You are on page 1of 14

Edesa F. de Guzman BSE -2 Ms.

Maria Paz Padilla


EPICS are long narrative poems in which a series of heroic achievements or events, usually of a
hero, are dealt with at length and involving supernatural forces\phenomena. Nobody can
determine which epics are the oldest because in their translations from other languages, even in
English and Spanish. We can only determine their origins from the time mentioned in the said

Listed below are some of the epics celebrated among the various groups in the country.

A. Biag ni Lam-ang – Ilokanos

B. Hudhud hi Aliguyon – Ifugaos
C. Alim – Ifugaos
D. Ibalon\Handiong – Bicol
E. Hinilawod – Bicol
F. Maragtas – Visayan
G. Haraya – Visayan
H. Lagda – Visayan
I. Hari sa Bukid – Visayan
J. Kumintang – Tagalog
K. Bernardo Carpio – Tagalog
L. Parang Sabir – Moro
M. Darangan – Moro
N. Indarapatra at Sulayman – Moro
O. Dagoy at Sudsod – Tagbanua
P. Tutuaang\Tuwaang – Bagobo
Q. Bidasari – Moro

Summary of some of the epics

Don Juan and his wife Namongan lived in Nalbuan, now part of La Union in the northern part of
the Philippines. They had a son named Lam-ang. Before Lam-ang was born, Don Juan went to
the mountains in order to punish a group of their Igorot enemies. While he was away, his son
Lam-ang was born. It took four people to help Namongan give birth. As soon as the baby boy
popped out, he spoke and asked that he be given the name Lam-ang. He also chose his
godparents and asked where his father was.

After nine months of waiting for his father to return, Lam-ang decided he would go look for him.
Namongan thought Lam-ang was up to the challenge but she was sad to let him go. During his
exhausting journey, he decided to rest for awhile. He fell asleep and had a dream about his
father's head being stuck on a pole by the Igorot. Lam-ang was furious when he learned what had
happened to his father. He rushed to their village and killed them all, except for one whom he let
go so that he could tell other people about Lam-ang's greatness.

Upon returning to Nalbuan in triumph, he was bathed by women in the Amburayan river. All the
fish died because of the dirt and odor from Lam-ang's body.

There was a young woman named Ines Kannoyan whom Lam-ang wanted to woo. She lived in
Calanutian and he brought along his white rooster and gray dog to visit her. On the way, Lam-
ang met his enemy Sumarang, another suitor of Ines whom he fought and readily defeated. Lam-
ang found the house of Ines surrounded by many suitors all of whom were trying to catch her
attention. He had his rooster crow, which caused a nearby house to fall. This made Ines look out.
He had his dog bark and in an instant the fallen house rose up again. The girl's parents witnessed
this and called for him. The rooster expressed the love of Lam-ang. The parents agreed to a
marriage with their daughter if Lam-ang would give them a dowry valued at double their wealth.
Lam-ang had no problem fulfilling this condition and he and Ines were married.

It was a tradition to have a newly married man swim in the river for the rarang fish.
Unfortunately, Lam-ang dove straight into the mouth of the water monster Berkakan. Ines had
Marcos get his bones, which she covered with a piece of cloth. His rooster crowed and his dog
barked and slowly the bones started to move. Back alive, Lam-ang and his wife lived happily
ever after with his white rooster and gray dog.

Once upon a time, in a village called Hannanga, a boy was born to the couple named Amtalao and
Dumulao. He was named Aliguyon. He was an intelligent, eager young man who wanted to learn many
things, and indeed, he learned many useful things, from the stories and teachings of his father. He learned
how to fight well and chant a few magic spells. Even as a child, he was a leader, for the other children of
his village looked up to him with awe.

Upon leaving childhood, Aliguyon betook himself to gather forces to fight against his father’s enemy,
who was Pangaiwan of the village of Daligdigan. But his challenge was not answered personally by
Pangaiwan. Instead, he faced Pangaiwan’s fierce son, Pumbakhayon. Pumbakhayon was just as skilled in
the arts of war and magic as Aliguyon. The two of them battled each other for three years, and neither of
them showed signs of defeat.

