Here’s What the Baybayin Script in Your Passport Means

It's a timely reminder.
IMAGE passport photo from wikipedia

The Philippines’ latest passport redesign happened back in August 2016. The majestic Philippine eagle is prominently featured, as well as well-known tourist destinations like the Mayon Volcano and the Banawe Rice Terraces. 

But what most people probably won’t notice is the Baybayin script visible in one of the pages. The ancient writing system, used by our ancestors way before the arrival of the Spaniards, is enjoying a resurgence in recent years thanks to believers and advocates who are bringing it back from the fringes to the mainstream.

And in case you were wondering what that Baybayin script in your passport means—it’s a quote from the Bible, Proverbs 14:34: “Righteousness exalts a nation.” Or, in Tagalog, “Ang pagiging matuwid ay ang magpapadakila sa bayan.”

Now you know.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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