Baybayin 101

Two days before the 3rd installment of the event, Project Saysay posted this:

BAYBAYIN 3rd Group

I got even more giddy!

I thought to myself that celebrating National Heroes Day this year couldn’t be more appropriate than this.

I arrived in the Metropolis on the 28th because I first attended the last day of The Philippine Readers and Writers Festival 2016 at Raffles in Makati. Yup, I made most of my 2-day weekend at the Metropolis. 🙂

On the 29th, instead of commuting through the MRT and LRT, I was constrained to take an Uber ride from S & R Shaw in Mandaluyong City to the National Historical Commission in Manila. I was running late for the 1:00 pm call time so a semi-private public ride (pun intended) was the best option. The travel took less than 30 minutes and I was grateful because I arrived safe. (Thanks for the all-out support Liz, Lynx, Mel, and Jo!)

At 2 pm, the program started and we were asked to introduced ourselves one by one — our name, affiliation, and namesake Pinoy protagonist— to spice up the afternoon. So yeah, I said Hello told them my name and affiliation adding that  I am Daragang Magayon. Walang kokontra! :p

I was stoked to learn that we will be doing brush calligraphy! Gahd! The last time I held a brush was about an hour ago. But heck, it was hairbrush. Kidding aside, the real last time I held a brush was in grade school when we were doing water color sessions for Arts. Or was it when we made paper mache masks resembling? Or was it in College when I tried helping out a worthy brother with painting a streamer? I really don’t remember.

The Project Saysay staff and the Sanghabi staff were distributing Chinese brush pens along with black liquid ink, scratch papers, and water in plastic cups. Eeep. I couldn’t tell whether I was excited or nervous. What I knew was I was deeply overwhelmed by the fact that we were actually in adult Art class! Hehe. I got hold of my brush, dipped it into the black ink and let loose with whatever word I had in mind. I started with my nickname, then my full name in big strokes. I lamented that my work were huge and filled up a full bond paper because I noticed that my seatmates’ work were small and took up very little space. I was quite rusty, er, actually I had zero experience. Nevertheless, I deeply enjoyed calligraphy-ing my heart out.

from pSaysay Facebook

Me and my workshop mates trying out Baybayin brush calligraphy

At 5:00 pm, we were told to stop with whatever we were doing. A simple yet meaningful closing ceremony followed. Sanghabi performed a graceful number with a gong, bongo drum, and native maracas. We were also taught hand movements of “Alay” and “Tanggap” as well “ba,” “ha,” and “la” for Bathala.  Then, attendees were each given a Katunayan ng Pagdalo.
Photo from pSaysay Facebook

Maraming salamat po!

from pSaysay

3rd installment participants. Photo from Project Saysay FB page.

As I left the NHCP building and trekked the length of Daang Kalaw to reach the UN Avenue Station, my heart was full of gratitude and joy. What I had was another experience I would never trade with anything else. Learning the basic and the love behind Baybayin made me appreciate our art and culture even more.

Again friends, it’s not Alibata. It’s Baybayin.

Do you wanna learn how to write the Baybayin script? Gather some friends and let’s do it all together. Promise. Di networking ‘to. Isa lamang itong paraan upang maitaguyod ang kalinangan sa ating sariling Baybayin.

How about you, how did you celebrate this year’s National Heroes Day?

I remain.


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