Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mamaya na...

Pictures from Recreation at The Vangaurd in L.A./Hollywood will be posted later on today, so hold your horses as I regain ballast, homeh...


btw, shoutout to any girl that can recite lyrics from 90's hiphop songs, yall the bees knees!  And extra shoutout to Del Taco and Kinkos for staying on their 24 hour grind! Yall make the world go!

Stay up,



Friday, May 29, 2009

Ad-ding Up

Lately most of my Baybayin pieces have either been simple hand-style studies or computer based, making it seem like I totally ditched painting canvas pieces altogether. But really, I'm trying to figure out a certain conceptual study on Baybayin design to follow through with to incorporate into what-if, real-world applications, as exampled by the faux-Magazine cover and Dining-Menu concepts...

Well, I think I'm starting to hone in as to what my next series is going to be: Baybayin Ads. Much like Nordenx's take on Pepsi and Coke ads, I'm looking to use Baybayin in pseudo magazine-ads that not only use Baybayin, but also have stylized character forms to communicate a graphic resonance as well... The more I'm getting into typography, the more the possibilities of using Baybayin in these types of concepts grow... Now if only I had the patience to generate all of these Baybayin "typefaces" at a whim!

Anyways, here's a quick non-Baybayin piece I did up for a movie-poster study. The font used is called "Capture it", and this is a study on using cropping and multiple photos to develop a single composition. I used the Smokin' Aces movie poster as a basic template, and tried to give a Guy Ritchie feel to it... It works... kinda.

Cousin Movie Poster
Like Roscoe Umali said, "I'm Filipino, I roll deep with 50 cousins." There were too many of them to fit in this piece!

Stay up!



Thursday, May 28, 2009

On Some Next Level *ish...

So, apparently out of the 20 or so shoutouts I did during my interview, my shoutout to Urduja and whoever wrote Bahala Meditations caught wind on the internets and thus began the conversations with Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor, who dropped some knowledge on me about the ancient Filipinos writing Ambahan poetry in Baybayin, and performing it like a spoken word slam. Check:
Hi David,

Thanks for the link to Tiksikan! I had not heard of that sort of Filipino signifying poetry before. Very cool.

Ambahan competitions as far as understand it differ in a couple of ways. Tiksikan is a set of quatrains, but Ambahan are seven line poems. Tiksikan are extemporaneous, where as the Ambahan competitions usually start with poets reciting poems they have read while traveling the countryside (the poems are written on live bamboo). The winner of a competition is usually the one who knows the most ambahan poems of anyone else. That's about all I know, though. Like I said, I've never actually seen a competition, just read about them. :)

I've posted your two vids to the Babaylan Files blog:

If you live near Sonoma, perhaps you can join us at the conference next year. :)

Cheers! Bec

Conference? I clicked the link, which led me to a repost of my interview vids, which led me to the Center for Baybaylan Studies. This is on some serious next-level spiritual/cultural awakening type... a bit dawnting due to their high intensity and passion for self discovery, but very interesting and quite inspiring. Check the vid:

Followed up was an email talking about a Baybaylan 2010 conference. And quote...
Hi David! Kamusta na? My fellow Babaylan sisters emailed us about a YouTube Bathala Project video by you that talked about the magikal connection of Baybayin & Bathala. I contacted Perla to watch it and get back to me. I was speechless for awhile after watching it. Me & Perla were at awe because finally our work in relating to our Filipino Spirituality has finally reached the hip-hop generation. This is just the start ot the Bathala/Baybayin/Babaylan movement!

We are presently organizing the next Babaylan Conference 2010. The first Babaylan Conference was last June 2005 in New York City, which Perla, I and our other Babaylan sisters organized. Please visit our website. There are Babaylan files that are posted and will be continued to be updated till the Babaylan Conference on April 17-18, 2010 at Sonoma, CA. We are looking forward to connect with our other Kababayans in your community.


bathala nawa
mary ann ubaldo
Quite excited about it! 2010! That's wassup...

Been doing mostly corporate identity and organizational design lately, and though I'll show it soon, I'll also get back to the Baybayin stylin soon too. Stay up!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Have faith...

BUSY WEEK. Ridiculous! But here's some flavor to tide you all over...

Tiwala comps

"Tiwala" is the closest equivalence to "Faith" I could find. Vertical orientation, intending to be tattooed on the left side of the female client's body. I exaggerated some of the curves of the Baybayin characters while following the natural shape of the female body. Also, by making the characters complementary, they give the look as if the characters were puzzle pieces fitting together; and though the "La" character is quite isolated, geometrically it fits into the crevice created by the "Wa" character.

But there was some miscommunication as to which comp the client wanted refined, and it turned out it wasn't this one! Freebie.

BIG projects coming up... so STAY UP!


