Palaeographic Chart of the Philippine Islands

Compared by
Don Pedro Alejandro Paterno

Paterno's Cuadro Paleografico

This is an example of the kind of charts that were assembled in the late 1800s. It shows various samples of the baybayin from earlier sources. The Tagalog (en general) is from Pedro Chirino's Relación de las islas Filipinas of 1604. The other samples from Luzon were collected by Sinibaldo de Mas from handwritten sources and published in Informe sobre el estado de las islas Filipinas en 1842 (1843). (See Baybayin Styles.) 

These samples of baybayin writing are listed here under the heading Alfabeto de..., implying that each sample is a distinct alphabet belonging to a certain region or people. The chart further reinforces this misinterpretation by comparing the baybayin samples to scripts from nearby islands and other totally unrelated alphabets such as Hebrew and Arabic. Unfortunately, later historians reproduced these charts in their books without questioning the original source of each sample. The early Spanish writers are unanimous in reporting that there was only one "alphabet" in the Philippines when they arrived. (See Baybayin Variants.)

This chart is from the book Los itas, por Pedro Alejandro Paterno (1890) p.440. It is probably the most copied source for examples of supposedly regional Philippine "alphabets".

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Paul Morrow
Last updated: 12 May, 2005