‘Educate first’: Filipinos react to Baybayin as national writing system
MANILA, Philippines – What do you think would be the effects of having the Philippines' pre-Hispanic writing system back?
On April 23, the House committee on basic education and culture approved a bill to make Baybayin the national writing system.
Authored by Pangasinan Representative Leopoldo Bataoil, House Bill 1022 seeks to require Baybayin translations in the following:
- signage for streets, public facilities, buildings, hospitals, fire and police stations, community centers, and government halls
- labels of locally-produced food products
- mastheads of newspapers and other print publications
Among the various thoughts expressed by Filipinos on Facebook and Twitter, there was a concensus on one point: the government should first introduce Baybayin into the education system before requiring its widespread use.
Facebook user Peter dela Peña said "it should be taught at schools for literary purposes," and a number of other commenters echoed this sentiment.
Others pointed out that it would be difficult to teach since educators lack the necessary knowledge of the language.
Baybayin is limiting.. E and I, O and U, D and R have the same characters. It will add confusion on certain words using these letters. Filipinos are supposed to move forward with the communication systems, I just think this is a mile step back. I’d go with preserving it instead.— Nabi (@nabi_ohchil) April 25, 2018
Some even lamented that teachers were not consulted about the proposal.
One person recalled how another country was able to change its national writing system.
Many commenters were dismayed that the lawmakers are looking at things like this when more urgent concerns need to be addressed, such as the recently implemented K-12 schooling system.
Irate commenters pointed out that the move was a waste of time and money, some even suggesting that the ancient language was obsolete.
BTW, kahit mag lagay sila ng baybayin sa street signs, dyaryo, products etc (subtitles), sa tingin ba nila may magbabasa nun? Halos wala. Unless turuan nila lahat ng pinoy ng baybayin na malabong mangyari. So, gagastos lang sila para palitan lahat ng signage. Anong silbi nun?— psynoid (@psynoid) April 25, 2018
Based on the reactions posted on Rappler, several commenters thinks re-introducing Baybayin would be impractical. They are apprehensive about the cost of implementation should this bill become law.
What are your thoughts on the bill to make Baybayin the country's national writing system? – Rappler.com
We keep you informed because you matter
We tell you the stories that matter. We ask, we probe, we explain.
But as we strive to do all this and speak truth to power, we face constant threats to our independence.
Help us make a difference through free and fearless journalism. With your help, you enable us to keep providing you with our brand of compelling and investigative work.
Joining Rappler PLUS allows us to build communities of action with you. PLUS members will receive our editorial newsletters and industry reports, get to join exclusive online conversations with our award-winning journalists, and be part of our monthly events.
Make your move now. Join Rappler PLUS.