Their battle was a tedious one, and it has been said that they both used only one spear! Aliguyon had
thrown a spear to his opponent at the start of their match, but the fair Pumbakhayon had caught it deftly
with one hand. And then Pumbakhayon threw the spear back to Aliguyon, who picked it just as neatly
from the air.

At length Aliguyon and Pumbakhayon came to respect each other, and then eventually they came to
admire each other’s talents. Their fighting stopped suddenly. Between the two of them they drafted a
peace treaty between Hannanga and Daligdigan, which their peoples readily agreed to. It was fine to
behold two majestic warriors finally side by side.

Aliguyon and Pumbakhayon became good friends, as peace between their villages flourished. When the
time came for Aliguyon to choose a mate, he chose Pumbakhayon’s youngest sister, Bugan, who was
little more than a baby. He took Bugan into his household and cared for her until she grew to be most
beautiful. Pumbakhayon, in his turn, took for his wife Aliguyon’s younger sister, Aginaya. The two
couples became wealthy and respected in all of Ifugao.

In the olden days, the people angered the gods and the goddesses because of their sins and
continued disobedience to the will of the gods. The gods sent a great flood that submerged the
whole earth and destroyed all the living creatures, plants and animals alike. There were only two
people who survived the flood: they were siblings, Wigan and Bugan respectively. When the
water started to rise which later became the great flood, Wigan climbed the Amuyaw Mountain
to save himself. Likewise, Bugan fled to the Kalawitan Mountain to take refuge.

Bugan stayed at the mountain until the water receded and the water soaked ground had dried up.
He came down the mountain and discovered that he alone had survived. Everybody got
drowned, even the animals. Dead bodies were scattered everywhere, stinking. As he walked
around looking for something to eat, he saw a woman half buried to the ground, waving her hand
at him. Then he recognized her.

Bugan! he said happily as he opened his arms to embrace her.

Wigan, my brother, she said choking because of the feeling she could not contain. She let him
hug and embraced her and she leaned her head on her chest.

Where are the others? Wigan asked her after the embrace.

Dead, she answered, all dead. It seems that we are the only ones who survived the flood.

They walked around to see if they could find some more survivors but they did not find any. All
they saw were dead bodies of men, animals and even plants.

They scouted for a place where they could comfortably stay. They found a place near the shore
where plants starting to grow. They built a small hut from the woods scattered around by the
great flood. Then they buried the stinking dead bodies the found near the shore.

Im hungry, said Bugan when they were already resting after burying the dead bodies.

Me too, said Wigan. Stay here and I'll see if I can catch some fish in the sea.

Do you think there are fish there? Bugan asked him.

The plants are already growing abundantly. Perhaps the gods' wrath have been pacified and the
school of fishes have come back to the sea.

There were fishes in the sea all right. That night, they ate a sumptuous supper of boiled fish.
They spent the night sleeping together. After several days, Bugan found herself pregnant. She
went to the shore to drown herself because she was ashamed of herself getting pregnant by his
brother. But before she could get near the deep part of the angry sea, an old man appeared
before her. He told her that he was Makanungan, the gods of the Ifugaos. Makanungan
solemnized their marriage and they had nine children, five boys and four girls.

Then came a great famine. The soil produced poor harvest. They killed a rat and offered it to
Makanungan but the poor harvest continued.

What shall we do? Bugan asked Wigan one night while they were about to sleep. We will all die
of hunger if this poor harvest continues.

I don't know why Makanungan is angry with us. Perhaps he didn't like the rat we offered him.

Why don't we offer him our son, Igon?

They all decided to kill Igon, the youngest, and offered him to Makanungan. True enough, the
poor harvest was abated. But Makanungan once again appeared before them and told them that
what they did to Igon was outrageous. Then Makanungan scattered them to the four corners of
the earth, to the East and West and to the North and South. And as a curse to what they did to
Igon, they would fight every time they come near each other.


