Logographing an Eclipse and a Flood

Tiny, partial eclipse taken with my iPhone 7 plus through eclipse sunglasses. Location: Los Angeles, CA.

Solar Eclipse

In August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse occurred across the contiguous United States, for the first time since 1918. 14 states witnessed totality with the rest of the states experiencing a partial eclipse.

The T’boli are one of the indigenous tribes in the southern part of the Philippines. One of their myths explains that during an eclipse, a dragon (Bakunawa) swallows the sun. If the people play instruments during the eclipse, a monkey will be attracted who will kill the serpent and release the sun.

“Duyog” is a very obscure Tagalog word for “eclipse.” Another word for “eclipse” in Filipino is “paglalaho” (which also means “fading away”). The following is a continuation of my series of calligraphy pieces in Baybayin script (ancient, Filipino writing system) to examine the meaning and aesthetic of one word or phrase in Tagalog. The combining of Baybayin alphasyllabic letters into an aesthetic whole, I have coined this neologism, Logographing.

Baybayin script calligraphy: logographing “paglalaho” (eclipse, fading away; ᜉᜄ᜔ᜎᜎᜑᜓ). (© 2017 Henry Del Rosario)

Baybayin script calligraphy: logographing “paglalaho” (eclipse, fading away; ᜉᜄ᜔ᜎᜎᜑᜓ) done in “bamboo” style, where I mimic the carved lettering style traditionally done by Filipinos on bamboo tubes with a knife. (© 2017 Henry Del Rosario)

Baybayin script calligraphy: logographing “duyog” (eclipse; ᜇᜓᜌᜓᜄ᜔).
(© 2017 Henry Del Rosario)

Flood

The Philippines has two seasons: a wet and a dry season. The rainy season occurs from June to November, bringing with it monsoons, typhoons, and floods.

“Bahain” means “to flood.” “delubyo” also means a “large flood.” It has also come to mean the “apocalypse.”

I meditated through many world events through these pieces: the recent U.S. total eclipse, Hurricane Harvey, the scrapping of the Daca program, world nuclear threats, the transition between summer and fall, and my move from the Midwest to the East coast. Eclipses and floods are uncommon but in a way cyclical. They connote destruction, but also something new.

Baybayin script calligraphy: logographing “bahain” (to flood; ᜊᜑᜁᜈ᜔). (© 2017 Henry Del Rosario)

Baybayin script calligraphy: logographing “delubyo” (large flood, apocalypse; ᜇᜒᜎᜓᜊ᜔ᜌᜓ). (© 2017 Henry Del Rosario)

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