The ABC's of the Ancient Baybayin


This is an excerpt from the  Doctrina Christiana, en lengua española y tagala, which was one of the first two books printed in the Philippines - the other being the Tratado de la Doctrina de la Santa Iglesia y de ciencias naturales, written in Spanish and Chinese. Both books were printed in 1593.

This excerpt from the fifth page introduces the reader to the baybayin script. It shows the entire set of characters in the original Filipino sequence or "alphabetical" order. The marks above and below the consonants are diacritics called kudlíts, which alter the vowel sound inherent in each letter. This arrangement manages to fit all 45 possible combinations of letters and kudlíts into a very small space.

Transcription of Text

                      The abc. in the tagalog language
A  U/O  I/E  Ha  Pa  Ka  Sa  La  Ta  Na  Ba  Ma  Ga  D/Ra  Ya
NGa  Wa ||

Doctrina Christiana, The First Book Printed in the Philippines, Manila, 1593
Facsimile, National Historical Institute, Manila, Philippines, 2nd printing, 1991
Foreword by Carlos Quirino. ISBN 971-538-041-X

Additional information from:
Harold C. Conkllin, Doctrina Christiana, en lengua española y tagala, Manila, 1593
in Vision of a Collector: the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection in the Library of Congress,
Washington, DC: The Library of Congress, 1991