Module No.10 : Rituals
Posted by : Raymond G. Pepito
Sources : http://library.thinkquest.org


Superstitions are beliefs or practices for which there appears to be no rational substance. It is a term designated to these beliefs that result from ignorance and fear of the unknown. Those who use the term imply that they have certain knowledge or superior evidence for their scientific, philosophical, or religious convictions.

Here are some of the rituals performed by the elders and folks in different provinces in the Philippines.




Beliefs and practices govern almost all aspects of agriculture. The tamblan is often called to perform the practice of bayang or buhat before lands are cultivated. A dish of white chicken or white pork is offered to the unseen owner. Before planting, a table with cooked rice, chicken, wine or buyo is set in the open and offered to the spirits who are asked to grant a good harvest. If planting is to be done during a new moon in May or June, rice is toasted and then ground with sugar in a mixture called paduya. The paduya is then baked, divided into 24 parts, and wrapped in banana leaves and offered the night before planting to the aswang who protects the field. For harvest blessings pangas may also be prepared in a basket from a mixture of rice, medicinal herbs, palm fruit and a wooden comb.

There are specific practices depending upon the crop being planted. During the planting of rice, one must not hurt or kill the taga-taga, an insect with protruding antennae believed to be soul of the palay, or else this cause a bad harvest. A good harvest is likely when its tail points upwards.

In planting corn, the first three rows should be planted at sundown. This is the time when chicken and other fowl are in their roosts and if they do not see where the seeds are planted; they will not dig up the seeds. If it rains while the farmer is planting, it is a sure sign that the seeds will not germinate. Persons with few of broken teeth should not plant corn to prevent the corn from bearing sparse and inferior grains.

In coconut planting, so that the nut will grow big and full, seedlings must be placed on open ground during a full moon. They should be planted at noontime when the sun is directly overhead and shadows are at their shortest. This is so the coconut trees will bear fruit soon, even if they are not yet very tall. While planting coconuts, it would help if one is carrying a child so that the tree will yield twice as many nuts. Bananas should be planted in the morning or at sunrise with young plants carried on the farmer's back so the branches will have compact and large clusters.

Sticks should not be used when planting cassava lest the tubers develop fibers that are not good to eat. Ubi, on the other hand, is a sacred root crop. If it is dropped on the ground, it has to be kissed to avoid divine fury called gaba. Planters must lay clustered fruits on three hills for an abundant harvest of camote or sweet potato.

It is believed that planters must remove their shirts, lie on the ground and roll over several times during a full moon. Crops planted near the diwata's place or during thunderstorms will become rat infested.

During harvesting, if the crops are poor, the farmers prepare biku, budbud, ubas, tuba, guhang, 12 chickens, pure rice, tobacco and tilad. These they place under a dalakit tree in the fields as offering to the spirits.

Rice harvesting entails more intricate rituals. A mixture called pilipig is prepared from seven gantas of young palay added to ubas (grapes), bayi-bayi(ground rice), grated coconut and sugar. This mixture is pounded in a mortar and brought out at midnight. At midnight, the farmers call the babaylan to chant prayers while they surround him/her with smoke.

Fisherfolk have their own ways of soliciting the favors of the other world. During a full moon, a mananapit is asked to pray for a good catch and to bless the fishing nets and traps with herbs and incense. To cast off evil spirits, fisherfolk at sea mutter tabi meaning "please allow small yellow copper key under their belts to protect themselves from being devoured by a big fish. Divers eat the flesh of the cooked turtle for greater stamina underwater. Fisherfolk avoid bad luck by neither sitting nor standing in front of their fishing gear and by returning home by way of the route used when setting out the sea. To avail of future bounty, fisherfolk using new traps must throw back half of their first catches.