A long time ago, there was a rich land called Ibalong. The hero Baltog, who came from Botavora
of the brave clan of Lipod, came to this land when many monsters were still roaming in its very
dark forests. He decided to stay and was the first to cultivate its field and to plant them with gabi.
Then one night, a monstrous, wild boar known as Tandayag saw these field and destroyed the
crops. Upon knowing this, Baltog decided to look for this boar with all his courage and patiend.
At last, as soon as he saw it, he fearlessly wrestled with it, with all his might. Baltog was
unafraid. He was strong and brave. Though the Tandayag had very long fangs, he was able to pin
down the monstrous, wild boar and break apart its very big jawbones. With this, Tandayag fell
and died.

After this fight, Baltog went to his house in Tondol, carrying the Tandaya'g broken bones. Then
he hung it on a talisay tree in front of his house. Upon learning of the victory of their Chief
Baltog, the people prepared a feast and celebrated. The very big jawbones of the dead boar
became an attraction for everyone. Thus, came the tribes of Panikwason and Asog to marvel it.

The second hero who came to the land of Ibalong was Handyong. Together with his men, he had
to fight thousands of battles, and face many dangers to defeat the monster. As warriors, they first
fought the one-eyed monster with the tree necks in the land of Ponong. For ten months, they
fought without rest. And they never stopped fighting until all these monsters were killed.

Handyong and his men made their next attack against the giant flying sharks called Triburon
which had hardly flesh and sawlike teeth that could crush rocks. They continued fighting until
the defeat of the last Triburon.

They tamed the wild carabaos. They even drove away the giant and very fierce Sarimao which
had very sharp fingernails. And using their spears and arrows, they killed all the crocodiles
which were as big as boats. With all these killings, the rivers and swamps of Ibalong turned red
with blood. It was at this time that the savage monkeys became frightened and hid themselves.

Among the enemies of Handyong and his men, the serpent Oryol was the hardes to kill. Having a
beautiful voice, Oryaol could change its image to deceive its enemies. To capture it, Handyong
tried different ways. But Oryol escaped every one of it and disappeared.

So alone and unafraid, Handyong decide to look for Oryol in the heart of the forest. He followed
the beautiful voice and was almost enchanted by it in his pursuit. Days and nights passed until
Oryol came to admire Handyong's bravery and gallantry. Then the serpent helped the hero to
conquer monsters, thus restoring peace to the entire Ibalong.

In one the areas of Ibalong called Ligmanan, Handyong built a town. Under his leadership and
his laws, slaves and masters were treated equally. The people planted rice and because of their
high regard of him they named this rice after him. He built the first boat to ride the waves of
Ibalong's seas. Through his good example, his people became inspired and came up with their
own inventions. There was Kimantong who made the plow, harrow and other farming tools.
Hablom who invented the first loom for weaving abaca clothes, Dinahongm an Agta, who
created the stove, cooking pot, earthen jar and other kitchen utensils, and Sural who brilliantly
thought of syllabary and started to write on a marble rock. This was a golden period in Ibalong.
Then suddenly, there cmae a big flood caused by Unos, with terrifying earthquakes. The
volcanoes of Hantik, Kulasi and Isarog erupted. Rivers changed their direction and the seas
waves rolled high. Destruction was everywhere. Soon, the earth parted, mountains sank, a lake
was formed, and many towns in Ibalong were ruined.

Then appeared the giant Rabot, half-man and half-beast, with awesome and terrifying powers.

People were asking who will fight against Rabot. So Bantong, the third hero was called. He was
a good friend of Handyong. He was ordered to kill the new monster on Ibalong. To do this, he
took with him a thousand warriors to attack Rabot's den. But using his wisdom against Rabot, he
did not attack the giant right away. He first observed Rabot's ways. Looking around the giant's
den, he discovered that there were many rocks surrounding it, and these were the people who
were turned into rocks by Rabot.

Bantong also learned that Rabot loved to sleep during the day and stayed awake at night. So, he
waited. When Rabot was already sleeping very soundly, Bantong came hear him. He cut the
giant into two with his very sharp bolo and without any struggle, Rabot died. So Ibalong was at
peace once more.


