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RELIGION: Gods and Goddesses

The Philippines consists of a thousand religions. Made up of 7,107 islands, from the early
religions of our ancestors who believed in the anito, kaluluwa and anting-anting to the Muslims
and Christians today. Religion in the Philippines has been through a long, colorful journey that
has greatly influenced and defined Philippine culture.

1. Animism
● widely practiced in the pre-colonial Philippines
● a belief that various objects, places, and creatures possess distinctive spiritual
● it is the earliest and the most primitive form of belief, associating their world with
spirits instead of deities
● Animistic practices vary between different ethnic groups.

a. Bathala
The Highest ranking deity of the ancient tagalog was called "Bathala" or "Abba". It was
symbolized by the sun, the creator and ruler of all things. While Bathala was said to be
compassionate and forever understanding to contrite hearts seeking forgiveness, he is equally
exacting in his punishment to sinners. He did not hesitate to send thunder and lightning to struck
transgressors of his laws. He preside over lesser divinities who cared for the needs of the people
and guarded the general welfare of the reverent families. His power and goodness were devoted
to the interest of the people whom he was the almighty protector. Like other divinities his origin
was not known. He merely appeared one day and announced his lordship over mankind. So the
great and powerful was Bathala and no one ever dared question his demand for obedience and
reverence from man.

b. Anito
A collective name for the pre-Hispanic belief system in the Philippines. It is also used to
refer to spirits, including the household deities, deceased ancestors, nature-spirits, nymphs and
diwatas (dryads). Ancient Filipinos kept statues to represent these spirits, ask guidance and
protection. Elders, ancestors and the environment were all highly respected. Although Anito
survives to the present day, it has for the most part been Christianized and incorporated into Folk
When someone died, it was believed that his kaluluwa or spirit would go back to nature
and become an anito or idol. This anito could be a rock, a tree, a mountain, or anything that
belonged to nature. The anitos were believed to possess the ability to communicate to the people
they left behind by possessing a babaylan or priestess.

c. Diwata

Its practitioners were highly respected (and sometimes feared) in the community. Folk Healers Babaylan were shamans and spiritual leaders and Mananambal were medicine men. narrators of chants. At the onset of the colonial era. barang. ii. Homosexuals also play a very important role in ancient Filipino societies. These babaylans were revered women who served as messengers of the anitos. i. katalonan. As the creator of all the material world the supreme had many minor divinities assisting him who also lived in the sky. contrary to popular belief. Babaylan also called as the hilot. Mythology a. hence. They were daughters of Bathala to a mortal who died after giving birth to the goddesses. gay men can also take the mantle of babaylan. Ancient Filipinos also practice mysticism through the use of spirits. To harness this power. They were believed to reside in different abodes but the common belief is that they now sleep or dwell on top mountains or volcanoes or inside large trees. babaylans often speak to the spirits to ask for favors for them to burrow their supernatural abilities. this form of mystic practice was called shamanism. vast majority of this men were flamboyant and effeminate. and aswang. They believed in one god that has no form who created or manifested his blessing through lesser gods and goddess called "diwata". the role of the babaylan was very important to ancient Filipino societies. mangkukulam. d. they were the main conduit to the spiritual realm and the material plane. Most often. Gods and goddesses of the sky. the village give the spirits gifts such as animal or human sacrifices. goddess of the morning and Tala goddess of the stars. they wear women’s clothing and portray feminine movements. and healers of the sick in the community. Mayari. another primitive form of occult practice. Who had two sisters Hana. favors would always be centered around health. Hana and Tala The most beautiful in the court of Bathala was Mayari the goddess of the moon. shaman. The term "diwata" has taken on various levels of meaning since its assimilation into the mythology of the pre-colonial Filipinos When the Spanish conquered the Philippines the commonly-used meaning of the term reduced from goddess to dryad-like spirit. Idianale . Bathala took them to the sky and made them members of his celestial court. Magic. chants and prayers are often key features. this people were the equivalent of shamans. in exchange. ancient Filipinos blame bad and evil spirits for causing either sickness or tragedy. 2. Deities -Lesser Divinities. special people called Babaylan were needed. the suppression of the babaylans and the native Filipino religion gave rise to the albularyo. even though the ranks of a babaylan were exclusively female.