In building houses, spirits believed to roam the world of the living must be considered. Spirits like dwelling in caves and ought not to be disturbed by the construction of a house nearby. A good site for a house is determined by burying 3 g of rice wrapped in black cloth at the center of the lot. If a grain is missing when they are unearthed three days after, the site is not suitable for it will cause illness. February, April, and September are the months to build houses. To bring prosperity and peace to the owners, coins are placed in each posthole before the posts are raised. The ladder of the house should face east to ensure good health. A full moon symbolizes a happy homelife when moving to a new house. For the moving family to be blessed, they should boil water in a big pot and invite visitors to stay overnight in their new house. A ritual is also performed against evil spirits during the inauguration of the public buildings, bridges, and other structures.




Many rituals are connected with the agricultural cycle: the daily life on the swidden, which includes clearing, planting and harvesting. Nature provides signs and portents that signal the start of specific activities. These are rituals related to life in the swidden, to rice and to community as a whole.

Three signs indicate the clearing work on the swidden can begin-the red bakakaw herb comes out, the tablan (coral tree) is in bloom and the leaves of the basinalan tree fall to the ground. This is around February to March. Then, the lumba tree begins to bear fruit, and it is a sign that the dry days have begun, time for burning the swidden. A good harvest is portended by the rising of a little whirlwind from the burning field. This, it is said, is the spirit Alpugpug. This wind fans the fire that moves across the burning field which never goes out of control, "because swidden culture has its own ecological wisdom." Before burning, the Isneg clear the swidden very carefully, taking care no to harm certain plants, such as the amital vine, which must not be killed, lest a death befall the offender's family. The clearing burned, a few seeds are cast into the wind and a prayer is offered to the spirits. The farmer and his family gather charred woods which has not been completely burned. This will be used for fuel, to be used during the harvest. Three days before rice is planted, the agpaabay ceremony is observed. A man and a woman scatter rice grains across the field to warn the rats not to eat them. The woman returns in the afternoon to make an offering to the spirits of the field. She bores a hole into the ground and drops a few seeds into it. Then she covers the hole with taxalitaw vine leaves and the sapitan herb. This is to ensure that the crops will be healthy. For the whole night and all throughout the next day, she cannot hand out anything to anyone, and no one is allowed to enter her house. On the third day, other women take up the chore of planting. They carry double sticks with which they bore holes in the ground. Coconut shells full of seed are tied to their waists. It is taboo for children to make noises, because they would likely disturb the spirits: the paxananay, who watches over the planting and the bibiritan which kills people when roused to anger. In September, the rice is ready for harvesting. It is then cooked with the fire of the stored charred wood from the burned clearing: thus, the cooking of the rice completes the ritual cycle of the swidden.

There are several rituals performed in connection with the harvest of rice. These actually begin with the killing of a pig as an object of sacrifice, accompanied by communications with the spirits, performed in the form of prayers by the dororakit or the shaman maganito. Rice pudding if offered to Pilay, the spirit of the rice, who resides on the paga, a shelf above the Isneg hearth. This is the pisi, the ritual offering of food to the spirits. The old woman who performs this utters the following prayer: "Ne uwamo ilay ta ubatbattugammo ya an-ana-a, umaammo ka mabtugda peyan" (Here, this is yours, Pilay, so that you feed my children fully, and make sure thet they are always satisfied.)

Another ritual is performed right in the fields where the harvest is going on.

The amulets inapugan, takkag(a kind of fern), and herbs are tied to a stalk of palay, which later will be placed in the granary before the other palay.

Again, these are reserved for Pilay. In case a new granary is built, and the contents of the old granary were transferred, the spirit's special share is also transferred to the new place. It is never consumed. An illness in the family during the time of harvest occasions a ritual called pupug. The shaman catches a chicken and kills it inside the house of the affected family. The usual prayers to the guardian spirits of the fields are recited, after which the household members partake of the meat of the sacrificial animal.




