Tag Archive | dan adona jr

stuff myths are made of

I am dropping four “A”- bombs today.  This is to make up for nearly (okay…, over!) a month of neglecting this space. So, bahala na…, I’ll be starting off with…

Bathala
created by danadonajr2013

BATHALA is a Tagalog deity worshiped by the pre-Christian Filipinos whose mythology still remain intact even after 300+ years of Spanish-brought Catholicism.

Belief in Bathala, whose name is derived from the Sanskrit “bhattara” (noble lord), came by way of Indian traders most likely via south-west of the archipelago. ( I just learned that in Indonesia, Batara is a traditional reference to a male deity.)

The creation of all life is attributed to him by the Tagalogs (a Filipino ethnic group) and is believed to be living in kalawakan (heavens; or more like somewhere over and beyond the clouds), similarities he has with the Christian God which the Spanish friars used (exploited) in converting the natives. Thus the term Bathala became synonymous with God, however, the more common Filipino translation for God is Diyos (from the Spanish: Dios). Note that our ancestors, being animists as well, believed Bathala dwelt also in the trees, in rivers, in the air, even in rocks and mountains.

The somewhat fatalistic Filipino idiomatic expression “Bahala na” (which could mean: “God will provide”; “come what may”; or even “whatever”) is derived from Bathala. It’s a coping mechanism in times of uncertainty, where one cast all care aside and leave (and accept) his fate at the hands of God … Or where one rest his well-being on someone else,  as the terms: bahala (take charge) pamamahala (governance) pamahalaan (government) all can be traced back to Bathala.

The piece above, along with the next two, were submitted as entries to an ambigram challenge over at ambigramsrevealed.com.  Edited background used in this piece was from psdgraphics.com, check them out as they’ve got loads of free stuff for downloads there.

Thor
created by danadonajr2013

NOT the Marvel superhero but the Norse god to whom the same comic character was based upon. The character style was inspired by the History Channel’s Vikings series. And it was around that time (after completing season 1) that I made the initial drawings. A major design decision I had to make was to go with a central “O” or an “H/O” flip. I thought that former would be more of a challenge (and prettier ;-)) so I went with it. I will admit that I had doubts on the legibility of the ambigram as even my trusty audience had a long and hard time deciphering the word.

While the ambigram itself was done for some time now, only until the challenge came out did I decided to “finalize” it with Photoshop. I added the weave pattern, basically, to emulate those that are found on Mjolnir trinkets and other Nordic items. I would’ve wanted to add blood spatter on it but thought it’d be too much.

Medusacreated by danadonajr2013This piece is a gorgoneion. In ancient Greece (I read) warriors were said wear these kinds of amulets on their shields (and even on door panels) as protection or something to ward off harm. Though usually depicted with a disembodied head facing the spectator, I opted to go top view showing only the “snake-hairs” as they slither in and out beside one another. Then I finished it off looking as if it was carved on a marble slate.

There were a couple of other ways (I found) to doing a Medusa ambigram- but this way (a chain ambigram), I thought, suited my intentions.

and lastly, Maharlika.

created by danadonajr2013

Now, Maharlika is not a mythical character like the three above. Owing to its Sanskrit origin, “maharddhika” meaning, a man of wealth, knowledge or ability, it has come in modern times to be defined as nobility. During pre-colonial Philippines, however, the Maharlika were of lower class of nobility that served the lakans, datus, or rajahs in times of war, they were the warrior class. Above them were the freemen called Timawa and on top of the hierarchy were the ruling class called Maginoo ( the lakans). At the bottom  were the Alipin.

I included this ambigram in this post because it was created with the same character style as with Bathala. Since both  words were of Sanskrit etymology, I thought it would be appropriate to use the same character style. The Maharlika ambigram was created just a couple of weeks ago, after I started redesigning each glyph of the Bathala ambigram into an actual functioning CG font (which is still a long ways from getting published).

Below is a comp of the sketches and initial design exploration of all four ambigrams featured today.

created by danadonajr2013

Please check out my new website http://imagefoundry.wix.com/imagefoundry

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a gallant stand!

August 10, 2013 will now forever be regarded as one of the defining moments in Philippine basketball, when we finally broke our roughly 3-decade failed international campaign in this giant dominated game. When we  convincingly defeated the strong Korean cagers who for the longest time had been a thorn on our side. When we earned a very elusive spot on the FIBA world stage. Never mind us losing to a behemoth Iranian team the following night to bag the silver medal. All that matter is, while I myself (and Coach Chot Reyes, too) have no illusion of the national team winning the FIBA World Cup title, we get to show our wares there. We get a stab at the prize and make a gallant stand for the fatherland’s honor.

