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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ra Ra o La La ̶ Watta consonant!

Before you write your consonants, sing this Baybayin lyric a la Lady Gaga. Why? Well, to help you relax a bit and enjoy what you are doing with the 14 consonants of the celebrated preFilipino script. :)

Ra Ra o La La
Fa Fa o Pa Pa
Ja Ja o Sa Sa
Watta consonant!

Da Da o Ra Ra
Fa Fa o Pa Ha
Za Za o Sa Sa
Watta consonant!

Consider reading each consonant with a prefixed vowel /"A"/... [/Ba/, /Ka/, /Da/, /Ga/, /Ha/, /La/, /Ma/, /Na/, /Nga/, /Pa/, /Sa/, /Ta/, /Wa/, /Ya/]. Another thing, realize the history of its transcription. What do I mean by that?

First, notice the missing /Ra/. Some copyists in the old days thought that /Ra/ had always been a substitute for /Da/ or /La/ and vice versa. For example, /madunong/ became /ma•ru•nong/; /aramid/ became /a•la•mid/; /gracia/ became /ga•la•sia/ etc.

Some, however, utilized Marcilla's /Ra/.


Read this Baybayin example for America:



Is that an innovation? Probably. If Filipinos had already used Marcilla's /Ra/, why change it again and use Nordenx's /Ra/? Whatever their reason, be it modernized or modified, /Ra/ still had its place in Baybayin history.

What about the Spanish "Ñ"? Did the copyists neglect its /en•ye/ syllables? Nope. It became a diagraph in Pavon's manuscript. He combined two characters [/Nga/ and /Ha/] for "Ñ" or /nya/.


This is baybayinized España:    

The same thing goes with /Fa/. It became a diagraph of /Pa/ and /Ha/:


Here's baybayinized Filipinas:



Most of the existing Baybayin transcriptions 1,000 years ago were done by Jesuits. They devoted themselves to the study of the preFilipino characters they called Tagalog alphabet. But, did their Tagalog characters differ from each other? YES!    

Ignacio Villamor, the first Filipino president of the University of the Philippines (1915), noticed that when Fr. Lopez wrote his own set of Tagalog characters [28 years after Fr. Blancas] they had slight differences. Villamor, however, still considered the reformed Baybayin of Lopez as the standard in his book La Antigua escritura Filipina

The other Baybayin consonant-vowel characters had their stories as well. Did you know that the famous Jesuit-transcribed Tagalog alphabet differs from the Katipunan's set of characters?

Hermenegildo Cruz presented the Abakada (alfabeto) ng Katipunan this way:

Abakada ng Katipunan


Now, would the Katipunan changes make the Jesuit Lopez-transcribed Baybayin glyphs appear like this?

Abakada KKK

The Katipuneros had expressed their nationalist ideals by encoding and decoding them with their own set of Tagalog characters. Their reason for it is preserved in Kartilyang Makabayan.

So what's the first true Tagalog alphabet now?

Ra Ra o La La
Fa Fa o Pa Pa
Ja Ja o Sa Sa
Watta consonant!

Da Da o Ra Ra
Fa Fa o Pa Ha
Za Za o Sa Sa
Watta consonant!

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