Dumangan (or Dumagan) caused the rice to “yield better grains. In Zambales.” According to F. Anitun Tabu was known as the “fickle-minded goddess of the wind and rain. This Tagalog sky-god later tied the knot with another major deity. Apolaki The sun god as well as patron of the warriors. viii. in the book “Outline of Philippine Mythology. He is often depicted as a strong and skillful hunter. Landa Jocano. She became so full of herself that Malayari reduced her rank as a punishment. Early people of Pangasinan claimed that Apolaki talked to them. one of the lesser deities assisting their chief god. The marriage produced two children: Apolaki and Dian Masalanta. and later gave birth to two more Tagalog deities: Dumakulem and Anitun Tabu. respectively. aside from the fact that he married Ikapati/Lakapati. iv.” She’s one of the two children of Dumangan and Idianale.” In a book by William Henry Scott. Aring Sinukuan. Anagolay The goddess of lost things. Mapulon The god of seasons. the ancient gods of sun and lovers. He shares almost the same qualities with the Kapampangan sun god of war and death. Anitun Tabu Among ancient Tagalogs. In Zambales culture. Legend has it that Aniton Tauo was once considered superior to other Zambales deities. Back when blackened teeth were considered the standard of beauty. Idianale married Dumangan. the early people of Zambales also believed Dumagan had three brothers who were just as powerful as him. The ancient Tagalogs revered him as the guardian of the mountains. and sired Anagolay. the god of good harvest. Dumangan Dumangan was the Tagalog sky-god of good harvest. she married the hunter Dumakulem and gave birth to two more deities:Apolaki and Dian Masalanta. vii. Not much is known about this deity. She was the daughter of two major Tagalog deities–Ikapati and Mapulon. Anagolay. the fertility goddess. iii. Landa Jocano. and father to Dumakulem and Anitun Tabu. the husband of Idianale. the goddess of lost things. some of these natives told a friar that a disappointed Apolaki had scolded them for welcoming “foreigners with white teeth. When she reached the right age. F. v. the name of this . vi. this goddess was known as Aniton Tauo. known as the goddess of lost things.” described Mapulon as one of the lesser divinities assisting Bathala. Malayari. and brother of wind goddess Anitun Tabu. Dumakulem Dumakulem was the son of Idianale and Dumangan. The goddess of labor and good deeds.

the forest deity.deity is said to have originated from apo. . Muslims believe that the Quran was verbally revealed by God to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel. Captivated by the beauty of the moons and transformed into giant sea serpent (with a mouth the size of a lake. Islam arrived in the southern islands of Philippines. a red tongue. was honored by sea travelers for a safe and successful voyage. from the historic interaction of Mindanao and Sulu regions with other Indonesian islands. Haik. Malay islands and Borneo.” and laki. In which they prepare different way of burial and mourning for the dead. and also the brother of Dian Masalanta. and two sets of wings. this deity was the brother of the sun god Apolaki to parents Anagolay and Dumakulem. was acknowledged so that anyone who entered his “property” wouldn’t be punished for trespassing. After life belief -belief in the after life and in relation between the dead and in the living made the ancient Filipino become respectful to the deceased. Islam's predominance reached all the way to the shores of Manila Bay. The same was done for other lesser deities who ruled specific domains. a. home to several Muslim kingdoms. Sacrifices were offered to Dian Masalanta to ensure successful pregnancies. while Uwinan Sana. The first Muslims to arrive were traders followed by missionaries in the late 14th and early 15th centuries. Dian Masalanta If the Greeks had Aphrodite. like Mankukutod. the goddess of lovers. our Tagalog ancestors had Dian Masalanta. whiskers. ix. the sea god. They facilitated the formation of Sultanates and conquests in Mindanao and Sulu. Islam The area of Mindanao practices the early form of Islam. which means“lord. x.” Jocano’s Outline of Philippine Mythology details how Apolaki came to be: He was the son of Anagolay and Dumakulem. Allah The Muslims worshiped Allah and followed the teachings of the Qur’an. small wires at its sides. the protector of coconut palms who could cause accidents if offering was not made. one is large and ash-gray while the other is small and is found further down its body) to swallow the moons 3. The Quran literally meaning the recitation is the central religious text of Islam. The patron goddess of lovers and childbirth. gills. Bakunawa Goddess that guards the afterlife (Sulad) the goddess Bakunawa mesmerized by their beauty transformed herself into a large serpent-dragon and rose from the sea to swallow them. which means “male” or “virile.

