Kabena'o script    Kabena'o script

The Kabena'o script is the creation of aLfie vera mella and is based on the Tagalog/Alibata script. It appears in a book entitled Engkanto: A Bestiary of Philippine Mythical Beings (Book One: Bantay-Katubigan) which aLfie is currently writing. In the book the script is used to write the language of the bantay-katubigan (Philippine aquatic fairies).

Notable Features

  • The script is normally engraved on driftwood, shells, or slabs of hardened terracotta using styli made from corals.
  • The symbols, which are each made up of five wavy lines, all resemble fish.
  • Every symbol except ka contains a dot-like diacritic called matang-isda, 'fisheye'.
  • The script is traditionally written in columns running from top to bottom and from right to left, although it can also be written from left to right in descending horizontal lines.
  • The script consists of 16 symbols: one representing the vowel a, and 15 the consonantal syllables ba, sa, ka, ha, la, ga, ma, ya, na, nga, pa, ra, da, wa, ta. The a can be changed to other vowels or muted with diacritics.

Kabena'o script

Kabena'o script

Kabena'o numerals

Kabena'o numerals

Sample text in Kabena'o

Sample text in the Kabena'o script


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)


Extracts from Engkanto: A Bestiary of Philippine Mythical Beings

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