(SPOT.ph) While people are divided about a bill, filed in 2018, proposing to declare Baybayin—erroneously known by many as “alibata”—as the official national writing system of the Philippines, it doesn't hurt to learn more about this elegant script used among the Tagalogs way before the Spanish colonizers came to our shores. One graphic designer by the name of Lloyd Zapanta has taken it upon himself to promote this part of our pre-colonial culture through the creation of a Baybayin guide book, various Baybayin fonts, and a modern Baybayin chart. These are free to download on Google Drive or Behance.
"Bringing a piece of history with you is one way [to be] Filipino, but learning a lost piece of it gives you a cultural sense and identity we should've been enjoying ever since," he tells SPOT.ph, reflecting on the importance of knowing more about our various ancient scripts. He emphasizes that learning Baybayin is much more important for Tagalogs since it would be unfair for other ethnic groups “when in fact they got their own." There's Hanunó'o and Buhid among the Mangyans in Mindoro, Kulitan for the Kapampangan, and so on.
He first found out about Baybayin in high school. His book for history class mentioned the ancient Tagalog script in passing, which pushed him to search for other materials. Since then, he's been practicing how to write in Baybayin and developing fonts to promote it. In a Facebook post on June 10, he said that "one of [his] goals is to make Baybayin-learning an accessible and easy experience for everyone."
Zapanta also reveals that he has more Baybayin fonts in the works. Guess we’ll have to wait for them through his online accounts.