utilizing the tie and dye method from natural dyes (ikat technique). The boatman is seated behind a figure whose hands are crossed on the chest. On top of the jar cover or lid is a boat with two human figures representing two souls on a voyage to the afterlife. The hanging coffins of Sagada are ancient Igorot tradition of burying their loved ones. • Wooden coffin The deceased relative was placed in a wooden coffin and buried under the house. The blanket is woven by women using the back strap loom. if not with hostility • Hanging coffins of sagada -Within the dark corners of the Lumiang Burial Cave lay a stack of coffins which enclose some of the oldest Igorot ancestors. The bones of the deceased were exhumed. Indigenous plants locally called hawili and bolux is mixed and boiled until the desired black color is achieved. golds and other valuable things. while a poorly provided dead one would be received with indifference. complete with clothes. -On the upper portion of the jar. -Igorot tradition only permitted those who died from natural causes to be buried in the hanging coffins. It is also believed that the person who would get a drop of blood while the body is being passed towards the coffin will have a good fortune. cleaned. The position of the hands is a . It is made and formed from commercialized cotton threads. -They are found in the municipalities of Banaue. The bizarre tradition was meant to put their loved ones closer to heaven. This is also done to other indigenous legumes for the red and yellow colors. They would travel the beaten path in order to place the coffin inside the Lumiang Cave and a 5-day pre-burial ritual was required during which the body was preserved using smoke. as well as the cover is incised with curvilinear scroll designs and painted with natural iron or hematite. • ifugao blanket -The Ifugao blanket was used to cover the corpse of an Ifugao after death. Kiangan and Hungduan in Ifugao Province • Manunggul jar -The manunggul burial jar was a secondsry way of burying the dead. This was done in the belief that a well- provisioned dead person would be received with alarcity in the other world. The red and yellow colors are utilized for aesthetic purposes. The Igorots will hung the coffin first and then the deceased wrapped in cloth will now be placed inside the coffin. and stored in such vessels.

and then placed above a heat source in a seated position. the body was placed in one of the caves. Finally. evil spirits cannot enter the body. where they were eventually discovered. The internal drying process was ritually furthered along by blowing tobacco smoke into the deceased’s mouth. -The jar was found in Manunggul Cave. The gold nose-disc and gold eye-mask dated from the late 14th to the early 15th century A.The burial practice of covering the eyes. After the individual passed away. are used to cover the smell of the decaying bodies. • Gold masks/orifice Long before the coming of the Spaniards. The body was thoroughly washed. found only in Sarangani. The heat of the smoke would slowly and completely dehydrate the entire body. Iloilo • Kabayan mummies -The Kabayan mummies are mummified by the process of smoking. He placed the first piece on a soft surface like clay or wax and with a pointed tool. the rest of the mummification process would take place. . -It is believed that the process begins before death.He used a different design for each eye. nose and mouth of the dead with sheets of gold is a custom of the southern Chinese practiced by a limited group of Filipinos.traditional Filipino practice observed when arranging the corpse. It is estimated that this process took anywhere from several weeks. Upon completion of the mummification process. Lipuun point. He shaped the second sheet for covering the nose. This signifies the belief of early Filipinos in life after death. the smoked body was rubbed down with herbs. The T’bolis believe that children who pass away are angels that should not touch the ground and should not be buried. It is believed that when the face of the dead is covered with a gold mask. the individual would drink a beverage with a very high concentration of salt in order to dehydrated the body. It is not a common mummification technique. The deceased bodies are covered in cloth and damay leaves before they are hung. This was thought to help to remove all fluids from the internal organs. The body is remained suspended above the smoldering kindling. As death approached. pressed the design from behind. Palawan • T’boli burial practice -T’boli tribe practice to hang the bodies of dead infants and children on trees instead of burying them. was found in a grave site in San Antonio. The face of the corpse was covered with delicately worked sheets of gold. to several months to complete. early inhabitants used gold ornaments for the the dead.D. and it was a very lengthy process. The craftsman cut out two pieces. The herbal damay leaves. Oton.