TheMaragtasChronicles of Panay is a history of rulers of the island from the time of the Ten
MalayDatus(rulers) that settled from Borneo.The "Legend of the Ten Datus (chieftains)" narrates about
the forefathers of the Filipinos and the story of ten Bornean chieftains who escaped the cruel regime
of Sultan Makatunaw. Datu Puti along with other nine chieftains plans to leave Borneo. Riding their
native boats, they ventured into the night and across the wide ocean. At first, the ten rulers and their
families were afraid that they might perish in the middle of the sea. Soon, they have reached the islands
of Panay and befriended with the natives called Aetas. The Aetas are quite friendly and decides to sell a
piece of their land to the ten chieftains. The chieftains gave the Aetas leader, Marikudo a golden Salakot
(Native head piece) After this; the chieftains and Aetas lived in peace and harmony.

Once upon a time, there was a couple who lived in one of the many mountains of San Mateo,
Rizal. The man and the woman were very poor and led a very hard life. But one day, amidst all
their poverty and hardships, came a bundle of joy and happiness. The man and the woman were
given the gift of the birth of a big, beautiful, and healthy baby boy. They named their newborn
son Bernardo Carpio and he became his parents’ most precious treasure.

Like any other kid, Bernardo loved to play. But something was noticeably very different
about Bernardo. Unlike the other kids, Bernardo had the power of extraordinary strength.

It was said that when Bernardo was still a baby crawling on all fours, all the floorboard nails that
he hooked with his tiny fingernails were pulled out from their very places. When Bernardo was
still learning how to walk, any railing that he used for support was destroyed and splintered into
pieces. And anytime Bernardo’s parents gave him a new toy to play with, the toy would break
and become crushed in the palms of his small hands.

As Bernardo grew up to be a handsome young man, his power doubled and increased even more.
He soon became renowned not only for his power of extraordinary strength, but also for his
dashing good looks. Furthermore, Bernardo possessed great courage and bravery that were
second to none. Everyone knew that Bernardo could easily beat any man so no one would dare
face Bernardo Carpio in a match of strength and bravery.

Not like other typical guys, Bernardo was not interested in merriment, social gatherings, and
other festivities. The loveliness of all the beautiful young women in his town did not appeal to
him. What really captivated Bernardo was the forest.

Bernardo found his real happiness in the forest. The part where the trees were the thickest and
the densest is where he often stayed. There is where he spent time with and sought the company
of his close friends, the animals of the forest.
In the forest that Bernardo frequented lived an enchanted creature. This enchanted creature was a
very big and a very strong male. However, the creature also had the ugly manner of envying and
causing harm to others. The enchanted creature had seen Bernardo many times during the
innumerable visits that he had made to the forest.

It did not take long before the begrudging and hateful enchanted creature got wind of Bernardo’s
fame for his extraordinary strength.
The enchanted creature was sure that the young man would be no match against his own power
and strength. One day, the enchanted creature waited for Bernardo to come into the forest. As
soon as he saw Bernardo, he immediately challenged him to a duel. Bernardo was not one to
back down from any fight so he accepted the challenge right away.

And so the two fought. This was followed by many different battles in which both of them made
use of their power of great strength. And in every single one of them, the enchanted creature lost.

They separated after a long and arduous battle. The enchanted creature left but not without hatred
in his heart for the one that defeated him. He waited for the right time and the right opportunity
to exact revenge on Bernardo for the loss and shame that he had suffered in his hands.

When the enchanted creature was able to chance upon Bernardo once again, he invited him to a
hidden area of the forest. In that area were two enormous slabs of stone that were positioned on
either side of the place. In the middle of those two stone slabs was where the enchanted creature
dwelled. The creature told Bernardo to go ahead and enter the place. As soon
as Bernardo reached the spot right in the center of the two stones, the enchanted creature
vanished into thin air. And suddenly, the two stone slabs started to fall towards Bernardo. Using
his extraordinary strength, Bernardo fought against the stones’ massive weight and size to
prevent them from crushing him.

