The Alibata is a pre-Hispanic Filipino script written from right to left. It was developed from the Kawi and Baybayin scripts, which ultimately descended from the Brahmic family of scripts. It has been used for many centuries since its inception but got lost in time during colonization by Spain and eventually USA after Spain’s defeat at the hands of America. The word Alibata comes from a combination if two words “Ali” and “Bata” which means old Buhid characters.
Alibata tattoo meaning and symbolism
The Alibata has evolved into a popular tattoo design among Filipinos around the world because of its deep-rooted history and mysticism. Since it is written from right to left, the Alibata tattoo is often mistaken as emanating negative energies or being inverted which is not true at all. It can be considered as one of the most unique tattoo designs.
The Alibata character for love is crafted with an intricate design of a heart at the center. This popular Filipino tattoo design can also be found in other cultures including Chinese, Arabic, Indian etc. It represents the passionate emotions of love shared between two people which can also be displayed within a family. It is usually written in the form of “Take my heart when you go away” or “You are in my heart always”.
Tree of life
This Alibata tattoo design is the first and most basic of all Alibata tattoos. It can be considered as a ‘tree’ of life symbol on the wearer’s arm denoting that he/she is at the center of his/her family and has strong roots especially during difficult times. It can also denote achievements in life such as marriage, graduation or even in business.
This symbol is also known as the “X” symbol because of its resemblance to an X. The basic Alibata character for love is at the center with filigree designs on both sides denoting family ties e.g siblings, cousins etc. It represents family bonds and strong social relationships. It is usually written in the form of “Wherever you go, my family will always love you” or “We are brothers forever”.
This popular Alibata tattoo is written from left to right and can be considered as a symbolic representation of the sun. It brings good luck, wealth and protection from evil spirits especially during difficult times. It can also denote leadership qualities within a family or community.
This Alibata tattoo design is crafted with the Alibata character for ‘heaven’. It can denote achievement in life especially after overcoming obstacles. It also denotes success, victory, good health and harmony within the family.
This symbol is a combination of the Alibata character for “health” and the sun denoting protection from sickness. It can also denote success, victory, good luck and long life. This popular Filipino tattoo has been adapted from the ancient Sri-Vidya script which was used in South Indian Hindu temples. The design is usually written in the form of “Long Life” or “Here’s to long life”.
Where do you put alibata tattoos ?
This Filipino tattoo design can be written in any part of the body depending on the wearer’s preference. However, it is usually written on visible parts of the body e.g upper arms and chest.