Monday, May 25, 2009

For The Kids!

Straight up jacked from the homie Zar's site, Pnoy Apparel. TO ALL MY EAST COAST FAN, SUPPORT THE CHILDREN!

"Shirt The Kids Charity Campaign:
The PNOY Apparel Company Inc. will be hosting the Shirt The Kids Charity Showcase NYC fundraiser at Rebel NYC on June 6, 2009 at 8 pm at 251 West 30th Street New York, NY 10001.   PNOY Apparel is giving back to its homeland in a HUGE way. In 2003, almost 23.8 million people lived below the Philippines poverty threshold. Forty-four percent of the population lived on two US dollars or less a day. Majority of children in the Philippines are raised without essential needs for survival, food, clothes, and a future outside of economic deficiency. How can PNOY Apparel help?

PNOY Apparel will be hosting the Shirt The Kids Charity Showcase NYC that will combine todays leading Filipino American emcees and artists from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City to address the economic injustice in the Philippines. The line up will include California based emcees Bambu and Kiwi, New Yorks own Deep Foundation, San Diego based Ashley Robles, all hosted by Ruby Veridiano-Ching of Ill-Iteracy.

The mission of the event is to promote and raise donations for PNOY Apparel's Shirt The Kids Charity Campaign, where every $5 donated buys a Sammy The Sunshine shirt for an underprivileged child in the Philippines. The goal, to raise 10, 000 Sammy The Sunshine tees for 10,000 kids! PNOY Apparel has also organized evens such as the A Sammy Thing San Diego charity concert that sold out crowd of 1200 and Sammys Wine & Dine that crossed generation boundaries."

That's wassup.



Thursday, May 21, 2009

CrisTol Clear

Once again, FREE SWAG THURSDAY is here!  Be sure to follow on either Twitter or Facebook for your chance to win some Baybayin Stylin'

The other week, Ms. CrisTol won FST by translating "Star Trek" into Tagalog... or an equivalent of it.  CrisTol is a mix of her first and last name, so by using different inks while keeping the same stroke style, I made her moniker name card:

fst kristol

"KrisTol" rather than "CrisTol" simply because of the double meaning of "Kris" (as in, the Filipino Kris dagger).  The black is slightly thicker than the red, just to give more contrast and depth between the two half-names.

Stay up.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Q & A

A semi-interview with Christian Cabuay via Cassanova for (same brotha that runs  Good looks!  

I cover quite a few topics, specifically the meaning behind "The Bathala Project", Christianity and pre-Christian Filipino beliefs, Alibata vs Baybayin, and a few fun tidbits.  And ofcourse, rockin that subtitle/typography steez.  Check the melody:

Good looks again to Cabuay! As for everyone in the shoutouts, check the links:
INSPIRED. It's been a while since I did a painting piece... I'll look into it.

Stay up!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Because I CAN

Quick snippet:

What did I tell you???



Sunday, May 17, 2009

Crash Delays

Spoken Word Sunday will have to be delayed this week; it's actually not really a spoken word piece (though it does have clips of spoken word in it), but regardless, Sony Vegas isn't liking me right now. This is my first time witnessing it crash consistently. This video must be blowing it's mind!

But to tide you all over for now, check out this Photoshop study of mine. It's a fake magazine cover for my astral-plane syndication, "Baybayin Stylin'" It'd be nice to see something like this, but with the Baybayin writing community so small and with such a niche audience (for now that is), I don't think this publication would last more than 5 issues...

Faux Baybayin Magazine

It's the infamous Mahal heart, with me, holding it like I'm revealing a secret... that secret sauce of swag! But anyways, THIS WEEK, when I get this new video mixed down, you will all be treated to something special. So stay up!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Free Swaggin

Another Free Swag Thursday has finally arrived! Be sure to follow either Twitter or Facebook for your chance to win!

A while ago a winner of Free Swag Thursday was given a name card featuring his last name, Dionisio. Dionisio is also a first name, which some Filipinos translate to "Johnny". I guess it makes sense, with "Dio-" supposing to make the "Jo-" sound.

Baybayin calligraphy: Dionisio

A bit of hand style, a bit of Asian-character references, all tied into this piece.  I tried to make the kudlits follow the shape of the characters and follow typography spacing rules with the characters.  As far as I know however, Baybayin doesn't really have descenders or ascenders since all characters are the same height (thus all have the same X height since there are no caps either)... I'll have to look into that.

A fun little project is soon to be revealed, stay up!



Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Heather Canvas

I got comissioned to create a canvas piece which was to be given as a graduation present to the receiver. Her name (the one receiving the gift) is Heather. And the friend that's giving it to her... well, I suppose there's a reason why he liked the Orange-Red Mahal poster.

