August 23, 2010

P is for Pilipinas

Before the Spaniards came and conquered the islands in the 16th century, our ancestors in the big island of Luzon already had a written language. Called Baybayin, it was the alphabet of the spoken Tagalog and Kapampangan languages, and shares its origin from the ancient Brahmi script of the Indian subcontinent with many other Asian languages. After more than four centuries of colonial rule, however, we no longer use Baybayin regulary and very few people can write in it with any facility. But the logos and abbreviations of many of our government institutions still use the alphabet's individual letters. The logo of the National Museum of the Philippines is the Baybayin "P" in the middle of a stylized sun. This rendition in marble is on the floor of the main lobby of the National Art Gallery.

logo of the National Museum of the Philippines



Reminding all CDP bloggers yet again: our theme for September 1 is Open-air Markets (so difficult for me!) and the poll is ongoing for the October theme. Please vote and help spread the word!

22 comments:

ρομπερτ said...

Surely an image breathing history. Beautiful. Please have a good start into the new week.

billyB said...

I think it's sad that your country's name should derive from a foreign king. It's a beautiful image and an education for me. Thank you.

George said...

Thanks for the interesting history as well as for the photo. You're helping me learn a great deal about the Philippines. Thank you.

EG Wow said...

Is anyone trying to keep the old alphabet alive? I hope so!

Olivier said...

merci pour les explications et pour l'histoire

T. Becque said...

Very interesting information you shared. And thank you for the theme reminder, I had completely forgotten! Although I'm with you, open air markets are not such an easy find in 100+ heat!

Oakland Daily Photo said...

I love getting this kind of insider information from you. Otherwise, I'd look at this and think it was just a pretty design. Thanks for the education.

AB said...

Great take on the P theme

Cezar and Léia said...

Beautiful and different symbolism!
Have a nice week dear Hilda!
Léia

VP said...

A very interesting story and a beautiful memento of this ancient written language.

Lianne said...

ooooh interesting trivia! :)

leethroughthelens.blogspot.com

JM said...

Great information, Hilda, and the logo is beautiful!

Leif Hagen said...

A fancy marble logo - cool! And yes, I have my theme day ready to auto-post on Sept 1!

JM said...

P.S. I'm watching the bus hijack now, hope all ends well!

dong ho said...

another new thing learned from your blog. you never fail to surprise as with some new things.

museum is my weakness as i always say because photos are not allowed i rarely visit it. in return i miss out things like the baybayin.

Birdman said...

You so much information. Cool. Love that marble rendition

Petrea said...

It's quite lovely. Your doses of history are always wonderful, Hilda.

Photo Cache said...

very informative hilda. i'm ashame to admit i didn't know that fact.

Francisca said...

That was certainly a new lesson for me! And an interesting one! (Yours is the third Museum post today for me; after my own!)(And, a suggestion: how about the Sat or Sun markets in Makati?)

Dina said...

This is good to know. So glad the reminders are so visible.

Rob and Mandy said...

Beautiful writing.
Open air market, yep, difficult for me as well, as there are almost none here.

Louis la Vache said...

«Louis» did not know about this written form of Tagalog - the things you learn by surfing the CDP blogs!