To relieve the person of the malaise, an older relative plucks a twig from a tree, for instance, malunggay and gently brushes it on the victim's head and body while muttering to the unseen spirit to let go. If the victim's condition persists, the relatives offer atang, a ritual food to appease the supernaturals of the wilderness. Since the Ilocano traditional universe links the natural and the supernatural realms, rites of appeasement and thanksgiving are done periodically of the spirits dwelling in the loam, river and woodland. This traditional world view, which has persisted in a modified and casual manner, may incorporate traces of ecclesiastical rites. For instance, upon opening a bottle of liquor on the ground, like a priest sprinkling holy water. The intent is to offer the kadkadua (unseen partners) their share of the repast and merriment.




Gaddang anitu rites are rendered to cure the sick and ensure their longevity and to avoid misfortune or illness due to breach or a taboo. Presided by the medium and usually involving the sacrifice of a pig, these rituals could also serve to indicate status and/or the occasions for kindred socialization.




There is a great variety of rites and ceremonies practiced by the Kankanay. Several types of economic activities such as planting, harvesting, house building, or digging irrigation ditches call for the performance of these rites. A whole village, or a family financially capable of throwing a feast, takes responsibility for the holding of big and elaborate rites. For determining the cause of illness or divination of events, simpler rites are performed by an individual or by a family group.

One of the ritual ceremonies already mentioned is the bayas. This canao or feast is the most important festival in northern Kankanay society, which is hosted by the kadangyan, and involves the slaughter of many animals. Only a person of means can afford the amount of food consumed. During the bayas, the kadangyan calls upon his ancestral spirits, and appeals for their continued support for his prosperity. Relatives, villagers, and visitors from other places are all invited to the bayas ritual. During times of plenty, the bayas would be celebrated at least every three or four years, but in recent years the interval has become longer. The rites observed in connection with the agricultural cycle are deemed indispensable because the whole success of planting and harvesting, i.e., survival itself, may depend entirely on such observance.

Legleg is performed to improve the growth of the plants. This is done whenever the bonabon seedlings show telltale signs of withering. A chicken is killed, and is offered to the spirits of the field, trees, rocks, and other things in the surroundings believed to have been angered or displeased. Four or five long feathers of the chicken are pulled out and stuck into the site where the bonabon are planted. If the seedlings do not show any sign of improvement, the ritual is repeated, this time with more sacrificial chickens.

The an-anito is similar to the legleg, except that it is performed to seek intercession for an ailing person.

Harvest entails a different set of rituals. On the fist day, the rice fields are declared off limits to strangers. Along trails, crossed bamboo sticks called puwat are laid out as a warning to passersby against intruding. The owner of the field cuts a handful of rice stalks and recites a prayer asking for a bountiful crop. Then, the other reapers proceed to cut the rest of the harvest. Nobody is allowed to leave at anytime throughout the day, to prevent "loss of luck."

The opening of a baegl (granary) by a family for rice pounding is an event with its own ritual. The head of the household declares an abayas (holiday) which lasts two days. The father opens the granary and takes out as many bundles as required for the period of celebration.

The largest and most important of community celebrations among the Kankanay is the pakde or begnas. This is observed for a variety of purpose. When called to ensure an abundant rice harvest, it takes place sometime during May, a month before the actual harvest. It may also be bserved when a person dies to ask for the protection and favors of the benevolent deities. The village elders may decide to hold the rites, after the observance of a bagat or big feast by a family to regain luck for the community. Or the occasion might be to celebrate a strange event, such as lightning, striking a tree near a house or near a spot where people have assembled, which is interpreted as Kabunian himself speaking. A pakde or begnas serves to appease him. This usually takes place during the rainy season, when lightning is most frequent. The celebration is held for one day and one night with preparations of food and water, and tapuy (rice wine). On the day of the feast, men with bolo and spears come out of their houses and proceed to the village borders to put up barricades across all entrances. Others take up their spears accompany the mambunong to a sacred spot where there is a wooden structure called pakedlan. On this a pig is butchered and offered to the guardian deities of the village. The pakedlan is usually built by the mambunong at one end of the village. It consists of a solitary wooden post about 1.3 m in height, with large white stones laid on the ground surrounding it.




