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pockets, pores, and calluses





8in x 6in x 6.5in




Tryptich Artist Books

Balat is a triptych book series, cradling the neglected stories of my ancestors and my guilty confessions that leave my skin wrinkled, clogged, and calloused. Each book is a manifestation of generational trauma molded into a protective shield. It aims to humanize Filipino history by shedding light on intimate vignettes of my ancestors’ environment, and that there is more to Philippine history than war, conquest, and colonized peoples. “Pocket” foretells the migration of my patriarchal lineage, coated in rodeo soot and grime. “Pores” confesses my sins as a renounced Catholic rebel. And “Callous” embraces the matriarchal resilience passed down to my hands from my ancestral mothers. I share these stories in Baybayin, the ancient alphabet of the Philippines and the non-Romanized form of Tagalog.

Each book is written in Baybayin script and translated from English to Tagalog. Click on an image to read the English Translation...

Before colonization in the 17th century, the tribes of the Philippines used Baybayin, the ancient alphabet of Tagalog and for many other dialects throughout the archipelago. 

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