Baybayin is the original written language of the Philippines. Before the Spanish ruled in the Philippines the native Filipinos wrote in the ancient script named Baybayin. It was only from when the Spanish arrived that Filipino people learned the Latin alphabet, and Spanish, as a means of communication.

Pictures taken in the Baybayin exhibition at National Museum of the Philippines

There are a number of different versions of Baybayin depending on the region in the Philippines but they mostly look quite similar. The most widely taught version is the Tagalog version.

This is not learning a new language – the languages of the Philippines were still spoken in a similar way to now (with the exception of modern terms and globalisation), it is just a different way of writing. You can learn this alphabet too, and it will take you less than a day to master!

Below you will find some of the necessary tools required to learn the Tagalog version of Baybayin. A chart with the basic characters, along with a video teaching you how to modify each character to create more sounds.



Online learning resources

Baybayin 101 Workbook By John Nl Leyson (2019)

Click on the image to the left to access a free Baybayin workbook developed by Baybayin Buhayin Inc. Below is a video detailing wider use of Baybayin

More information

Baybayin is being taught at numerous centres, online and offline, around the world. The organisation with some of the widest spread teaching of Baybayin is London Filipino Center. This organisation has developed a specific Baybayin course and course book in collaboration with Baybayin Buhyain Inc., and plan to host their classes online and in-person. For more information about Baybayin learning, please visit their website, and their Instagram account.

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