Heather in Baybayin could be translated in several ways:

I opted for the first, "He-Te-L", as three characters would give the canvas piece symmetry. I then inquired to the gift-giver some descriptions of the woman he was giving the gift to, and he gave me the following adjectives:
►Naturalicious (a nickname, pretty interested to see if and how you translate that)
How sweet.

So, after some conceptualizing, I took these adjectives and translated these words, which would then be used to fill in the Heather characters as if it were these words completed his idea of who and what she is. I would do a quick draft on paper and send it to him to see if he was fine with this direction. He was.

Heather Concept

So after I got the go-ahead, it was time to translate this piece into the 12" x 36" canvas. Using oil, acrylic and spray paint, I began. Some artists use wood palettes. Others use little plastic ones. I use cardboard.

Painting Palette

The base is a winding of ambers and oranges, which represent the clash and conflict of both platonic and a more intimate love for a friend. Weaving in and out of the canvas are the descriptive words written in Baybayin that describe her. Then, to create contrast for the characters, I stenciled the He-Te-L characters in a dark red, which would bring forth the visibility of the characteristics that make up the name. Lastly, in a dark shade of jade-green, the words that describe Heather are used to comprise and give form to her name. This is how he sees her, and this is how she is seen by him.

The Heather Canvas layers

The Heather Canvas

Detail shots

The Heather Canvas close2

The Heather Canvas close1

Typography is the art of type... what about the art of character writing? In Baybayin? Bay-ography?

I hope Heather enjoys the piece. From my understanding, she's an art history major that enjoys seeing a slice of different cultures. What better gift than a canvas piece that's a reflection of how one lovingly sees you, written in a cultured script? Heather, if you're reading this, understand that through making this painting, I was diving into the emotion being driven into this painting to express what I feel how he feels for you. I hope you realize the impact you have made on the man's life.

Stay up.


Spoken Word Sundays

Happy mothers day to all the nanays, lolas and baby-mamas!
Last Friday I mentioned me and my friend Stimey performed at the John Muir middle school Rock n Roll festival for the arts. And in typical style, we represented for Hip Hop in true form, as we were the only Hip Hop act to hit the stage! Pictures from the day:

Well connected

Getting a feel for the crowd... enthusiastic and energetic. That's wassup!

Stimey got hops

Supporting the youth!



Droppin knowledge with the youth


Which brings us to this week's Spoken Word Sunday: Moment of Clarity
If you REALLY stay up on Spoken Word Sundays, you might have heard my verse before (or maybe you follow my music page), and that's because it was actually the same piece I used for the very first Spoken Word Sunday. Full circle, homie.

Good looks to the homie JHBizzle for taking the pictures

Wise Intellects Crew all day

Stay up,


Friday, May 8, 2009

Middle Schoolin

Thank you all that came through the John Muir Middle School Festival for the Arts to support both me (Cyphaflip) and the brotha in rhyme Stimey as we represented for Hip Hop on stage, as well as for supporting the local art education! The youth is in your debt!

Wise Intellects Crew

Pictures and videos coming soon, as well as the revelation for THE HEATHER CANVAS PIECE!

Stay up,


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Finally Free!

Congrats to the lovely Chrstina for winning today's Free Swag Thursday (exclusively on Twitter this week) by estimating the translation of the words "Star Trek" into Tagalog:
CrisTol: @bathalaproject bituin paglalakbay ?
Close enough!

A while back I posted a teaser picture of a canvas piece I had been commissioned to do, but if you've stayed up on the website, you might've noticed that very little was mentioned afterwards about this piece. This was due to the fact that the canvas piece is being given as a graduation gift to the comissioner's friend.  But now that graduation month is almost up, it's safe to finally let the cat out of the bag! Here's a juicy bit of flavor for now, but stay up for this WEEKEND as this canvas piece shall finally be revealed:


Catch another Free Swag Thursday next week, and stay up.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Barrio Fiesta

As a concept study piece, I redesigned the menu for the Eagle-Rock based Filipino restaurant, Barrio Fiesta, utilizing stylized Baybayin as a design element in an effort to conceptualize a real-life modern usage of it.  On the cover, the word "Fiesta" is written as "Piyesta".  Click any of the images for full size.

Coverpage blogsize

Only half the food items were listed, but even then, I never realized how often vinegar was used in Filipino dishes until I started reading every menu item description. It's as if Filipinos would starve if it wasn't for vinegar and meat...

inside blogsize

Baybayin is subtly used as part of the title treatments for the food item categories, replacing the use of typical glyphs. The menu was designed, concentrating on the use of spacing and text treatment to give the menu a more modernized aesthetic.

last page blogsize

I didn't want to clutter the menu with too many pictures of foods, but as my mother explained to me, it's typical to see many pictures of Filipino dishes on menus simply because of the regional differences of every dish; by seeing a picture of the dish, the person could get a better understanding of how it's prepared. For example, some people prefer their adobo dry, others like it soupy. However, I didn't want the pictures to take away from the simple elegance of the curves and the shapes of both the Baybayin glyphs, the text curvatures, and the menu backgrounds that I was trying to bring forth. After all, crispy pata isn't the prettiest thing in the world... but it sure tastes damn good.

