DC Workshop introduces ancient PH script to scholars and museum experts

George Ian “Taipan” Lucero (front) shares the background and purpose of his CalligraFilipino project and the value of Baybayin in today’s Filipino society. CONTRIBUTED

WASHINGTON, DC – Baybayin calligrapher-artist George Ian “Taipan” Lucero hosted a “CalligraFilipino VI: Talk and Basic Baybayin” workshop on August 19 at the Quezon Hall of the Philippine Embassy. Baybayin is an ancient Filipino script. Lucero also exhibited his works, which combine art and calligraphy.

Scholars, museum fellows and members of the Filipino community attended Lucero’s lecture, which was followed by a basic workshop that taught participants how to write their names using the Baybayin characters, according to a statement. Embassy press release.

The event hosted by Sentro Rizal of the Philippine Embassy marked “Buwan ng Wika sa Amerika” and the birthday of the late President Manuel L. Quezon, the statement said.

Quezon is known as the father of the national language due to his role in the recognition of a Philippine national language and the establishment of a national language institute.

Lucero’s presentation highlighted the importance of preserving Filipino culture and the traditional writing system, especially in the digital age. He explained the two aspects of his CalligraFilipino project, which are sinulate (written) and ginuhit (drawn). He also shared his view on the visual etymology of Baybayin characters and its connection to the Filipino language. He also called on Filipinos “to be proud of what is ours.”

Chargé d’Affaires Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon, Jr. said, “While we are proud of our cultural treasures such as Baybayin, we should also be equally proud of our living treasures such as Taipan. We hope Taipan will continue to raise the profile of the Filipino people around the world through its CalligraFilipino.

“Taipan” Lucero received a grant from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) for his project CalligraFilipino, a portmanteau of calligraphy and Filipino.

Participants try their hand at Baybayin, on writing sheets provided during the workshop led by George Taipan.  CONTRIBUTED

Participants try their hand at Baybayin, on writing sheets provided during the workshop led by George Taipan. CONTRIBUTED

His art and advocacy celebrates pre-colonial writing and Filipino culture, focusing on the artistic interpretation of Baybayin combined with traditional cultural elements, such as the colorful Maranao Okir, the radial design pattern of Kulintangs, the Lingling-o fertility charm of the Cordilleras, among others.

Lucero was also the featured performer at the 29th Annual Pistahan Parade and Festival held August 13-14 in San Francisco. As part of her US tour, her upcoming exhibitions and workshops include:

  • August 26, 2022, 6:00 PM – Basic Baybayin Lecture and Workshop at the Philippine Consulate in New York, USA;
  • September 16 – October 15, 2022 – Exhibition at the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco; and
  • October 02, 2022, 1:00 p.m. – Presentation at the San Francisco Art Museum

More information about his works can be found on his Instagram account @taipanlucero ###

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