All thanks to the aptly named national team, GILAS Pilipinas!

Gilas in Filipino could mean any or all of the following: bravery, gallantry, nobility, courage, chivalry, heroic, daring, gutsy, virtuous and valor. I’d say the team most definitely lived up to their name that night (not taking away any admiration to the team’s previous incarnates). And to all athletes (not just cagers) who at any point in time had wore the flag over their hearts, this ones for you too,

2013by7danadonajr

The first version of the ambigram above was posted on my personal fb account, on 10 August. It was “rushed” as I came up with it with over three minutes left in the game. But looking at it again I felt (and so does m y wife) it read more like “SUNS” (note: there is a “SUNS” ambigram at the middle of Phoenix’s homecourt) so I reworked the design…

gilas

and came up with…

2013 by danadonajr

While I like the “a/il” flip here, I don’t think people will see the “a” as an “a”, so I went back to the drawing board and worked in a small capital A in its place for the final version at the top.

Implemented on the ambigram is the Philippine flag’s unique characteristic (blue field on top while at peace-time/ red field on top while at war). So when the tough gets going we turn the ambigram over to signify we’re no push overs and we mean business.

we mean business 2013 by danadonajr

Go Pilipinas! PUSO!

the captain of my soul

I took time off ambigram work on the computer and focused on a number of house tending in anticipation of the monsoon season. And although that included putting on hold posting my current designs here, I managed to sneak in a few sketch works here and there. I hope you all could stay tuned in and watch out for these exciting ambigram designs.

Anyway, this piece here today is dedicated to me. Yep. This ambigram feature / design is dedicated to me for personal reasons.

And the ambigram feature is: INVICTUS.

invictus 01

This chain ambigram was inspired by both the movie and the poem (which also was what inspired the movie based on South African President Nelson Mandela’s efforts in uniting his country). The poem was written by William Ernest Henley in 1875 and it was originally untitled. The title Invictus (which means unconquered/ unconquerable in Latin) was a later addition.

I’m sure you’d much rather learn for yourself what the poem (and the movie)  is about that read it here, and formulate your own appreciation for either one. Let me tell you ‘though you won’t regret a moment taking time out to look at both masterpieces.

So on to the ambigram. The real hump on the road to the creation of this ambigram was the “ctus” flip. After it became obvious that I’d be taking it to the chain “route”, I began with a couple of sketches that seemed to work fine.

sketch

After each glyph was vectorized, I decided to turn it into a rotational chain. We have two options in achieving this. One is by using the Polar Coordinates filter in Photoshop and the other is duplicating the final word using angle rotation in Corel. I chose the latter.

invictus cdr

After all glyphs were set, I used Fit Text to Path to add in the last two lines of the poem to the final chain to achieve the design above. Also, I fitted all the lines of the poem onto a spiral path to achieve this design below.

invictus 02

And that is it, an inspirational ambigram all for me, and of course to those who take time out checking out what I’ve been up to. Thanks, everyone.

ouija: steampunk occult

ambigram by danadonajr2013

On the previous post I brushed up a bit on the topic of using an existing font in ambigram creation. Well, now I used an existing  font again this time as inspiration for this ambigram. I also reused a letter I have previously created for another ambigram, see.

This week’s feature is OUIJA. I don’t recall how or why exactly I did this ambigram. It’s not like I’m into this superstitious stuff. I, however, am interested in the art that comes/goes with magic and the occult.  Especially if it has that steampunkish feel.

Now, I understand, Ouija is a trademark of a Hasbro boardgame. A game! As to how it became an instrument of the occult, I can only guess.

Here in the Philippines, we don’t actually use a board and/or a “planchette”. I remember when I was young, a bond paper with the alphabet scribbled on it and a drinking glass were used for this spine-tingling “game” aptly called “Spirit of the Glass”. Same principles apply, participants ask the “spirit(s)” to enter the glass and once it’s there, you may now ask it questions. I have only done this once (I believe I was in grade school, then) and while we were at it, I realized we were just a handful of stupid kids trying to convince ourselves that a lonely spirit inside the glass was indeed moving it from letter to letter. I couldn’t even make sense of the words that were spelled out! I will admit, though, that I had goose bumps before we had the paper and the glass laid out. The anticipation was a killer, the actual channeling though was anticlimactic.