Free Swag Thursday in full effect tomorrow!

Stay up,


Monday, May 4, 2009

Good Looks

The homie Jon de Castro (a.k.a. Jon de Cash-flo), Director of PR for the Pinoy-American clothing line, Ethnik Roots, and all around network hustler, was kind enough to put up an article about yours truly and The Bathala Project. Check it out on his website!

I first met Jonny Cashflo at the MAFA 2009 conference at UIC. He was there, helping his Ethnik Roots crew get the word out and sell some shirts. Also, he was there to finally introduce the first MAFA (Midwest American Filipino Association) coordinator team, much like the SCPASA (Southern California Pilipino American Student Association) crew in Southern California, to the midwest Fil-Am student org delegates. The vision of a MAFA coordination committee was an idea that many of the midwest Fil-Am student org organizers shared during my hey-day, and it was just so dope to see it come to fruition.

Wonder what he looks and sounds like? Check the drop:

Ethnik Roots Drop from cyphaflip on Vimeo.

THIS WEEK is going to be a little low on the Baybayin activity, but high on the performance acts. Tuesday night I'll be falling through Da Poetry Lounge in Fairfax, hopefully getting on the mic that night. Also, FRIDAY night, me and my fellow Wise Intellects Crew-mate, DJ Stimey, will be MC'ing and performing at the Muir Rockin' For The Arts Festival & Concert. It's a benefit ROCK AND ROLL concert featuring John Muir middle school's performers, helping to support the youths and the arts.

That's right, it's a Rock and Roll concert, meaning WIC will be the only ones representing for the Hip Hop community. AND we're MC'ing the event... heh heh heh heh...

Stay tuned for more info, Free Swag Thursday will be in effect, and a new project will be revealed Wednesday!

Stay up,


BTW, this bad boy is still up for GRABS. Contact for purchase inquiries:



Late at night...

Some people ask me, "What's your creative process like?"

It's hard to explain...
I think of a concept, a story, an idea, and then it's a matter of opening enough doors through images and actions to get to that solution...

Visually, I guess it'd be like this.

I was on Illustrator all day yesterday, and what do I do to wind down? Photoshop. Go figure...

Stay up,


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Spoken Word Sundays - Tommy G

The homie Tommy G came through one night to record some tracks.  Afterwards, Stimey, myself and Tommy cruised around Eagle Rock after having attended the ERU freestyle open mic, but still wanting to rhyme.  So, as Stimey pulled up to a 7-Eleven to pick up some drink, Tommy G kicked back and kicked off.

I've always been amazed by Tommy's freestyle, simply because he doesn't do the typical "rhyme-about-what's-in-front-of-me" spit, but rather he freestyles stories and uses alot of visual imagery in his rhymes, and all off the top.   But at the same time, he tells me that he's amazed by people that can rhyme about what they see in front of them because he's not as adept at that style.  Ah well, the grass is always greener... THIS WEEK, we're going to shift gears a bit and delve into some corporate identity concepts.  Yezzir.

Stay up,


Friday, May 1, 2009

Fineless Refinement

Earlier this week I revealed a Baybayin handstyle inspired by cholo/gang placas and Pixacao lettering. With further refinement, I decided to give the lines more depth using a wider edged calligraphy pen. An interesting characteristic about this pen is that depending on the pressure given to the nib you can catch streaks, which give the strokes a visual texture.

fst yalong

This name card was for Mr. Virgil Yalong of the infamous San Diego based website, The Backroom Podcast, for having won Free Swag Thursday. According to their website...

The Backroom Podcast Show is a community-based and listener-driven podcast. Its a free service we provide to our thousands of listeners since its inception in 2005. Our reach is international, national and regional - yet our focus is in communities we live in: San Diego.

Covering issues that affect our listeners and their communities - from contemporary arts & culture to social and political issues.

Listen to current and past episodes. You can download it to your iPod, iTunes, or simply stash and listen on your computer.

I met the Backroom team at the SCPASA summit after my Baybayin workshop. These brothas hustle hard! As soon as their interviews were done, they jumped right back into their car and drove off to cover a night event in San Diego. Ridiculous.

I got a little music project relating to Baybayin that I'll soon officially reveal. I shared the rough cut already on both the Twitter and Facebook accounts, but as soon as I get the verses retouched, I'll soon show you all how this 2nd Gen Fil-Am Hip-hopper really gets down!

Stay up,