On an island where tourist-centric infrastructures and projects flourish, the Baybayin organization has for mission to build a place unique and dedicated to the local population. A free community library where the residents of the island could read, study, learn but also get to know each other while taking part in fun activities and numerous events.

Baybayin Library, origins of the project

Deeply attached to this little corner of paradise and its residents, and in light of massive tourism development on the island, the founders of the organization wished above all to offer the local population of Siargao a project that would be solely dedicated to them.

When they shadowed Siargao Masaya, an organization that goes out with its Mobile Library once a week to meet local children, the idea to build a permanent library came to light. Witnessing the sheer joy on the children’s faces during reading workshops or games held in their villages certainly sparked the project.

Baybayin Library wishes to address the lack of a library on the island, but also provide a space built with pedagogy, culture and entertainment at its core.

An organization, a team

Brother and sister, the two founders of the organization, have both fallen in love with Siargao and its residents. The brother, Tristan, took many trips to the Philippines for over 8 years, and to the island of Siargao in particular, which he fell in love with. When he introduced his sister Madeline to the island, she instantly shared his passion. Two French people at the end of the world.

They decided to start this beautiful project with Leah, a Filipino native from Davao. She works for Siargao Masaya, the first organization to partner with Baybayin Library. Leah’s dedication to the children and her knowledge of the Filipino context makes her an ideal partner.

Their shared idea to build an organization that can be at service to the population of Siargao had come a long way. In 2019, their common goal to give the residents of General Luna and its surroundings a place that matches their sense of hospitality finally came to fruition.

A project that continues today to get nurtured by the ideas, the help and the support of enthusiastic Filipinos involved with the organization.

A vibrant and inspiring community life

By building partnerships with organizations already established and active on the island, the Baybayin organization wishes to develop projects with a complementary mandate to the initiatives already in place, and join the local community life in an ethical way.

To raise awareness and sensibilize Siargao residents to problematics such as environment, health and education, numerous workshops and events could therefore be held with partner organizations in the library facilities.

Baybayin, the alphabet that lends us its name

Baybayin is the name of the alphabet used in the Philippines before the arrival of Europeans in the archipelago. It means “to spell” in Tagalog. Therefore, giving this name to the organization seemed like the obvious choice, embracing the founders’ will to celebrate the Filipino heritage.

Learn more about the library