According to the elders, Bernardo Carpio is still in the same place, holding those two stones.
And every time an earthquake occurs, it is said that it is because of Bernardo Carpio moving and
wishing to break free.

A long, long time ago, Mindanao was covered with water, and the sea cover all the lowlands so
that nothing could be seen but the mountains jutting from it. There were many people living in
the country and all the highlands were dotted with villages and settlements. For many years the
people prospered, living in peace and contentment. Suddenly there appeared in the land four
horrible monsters which, in short time has devoured every human being they could find. Kurita,
a terrible creature with many limbs, lived partly on the land and partly on sea, but its favorite
haunt was the mountain where the rattan palm grew; and here it brought utter destruction on
every living thing.The second monster, Tarabusaw, an ugly creature in the form of a man, lived
on Mt. Matutum, and far and wide from that place he devoured the people, laying waste the land.
The third, an enormous bird called Pah, was so large that, when on the wing, it covered the sun
and brought darkness to the earth. Its egg was as large as a house. Mt. Bita was its haunt; and
there the only people who escaped its voracity were those who hid in the mountain caves. The
fourth monster was also a dreadful bird, having seven heads and the power to see in all directions
at the same time. Mt. Gurayan was its home and like the others, it wrought havoc to its region.
So great was the death and destruction caused by these terrible creatures that at length, the news
spread even to the most distant lands - and all nations grieved to hear the sad fate of Mindanao.
Now far across the sea, in the land of the golden sunset, was a city so great that to look at its
many people would injure the eyes of men. When tidings of these great disasters reached this
distant city, the heart of King Indarapatra was filled with compassion, and he called his brother,
Sulayman, and begged him to save the land of Mindanao from the monsters. Sulayman listened
to the story and as heard it, was moved with pity. "I will go", zeal and enthusiasm adding to his
strength, "and the land shall be avenged," said he. King Indarapatra, proud of his brother's
courage, gave him a ring and a sword as he wished him success and safety. Then he placed a
young sapling by his window and said to Sulayman "By this tree I shall know your fate from the
hour you depart from here, for if you live, it will live; but if you die, it will die also." So
Sulayman departed for Mindanao, and he neither waded nor used a boat, but went through the air
and landed on the mountain where the rattan grew. There he stood on the summit and gazed
about on all sides. He looked on the land and the villages, but he could see no living thing. And
he was very sorrowful and cried out: "Alas, how pitiful and dreadful is this devastation. Then the
people all came out of their hiding places and returned to their homes where they lived in peace
and happiness. And the sea withdrew from the land and gave the lowlands to the people. No
sooner had Sulayman uttered those words than the whole mountain began to move and then
shook. Suddenly out of the ground came the horrible creature Kurita. It sprung at the man and
sank its claws at his flesh. But Sulayman knowing at once that this was the scourge of the land,
drew his sword and cut Kurita to pieces. At Indarapatra's request, the old woman led him to one
such cave. There he met the headmen with his family and some people. They all gathered about
the stranger, asking many questions, for this was the first time they had heard about the death of
the monsters. When they found out what Indarapatra had done for them, the headman gave his
daughter to him in marriage, and she proved to be beautiful girl whom Indarapatra had seen at
the mouth of the cave.


The people in Kembayat were fussed in a giant bird that eats human. When the giant bird came
back, they all hid out of fear. The sultana, who’s pregnant, however, was lost in the woods. Out
of fear, she gave birth and forgot about the baby when she left.

Luckily, a merchant saw the baby and a bowl containing a live goldfish. The merchant realized
that the life of the baby was attached to the live goldfish. If the fish leaves the water, the baby
will die. The merchant adopted the baby. Later on, the baby grew up into a very beautiful young

In the kingdom, the king has just remarried a beautiful woman named Permaisuri.
Permaisuri was afraid that the king will fall in love with someone else. When the queen found
out about Bidasari, she was brought in the castle. There, she became a slave but Permaisuri
wasn't satisfied. So, when she found out about the secret of Bidasari, she took the fish and made
it into a necklace. Thus, Bidasari died and was put in a beautiful tomb located in the woods.
One day, the king went hunting in the woods and saw the beautiful tomb. He went inside
and saw Bidasari sleeping. The king waited Bidasari to wake up for two days.

