Last year, I started a blog called Baybayin Alive. Recently, a person who wished to not be identified wrote:
Have you ever considered that the people you say have “westernised” “linear” thinking may in fact really reflect the way the people of the islands barely 500 years ago thought about these letters when they had just learned them from traders from Sulawesi and began to use them to write? Ways to write speech, a wonderful new technology; no reason to see any other meanings in them.
On the other hand, your mystical speculations probably owe everything to European mystical speculations about the supposed “deeper meanings” of letters, a pretty long tradition in Europe. There is no evidence of this kind of thing elsewhere in the archipelago, in Indonesia for example, where closely related scripts also derived from 15th century handwritten Nagari were used. Only in the Philippines and especially among modern Filipinos deeply imbued with Euro-American culture, including its useless “mystical” incrustations, do you find this kind of unfounded speculation about “deeper meanings” in what were and still are nothing more than letters for writing sounds.
Why not speculate about the “deeper meanings” of your household furniture, the particular pattern in which the hair grows out of your scalp, or the shapes of clouds and the direction the wind happens to be blowing from at a particular moment? The more this kind of foolishness gets spread around, the more it makes your mga kabaybayan look foolish as a group. You do no favour to the true culture and history of the Philippines with this silliness.
October 17, 2010 5:15 PM
And then a little while later another Anonymous comment was posted at another page:
Not a single person in all the over one hundred examples of different people’s handwriting from the 1600s ever wrote “ba” by starting with the bump at the bottom. It started at top left, moved to the bottom and made the bump, then curled back up to the left to join the beginning of the letter. This is because this is where it started in the early Nagari letter brought by Gujarati traders to Sumatra, from where it spread to Sulawesi and then the Philippines.
Higher consciousness comes from understanding that things are not just what we “think” they “look like”, but that we have to *prove* our ideas with *facts*. If people had never adopted scientific ways of thought and had remained in the speculative mode of semi-thought that you use, there would be no Internet for you to spread you silly speculations and blatherings, among other things. Why do you waste your time on this outright foolishness?
October 17, 2010 6:35 PM
Well, upon finding this, at first I thought I should answer Anonymous point by point. But I decided to step outside of the whole opposition aspect and think about the bigger picture. Shown in no particular order, these are things that I have to say in response to Anonymous and any critics of this blog and the concepts it presents:
Hello Anonymous, this blog is the first of its kind about baybayin’s meaning to Filipinos. It is only the first and does not mean that I am the only one with these ideas. There are many Filipinos who believe in the deeper meanings. These ideas were first shared in intimate circles of Filipino baybayin enthusiasts in the Philippines. Later, these ideas trickled to others they trusted who were abroad from the motherland. The baybayin enthusiasts who believe these ideas later decided to come out and share them in public and at schools. I don’t know why they have not published their work online before me but it could be because they did not have the resources. I am merely one voice among many voices. And because I have experience publishing websites for Filipinas and Filipino causes and for esoteric expressions, and because I believe in the deeper meanings of baybayin and how they affect Filipino identity, i published this blog.
My intention is to connect people with ideas that are outside-of-the-box. What is yours?
Yes, humans can be logical and scientific, but we are also intuitive and emotional. Yes, we have left-brains, but we also have right brains. Yes there is the historical and proven aspects of baybayin, but there is also the unwritten, oral and the yet-to-be-discovered about it too. Yes there is the empirical and material in our lives, but there is also the mystical and the unexplainable. And these are all beautiful and part of us.
Anonymous (why be so?), previous postings in this blog have answers to your questions and oppositions.
…As to your scathing “You do no favour to the true culture and history of the Philippines with this silliness…” Well, my answer is that this blog is just one small aspect of my online work. I am certainly giving voice to a minority opinion, but this minority, foolish or not, needs a voice online. and I will risk this little blog in order to give them that voice. I feel i do my kapwa fellow filipino a service with this and my other online works that have nothing to do with baybayin—with pinay.com, pakikipagkapwa.net, babaylan.com and other sites.
…all voices deserve a chance to be let out and heard, and you would be doing humanity a service if you would practice non-violence (ahimsa*) to those who ventured forth and dared to be different.
Anonymous, human existence is multi-dimensional. From my point of view, obviously, to share esoteric aspects of our beliefs or findings about anything is not to any degree a foolishness. Rather to ignore, block off, deny different aspects of my human experience would be to me, cowardice, and to me would be the “outright foolishness.”
*Ahimsa, means non-violence in words and action.
“The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.
To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms – this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.”Albert Einstein – The Merging of Spirit and Science
Paul Morrow had much blistery, dramatic, mean-spirited things to say in difference of opinion to Baybayin Alive at Baybayin.com (click here to read it) and we commented back and forth a few times for which my most recent today was the above response to anonymous and also this:
Paul, didn’t you take note that I am holding out my hand to you with the intention to create connections and cultivate pakikipagkapwa? When you continue to express your difference of opinion with the intention of battle and annihilating your opposition, then you create separation and walls. This is an old paradigm that does not serve either of us, Baybayin enthusiasts or our humanity. I invite you to discourse in the spirit of friendship—let’s be agreeable even if we disagree?
Not entirely acquainted with East Asian scripts, but based on novice study of Kabala at basic Judaism, the Hebrew alphabet is not only pictographic, but is the basis of its brand of mysticism, whose commentaries are quite prolific, panoramic at metaphysical, beyond mere Pop misappropriation: the intensity of the lettering undoubtedly has manifested in a multiplicity of innovation by its
EE, thanks for mentioning the mysticism and deeper meanings of the Hebrew alphabet. I posted something about that last year: Example 4: Hebrew Letter of Aleph, http://baybayinalive.blogspot.com/2010/10/in-defense-of-mystical-experience-of.html. This posts shares a folk story about how even Jesus, as a child, explained the deeper meaning of "Aleph," the first letter of the Hebrew
hi pearl! <br /><br />thanks for expanding the spaces…to also embrace Paul Morrow and anonymous.<br /><br />looking forward to more dialogues, whether scathing or soothing…that's how we build community 🙂 <br /><br />oh my, you should witness case hearings using customary ways in the indigenous communities i've been to! no holds barred in expressing your pleadings! <br /><br />and
Tessie Obusan sent a word doc file to me after I posted this and shared it with her. Here is what she wrote to me:<br /><br />"Hiyang as sauce . . .<br /><br />The concept of hiyang (apt, fitting) methodology in research underlines that each culture is unique, without in any way disregarding logic, global knowledge and heritage, etc. It acknowledges our utang na loob ( gratefulness) to those