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c c 

The ancestors of the presend-day Aeta, according to one theory, arrived through land
bridges that linked the Philippines with the Asian mainland some 30,000 years ago. This
ethnic group has lived in relative isolation from lowlanders, preserving a way of life not
far from its indigenous beginnings and retaining much of their traditional customs,
practices, values, and social organization.

Myths, folktales, and folk narratives preserved by oral tradition are among the known
types of literature of the Pinatubo Aeta.Many of the stories and narratives concern
spirits who either own or live in plants.
One story is about a pitcher plant considered dangerous, and concerns a couple during
the time of the "first people." Unknowingly, the couple chose a bad spot for their
dwelling since they did not know that it was near the pitcher plant, said to be the
property of Binangunan, the god of danger, sickess, and death. At night, the couple
heard the sound of a fly, then a loud hiss, and they saw Binangunan who looked like a
horse with fire on its back. He drank from the pitcher plant. The couple decided to leave,
but Binangunan trailed and killed them by pulling their nails and sucking their blood.

c c  is the collection of beliefs, customs, and traditions that people pass on
from generation to generation. Folklore includes fairy tales, legends, myths, dances,
games, riddles, and superstitions.

þ     (English:      

^ is a pre-Hispanic epic poem of the
Ilokano people from the Ilocos region of the Philippines. Recited and originally written in
the Ilokano language, it is believed to be the work of many poets from various
generations, and was first preserved in writing around 1640, by a blind Ilokano bard
named Pedro Bucaneg.

Its origin occurred during the pre-Spanish period of the Philippines and it is one of the
greatest Ilocano epics of the pre-colonial literature of the country. The story is a mix of
adventure and romance with exciting and unpredictable outcomes. Lam- ang was an
extraordinary being. He started to speak at an incredibly young age and was the one to
choose his own name. His adventure began when his father, Don Juan, went to a battle
but never came back. At the age of barely nine months he went to search for his father
in the highlands where his father was said to go. Aware that her child was a blessed,
extraordinary creature,Namongan, his mother, allowed him to go. Lam-ang then went
off to search for his father, leaving his grieving mother behind. When Lam-ang reached
the place, he was enraged upon seeing his father¶s head on top of a bamboo pole that
was stuck in the ground which was a scene that he had dreamed before reaching the
place. Lam-ang then demanded to know the reason why that had happened to his
father, but did not receive an answer. Instead he was demanded by the chieftain of the
village to go or else he would receive the same fate like his father. Instead of running,
Lam-ang bravely fought with the chieftain and its tribesmen. Lam-ang won the fight with
less effort, serving as his revenge for his father.

The epic poem also presented some humorous points. As Lam-ang was on his way
home he passed by a river (Amburayan River which is known to be the biggest river in
Ilocos^ and then decided to have a dip. The dirt from his body caused the death of
fishes, crabs and shrimps in the river. He was gladly attended by some of the women
who saw him. Lam-ang, upon reaching home decided to court his love interest, Ines
Kannoyan. Despite his mother¶s disapproval he followed his heart and set off again on
another journey for her love. His adventures had never been that easy. He faced one of
Ines¶ suitor and monsters. But he won the battles with ease. Upon reaching He was
helped by his magical pets: cat and dog. Lam-ang¶s rooster flapped its wings and a
house toppled. This amazed everybody, especially Ines. Then, Lam-ang¶s dog barked
and the house rose up. Being invited to the lunch of the family of Ines, Lam-ang
impressed Ines¶ parents with his wealth and upon returning he gave to the family two
golden ships. Their wedding was held with a lot of feasts. However Lam-ang¶s story did
not end there. His bones were recovered and Lam-ang was resurrected with the help of
his magical pet. Ines was ordered by the rooster to wrap the bones with her tapis while
the hen was flapping its wings and the dog was growling. In an instant Lam-ang happily
rejoined his wife.

There are divergent views on the dominant character of the Aeta religion. Those who
believe they are monotheistic argue that various Aeta tribes believe in a supreme being
who rule over lesser spirits or deities. The Mamanua believe in the supreme
Magbabaya while the Pinatubo Aeta worship Apo Namalyari. According to
anthropologist E. Arsenio Manuel, the Agta believe in a supreme being named
Gutugutumakkan. Manuel notes other lesser deities of the Agta; Kedes, the god of
hunting; Pawi, the god of the forest; and Sedsed, the god of the sea. pp

There are four manifestations of the "great creator" who rules the world: Tigbalog is
the source of life and action; Lueve takes care of production and growth; Amas moves
people to pity, love, unity, and peace of heart; while Binangewan is responsible for
change, sickness, and death. These spirits inhabit the balete tree (Noval-Morales and
Monan 1979:77-78^ pp

The Aeta are also animists. For example, the Pinatubo Aeta believe in environmental
spirits such as anito and kamana. They believe that good and evil spirits inhabit the
environment, such as the spirits of the river, the sea, the sky, the mountain, the hill, the
valley, and other places. The Ati of Negros island call their environmental spirits
taglugar or tagapuyo, which literally means "from/inhabiting a place." They also believe
in spirits of disease and comfort (Noval-Morales and Monan 1979:79-80^. pp

No special occasion is needed for the Aeta to pray, although there is a clear link
between prayer and economic activities. The Aeta dance before and after a pig hunt.
The night before Aeta women gather shellfish, they perform a dance which is half an
apology to the fish and half a charm to ensure the catch. Similarly, the men hold a bee
dance before and after the expeditions for honey. pp