An Open Letter to U.P. President Alfredo E. Pascual
An open letter to UP President Alfredo E. Pascual
The baybayin characters on the Sablay of our graduates read as “upa”.
This would connote that the iskolars ng bayan are for HIRE upon their
graduation, when they are suppose to prioritize service to the nation.
Baybayan characters are not the same as our Abakada alphabet where each
letter is a basic sound or phoneme, either a vowel or a consonant. In
baybayin, which is a syllabic writing system, each character is already a
syllable. It seems that there was no in-depth study in using baybayin
characters on emblems. Somebody just thought to translate the English
letters “U” and “P” to the Pilipino abakada “U” and “Pa” and then to the
baybayin characters of syllables “U” and “Pa”. This was reverse
engineering at its worst and without any historical basis whatsoever, most definitely not worthy of a UP scholar.
In the military, we revere symbols, especially those made with the
blood of our heroes. A well-known usage of the baybayin characters is
that found in the flags and emblems of the Katipunan in the 1890s, which
bear the baybayin script Ka Ka Ka the acronym for Kataas-taasan,
Kagalang-galang Katipunan. They DO NOT stand for the first letter “K”
but for the first Syllable “Ka” of the three words. We are often
confused into thinking that the symbol is the same as the letter “Ka” in
our Abakada. The Abakada is an indigenized Latin alphabet of the
Tagalog language, created by Lope K. Santos in 1940. During the
Philippine Revolution against Spain, THERE WAS NO Pilipino alphabet then
and the baybayin character “Ka” stands for the FIRST SYLLABLE of
Katipunan. Therefore, to “abbreviate” words using baybayin, the
character of the first syllable of the word is used.
baybayin characters on the Sablay are the acronym for Unibersidad ng
Pilipinas. The first syllable of “Unibersidad’ and the baybayin script
for “U” on the Sablay is correct. The first syllable for “Pilipinas” is
“pi” but in the Sablay the character there is for “pa”. A tuldik must be
placed on the “pa” character to change it to “pi”.
when the Sablay was first used, we have been parading our graduates for
the world to see, carrying the word “UPa”, a tagalog word for “Hire”.
Sadly, this does not speak well of UP.