When a diwata wishes to convey a message, it sends a spirit messenger to possess the baylan and speak through him/her. While in ebpintezan or state of possession, the baylan performs the healing ritual. However, a baylan may also be possessed by a timbusew, a bloodthirsty evil spirit. So, instead of treating the sick, the baylan kills the sick person so that the demon could devour the sick person.

There are three levels of leadership in the religious community: the baylan, terewtawan, and sangka. The baylan appoints a terewtawan, a male assistant who travels from village to village to spread the baylan's teachings. About 10 sangka, male and female , assist the terewtawan in preaching and healing the sick.

Anyone of any gender can become a baylan. One may ask to become apprenticed to a baylan by offering the tendan he idtendan, a gift consisting of the following: mirror, comb, turban, pair of trousers, shirt, a bolo, seven pieces of cloth of varying patterns, white and black handkerchief for betel chew offerings, and seven chickens.

Philippine Myth


Module No.9 : Philippine Myth
Posted by : Raymond G. Pepito
Sources : http://www.philippinesinsider.com/


The Philippines is blessed with a multitude of mythologies and legends, yet too few of these tales are known and read today. MGA ALAMAT or myths form an important genre of folk literature. Together with legends and folktales, they constitute the large group of folk narratives in prose. A myth is "a sacred narrative explaining how the world and man came to be in their present form" ( Dundes, 1984: 1).

Here are some popular or readable Philippine Myths :

Philippine Myth on the Origin of the Pineapple


Philippine Myth on the Origin of the Pineapple

  • An unpeeled pineapple has lots of medium-size dots that resemble a human eye. How did it get such skin covering? A Philippine myth tells us why.

Pina, a rustic girl, lived with her mom as tenants in a fruit plantation. Her mom was the hard-working type—working almost all the time, and Pina was also hard-working—but not with household chores. She loved playing all the time.

When her mom told her to do a household chore, she always procrastinated—she started the work but later laid it aside for tomorrow—a tomorrow which often never came. The myth adds that she often stopped in the middle of her household chore to play. She usually reasoned she couldn’t find what it was her mom wanted her to do. But actually, the truth was she didn’t pay attention to any of her mom’s instructions in favor ofplaying. She felt confident in the thought of surely finishing a task later or tomorrow. And this to the chagrin of her mom.

The myth goes on to say that the mother, used to being too vocal with her careless ill wishes or curses on people who didn’t delight her, was liberal on such habit on her only daughter. She reasoned that vehement scolding did some hidden wonders to juvenile stubbornness.

But one day, the myth says, Pina’s procrastinations went too far for her mom to tolerate them anymore. Her mother had told her to get her wooden shoes from the under their hut. She went down their hut and looked under it. But on seeing her old rug doll, her imagination started working. She was soonplaying with it. Her usual dialogue, saying “I can’t see it,” when actually she wasn’t searching but playing, did it this time. Her mom shouted invectives plus a curse that, “May you grow dozens of eyes” so Maria would stop ever mentioning her favoritedialogue. Then suddenly, Maria just disappeared.

A search party looked all over the plantation for Maria, to no avail. And then Maria’s mom saw a curious new plant species at their backyard. It was covered with eyes. She remembered her latest curse on Maria and knew the plant was her. From then on, she called the plant, a pineapple, or “Pinya” in Filipino.

The myth on the origin of pineapples aims at fostering obedience to parents as a priority, and that parents ought to watch how they deal with their kids.

  • Source : http://www.philippinesinsider.com

Philippine Myth: Origin of the Moon and Stars


Philippine Myth: Origin of the Moon and Stars

A long, long time ago, some Filipinos thought the moon was a silver crescent comb and the stars were necklaces of diamonds. The sky was said to be a mere arm-stretch away overhead. The Philippine myth goes this way.

