Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Baybayin on Windows 10

Microsoft's new OS (update) "Windows 10" rolled out today, replacing and improving upon Windows 8+

My desktop's transition to Windows 10 from Win8+ went smoothly. I was expecting a couple of old driver issues (my youngest son had to update his video drivers) but my old machine breezed through the auto installation process. The new OS and its new Internet browser Microsoft Edge has a lot of neat little features.

Edge is simplified, clean, and performs well in most cases, but it’s lacking features you might expect of a modern browser. I noticed that downloads start automatically without giving me a choice of where the files are being stored. A lot of basic stuff feels surprisingly missing. To be fair, Microsoft noted that they started from scratch with Edge. shows.

A neat new feature: you can post little text notes and draw all over webpages and send a copy to friends. It’s useful if you want to quickly share a screenshot of a site with some annotation, but sadly it gets old quick.

But as with most browsers, the one key thing I care about is performance, and Edge mostly delivers. Edge renders most popular websites smoothly, and load times are usually good. However, as I feared, it is not fully Unicode compatible. I can not find any way to change its default font settings and it does not display the Tagalog, Hanunuo, Buhid, and Tagbanwa Unicode range of characters on webpages and the new sticky-note feature has problems displaying stacked/ligatured markers (kudlit, virama, pamudpod). Character & marker combinations like the double-kudlit, possible in Firefox, is not rendered properly in Edge's notes (see image below).

Baybayin deficiencies in Microsoft's new "Edge" Internet browser.

(  ᜀᜁᜂ᜵ᜊᜃᜇᜄᜑᜎᜋᜈᜅᜉᜍᜐᜆᜏᜌ᜶ᜊᜒᜓ ᜊᜒ ᜊᜓ ᜊᜒ ᜒᜊᜓ ᜓᜊ᜔ ᜊ᜴  ᜶᜔ ᜶ᜓ )
The Unicode text (in parentheses) above should match the one in the image.

Another one of my other primary concerns is the default font keyboarding and the custom Baybayin Keyboard Layout. The only trouble I encountered was that I have to re-install the custom Segoe UI font (segoeui.ttf) and reboot my desktop afterwards. Everything else seems to be operating fine right now.

Baybayin fonts and custom keyboard layout works okay in Windows 10.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Taking it to Taiwan


The International Conference for Austronesian Linguistics (ICAL) is held every 4 years in different places all over the world. It is hosted by the Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica. ICAL provides forums for collaborative research and also publishes & archives research papers.

When Siuálâ ding Meángûbié (Voice of the Dead) suggested that we submit a paper and present at this year's ICAL in Taiwan, I was hesitant. I know that Mike Pangilinan (Siuala) has financial limitations and so do I. But this is another opportunity, like the one we had in Tokyo last year; to continue to showcase our work and be heard & reviewed by the  academic community in an international stage. So, after some rumination, I decided that we shouldn't pass this up. We have to find a way to attend ICAL.

So, for the advancement and preservation of Philippine writing systems and our cultural heritage. We decided to do a fundraising campaign to finance our trip to ICAL. Please visit our crowd-source fundraiser at: for more information.


For our donors, I am currently pulling out and working on a few of my unfinished, unnamed, work-in-progress typefaces/fonts (Baybayin, Kulitan, Mangyan, etc.). And at the end of this fund raising campaign, we will select several of our top donor's names and I will name these new typefaces/fonts in their honor. This is the highest act of gratitude that I can offer. Your name, preserved in perpetuity, typed by native script writers (poets, artists, designers, authors, scholars), as long as we strive to keep our heritage alive.

Do you want the next new font named after you?

Mike and I are also sending digital copies of our donor's names in calligraphic kulitan and/or baybayin as thank you notes.

Folks can donate through PayPal and we will add the amount to the gofundme total. You can use the DONATE BUTTON on the side-bar menu on this page. If you use the main PayPal site, my account is under my email.

For other offline modes of sending money, please contact me through email or via my facebook account and I will send you our mailing address and other necessary information. Mike can receive Peso donations from within the Philippines through local Western Union or MoneyGram type services. I can also accept checks & money order through the mail. Offline donations will also be added to our gofundme tally.

We do these as part of our long-term goals to help protect and preserve our cultural heritage. I do hope that you would grace us with your generosity.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Worth Repeating

Repeating Homophonic Syllables:
"A Baybayin Tradition worth Repeating."