Maglahi. like murdered or tortured. Soul. there were practices like: wearing white. It is called balata.a type of mourning when a man dies. Pasiyam. These are the terms used: Morotal. It is believed that after a person died. one thing was certain to native the 9th day after day. refraining from eating meat or drinking a timeless traveler. gold. wine. In terms of burial practices. the soul of the person who died would come back to visit his/her loved ones. For some families. to serve his needs in the afterlife. his slaves were killed and buried with him.a type of mourning when the chief dies. However. • Fr. in the Benguet province of the Philippines -The Kabayan mummies are also known as the Ibaloi mummies. This is to chant the good deeds of the dead. weapons. Early Filipinos believed that on either 3rd or 9th day. Laraw. Our ancestor subscribed to the concept of life after death. Demetrio recreates the belief of ancient Filipinos regarding the nature of the soul: that the spirits of the dead of the early Filipinos was incorporeal but possessed of .-The Kabayan mummies are found in caves in the town of Kabayan. or Fire mummies. The souls of good and brave men go to a heaven called Kalualhatian. they hire professional mourners. Balata. Benguet mummies. They believed that each individual has an immortal soul that travels to the other world. which is the concept of “journey” of the soul after death. whereas the souls of evil men are flung into a hell known as Kasamaan. This is to appease their the performance for the person who died. The concept of life after death varies among ethnic groups. Tibaw. his relatives placed food. or they even hire professional mourners.a type of mourning when a woman dies. When a datu died.if the person who died. his /her soul would travel to either heaven or hell. and eventually buried in a grave or a cave. To prepare the dead for his journey to the underworld. During the mourning period. placed in a coffin made of hard wood or a burial jar. died violently. the relatives kill or seek revenge to the guilty party and their family. and other personal effects and provisions in his grave. the corpse was embalmed.

and appeared like a smoke or shadow. while women went either topless or wore a robe-like considered as the hell. reaching slightly below the waist. Though impalpable and considered as the heaven where Bathala and other lesser gods. and though unseen. such as gold necklaces and earrings. power and wealth. women also wore tattoos signifying beauty. Filipino style of clothing had been dictated by the tropical climate in the Philippines. while black and white were for the ordinary citizens. often with "intricate beadwork" and other ornaments. Earliest reference to the Baro was in the historical account Ma-i(Pre-Colonial name for the Philippines) that the Filipinos wore a sleeve-doublet of rough cotton cloth kanga . Women from the upper castes wore baro and saya made from silk in matching colours while women from lower castes wore baro made from pounded white bark fiber. still it manifests physical power in the noises it makes to make its presence felt. Pre-colonial Clothing and Adornment Before the colonizers from Europe discovered the islands. an aerial body which resembled its corporeal owner. The doublets indicated the social status and badge of courage of a man. Kasamaan. the Visayans wore clothes similar to that of Indonesians and Malaysians. The Tagalogs and the . it is believed that the spirit of the dead can incarnate itself in animals. Early Filipinos wore colorful woven clothes. as well as wearing tattoos symbolizing power and strength as a warrior. Their loins were covered with colored Bahague between legs to mid-thigh. and for this purpose the windows of the house of the bereaved are always open. and a floor-length wrap-around skirt. It was collarless and had an opening in front. deities and goddesses live. volition and love for its living relatives whom it visits either on the third or ninth day after death. LUZON Before the ((Spanish Era. red was for the Chiefs and the bravest. the entrances are spread with ashes for the spirit to leave its imprint on them. for the souls are in the form of smoke or shadow. with a dry and rainy season. they are audible. Lastly. In some tribes. They wore a robe called Marlota or jacket called Baquero without a collar that reached the feet. The robes or jackets were brightly coloured. which symbolized wealth and beauty. The men wore pants or a loincloth and usually went topless. It is believe that people who are brave and kind go to Kalualhatian. Women usually wore jewelry. VISAYAS In contrast. the Tagalogs of Luzon already wore a garment that was a forerunner of the Barong Tagalog – the Baro. Kalualhatian. The spirits can lure the spirits of the living to lose their spirits and become insane. The spirit independently of its corporeal owner possesses personal consciousness.

