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LOOK: UP Oval now shows how to spell bike lanes in Baybayin

By Kara Santos Published Jun 16, 2022 4:32 pm Updated Jun 16, 2022 4:36 pm

Heads up, bikers and runners! The University of the Philippines Diliman has some freshly painted signs on the street channeling Pinoy Pride.

The painted text on the biking and running lanes around UP Diliman's Academic Oval reads "Padyak" (bike) and "Lakad" (walk) in the pre-colonial Philippine writing system Baybayin.

The campus of the premiere and first state institution of higher learning in the country is also one of the most popular spots in the metro among cyclists and joggers, especially during weekends.

Baybayin is a Philippine script that was widely used in Luzon and other parts of the Philippines prior to and during the 16th and 17th centuries before it was replaced by the Latin alphabet during the period of Spanish colonization. The original Baybayin consisted of 17 symbols that represent 14 consonants (katinig) and 3 vowels (patinig).

Lakad and Padyak in Baybayin.

The pre-Hispanic writing system was declared a National Writing System of the Philippines in a House Bill filed in 2018, representing Philippine traditions and national identity.

The bill declared that there was a need "to promote, protect, preserve and conserve Baybayin as the National Writing System of the Philippines, using it as a tool for cultural and economic development to create a consciousness, respect and pride for the legacies of Filipino cultural history, heritage and the country's authentic identity."

Nowadays, the indigenous script has made a comeback through tattoos, art, fashion items, signages for street names and public facilities. The script is becoming more widely seen as a symbol of the cultural pride of Filipinos worldwide, with classes on learning how to read and write in the "Ancient Filipino Indigenous Script" even being offered online. 

Baybayin

The new bike lanes in UP Diliman also feature the universal symbol for bikers wearing a salakot, a traditional, wide-brimmed hat worn in the Philippines.