Correct Immediately the Baybayin Characters on the UP Sablay
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The ability to read and write is the mark of any civilization and, according to many early Spanish accounts, the Tagalogs had already been writing with the Baybayin for at least a century before the Spaniards came. The University of the Philippines (UP), the country’s premier institution for learning, owes it to the Filipino people who support UP with their taxes, to revere the Baybayin scripts. Yet UP not only bastardizes this centuries old legacy of our forefathers, but also its graduates since 1990. The baybayin characters on the Sablay worn by the graduates of the UP read as “upa”. This would connote that the iskolars ng bayan are for HIRE upon their graduation, when they are suppose to prioritize service to the nation. Baybayan characters are not the same as our Abakada alphabet where each letter is a basic sound or phoneme, either a vowel or a consonant. In baybayin, which is a syllabic writing system, each character is already a syllable. It seems that there was no in-depth study in using baybayin characters on emblems. Somebody just thought to translate the English letters “U” and “P” to the Pilipino abakada letters “U” and “Pa” and then to the baybayin characters of syllables “U” and “Pa”. This was reverse engineering at its worst and without any historical basis whatsoever, most definitely not worthy of a UP scholar.
A well-known acronym usage of the baybayin characters is that found in the flags and emblems of the Katipunan in the 1890s, which bear the baybayin script“Ka” for Katipunan. We are often confused into thinking that the symbol is the same as the letter “Ka” in our Abakada. The Abakada is an indigenized Latin alphabet of the Tagalog language, created by Lope K. Santos in 1940. During the Philippine Revolution against Spain, THERE WAS NO Pilipino alphabet then. The baybayin character “Ka” stands for the FIRST SYLLABLE of Katipunan. Therefore, to “abbreviate” words using baybayin, the character of the first syllable of the word must be used. Our heroes have consecrated this method of using the baybayin characters as acronym on their emblems with their blood. UP must not disregard their sacrifices by coming out with its own arbitrary method.
The baybayin characters on the Sablay are the acronym for “Unibersidad ng Pilipinas”. The first syllable of “Unibersidad’ and the baybayin script for “U” on the Sablay is correct. The first syllable for “Pilipinas” is “pi” but in the Sablay the character there is for “pa”, a syllable nowhere found in the word “Pilipinas”. A tuldik must be placed on the “pa” character to change it to “pi”.
Since 1990, when the Sablay was first used, UP graduates have been displaying the baybayin characters “UPa”, a tagalog word for “Hire”. It is a baybayin symbol that has nothing to do with the University of the Philippines. Sadly, this does not speak well of UP.
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