The Tagbanwa alphabet is one of a number of closely related scripts
used in the Philippines until the 17th Century AD. It is thought to
have descended from the Kawi script of Java, Bali and Sumatra, which
in turn descended from the Pallava script, one of the southern Indian
scripts derived from Brahmi.
Type of writing system: syllabic alphabet in which each consonant has an
inherent vowel /a/. Other vowels are indicated either by separate
letters, or by diacritics. When vowels appear at the beginning of
words or one they own, they are represented by separate letters.
Direction of writing: traditionally written on bamboo in vertical columns
from bottom to top and left to right, andread from left to right in horizontal
Used to write: Tagbanwa
Tagbawan, which is also known as Aborlan Tagbanwa, Apurawnon or Tagbanua,
is spoken by about 10,000 people in central Palawan in the Philippines. Related
languages include Central Tagbanwa, which is spoken by about 2,000 people in the northwest
of Palawan; and Calamian Tagbanwa, which has about 10,000 speakers in the Calamian Islands
north of Palawan.