. Vowels themselves have their own glyphs. There is only one symbol for D or R as they were allophones in most languages of the Philippines, where D occurred in initial, final, pre-consonantal or post-consonantal positions and R in intervocalic positions. The grammatical rule has survived in modern Filipino, so that when a d is between two vowels, it becomes an r, as in the words dangál (honour) and marangál (honourable), or dunong (knowledge) and marunong (knowledgeable), and even raw for daw (he said, she said, they said, it was said, allegedly, reportedly, supposedly) and rin for din (also, too) after vowels. This variant of the script is not used for Ilokano, Pangasinan, Bikolano, and other Philippine languages to name a few, as these languages have separate symbols for D and R.
Two styles of writing 
Pre-Spanish "style" 
In the original form of the Baybayin script, a stand-alone consonant (consonants not directly followed by a vowel sound) cannot be indicated unambiguously; therefore, such consonants were simply not written, and the reader would fill in the missing consonants through context. For example, the letters n and k in a word like bundók (mountain) were omitted, so that it was spelled bu-do.
Virama Kudlit "style" 
The original writing method was particularly difficult for the Spanish priests who were translating books into the vernaculars. Because of this, Francisco López introduced his own kudlit in 1620 that cancelled the implicit a vowel sound. The kudlit was in the form of a "+" sign, in reference to Christianity. This cross-shaped kudlit functions exactly the same as the virama in the Devanagari script of India. In fact, Unicode calls this kudlit the Tagalog Sign Virama. See sample above in Characteristics Section.
"Nga" character 
A single character represented "nga". The current version of the Filipino alphabet still retains "ng" as a digraph.
Words written in baybayin were written in a continuous flow, and the only form of punctuation was a single vertical line, or more often, a pair of vertical lines (||). These vertical lines fulfill the function of a comma, period, or unpredictably separate sets of words.
Pre-colonial and colonial usage 
Baybayin historically was used in Tagalog and to a lesser extent Kapampangan speaking areas. Its use spread to Ilokanos when the Spanish promoted its use with the printing of Bibles. Related scripts, such as Hanunóo, Buhid, and Tagbanwa are still used today, along with Kapampangan script.
Modern usage 
Baybayin script is generally not understood in the Philippines, but the characters are still used artistically and as a symbol of Filipino heritage. Some cultural and activist groups use Baybayin versions of their acronyms alongside the use of Latin script, which is also sometimes given a baybayin-esque style. Baybayin tattoos and brush calligraphy are also popular.
It is also used in the Philippine Banknotes issued in the last quarter of 2010. The word used in the bills was "Pilipino" (ᜉᜒᜎᜒᜉᜒᜈᜓ).
Baybayin influence may also explain the preference for making acronyms from initial consonant-vowel pairs of the component words, rather than the more common use of just the first letter.
Character Order 
Baybayin was added to the Unicode Standard in March, 2002 with the release of version 3.2.
The Unicode block for Baybayin, called Tagalog, is U+1700–U+171F. Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points:
Unicode.org chart (PDF)
Representation of the character "Ra" 
Although it is not included in the unicode standard, U+170D is becoming the de facto standard for representing the character Ra (), due to its use as such in commonly-available Baybayin fonts.
Philippines National Keyboard Layout with Baybayin 
It is now possible to type Baybayin directly from the keyboard, without the need to use online typepads. The Philippines National Keyboard Layout includes different sets of Baybayin layout for different keyboard users. QWERTY, Capewell-Dvorak, Capewell-QWERF 2006, Colemak, and Dvorak, all available in Microsoft Windows and GNU/Linux 32-bit and 64-bit installations.
The keyboard layout with Baybayin can be downloaded at this page.
The Lord's Prayer (Ama Namin) Post-Kudlit 
- ᜀᜋ ᜈᜋᜒᜈ᜔,
- ᜐᜓᜋᜐᜎᜅᜒᜆ᜔ ᜃ,
- ᜐᜋ᜔ᜊᜑᜒᜈ᜔ ᜀᜅ᜔ ᜅᜎᜈ᜔ ᜋᜓ;
- ᜋᜉᜐᜀᜋᜒᜈ᜔ ᜀᜅ᜔ ᜃᜑᜒᜀᜈ᜔ ᜋᜓ;
- ᜐᜓᜈ᜔ᜇᜒᜈ᜔ ᜀᜅ᜔ ᜎᜓᜂᜊ᜔ ᜋᜓ
- ᜇᜒᜆᜓ ᜐ ᜎᜓᜉ, ᜉ ᜈᜅ᜔ ᜐ ᜎᜅᜒᜆ᜔.