So now we’ll move on to the ambigram itself.

ouija
Morpheus

These were the initial takes on the word. The first set was based on the font Morpheus. And as you can see by looking at the font, the “A/U” correlation of the word will be easy enough by just replacing the “A” crossbar with a dot or in this case: a star. Other versions of the glyphs were tried out but I went with a combo that jives more with the theme I had pictured on my mind.

ouija2

Then came the linking of the chain. While working out the letter correlation prior to the vector work, I marveled at how easily the glyphs fell in to place. It was so easy that the challenge was more like: how long it took me to recognize the “ambigrammability” of the word.

ouija3

After linking the ambigram, I began designing the board. I had decided that the alphabet and the numbers will be laid out around the ambigram, set to the font Morpheus. Initially I thought doing a vector art would be good enough but this design had been collecting digital dust (for roughly over a month) on my hard drive that I decided I might as well work on a bitmap version. Took me a couple of  hours to get to where I was satisfied with the look of the design on top. But knowing me, I might just do some exploratory rework on it, someday.

That’s it for this post, hope you like the design and do check back in next week for a new ambigram design! (or an anaglyph series… we’ll see :-))

komiks: darna/narda

This one is an homage to one of the Philippines’ most enduring comic characters. Darna. She has been portrayed by at least 18 female actors (yes, there were male actors who also portrayed a version of her as well) has appeared in over ten “Darna” films since 1951 (not counting cameos) a ballet feature and three television serials.created by danadonajrLike many of her American counterparts she began her adventures in comic books (or komiks, to us). The actual Darna character debuted in 1950 on the pages of Pilipino Komiks, but a previous incarnation of the same character (then called Varga) first appeared in Bulaklak Magazine in 1947. Both were essentially the same in concept where a little girl named Narda come in to possession of  a bulalakaw (falling star) that turned out to be a magic amulet which transform the little girl into a super heroine.

(Unlike American comic books, our komiks usually are serialized anthologies, wherein an issue may have in them up to about ten stories by different writers and illustrators.)

The publishers owned the Varga character so when her creator, Mars Ravelo,moved over to Pilipino Komiks, he re-tooled the concept and gave her a new name. Darna, of course, is an anagram of Narda. This time the character was redrawn by Nestor Redondo, Filipino ace illustrator.

While she is oftentimes compared to Wonder Woman, Darna/Narda has more things in common with Captain Marvel/Billy Batson where both adolescents speak a magic word (or name) transforming them into their alter egos. And while Billy is not the one in crutches (his friend Freddy is) young Narda (‘though not always) is predominantly portrayed as a cripple.

The Symbiotogram

darna narda

This seemed to be a perfect word to do a symb with. It resonates with the way Narda transform into Darna after speaking the name and vice versa. It would be nice to also carve this on a white stone, similar to what Narda find in the “falling star’s” aftermath.

What took more time in doing this symb is finding a good version of the “N/A” flip to settle with. All the rendition below each have their pros and cons so I had to go with what I feel is right for the final ambigram. A nice way to solve the problem posed by the “A” cross bar is by replacing it with a star, which goes well with its flip counterparts.

study1na versions

Next Week’s Preview
Before we go, I thought I’d show you a sneak peek into next weeks post. But there is a small catch… you have to decipher it. (It’s a sneak peek after all). For your trouble, the first to correctly tell me the word/phrase will be gifted an ambigram of his/her choice. Just email me your answers and by next post (likely by May 11) we’ll get to know the word/phrase and hopefully a winner! Ambigrammists are most welcome to join in the fun but (damn!) you’re probably better than me so you’d have to make do with what I come up with… hehe 😉

So here we go… good luck and have a nice week end.
preview

ilustrado

ilustrado ambigram 150My very own Illuminati ambigram.

Or Illuminatus I should say, as Ilustrado is Spanish and Filipino for “enlightened one”.

The Inspiration. Standing up against the colonizer, Filipino Propangandistas in the late 1800s -among them Jose Rizal- called themselves, Illustrados. These were young middle class men, fortunate to have studied and lived in Europe, who’s newly acquired knowledge and understanding enabled them to see and experience life far different from and more than what the Spaniards offered back home. In time, however, Ilustrado came to mean something other than being learned. As these middle class became key society figures and rich landowners, Ilustrado became synonymous to being wealthy, powerful, influential or elite. Privileged. I created this ambigram with the original definition in mind.

created by danadonajr 2013

Creating the Ambigram. In a way, it took me more than nine months to finally finish this. As prior to settling with the word/phrase, I was trying out other ways of doing “Illuminati”. But because John Langdon’s work was impeccable, I knew there was no way I could come up with a “better original” if there could ever be such. Anything would still fall short, no matter how “creative” I try. December of 2011, I decided to try Ilustrado instead, inspired by the propagandistas. Turned out it was a lot more difficult to do than Illuminatti. It could be done, yes, but the trouble was- no matter how I tried, the flips I come up with seemed not good enough to be associated with the word. I had to find a “more creative” way to solve this puzzle. And trying to be “more creative”  left me feeling just the opposite. I was stumped.

