Written & Produced by: Lex Perry
Interview & Arrangement by: syzygees
Visuals from: hannahbarredss & kurtypiee
How fast life is.
That’s what stuck with me as we were wandering the halls of Arete, gazing at each art stall we pass by. So this is Ateneo’s Creative Hub – a building constructed with amazing architecture currently housing the thesis exhibits of graduating students from the Bachelor of Arts – Major in Information Design program.
As for this day, I am with a group of brilliant Senior High School students from iAcademy who are pursuing their two-week work immersion with DBTK and it just so happens that this content we’re working on is about the exhibit of one of our early interns who goes by the artist name LDR.
So the next day after the earthquake struck Metro Manila, we went to visit and check out the project of our teammate and artist LDR who opted to have Alibata & Baybayin as her subject with the intention of providing in-depth information about the matter as a way to embed cultural awareness, enrich our cultural practice/s and also reconnect with our identity as Filipinos notwithstanding the reality that is has already become a dead language.
thesis exhibit set-up
one of the stalls from the graduating students
“One of the things that I wish for my thesis is that it spark conversations and/or discussions not only about Baybayin but for our other cultures as well.” – LDR
Aside from being a graphic designer and illustrator, Lisa or LDR is also a tattoo artist who happens to pursue her art through skin ink or skin bling if you will that’s why she originally intended to go for tattoos and its misconceptions as her main thesis topic, however, it was not approved by her thesis adviser that’s why she went for Baybayin instead. Aside from that, she even had her stint with the Women’s Volleyball Team during the early years of her college life so yes, you’re looking at a bright individual that’s rich in talent and skill.
Initially a Political-Science student, LDR knew that she has her interest focused more on art and design that’s why made the shift and we are blessed to have her apart of our creative team as she has accomplished her school internship with DBTK. Now that she’s about to fulfill the steps to a new milestone by being a degree holder, it makes us grateful and happy seeing her achieve by finishing her undergraduate studies.
What would you say are struggles that you faced while creating your thesis?
I guess it would be the part where I was gathering data because you rarely get information about Baybayin and also the phase of crosschecking to make sure your contents are authentic because again, there are only few sources of information about it so it’s harder to verify and double check.
What about the fun things that you’ve done during the process?
I’d say I enjoyed learning new things about the topic, since hindi rin naman ako expert sa field na yun. I’d interview socio-anthropologists na professors, ganun. Also sa paggawa ng visual elements. I had a lot of fun with those as well. I tried interpreting yung information na gusto kong maiparating through the visuals that I created rin.
Who would you say is the intended audience of your website [thesis project]?
18-21 years old. When I conducted my interviews with stakeholders, they told me that people of this age make use of Baybayin to reconnect with our Filipino Identity so they became my target audience.
For my recommendation though, I extended the reach to Senior High School students. Because of course, if you want to embed cultural awareness, you start through a young audience so as they grow, it will be easier and more natural for them to soak in all the information you’re trying to bring.
What about design-wise? What was your inspiration?
Mostly just flat design. For the color scheme, I took the most inspiration from the Philippine flag. It would be widely seen in the landing banner, the inspiration was drawn from both the colors and composition of the flag.
The colors are very pretty.
That’s what the panelists said too. At first, I told them that I would make use of the Philippine Flag, but they though it wouldn’t work so I incorporated different tones of red, blue, and yellow so there is still a variety of colors.
What would you say is your forte?
Hmm… Honestly I’d say that I’m a jack of all trades.
Then, what would you say is your favorite art medium?
Illustration. But then, I try other programs or mediums that are new to me. That’s the limitation of our course – it’s geared towards graphic design. In other courses, they cover videography and filmmaking, etc. but in our program, we don’t cover those other aspects, so we have to strive to learn about them.
What measures do we need to take to spread the information and communication about Baybayin?
It’s not easy. The government has to properly disseminate information regarding Baybayin and they can work together with organizations with the similar advocate and/or purpose to hasten and broaden the scope and knowledge of people about the matter and at the process, entice them to communicate the Baybayin language.
Do you think it’s better to apply Baybayin in the curriculum of Filipino students?
It can be a good things although other may think of it as something that’s too Filipino-centric given that Baybayin is Tagalog so I think it’s better for students to be taught at least the proper writing system since it’s not the only existing writing system in the Philippines.
It’s also a good way to embrace our culture if it would be implemented.
Yes. Because the problem right now is that cultures are being intertwined and mixed altogether so it’s somewhat tricky to really identify the Filipino Identity.
Lisa Dela Rosa – LDR
If you were to apply Baybayin in a real-life setting, where would you put it?
Honestly, it’s hard to think of one. Baybayin is already a dead script, it’s not reasonable to put or use in establishments and the like. I guess, it could be done more on recreational purposes like writing scripts, calligraphy, and whatnot. Doon rin kasi masasanay yun mga tao sa itsura ng Baybayin
Out of all the things that’s here, what are the things you want your viewers to pick up from the exhibit?
Power of design. How design can come up with a solution to the problems that you didn’t think existed. That design is not only about aesthetic, that it has also the capability to give out efficient information about topics that are relevant in our country.
It’s always refreshing to see young individuals help preserve the tradition and spread cultural awareness simply by giving acknowledgement and importance to the practices of our early ancestors. Even if it may be an academic requirement, we were all happy to see where the curiosity and interest of these graduating students are channeled at and this trip was truly a special + fun learning experience.
If you want to see more of LDR and her artworks, you may click HERE or hit her up through her IG handle @lisadelarosa or through her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org