GMA Artist Center continues its Breakout Room: Master Class Series with multi-awarded GMA News pillar and veteran broadcast journalist Howie Severino as mentor during the second batch of its virtual workshops last October 28. The company’s talent management arm remains true to its commitment to hone world-class talents.

Severino, who recently retired as GMA Network’s Vice President for Professional Development and now serves as a consultant, shared the “why” and the “how” of Baybayin with more than 50 Artist Center talents who attended the online workshop session.

GMA artists Sanya Lopez, Bianca Umali, Kyline Alcantara, Lexi Gonzales, Radson Flores, Matt Lozano, Claire Castro, Royce Cabrera, Zonia Mejia, Jamir Zabarte, Joaquin Manansala, Jen Maravilla, Jr Royol, Migs Villasis, Hannah Arguelles, Bryce Eusebio, Gab Yabut, Elias Point, Allen Ansay, Lia Salvador, Dentrix Ponce, Dave Duque, Kirsten Gonzales, Kimson Tan, Lime Aranya, Levince Sotto and Rain Matienzo all learned about the history and cultural significance of the Philippines’ ancient writing system.

While Baybayin can be seen in street art, on coins, on bills, and even on our passports, many still consider the writing system irrelevant. This is the main reason why Howie welcomed the chance to share Baybayin with the Kapuso artists.

I’m very happy to meet all of you, primarily because of one reason: Bukod sa pagiging mga artista, kayo rin ay mga tinatawag na culture bearers. You represent not only our network but our culture. Not just popular culture, but our identities as Filipinos. And our identities are a product of what has come before us, including [Baybayin],” shared Severino.

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He added another reason why Baybayin should be taught and passed on.

Maging mabuting ninuno. That’s another reason why we should all learn Baybayin. Generations from now, people will look back and [probably] say, ‘yung generation ni Howie, they tried to keep our ancient writing system alive,’ so that a single generation from now, most of the kids are reading and writing Baybayin. Who knows? But it can’t happen if we don’t keep it alive.”

The veteran journalist asserted that for Filipinos, Baybayin speaks to the soul.

Sabi nga nu’ng ibang mga natuto, it feels empowering because unlike other writing systems, you realize that it speaks to our souls. The Korean language will not speak to our soul kasi hindi tayo Koryano. Japanese will not. It becomes more of an academic thing. But Baybayin – it’s both intellectual and soulful.”

Towards the end of his class, Severino suggested several resources, including Baybayin mobile keyboards from the app store to aid the learning process.

The Breakout Room: Master Class Series is a virtual roundtable discussion where top-notch mentors share their expertise in their craft. More talented industry experts, leaders, and professionals will join in the next sessions as GMA Artist Center continues to provide international standard workshops for its artists.


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