- ᜊᜒᜄ᜔ᜌᜈ᜔ ᜋᜓ ᜃᜋᜒ ᜅᜌᜓᜈ᜔ ᜅ᜔ ᜀᜋᜒᜅ᜔ ᜃᜃᜈᜒᜈ᜔ ᜐ ᜀᜏ᜔-ᜀᜏ᜔;
- ᜀᜆ᜔ ᜉᜆᜏᜒᜈ᜔ ᜋᜓ ᜃᜋᜒ ᜐ ᜀᜋᜒᜅ᜔ ᜋᜅ ᜐᜎ;
- ᜉ ᜈᜅ᜔ ᜉᜄ᜔ᜉᜉᜆᜏᜇ᜔ ᜈᜋᜒᜈ᜔ ᜐ ᜋᜅ ᜈᜄ᜔ᜃᜃᜐᜎ ᜐ ᜀᜋᜒᜈ᜔;
- ᜀᜆ᜔ ᜑᜓᜏᜄ᜔ ᜋᜓ ᜃᜋᜒ ᜁᜉᜑᜒᜈ᜔ᜆᜓᜎᜓᜆ᜔ ᜐ ᜆᜓᜃ᜔ᜐᜓ,
- ᜀᜆ᜔ ᜁᜀᜇ᜔ᜌ ᜋᜓ ᜃᜋᜒ ᜐ ᜎᜑᜆ᜔ ᜅ᜔ ᜋᜐᜋ.
- [ᜐᜉᜄ᜔ᜃᜆ᜔ ᜁᜌᜓ ᜀᜅ᜔ ᜃᜑᜒᜀᜈ᜔, ᜀᜅ᜔ ᜃᜉᜅ᜔ᜌᜒᜑᜈ᜔, ᜀᜆ᜔ ᜀᜅ᜔ ᜃᜇᜃᜒᜎᜀᜈ᜔, ᜋᜄ᜔ᜉᜃᜌ᜔ᜎᜈ᜔ᜋᜈ᜔.]
- ᜀᜋᜒᜈ᜔/ᜐᜒᜌ ᜈᜏ.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights 
- ᜀᜅ᜔ ᜎᜑᜆ᜔ ᜈᜅ᜔ ᜆᜂ ᜀᜌ᜔ ᜁᜐᜒᜈᜒᜎᜅ᜔ ᜈ ᜋᜎᜌ ᜀᜆ᜔ ᜉᜈ᜔ᜆᜌ᜔ᜉᜈ᜔ᜆᜌ᜔ ᜐ ᜃᜅᜎᜈ᜔ ᜀᜆ᜔ ᜃᜉᜆᜈ᜔‖ ᜐᜒᜎ ᜀᜌ᜔ ᜉᜒᜈᜄ᜔ᜃᜎᜓᜂᜊᜈ᜔ ᜈᜅ᜔ ᜊᜓᜇ᜔ᜑᜒ ᜀᜆ᜔ ᜇᜉᜆ᜔ ᜋᜄ᜔ᜉᜎᜄᜌᜈ᜔ ᜀᜅ᜔ ᜁᜐᜆ᜔ᜁᜐ ᜐ ᜇᜒᜏ ᜈᜅ᜔ ᜉᜄ᜔ᜃᜃᜉᜆᜒᜈ᜔‖
Motto of the Philippines 
ᜋᜃ-ᜇᜒᜌᜓᜐ᜔᜵ ᜋᜃ-ᜆᜂ᜵ ᜋᜃᜃᜎᜒᜃᜐᜈ᜔᜵ ᜀᜆ᜔ ᜋᜃᜊᜈ᜔ᜐ
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Baybayin|
- Laguna Copperplate Inscription
- Hanunó'o script
- Tagbanwa alphabet
- Buhid script
- Kawi script
- Filipino orthography
- Morrow, P, Baybayin, the Ancient Philippine script, MTS, retrieved September 4, 2008.
- Scott 1984, pp. 57–58.
- Halili, Mc (2004). Philippine history. Rex. p. 47. ISBN 978-971-23-3934-9.
- Duka, C (2008). Struggle for Freedom' 2008 Ed.. Rex. pp. 32–33. ISBN 978-971-23-5045-0.
- Baybayin History, Baybayin, retrieved May 23, 2010.
- Archives, University of Santo Tomas, retrieved June 17, 2012.
- "UST collection of ancient scripts in ‘baybayin’ syllabary shown to public", Inquirer, retrieved June 17, 2012.
- UST Baybayin collection shown to public, Baybayin, retrieved June 18, 2012.
- Scott 1984, p. 210
- Tagalog script. Accessed September 02, 2008.
- Doctrina Cristiana
- Philippines National Keyboard Layout
- Scott, William Henry (1984). Prehispanic Source Materials for the study of Philippine History. New Day Publishers. ISBN 971-10-0226-4
- Ang Baybayin by Paul Morrow
- Unicode Tagalog Range 1700-171F (in PDF)
- Yet another Baybayin chart
- Baybayin online translator
- Baybayin video tutorial
- Tagalog keyboard layout for Mac OS X
- Online Baybayin Library
- JC John Sese-Cuneta's Baybayin Unicode Typepad
- Philippines National Keyboard Layout with Baybayin, for Microsoft Windows and GNU/Linux both 32-bit and 64-bit
- 1st Baybayin mobile translator application
- Nordenx's Baybayin Unicode Typepad
Font downloads