You are on page 1of 3


The epic poem showed some of the earlier customs, culture, tradition and belief of the Ilocano people of the Philippines The story presented some of the qualities of the people of the Ilocos region- adventurous, hardy, and brave as strongly portrayed by Lam-ang. The epic poem presented the fact that life is full of trials and problems. One must be strong and just accept the reality that it is already part of life. The story dates its origin during the pre-Spanish period of the Philipines. It is one of the greatest Ilocano epic of the pre-colonial literature of the country. It is originally written in the Ilocano language but as time goes it has been translated to different languages. Biag ni Lam-ang means Life of Lam-ang who exhibits extraordinary powers at an early age. At nine months he is able to go to war to look for his father s killer. Then while in search of lady loves, Ines Kannoyan, he is swallowed by a big fish, but his rooster and his friends bring him back to life. At birth, Lam-Ang was already able to speak. He gave himself his own name, chose his own godparents and also asked for his father. But Lam-Ang s father, Don Juan, went away to fight an evil tribe of Igorots nine months before Lam-Ang s birth. Don Juan died at the hands of the tribe and was beheaded. His head was set as a prize at the village s center. Due to Don Juan s absence at the birth of his son, Lam-Ang set out to find who killed his father. With the assistance of a different tribe of Igorots, Lam-Ang was able to avenge his father s death. Using a single spear, he defeated every one of the headhunters of the warring Igorot tribe. Upon reaching home Lam-Ang decided to court his love interest, Ines. Despite his mother s disapproval he followed his heart and set again another journey for her love. His adventures had never been easy. He faced one of Ine s suitor and monsters. But he won the battles with ease. Upon reaching the place, Lam-Ang drew the attention of many and impressed Ines. He was helped by his magical pets: a rooster, a hen, and a dog. Story of the Life of Lam-ang, Husband of Dona Ines Kannoyan, is somewhat of a mythical story which portrays the characteristics of an Ilokano. The various recompilations of this story prove that it is one that will remain for future generations to read. Hopefully, the main ideas may be selected and passed to those of the younger generations.

The Maranao epic, darangen, is the longest so far recorded. It consist of many cycles of episodes relating to different heroes, foremost among them Bantugan, whose name also alludes to his talismanic voice. Bantugan means renowned one, "one who makes history." In the darangen, as in other Philippine oral epics, the hero's foremost adventures have to do with war and marriage. Bantugan, warrior and lover, is the exemplary hero. His prowess is unmatched: "his sharp powerful magic sword," an heirloom of many generations, with "its colorful tassels glinting / like the flashes of lightning," its snake handle "releasing a swarm of flashes of rainbows" signifies his extraordinary powers, as does his magic shield which "flew swiftly above the ground / so that it was said that he was like a bolt of lightning that brightened the sky." These images are reminiscent of the Bagobo epic's and similar to the metaphors used to portray the Subanun hero, Sandayo. The Maranao was a sultanate with a royal court. The darangen is replete with descriptions of a material culture richer than the northern societies'. The dressing scene in which Bantugan prepares for war is much more elaborate than the northern epic's, although the clothing, such as the embroidered coat and the heirloom magic belt, is similar. The wedding scene of the Maranao princess is strikingly similar to the dressing and arming scene of the hero. Elite Maranao women were once kept in special chambers or lamin prior to marriage and royally presented at their weddings. Just as the hero's clothing and ornament magically increases his physical prowess, the heroine's dress and jewerly likewise magnifies her beauty, nobility and, therefore, marketability as a bride.

" Both Sandayo and the warrior maiden possess the talismans like rings. The scene featuring the war preparations of the warrior maiden is repeated. SULOD LABAW DONGGON Labaw Donggon is about the amorous exploits of the son of a goddess Alunsina. using the same formula for the Subanun hero. the giant with a hundred arms to win Abyang Doronoon and confronts the lord of darkness.. / Hanging one on top of the other / on each slim ankle while on her / blouse were four golden discs to match the / golden button found in front. the dressing scene in the Sulod epic bears a striking similarity to that in Lam-ang-. / that great wooden chest / with the elaborate cover. They are overcome by the Sulod warriors' charms. not inequality.. robes of eight folds" Sex-typed dress. his dear revered mother: Open. the warrior maiden simply waves her monsala or scarf to restore it. then he fights Sikay Padalogdog.. This scene is repeated several times in the Sulod epic with the departure of each hero. ready for war and adventure:Thus dressed Labaw Donggon.. to win Nagmalitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata. a busalian--a term still used by West Visayans to mean " the mightiest of native priest. Both hero and heroine are so powerful that their passing glance alone burns the kingdoms of their enemies. The arming of the hero takes place in a subsequent scene where Labaw Donggon's son asks for: My arrow which is poisoned / which. The hero usually requests his female relative to open a chest containing his magical clothes and ornaments and despite the geographical and cultural distance between the Ilocano and Sulod.are no match for his sons. Sandayo. / Then he picked up / his headdress saramingku / which sang with the wind / in such sweet refrain / for it was tasseled with silver / with fine laces adorned." Some lines refer to the art of decorating the teeth: a maiden whose smile is "like lightning flash. for one could match her grace or her / virtues... The lines "straight as a tree / a rare flower / brighter than the sun / so radiant to behold" which recur throughout the epic describe both the hero and the female warrior. / And my spiral dagger / with very sharp edges. Although the singer's description of Sandayo's prepatory rituals is more elaborate.. Images of light. and bring water gushing from the heart of a human corpse.. Saragnayan." For the Sulod warrior is a man of prowess."Paramata Gandingan's Wedding" describes the dressing scene: A pair of short trousers lavishly / embroidered. scarves and flying shields. Dressing the hero is often the task of his mother or sister. When eight landslides destroy their mountain kingdom. / Then from there select / discriminatingly / my treasured possessions / my elegant finery. / Bright clusters of precious jewels / rich golden bracelets. ornament and armament signify gender complementarity. / He was wrapped with silver / covered with gold.. please open. being a true princess. the woman warrior's clothing is just as magically charged as Sandayo's "robes of gold. fly through space. / He wore a headband / an embroidered kershief bright / not woven by local hands / but by those from other hands. The polygamous hero battles the huge monster Manaluntad for the hand of Abyang Ginbitinan... grant protection from weapons. . made of rich thin silk / which sparkled as sunbeams were caught / on the gold-embroidered designs. / It seemed to shine as purest gold / sparkling glints of light flashed from the / gold threads in the dazzling light from her lips. / exquisite blending / of all the colors and designs / expressed in the various patterns / caught in the shades of blue-violet. Datu Paubari." who can command the elements.Labaw Donggon addressed Abyang Alunsina. lightning and the sun are associated with the hero: "handsome and radiant / like the rising sun / at break of day. by a mortal. The hero's clothes and ornaments transform him into a man of prowess.. brandishing spears and krises--"blades with seven curved edges"-. / Indeed she had no equal. piercing one man / emerges from seven men. Labaw Donggon's enemies... "overwhelmed by their magical skills.


Related Interests