Alibata/Baybayin: Ancient Pilipino Writing System

Baybayin or Alibata is the alphabet system of The Philippines during pre-hispanic times. The system originated from the Javanese script of Old Kawi (Jawi) and is a member of the Brahmic family which includes The Burmese abugida, Tamil and Malayalam. Unfortunately, the use of Alibata was discouraged by The Spaniards and was in fact prohibited. The Filipino language was later romanized and still used this form today.

The alphabet system varies from one dialect to the other though the Tagalog system is the most common. Each alphabet resembles the modern romanization though some words interact.

But the younger generation of Filipinos are rediscovering Alibata and is also popular in today's subculture.


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