lihin-lihin. loose smocks with sleeves. or ankle-length robes. which actually meant to go for water. Commoners wore pudong of rough abaca cloth wrapped around only a few turns so that it was more of a headband than a turban and was therefore called pudong-pudong – as the ((crowns and diadems on Christian images were later called.Visayans bound their foreheads and temples with long. capes. though in Panay. were added for public appearances and especially on formal occasions – blouses and tunics. This was particularly prevalent in the Visayas so widespread was the practice of tattooing in the Visayas that the Spaniards coined the Visayans “pintados” (painted) because their bodies were covered with tattoos. Necks were covered with gold necklaces. Ancient form of Barong Tagalog from Boxer Codex Fashion for Visayan Royal TATTOOS The Visayas Tattooing was widely practiced in pre-colonial Philippines both for the purposes of ornamentation and rite of passage. A red pudong was called magalong. and was the insignia of braves who had killed an enemy. More prestigious clothes. A headdress from Cebu with a deep crown. The usual male headdress was the pudong. and wrists with golden armlets called Calombigas – these had intricate patterns. MINDANAO The Islamic kingdoms in Mindanao especially the Maranao people have a fashion article for the female called malong. was called sarok. she was preceded by three girls carrying one of her hats. Others would wear precious stones. a turban. narrow strips of cloth called Putong. When Humabon's queen went to hear mass during Magellan's visit. used by both sexes for travel on foot or by boat. both men and women also wore a head cloth or bandana called saplung. which is a tubeskirt or a light blanket wrapped around the body. Batuk is the .

general term for tattoos in the Visayas. Back Tattoos Chest Tattoos . tattoos on the abdomen— only came after further action in battle. and still later. A vintage illustration from the Boxer Codex depicting a Visayan Pintado The location of a tattoo also indicates a warrior’s experience in battle: chest tattoos which looked like breastplates— less frequently. Facial tattoos from ear to chin to eye were restricted to the boldest and toughest warriors. those on the whole back is the widest field for the tattoer’s artistry. Even today. an annual feast called Pintados Festival is celebrated in Tacloban to pay tribute to the ancient tattooing tradition of the Visayans.

they were called just that – mud (lusak). Having a tattoo for these highland people marks the beginning of a man’s journey from a legitimate head hunter to a fearsome warrior. Like the Pintados. hardened mountain men from the tribes of Kalinga. men can officially be named as a head hunter the moment he managed to make his first kill. which include the tracing of the design on the body. wherein it is believed to increase their beauty as well as their fertility. Salvador-Amores from UP Baguio. and if infection caused the designs to be muddied. the only living “magbabatuk” in the Cordillera region who still practices the traditional tattoo ritual is Apo Whang-Od. A tattoo artist is called “magbabatuk”. She is currently training her niece in order to preserve this culturally significant art. In the study made by Analyn Ikin V. Currently. Baug or binogok was the healing period when the wounds were still swollen. Bontoc and Ifugao also practice tattoo rituals or “pagbabatuk”. The operation was not performed all in one sitting but in installments. which is why some men though qualified as warriors avoid the operation for as long as possible until shamed into it. The Cordilleras In the northern part of the Philippines. Their women also have the right to possess tattoos on their body. Facial Tattoos The process is pretty much unchanged over the centuries. . often causes a high fever and occasionally infection and death. pricking it with needles then rubbing soot into the fresh wound. The process is very painful. but even so. tattoos are often seen on the bravest warriors and head hunters.

Lam-ang brought his white rooster and gray dog. B. Lam-ang . When Lam-ang was born. Synopsis a. creating a huge massacre of his Igorot enemies. he went and wooed Ines Kannoyan and gained a rival named as Sumarang whom he defeated. both the rooster and the dog recovered his body and the newlyweds lived happily ever after. Don Juan went to take revenge against Igorot enemies. Lam-ang was given birth by his mother Namungan in Nalbuan. Once Ines and Lam-ang was married.Folklores Epic (Biag ni Lam-ang) A. he was caught inside Berkakan’s mouth leaving only his bones. he spoke and told his mother to name him Lam-ang and chose his godparents. husband of Ines Kannoyan . To attract Ines’ attention. After coming home to celebrate his victory.protagonist of the story. his father. Lam-ang went to look for him and also found out he was killed. In the end. the former causing a house fall and the latter fixed the house. However. Before he was born. he went to perform the tradition of catching raring fish. When his father did not come back from his revenge. This made him furious. Characters a.