I was supposed to include Ilustrado among my “Revealed” submissions, so I re-worked on it. Sadly though, I just can’t finish it and even then, I don’t like my initial version. I was still stuck on the first two glyphs! So, it’s a no“go”.  In between ambigrams I sneak in a sketch or two, trying to solve this puzzle. My biggest concern was the “I-L/O” correlation. I knew if I can get passed this, I can manage the other glyphs.

Aha moment came mid-November (2012).

Although I was already adding the “d” to the equation, earlier sketches weren’t as “put together” as this. Turning the “O” into a tail for the “I” was crucial. Add to that, a curve from behind to supply the tittle for the “I” would have to be done with subtlety.  I knew I will have to to apply some tricky “overlapping/layering” tricks to “sell” the design.

I took my time tracing the pencils (especially since I had missed “Revealed’s” deadline by four(?) months then) as I tend (always!) to over think and overdo it and end up with different looking versions. It looked good. Except for the “U/A” flip, the crossbar in place was not helping and there is still something odd with the way strokes connect.

Solving this took an extra week! How I thought of removing the crossbar and replacing it with a diacritic then tilting one side of the “U/A” strokes a few degrees out- I don’t recall, but I almost banged my head on my keyboard for that belated action. That tilt did wonders! I almost decided on taking out the tittle of the “I” as I thought maybe I should avoid the mixed cases, but hold off on it as then I realized without that tittle, the curve that serves as the “D” bowl would be rendered moot. [Now I’m second guessing myself.] And since the design already look a bit complex, I thought it’d be best to just add very little embellishments.

In writing this piece I tried to look for the early designs studies to add to the developmental presentation but all I could find were the one above and this below.

first ilustrado
The red design is yucky, right? So I guess until I find a “better” solution for this word/phrase, I’m sticking with the design on top.
That’s all for today, next week: a very jolly ambigram!

http://wp.me/p2LM97-3X

‘atapang ‘a tao…

In honor the ill-fated founder of the Katipunan, Andres Bonifacio, I present two ambigrams inspired by him.

The first is his title: Supremo (Supreme Leader), the next Maypagasa (literally means: there is hope, but i like the more romantic: hopeful) his pseudonym.

Andres Bonifacio  founded the Kataastaasan Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (High and Honorable Society of the Children of the Motherland) or KKK or simply the Katipunan. Initially a secret society, influenced by freemasonry, it was founded in 1892 in place of the defunct La Liga Filipina, which sought liberation of the (Philippine) islands from Spain. They mostly were lower to middle class in stature, unlike the La Liga with more affluent members. And although this title is largely attributed to him, Bonifacio became (third) Supremo of the Katipunan much later.

The elements of the first ambigram, Supremo, is based on the flags of the Katipunan. The first flag Bonifacio had his wife create, was a triangular red banner with three horizontal K’s on it, which was soon replaced by a rectangular one. Although his flag did not bear the Baybayin glyph for the phoneme “KA” (the glyph at the center of the “r”) some of the documents he signed as president of the society bore this glyph. It is said, however, that Bonifacio has a personal flag that is rectangular in shape with a white sun of undefined number of rays.

Then why use the glyph, at all?
Aside from my affection for this ancient writing and the shape of the “KA” glyph being perfect for an ambigram, it was predominantly used by the Magdalo faction of the Katipunan (led by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo) on their banners, it seemed logical that while Bonifacio’s fate was sealed by those in this faction, putting the glyph with the design would serve as a reminder of how things turned out for him. Under the orders of (then recently elected) President Aguinaldo, Bonifacio was executed for treason May 10 1897. The story is very long and complicated to be told here.

(Side note: for more on Baybayin check out my previous post here.)

The second ambigram is Maypagasa. What a name for a man who died before seeing the realization of his hope for the motherland’s liberation. Had he known his fate, would he still have chosen that name?