A sample of an occurrence of vowel sign doubling in old Tagalog script. (Excerpted from a 1635 land deed, University of Santo Tomas Archives, reproduced by Villamor in 1922), provided by Christopher Ray Miller, Ph.D., 2014:
From a 1635 land deed. UST Archives.
Earlier this year, we covered this in our papers and presentations at the International Workshop on Endangered Scripts of Island Southeast Asia held in the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan.
Vowel sign doubling: Tagalog script historically shares with Buginese a spelling convention that can be called “vowel sign doubling”. This consists in marking a consonant letter with two vowel signs, either the same or two different ones, to represent two succeeding syllables beginning with the same consonant.
~ Miller (2011-2014)
In his book on Baybayin, Jean-Paul Potet Ph.D., noted that this same convention occurs in a Bugis script inscription on an old tombstone in Brunei. The inscription shows two i-vowel diacritic marks on top of a "NA" letter/character to be read as néné, meaning "grandfather". (Potet, 2014; Noorduyn, 1993)

Reintroducing Traditions:
Since I introduced the ᜍ "RA" glyph into my fonts a few years ago, it slowly gained acceptance and has become a de facto standard for the "RA" character. Similarly, I there has been an increase of online usage and enthusiasm for Antoon Postma's "pamudpod", from Surat Mangyan, a crescent-shaped virama (for indicating a trailing vowel-less consonant) since I also include the glyph in all my fonts. So, I think that it is about time that we bring back the dual-kudlit for syllable doubling convention. I am confident that the practice will gain acceptance once again, given some time, exposure, and proper education.

There is one hitch though, we need a couple more new markers. Since the /a/ vowel sound inherent to each baybayin character is obviously not marked, we have to look into other related South East Asian abugida scripts for answers. Luckily, we didn't have to look too far. I found that the Lontara/Bugis pallawa” mark is used to separate rhythmic-intonational groups and also used to denote the doubling of a word or its root. We can borrow the same concept and style/position as the the pallawa mark.

We can actually use the pallawa mark to denote word or root doubling. It would greatly reduce reduplication of words like "halo-halo", "bola-bola", "turo-turo", "Bong-bong", "bato-bato", "sunod-sunod", etc.

I introduced the : colon as a “padalaw-a” mark in my Tokyo paper. The padalaw-a mark also doubles the vowel characters in the same manner prescribed in the book "Ang Wika at ang Baybaying Tagalog" by Tolentino (1937) except that the marker is on the right side instead of being on top or bottom of the ᜁ I and ᜂ U characters.

Another extended possibility for this type of Kudlit mark is what I call a “pahantig” mark which is a single solid dot • mark on the right side of the a consonantal syllable character; it duplicates the consonant sound at the end of the marked syllable.

Before we could disseminate this, I would have to update all my fonts to include the pallawa mark. Currently only a couple of my commercial license fonts has the updated markers. The pallawa is assigned to the \ backslash key. In the mean time, we can educate baybayin practitioners about this forgotten tradition and updated solution.

Here's a recent chart to explain the dual/doubling/repeating marker system:
Baybayin dual / doubling / repeating marker system chart.

For a larger view of the chart above: CLICK HERE


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Baliktárin Palindrome and Baligtádin Ambigram.

A new exercise in tradition. Try your hand and mind at it; see what you can create.

Baligtádin ( ᜊᜎᜒᜄ᜴ᜆᜇᜒᜈ᜴ ; lit. reversible ) is a Baybáyin equivalent of an ambigram. 

Basically, an ambigram is a typographic, calligraphic, or symbolic art form representation of a word or phrase, whose elements retain meaning when viewed or interpreted from a different direction, perspective, or orientation.

The meaning of the ambigram may either change, or remain the same, when viewed or interpreted from different perspectives.

Baligtadin ( ᜊᜎᜒᜄ᜴ᜆᜇᜒᜈ᜴ ; lit. reversible ). is a Baybayin equivalent of an ambigram.

Faux-Latin Alphabet "Love", ᜃᜊᜌᜈ᜔ "Kabayan" (townsfolk/countrymen) a Multi-Lingual ambigram.

Baliktárin ( ᜊᜎᜒᜃ᜴ᜆᜍᜒᜈ᜴ ; lit. returnable back and forth ) is a Baybáyin equivalent of a palindrome, or in other words: a palindromic Tagalog sentence written in Baybayin Script; it reads the same from the beginning to the end or from the end to the beginning.

The unit of Baliktarin is mora (per syllable measure) since the Baybayin Script is an Abugida (alphasyllabary or phonetic-syllabary). This syllabic constrained writing differs from a Palindromya (Tagalog Palindrome), which is written using the Latin Alphabet and uses phoneme (per letter measure) as unit.

Baliktarin is very much like the Kaibun (回文; lit. circle sentence), the Japanese equivalent of palindromes which uses their syllabaries, Hiragana and Katakana.

