Cultural Properties Division
NATIONAL MUSEUM HOSTS SECOND BAYBAYIN CONFERENCE
The National Museum hosted the Second Baybayin Conference, the Ancient and Tradition Scripts in the Philippines, at the Ayala Theater, Museum of the Filipino People on August 22, 2014 in conjunction with the nationwide celebration of Buwan ng Wika. The National Museum First Baybayin Conference was held on December 13, 2013 to present the discovery of Monreal Stones found in Ticao Island, Masbate Province to the public. For the second conference, the objectives were to present updates on the studies made on Monreal Stones and other artifacts with ancient scripts, to intensify awareness on cultural importance of the baybayin script; to raise awareness of the importance of cultural heritage and the need for its protection; to share knowledge; and to provide a forum for researchers and students on how to preserve and protect the Filipino cultural heritage. The conference was participated in by more than 60 representatives from National Archives of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas, National Library, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, San Beda Ayala, Siliman University, University of the Philippines, Normal University of the Philippines, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Sanghabi Group, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and the National Museum personnel from the Archaeology, Anthropology and Chemistry and Conservation Laboratory Divisions.
The highlight of the conference was the public declaration of Baybayin Records of the University of Santo Tomas as National Cultural Treasures by the National Archives of the Philippines led by Mr. Michael C. Francisco. The significance of the Baybayin Records of the University of Santo Tomas was presented by the university archivist, Mr. Regalado Trota Jose.
Distinguished anthropologists and researchers in the field of ancient and traditional scripts in the Philippines presented their paper. They are the following:
Dr. Bonifacio F. Comandante, Jr, Siliman University – Update on Monreal Stones Research, Sulat Baybayin ng Mindanao, Present use of Baybayin
Dr. Comandante presented his interpretations of Monreal Stones and other archaeological materials with ancient scripts. According to him, pre-Spanish Filipinos had their unique way of writing. Three Philippine National Cultural Treasures were presented for acquaintance with old scripts across the archipelago. The conflicting accounts of friars were shown and compared to paleographic forms marked on Monreal stones and other artifacts. In conclusion, Dr. Comandante said that the Monreal Stones are prehistoric artifacts and early inhabitants of what is presently known as the Philippines, were already using the cross even before the arrival of the Spaniards.
Dr. Teresita B. Obusan, Bahay Nakpil- Baybayin Bilang Karunungan ng Bayan
In her paper, she said that there is a need to conduct an extensive and intensive research on ancient and traditional scripts in the Philippines and the Baybayin is a medium used by our ancestors in giving meaning to things, objects and events.
Mr. Emmanuel S. Castro, A,E U ng Malikhaing Paggawa
Mr. Castro informed the participants on the accomplishment of Sanghabi in 15 years of research, presentation and ritual performance. He explained that how Baybayin can help in creative works.
A case on illegal extraction of stalagmite in Guri Cave was also mentioned. PCSD Legal Officer, Atty. Adelina Villena needs additional documents before the filing of the case.
Me. Melissa May Cardenas. Baybayin, Ambahan at Awit
Inspired by the Ambahan poetry from of Hanunuo and Buhid, she combined the art of writing ambahan using Baybayin scripts, and she taught the participants on how to chant the poems they wrote as practiced by the Hanunuo and Buhid.
Mr. Leo Batoon, Conservation of the Tagbanua / Pala’wan Syllabic Writing, The National Museum Project
Mr. Batoon presented the National Museum Project on the Conservation of Tagbanua / Pala’wan Syllabic Writing. Entitled Introduction of the Tagbanua / Pala’wan Sylabic Script in Formal and Non-Formal Education, it was aimed to develop the ethnic and lowland Palawenos’ appreciation and understanding of the script. It specifically aimed to train the out-of- school youth and adult Pala’wan and Tagbanua in writing the script and integrate the script in writing and reading lessons in elementary and high schools.
Dr. Ramon Guillermo, The Tagalog Baybayin Text of Doctrina Christiana: Refuting the Legend of Unreadability
In his study, he proposed two major theses. First, by means of a quantitative analysis of babayin punctuation, it attempts to qualify or even refute the notion that texts written in traditional tagalong baybayin are necessarily difficult or even impossible to read. Second, it makes a renewed assertion of a corollary hypothesis regarding the strong possibility of a relationship between Bugis-Makasar and Philippine syllabaries.
Opening Ceremonies of the Second NM Baybayin Conference
Public Declaration of the Baybayin Records of UST as NCT by Messrs. Jose (UST) and Francisco (NAP)
Presentation of Certificate of Appreciation to Dr. Comandante
Presentation of A, E, U of Baybayin by Mr. Castro
Teaching the participants in writing and chanting Hanunuo poems by Ms. Cardenas