“Don’t Get Shocked — Alibata Is Incorrect” -@govph

“Don’t Get Shocked — Alibata Is Incorrect” -@govph

The Official Gazette, which is the official journal of the Republic of the Philippines, recently made a post on its social networks saying, “Huwag kayong magugulat, pero HINDI TOTOO ang ALIBATA.”

(Rough translation: Don’t get shocked, but [the term] ALIBATA is INCORRECT.)

It is followed by this photo:

Alibata(Photo from: Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines’s Facebook Photos)

(Rough translation: Alibata is not true. It is an invention of a teacher who thought [our native alphabet] was derived from the Arabic alphabet. It is from the first two letters of the Arabic alphabet: alif + bata = alibata.

Therefore, Baybayin [is correct]. It is the name of the ethnic alphabet of our country. It came from the root word baybay, which means ispeling [spelling]. It is ours and not borrowed.) 

Baybayin_alpha(Photo from: Wikipedia)

Alibata, if my memory serves me right, is taught as our native writing system or alphabet in grade/high school. Up until the Official Gazette posted this, I always thought that alibata is our native alphabet. The term baybayin used to denote as our old writing system is completely new to me.

A detailed explanation of why alibata is incorrect was explained by Virgilio S. Almario, one the National Artists of the Philippines, on his piece at Kulo at Kolorum.

According to Almario, “Kailangan kong ulitin na kolorum ang ‘alibata’ dahil walang gayong alpabeto sa Filipinas at maging sa buong mundo. Ayon sa misyonerong si Fray Pedro Chirino na naunang nagtalâ sa katutubong alpabeto ng mga Filipino, ang tawag sa naturang sinaunang paraan ng pagsulat ay ‘baybayin.'”

(Rough translation: I have to repeat that ‘alibata’ is a colorum term because there is no such alphabet in the Philippines and even the whole world. According to the missionary Fray Pedro Chirino who was the first to record the native alphabet of the Filipino, the call of such ancient form of writing is ‘baybayin.’)

He added the following to answer the query of many why the term alibata is still found on many textbooks, “Dalawa ang sagot ko. Una, mahirap basta iutos ito ng DepEd dahil magastos ang pagpapalit ng teksbuk. Ikalawa, at ito ang mas malagim, naniniwala din ang mga opisyal ng DepEd sa awtentisidad ng ‘alibata.'”

(Rough translation: I have two answers. One, it is difficult to just tell DepEd [to make these changes] because it is expensive to replace textbooks. Second, and this is more shocking, but many DepEd officials still believe in the authenticity of the term ‘alibata.’)

What do you think of this new information?

Agree or disagree? Why?

Share with us your thoughts!

“Don’t Get Shocked — Alibata Is Incorrect” -@govph

Related Stories