Preferably, traditional Baybayin orthography is used in Baliktarin; where a virama (vowel cancellation mark) is not advised and trailing/leading vowel-less consonants are not written.

  • ᜃᜒ ᜎ ᜎ ᜃᜓ ᜎ ᜎ ᜃᜒ
    | ki-la-la-ko(ng)-la-la-ki |
    Kilala kong lalaki.
    "A man I know."
  • ᜁ ᜊ ᜊ ᜋᜓ ᜊ ᜊ ᜁ
    | i-ba-ba-mo-ba-ba-i |
    Ibaba mo, babae.
    "Put it down, woman."
  • ᜊ ᜅ ᜃᜓ ᜅ ᜊ
    | ba-nga-ko-nga-ba |
    Banga ko nga ba?
    "Is it really my jar?"
  • ᜆ ᜋ ᜐ ᜋ ᜆ
    | ta-ma-sa-ma-ta |
    Tama sa mata.
    "Hit right in the eye."
  • ᜁ ᜃᜓ ᜎᜓ ᜋᜓ ᜎᜓ ᜃᜓ ᜁ
    | i-ku-lo(ng)-mo-lo-ko-i |
    Ikulong mo. Loko e!
    "Put him in jail. He's really crazy!"
  • ᜁ ᜎ ᜋ ᜎᜒ ᜊᜒ ᜎ ᜎ ᜊᜒ ᜎᜒ ᜋ ᜎ ᜁ
    | i-la(ng)-ma-li(ng)-bi-la(ng)-la-bi(ng)-li-ma-la(ng)-i |
    Ilang maling bilang? Labinglima lang e!
    "How many did we miscount? We only have fifteen!"

Baliktarin ( ᜊᜎᜒᜄ᜴ᜆᜍᜒᜈ᜴ ; lit. returnable back and forth ) is a Baybáyin equivalent of a palindrome.

NOTE: An easy way to remember Tagalog term for which is which (ambigram or palindrome):
  • Baliktárin (baybayin palindrome) - key word "BALIK" meaning "RETURN".
  • Baligtádin (baybayin ambigram) - key word "BALIGTAD" meaning "REVERSED" and "UPSIDE DOWN".
Baliktarin palindrome, once you read it forwards, RETURN and read it on the way back.

Baligtadin ambigram), you can turn it around over and over and still read it while REVERSED and UPSIDE DOWN.

From a facebook friend (J. Abelo):
So, BALIKTARIN: Left to Right "pa balik-balik" (vice versa),
and BALIGTADIN: Readable in All Directions (pa bali-baligtad).

Have fun!


Wednesday, October 08, 2014


"Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture" (FPAC) - is the largest presenter of Philippine arts and culture in Southern California presenting over 1200 artists in 9 disciplines and attracting audiences of over 25,000 people from all over the country.

FPAC 2012 @ San Pedro, California.
When FPAC's Pacific Artists Network (PAN) opened up an opportunity for Baybayin Script artist-activists like Kristian Kabuay (, Ray Haguisan (, and myself ("Nordenx", for us to reach and teach more people in Southern California about our advocacy to preserve & propagate our ancient script, we took it.

Since then, we have been in attendance at FPAC every year.

On a side note, I met Kris back in 2010 in San Francisco at a babaylan conference (  and Ray back in 2011 in San Francisco's Pistahan ( event. We've been together at various Filipino festival venues to promote our ancient script ever since.

 FPAC 2014 weekend Post-eventum Report:

Baybayin Artists @ the 2014 FPAC
This year's FPAC weekend-long event at Grand Park, Los Angeles, had one of the most active Baybayin practitioners in attendance; particularly at the PAN pavilion tent.

Despite the 100+ ℉ heat & humidity and the initial hassles of setting up, the rest of the weekend turned out to be very productive and positive. Foot traffic improved in the afternoons. We all had reasonable sales of our Baybayin themed art materials, but that is inconsequential to the amount of people who stopped by to listen & learn about our ancient script.