Bonifacio is largely viewed as a bolo wielding barefooted take-no-prisoner fighter, which is a misconception altogether as he preferred his gun more than his bolo and apparently he dresses up based on his only extant photo available. Still, records show he was also an actor, a writer and a poet.

Here, I used a sheathed bolo with a writing plume as background images for the ambigram as counterpoint to our textbook taught image of Bonifacio we are accustomed to. Which may be interpreted in a variety of ways (the pen is mightier than the sword…; that there is another side to the image we have of Bonifacio… etc..). The ambigram design itself is represented in a script-like font in contrast to the sharper “Supremo” type style.

Initially I just did the two ambs but I though it’d be nice for one last homage. This one is not just for the Supremo but to the countless unsung heroes who bled and fought against invaders; who fought for liberation; who fought against oppression; and those who continue to fight for what is right. Also to those who struggle and fight against the tyranny of poverty;  our school teachers, the Filipinos employed overseas, volunteer medical workers, volunteer educators, blood donors, the men and women with thankless jobs on the street, our parents.  This is for you.

The word is Bayani, Filipino for hero. This reflective ambigram is designed with elements inspired by the Philippine flag.

Did you know that the Philippine flag is an ambigraph(?)? The flag in peacetime has the blue field on top (or to the left of the viewer when vertically presented) and with the red side on top (again, viewer’s left when vertical) if the country is at a state of war.

This week, we celebrate the birth of a hero. A patriot as seen in the pages of our history. Yet he is but one man, just like everyone else who lived, dreamed, and hoped. Here’s hoping we and our children do not have to endure what our forefathers bore in their lifetime and for courage to take up action protecting and defending what they gave their lives for.

baybayin + ambigram

No, it’s not baybambigram.

Having been a user of Baybayin since third year high school, it has always been my intention to write about it when I started blogging, but I was still pondering on the possibility of creating a second exclusive category for it in this space. And although I was fortunate enough to have had the chance to use it on one of my earlier designs, I never thought that I’d be able to fuse it with ambigram, just as I did with anaglyph (go see). So I guess my earlier pondering is now moot, as I am now rewriting the Baybayin piece in favor of this one.

If you want to move on with the ambigram part you may scroll down to it, but I feel it’d much clearer to any reader once they get an overview at the very least of what Baybayin is. But for a more comprehensive read on said subject you might want to google Hector Santos and Paul Morrow, two of the leading Baybayin authorities. Paul Morrow, who by the way is Canadian, and Mr. Santos has done remarkable research on Baybayin.

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Baybayin is also known as (ancient) Tagalog script as it was the primary system of writing already in place over the central to the southern regions and nearby islands of Luzon when the Spaniard came to what we now call The Philippines. In Tagalog dialect, Baybayin means (to) spell, and this system employs writing phonetically, meaning we write it the way we speak it. According to Spanish chroniclers our ancestors usually write on bamboo strips, on leaves and other indigenous materials which are easily degraded. Extant records of these writings are mostly copies made by spanish friars from the 16th century. Similar forms of writing like the Hanunuo, Buhid and Tagbanwa are still being used today in Mindoro and Palawan provinces.
baybayin chart

Believed to have originated from the old Javanese Kavi or Kawi system, prevalent in the Southeast Asian regions, Baybayin is composed of 3 vowel characters (patinig) and 14 sets of consonant phoneme characters (katinig). Wherein all “A” sound as in apple, all “E” sound as in elf, “I” sound as in India, “O” sound as in go, and “U” sound as in super. A much later addition to the system is on the separate row, but later on that.

For a very long time Baybayin was “forgotten”, but recently Filipinos are enjoying its re-discovery.

How does it work.
Writing Baybayin is easy, reading the written characters… now that require a different skill set. When writing you do not spell out the letters of the word as you do with modern alphabet. If I were to write BASA (read) in Baybayin it should be:baybayin basa (read)
All vowels are dropped, since the first character already reads as BA and the second character stands for SA. And if I were to write my full name: DANILO, we use the characters

However, it reads: DANALA. To correct, the use of a special diacritic was employed by our ninuno (ancestors). The mark could be a small dot or a nick over the character to signify the change of vowel sound to either an E or I, or below the character for the O or U sound. This retention of a “base” character with an inclusion of any appendage or mark signifying a change in phoneme is typical to an abugida syllabary alphabet system. So DANILO should be written as:

Now, if I were to write my name as DAN, another rule is employed. The third sound is always dropped. Thus DAN should be written

You may have noticed that the character for DA is the same as the character for RA. Well, in most Tagalog (Filipino) words, DA and RA have a special “connection”. The word for quantity: DAMI is related to the word plenty: MARAMI; DUMI (dirt) becomes MARUMI (dirty). DANGAL (honor/dignity) becomes MARANGAL (honorable/dignified); DUNONG (knowledge) becomes MARUNONG (knowledgeable); DASAL (prayer) becomes PAGDARASAL (praying).