Meanwhile, in the palace, the queen was taking a bath and the fish managed to break free.
Thus, Bidasari was awakened. The king talked to Bidasari and she told everything to the king.
The king was so enraged.

Later on, the king took Bidasari and they got married. Thus, Bidasari became the new
queen of the kingdom.


Tuwaang received a message of invitation from the wind saying that he should attend the long
waited wedding of the Dalaga ng Monawon.

Don't go, Tuwaang, his aunt warned him. I feel that something wrong is going to happen to you

Don't worry, tiyang. I can take care of myself!he said firmly, determined to go.

You don't understand me, Tuwaang.

I'm not afraid of anything, tiyang. Right now, all I ever want is to have a glimpse of the
beauty of the Dalaga ng Monawon.

Tuwaang did not listen to his aunt. He insisted to go and prepared to attend the grand wedding.
He wore the clothes the goddesses made for him. He got the heart-shaped basket that could
make the lightning move. He took along with him his sharpspear and shield and the long knife.
He rode in the lightning and he soon reached the beautiful boundless plain of Kawkawangan.
There, he found a Gungutan, a bright colored bird that could talk. The bird wanted to go with
him to the grand wedding so he took it along with him. When they reached the town of
Monawon, they were politely let into the hall where the wedding would take place.

The guests started coming one by one. First to come was the young Binata ng Panayangan, then
the charming Binata ng Sumisikat na Araw. Last to come was the groom, the Binata ng Sakadna
who was with his one hundred well trained men.

As soon as he arrived, the groom ordered all his men to drive away the guests who should not be
there or those uninvited guests. Insulted, Tuwaang told the groom that they, the guests were
all pulang dahon, which meant heroes. In short time, the ceremony started with the guests being
offered several precious things that they should top with what they had. Two were left for the
groom but the Binata ng Sakadna admitted that he didn't have a gold flute and a gold guitarto top
what were left. Tuwaang came to the quick rescue. With his mysterious breath, he produced a
gold flute, guitar and gong.

The beautiful bride came out of her room and started offering a bowl containing nganga to every
guest. Then she sat beside Tuwaang that put the groom in a very embarrassing situation. The
groom felt insulted. He went out the hall and challenged Tuwaang to a fight.

Show me that you deserved the honor my lady bestowed upon you by sitting next to you! the
Binata ng Sakadna angrily challenged him. Fight me to death!

Tuwaang slowly stood to accept the challenge but the beautiful bride held his hand.

Let me just comb your hair before you fight him,the bride told Tuwaang in a soft whisper. And
she lovingly combed his hair.

Tuwaang glanced and stared at the bride. He saw love and admiration for him in her eyes.

Take extra care when you face him, the bridewarned him. He does not fight squarely.

Tuwaang took her hand and brought it gently to his mouth and kissed it.

For you, my lady, I'll be careful! he said and came out of the hall to face the groom.

The bride nodded and waved her hand to him, wishing him the best.

Tuwaang and the Gungutan faced the Binata ng Sakadna and his one hundred well trained men.
He fought fiercely with all his might and after a brief struggle, he and the Gungutan
had killedninety four of the groom's men. With less effort, they subdued the remaining six men
until he and the Binata ng Sakadna were the only ones left standing. The groom hurled a big
stone at Tuwaang but the stone turned into dust before it hit him. Because of the intensity of the
struggle, the earth shook and every tree fell down. The groom grabbed Tuwaang and threw him
heavily on the ground. He sank on the ground and reached Hades.

In Hades, Tuwaang saw Tuhawa, the god of Hades. Tuhawa told him that the life of the groom
was in the gold flute. Tuwaang emerged from the ground and killed the groom by buying the
gold flute. The bride ran to him happily. He embraced her and kissed her on her cheeks and

Will you go with me? Tuwaang asked the bride.

With all my heart, she answered.

Tuwaang then went home to Kuaman with the bride and the Gungutan and they lived happily
ever after.

Related Interests