Baybayin and early Filipino images greet riders on LRT-1

Train commuters marvel at the ancient Filipino script with modern Filipino Alphabet translations posted in one of the LTR-1’s windows. Credits to Philippine Star.

Light Rail Transit-1 (LRT-1) passengers were welcomed today with new signages written in Baybayin, the pre-Hispanic form of local writing.

The Baybayin signages were accompanied by images of 16th century Filipinos and Pintados-inspired art design displayed in selected windows and train walls.

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Three LRT-1 coaches of the Light Rail Corporation were designed with Baybayin, riddles, literary pieces, and pictures of Filipino ancestors in line with the month-long celebration of “Gabay Guro” to mark the Philippines’ National Teachers Month.

The National Quincentennial Committee posted a photo on their social media showing the pictures of early Filipinos displayed on the trains’ entrance. The photos were of the 16th-century Boxer Codex which contains documents of Filipinos during the pre-colonial period.

Images of early Filipinos displayed on LRT 1 train doors welcoming commuters. Credits to National Quincentennial Committee.

“And here are our ancestors, greeting you in the busy metro. An LRT 1 cart featuring our fashionable ancestors in Luzon during the century of Lapulapu, documented by the 16th-century Boxer Codex. 2021 is the year of our ancestors whose memory and civilization will be celebrated,” the National Quincentennial Committee captioned its post.

The committee handles the preparation of the 2021 celebrations of the 500th year anniversaries of Lapu-Lapu’s victory in Mactan, the achievement of mankind in circumnavigating the world, and the introduction of Christianity to the Philippines.

“Thank you for the support to our 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines, Light Rail Manila Corporation,” the committee added to the post.

Filipino celebrities Gabby Concepcion and Jay-r took part in the “Gabay Guro” Train Launch and serenaded the teachers and LRT commuters.

Baybayin, together with local Filipino arts with heritage touches, have broken into the mainstream media and is now making headlines after getting international attention.

It can be recalled that reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray showcased the tattoo arts of ancient Visayan warriors as well as the Baybayin in her “Luzviminda” national costume when she competed and won the international pageant in Thailand. The national costume ensemble is currently on display in Mactan, Cebu.

Several Baybayin mobile apps were also created for those who are interested to learn how to read and write the pre-Spanish Filipino script.

Recently, Google Philippines announced the Gboard virtual keyboard update adding Baybayin and other native Filipino writing systems such as Hanunuo, Buhid and Tagbanwa.

SEND Mabuhay cheers in the comments below to the organizers of Gabay Guro on LRT 1 for championing Filipino heritage!

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Atom Pornel is a tourism and broadcast journalism major who loves local art and heritage and is passionate about anything good news from the Philippines. Born from a Bicolano-Odionganon father and Waray mother, he has grown appreciation of our diversity as nation.