To separate sentences, or paragraphs our ninuno used | and/or ||.

Easy enough?
Now, can Baybayin be used with today’s words? What about names with modern letters? Even though our ancestors did not have an X or a J in the system, it’s still possible to write in Baybayin. You write the word for whatever sound it makes.
Thus, MEXICO (ME-HI-KO), TAXI (TAk-SI). (Italics are dropped.)And here are a few more examples.
JAY (DI-YEy), ANTHONY (An-TO-NI), ANTONIO (An-TOn-YO)
CLARA (KA-LA-RA) ALEXANDRA (A-LEk-SAn-DA-RA) CRAIG (KI-REg),

But what about foreign words?
It can be done, but it’s more sensible to get the Tagalog (or Spanish) meaning or translation of the word, then write it in Baybayin. Example:

SCIENCE, (SI-YEn-SI-YA) is acceptable and so is the Tagalog Ag-HAm. JUSTICE, DI-YAs-TIs is hmm (so and so) but, the Tagalog KA-TA-RU-NGAn is better. FAITH (PE-YEt) would be better written as SAm-PA-LA-TA-YA, its Tagalog meaning. The salutation HI (HAy) would be better off written in Filipino as KU-MUs-TA (Sp: como estas). Better to write the Tagalog LAKAs than STRENGTH(Is-TE-REngt), HABA than LENGTH (LEngt), PAg-I-BIg than LOVE (LAb).

Looking back to the chart above, you’ll notice a third column (gray field). It’s an innovation of the Spanish Friar Francisco Lopez as a solution to the confusing dropping of the third letter. He employed a new diacritic (a cross) below a character to signify the loss of its prescribed “A” sound wherein the BA character is now just plain letter B. Where DAN could now be written as:

I will admit that this was what I was accustomed to using in my earlier works with Baybayin even up to the time I designed the record album below. And ‘though a lot of people has accepted this pleasantly helpful innovation, I have “reverted” back to the way it was originally written.

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Now comes the ambigram. Dual script.

I have heard of Kanji or Hanzi characters that can also be read in modern alphabet giving similar meanings, but I have not seen any and I have always held this thought of the possibility of creating something similar with Baybayin. But Baybayin characters looks very difficult to manipulate to come even close to any modern letter, well maybe with the exception of a couple of glyphs.

Seeing the dual script ambs posted by fellow ambigrammists got me to expedite my otherwise slow experimentation with Baybayin. While sketching and trying out new letter-forms I almost spat out my lukewarm coffee. It came to me so quick… even before scribbling down the PE character. I knew I got one. KAPE, that is Filipino for coffee. And if for some reason you read the sketch as Kafe, it’s the same thing.

The process was relatively short, I used the ’60’s-’70’s Baybayin style in logo implementation, very swooshy with sharp points, which was very apt since I wanted the letters to appear like steam over a hot cup. I admit I took some creative licence with the use of Baybayin in the creation of this piece.

It was crucial for me to find a good balance in presenting the Baybayin characters and its counterparts. I thought that the transition from modern alphabet to Baybayin should be subtle yet intentional (if that even make sense!). I decided to alternately color each character with coffee/mocha-like palettes, making the Baybayin characters more prominent when turned 90 degrees clockwise and the “a” and “e” hopefully just be taken as part of the steam forming from the cup.

To a stretch, I also did BARAKO as seen on the sketch. It’s Filipino for strong (when used in referring to any beverage) and stud ( in reference to any male species’ virility). However, I thought it still needed work so I decided not to include it in the final design.

There it is, all done. I am glad that I was, in my own way, able to contribute to the renaissance of a noble heritage. I know the word I came up seems mundane and not many will be interested, but what excited me with this endeavor was the affirmation that Baybayin still has a place in modern times, not just in badly drawn tattoos but in modern commercial design as well. I definitely will continue trying out other possible ways to bring Baybayin and ambigramming together. And this may just very well be the tip of the iceberg, somewhere, somebody else could do a lot better than what I’ve put together. Anything is possible.

As a parting shot, anyone who figure out my intention with this next one gets a Venti sized steaming hot Kapeng Barako (should we ever cross path here in Manila). Enjoy!