I am delighted that many young L.A. Fil-Ams are becoming well-versed in our script. I am also pleased that they now know to avoid Alibata and the failures of Google search results. And I am proud that they also believe in the purity & sanctity of tradition; that "modern" doesn't have to be convoluted by the western alphabet's orthography; and that they recognize the difference between stylizing, functionality, and standardization. I lost count of how many people complimented my modern baybayin typography chart and the multitude of cellphone photos of it being taken.
FPAC 2014 PAN Pavilion @ Los Angeles, CA.
  • Kristian Kabuay's art & books are popular as usual, especially among the fan-girls. He did a live baybayin art on-stage and at the pavilion.
  • Malaya Designs' pendants are hot as usual (he sold the most as usual). Hearing him explain the background story to his work always brings in a crowd.
  • We were glad to finally meet and bring to our fold Robert J Sison and his fresh baybayin materials (love the temporary baybayin tattoos!). 
  • Inkanor's baybayin madala shirt & crafts are rockin'!  
  • Aicnelav Diyan's Bukobomba Solar Pyrography was a hit (many took photos and videos of her doing live solar pyrography).
  • Glad to see Clarisse Pastor-Medina Art (coffee painting) and hear her talk to people about baybayin.
  • Always a fan of Ka Faustino Caigoy, I can't believe he was just giving away his baybayin typography prints. But he's just such a nice guy.  
  • Eliseo Art A. Silva was in attendance, his murals speak for themselves, but he did a live art painting with baybayin too.
  • Baybayin on youtube sensation, David Lazaro performed spoken-word poetry on-stage.
  • I sold a few of my remaining Anak Bathala copies of the first Komiks, art prints, and quite a bit of buttons. The best part is talking to folks whose curiosities were piqued by my typography poster. ->
    Modern Baybayin Typography
  • Bayani Art, was selling their usual Historic Filipino Hero-themed shirts; a few with baybayin designs and Jacob Ira Azurin Vijandre's baybayin chart printed on them. 
  • Lauren Benetua's team set up a table for the People of Coloring project where kids of all ages sat down and colored-in the line arts that several of the baybayin artists listed above contributed.
  • I saw a couple of message boards and signages from the Youth Groups with baybayin written on them. Correct & proper baybayin too. 
All in all, this was a successful venue in my humble opinion. We can't get to every visitor but collectively we reached hundreds of people and got confirmation that they are learning from what we teach; also confirming what we do matters to many.

Photo Albums from facebook:
FPAC 2012
FPAC 2013
FPAC 2014


Thursday, October 02, 2014

Old RA is the New RA

3 fonts updated w/ RA and minor clean up.
Mangyan Fonts Update:

I have been meaning to upload the updated Mangyan fonts with the new RA character. So here it is: DOWNLOAD (.zip file containing 3 .ttf files)

Last year the Mangyan people's leaders opted to reintroduce the older Hanunuo RA letter-form based on the LA character (with a minor modification on the rightmost up & down end strokes). They retired Antoon Postma's dash RA that was based on the Buhid variant of Surat Mangyan. New publications from the Mangyan Heritage Center (MHC) started to include the updated character earlier this year, starting with the Surat Mangyan Primer.

I'll update the individual .zip files in each of the font's DeviantArt download hosting later since I still need to update the keyboarding charts for them.

The Postma dash RA and its vowel modifiers (kudlit) are still included in the fonts. Accessed by typing the Uppercase R, 7, and 8 keys. The new RA and its kudlit are now currently set to the lowercase r, (, and ) keys.

A custom keyboard layout for Mangyan script is in the works for Windows 8 and Mac OSX. I just need to optimize the Hanunuo Unicode font and finish up a Buhid font/typeface that will share some of its Unicode range with Hanunuo for similar kudlit positions. The keyboard layout will probably be ready before the end of this year.

I'm also working on a Surat Mangyan children's coloring book for the MHC.

Updated Chart for the Mangyan Postma Font.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Legends & Legacies of Modern Baybayin Fonts and Typography

RIP Hector Santos
We are losing our pioneers. Last year, Bayani Mendoza de Leon passed away (Nov. 24, 1942 - Sept. 13, 2013). Recently, Hector Santos passed away (Sept. 15, 1941 - July 30, 2014). I received the news from another baybayin font pioneer, Paul Morrow.

When I started researching about Philippine culture & history back in the mid 90's, there wasn't much about baybayin & surat Mangyan online until Hector Santos' & Paul Morrow's sites came along.
They were one of the first to publish reliable information about baybayin online. Hector Santos was the first to offer commercial digitized baybayin fonts online. Paul Morrow followed suit and was the first to offer free fonts from historic typefaces and the first modern stylized and uniformed typeface. Bayani Mendoza de Leon's manual introduced me to current modernization attempts. Their collective work inspired me to be more pro-active with my research. Five years later, after catching up with all the foreign language materials borrowed from library archives from all over, I began sharing what I've learned and fonts/typefaces I created to the world. Without Paul & Hector's work, surely my baybayin knowledge & fonts would've been poorer.

I regret not being able to meet the Hector Santos and Bayani Mendoza de Leon in person to thank them. Their legacy will live on through every baybayin font that will ever come along.

Hector Santos' website: