ALAB partnered with Café Laya to bring to the public one of its passion workshops titled “SIDHA: Sulat Baybayin” last January 23, 2016, from 2pm-5pm. The workshop about the ancient Tagalog writing system was facilitated by Kuya Leo Castro, an anthropologist and founder of Sanghabi. Sanghabi is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that aims to promote indigenous Filipino culture through dance, music, and movement. Sanghabi was also the beneficiary of the said workshop.
|Kuya Leo of Sanghabi, teaching baybayin|
Kuya Leo started the workshop with a historical background of baybayin, and why alibata, has become a misnomer. He then proceeded with the introduction of the 17-letter baybayin and how each character varies (that is, when does it become a consonant, a vowel, or a single letter). Lastly, Kuya Leo shared with the workshoppers the etymology of some Tagalog words.
|Participants attempting to write in baybayin|
According to Kuya Leo, the threat of the demise of baybayin is imminent, especially in the advent of the ASEAN Integration, when Filipino and Philippine History are not given much importance in the students’ curriculum. These subjects are even being “dropped” in the name of global competitiveness – at the expense of our national identity.
|Kuya Leo being interviewed by Aksyon TV after the workshop|
This initiative of Sanghabi, ALAB, and Café Laya, no matter how small, is essential in keeping our Filipino culture alive.
|Kuya Leo with the participants of baybayin workshop|