Gray Dog .wife of Lam-ang who had many suitors e. stone of tangraban and lao-laoigan) e. Biag ni Lam-ang is a pre-Hispanic epic poem of the Ilocano people of the Philippines.father of Lam-ang d. Myths from the Different Regions of the Philippines Ang mga Diyos at Diyosa (Ilocos) A. The story was handed down orally for generations before it was written down around 1640 assumedly by a blind Ilokano bard named Pedro Bucaneg. Resurrection from death D.g. Namongan . god of harvests . Tradition of diving for the shellfish (rarang) f. Cultural Elements rival of the protagonist f. Anianihan. and during the days.the water monster that ate Lam-ang C. the dog and the rooster). There was once an old man living in Cabalangegan named Abra. White Rooster .the animal that caused a house to rise again. Don Juan .the animal that caused a house to fall to gain Ines’ attention. Lore a. Berkakan . The use of amulets (e.mother of Lam-ang c. also responsible to the recovery of Lam-ang h.g. b. Preparation of bamboo shoots before giving birth c. Sumarang . also responsible to the recovery of Lam-ang g. it was always bright with sunlight.g. Tribal wars d. Berkakan) and supernatural powers of animals (e. Origin a. Belief in the existence of monsters (e. b. Ines Kannoyan . He can control the weather and he was covered by a gathering of water vapor at night.

The god of peace and calm Bulan tried to comfort him but it didn’t work. his wits were gone. Revenador . Abra went to beat his wife and chase her out before weeping for his lost daughter. sent down the largest strings of fire. sent the strongest wind until the crowns of the trees brushed the ground and Revendor. Thick. Lady Makiling . Caburayan’s love interest b. Abra does not approve of this since he wanted Caburayan to marry either Saguday or Revenador. Gods a. Abra begged the other gods to help him take back his daughter.grandchild of Abra D.father of Caburayan.god of thunder and lightning e. the god of wind. He did not find her. controls weather c. Bulan . All these frightful events lasted seven days.god of the wind d. Arranged Marriage . He heard a cry and found out that it was his granddaughter Maria Makiling. for the cries of the baby stopped.wife of Abra c. Saguday. and the poor old man returned to his home very sad. Saguday . Godesses a. Anianihan . black clouds began to darken the sky.god of harvests. Maria Makiling . However. eloped with his daughter Caburayan with the approval of his wife Lady Makiling. The search for the baby lasted three full moons but to no avail. Cultural Elements a. the god of thunder.goddess of healing b. Abra . He lost all hope. Caburayan . B.god of peace and calm C. When Anianihan and Caburayan ran away.

Cultural Elements a. people from Southern Luzon travelled to the North. The bee asked Bathala to give it a form of self- defense. something that will cause death to humans and prevent them from taking its honey. With great joy. Characters a. B. the god was happy and promised the bee to give anything the bee wished for. Compiled by D.g. This disappointed Bathala since he thought the bee was greedy. gave the bee the weapon it can use for self-defense with a condition C.the bee that serves honey to Bathala and gained the right to ask a favor from him b. Thus. Thus. Religion (e. Synopsis a. the river being Abra. Bathala . The use of natural disasters to emphasize the power each god has (e. it gave Bathala its honey. The use of natural environments to create the idea of gods and goddesses (e. were from Southern Luzon. b. In turn. they contributed in the contents of the myth.g. the name Makiling is also the name of a mountain) c. Bathala gave the bee a weapon but using this will cost its life. There was once a bee that was able to create sweet honey.the god served by the bee with honey. Abra caused a heavy rain. such as Maria Makiling. Legends from the Philippines Alamat ng Bubuyog A. To avoid Spanish colonizers. “Filipino Writing: Philippine Literature from the Regions. Revendor sent down fire (volcanic eruption)) E. The bee . Origin a. the bee serving Bathala) .g. Some characters. Eugenio in Bienvenido Lumbera’s book titled. b.” in the Northern Luzon section particularly Ilocos.

. Moral values (e.g. b. wishing harm to others will give harm to oneself) D. Origin a. There were other versions of this legend due to the variety of natives who handed down the story. Handed down by mouth from different regions especially Batangas.