Baybayin is a pre-colonial, pre-Philippine written language. It was used by the natives of the archipelago in the 15th century, until it was replaced with the Latin alphabet when the Spanish arrived. Recently, it has gained attention from the Philippine nation and has been perceived as culturally significant. As of April 23, 2018, the House Committee of Basic Education and Culture approved a bill to make Baybayin the national writing system of the Philippines.
While it’s great the country is reclaiming this written language, there are a few problems that come along with this proposal. Many people don’t know how to read and write it, let alone know what Baybayin is. Others want to learn, but don’t know where to start.
To combat these issues, I created educational materials targeting children. For ages 3–5, I created an “ABC” book using the Baybayin letters. This helps children phonetically and visually recognize the letterforms. The next book, intended for ages 4–6, is for learning how to put letters together to create words. For the last stage of language learning, I created a workbook that allows young readers to practice writing the letters.
The goal of this project is to educate the youth of the Philippines, so when the time comes, they are ready to live in a world where Baybayin is used daily. Older people who want to learn the language may also use this educational set, because ultimately it is created for any age, making the process easy and approachable.