contents origins artifacts language usage extinction revival

What it was used for

Types of artifacts

Documents and Artifacts which use Alibata

What it was used for

Part of the difficulty of determining the source of the script lies in the fact that very few records have survived. Most of the media used for writing was perishable, such as palm leaves and pieces of bamboo. 8 The scripts were not used to record mythology, history, or any similar "deep time" messages, but were rather used for business transactions, love letters, and other personal matters, so that the desire to preserve them may have been minimal. The scripts were also used to record formulae of magical and/or religious significance and so might have been destroyed by the Spanish as part of their efforts to convert the inhabitants of the Philippines to Christianity. 9

Types of artifacts

William Scott describes four types of authentic samples of Philippine writing: early Spanish works using wood block type, Spanish descriptions of the writing, documents and signatures written by Filipinos, and contemporary specimens of living scripts. 10 With regards to preserved ancient records, most of these were actually written by the Spanish, for the purposes of catechizing the native inhabitants of the Philippines. 11 No ancient inscriptions written by the indigenous people have survived to present day, except for the Calagatan pot inscription. However, the authenticity of this artifact has not yet been ascertained. 12

[ Table of Contents ] [ Origins of Alibata ]

[ Documents and Artifacts which use Alibata ] [ Languages rendered by Alibata ]

[ Features (Usage guide) ] [ Reasons for extinction ]

[ Attempts to revive and reform the writing system ]

  8 Diringer, David. The Alphabet: A Key to the History of Mankind. (New York: 1948) 434.
9 Francisco, Juan R. Philippine Palaeography. (Quezon City:Linguistic Society of the Philippines, 1973) 22;
Santos, Hector. A Philippine Leaf. (US:1996).

10 Scott, William Henry. Prehispanic Source Materials:For the Study of Philippine History . (Quezon City:New Day Publishers, 1984) 58.
11 Diringer 434
12 Francisco 14