The myth says that once, a small community lived in the middle of a rice field. They focused on rice and corn agriculture and they brought in abundant harvest each year. One of the families in the community was Maria’s family. The myth continues that people in the community were so close that they knew each other well. Maria was know there as a pretty girl.

Particularly, she was known for caring too much for her long, silky hair. The myth says it was her pride, and lots of other girls in the neighborhood envied her for it. And Maria loved it. She fancied herself the star of her village. So, the myth goes that she worked double time on her beauty, especially her long, jet black hair.

Maria cared so much for her hair. The myth says, aside from daily comprehensive herbal rituals, she regularly brushed her hair with a special silver crescent-shape comb. The myth says she let nothing touch her hair except the best material around. Even as she went about her daily chore she wore a coiled string of jewels and diamonds (supposedly common as ordinary rocks that time) to crown her hair—that’s aside from the jeweled necklace she wore.

One day, according to the myth, as she was pounding grains of corn and palay (rice stalks) in a native wooden pestle with a wooden mortar, her mother noticed thejeweled string around her head , the silver comb stuck in her hair, and the jeweled lace round her neck. She scolded her and told her to lay aside everything while working. So, continues the myth , Maria hanged the comb and jewelry on the sky above her. Wanting to finish her work in a hurry, she pounded the grains hard by raising the mortar really high. She didn’t notice hitting the sky which went up higher as she hit it with her pounding. Soon the sky went all the way up, along with her comb and jewelry. And they became the moon and the stars, according to his Philippine myth.

The myth’s lesson? Don’t be too preoccupied with vain personal beauty. Work always comes first. Too much self indulgence is bound to compromise on things that really count.

  • Source : http://www.philippinesinsider.com

The Myth about the Shining Moon


The Myth about the Shining Moon

  • Ever wondered why there has to be a moon at night? Aren’t stars enough to light the skies at night? And with today’s technology that can light up whole cities, is there still need for a moon? This Philippine myth tells us why it was decided one time that there ought to be a moon at night.

One day, this myth says, the moon had no light of any kind. It was a silent dark object that orbited the Earth. It looked for ways to be of use to the inhabitants of the earth, but to no avail. At times it even blocked the sun entirely from the planet, frustrating the sun with its job of lighting up the world. The myth says that the sun complained that it could only light up a side of the earth at a time, and the moon even sometimes prevented it from doing this.

But the moon was not abashed. It continued to find a way to serve planet earth. The myth continues that one day, the moon noticed that the sun was very lonely. She wondered and approached the sun to ask what was the matter. The myth says the sun told her that he was again about to go to the other side of the Earth because the people there also needed its heat and light. The myth says the sun worried about the people on the opposite side who would have to suffer a day of darkness again. “If only I could shine both sides!” the sun said wistfully. He didn’t want to leave the other side without light.

So, feeling desperate, the myth says the moon asked the sun if it could be of any help. The sun regarded the moon for a while and noticed that it had rocks and metals about it. The sun, says the myth, tried to shoot a ray of light on the moon and it bounced on the planet Mars. The light reflected was enough to make Mars squint its eyes. So the sun had an idea. According to the myth, it told the moon that it would give part of its light so the moon could shine on a half of the world, and then sun on the other.

This Philippine myth on the shining moon at night talks of a dark moon going around the Earth, eager to be of service to it. A shared light from the sun gave it its meaning.

  • Source : http://www.philippinesinsider.com

Myth about the Sun


The Philippine Myth about the Sun

  • According to a local myth, the sun was designed to be on earth. To begin with, it was supposed to light up the Earth. So, how come the sun ended up in the sky?

In the beginning, according to this myth, the Earth was so dark because there was nothing in the sky that could give light to it. Hence, there was no day. All throughout the day, 24 hours daily, there was only night time. So what the ancients did, says this myth, was to make bonfires to light up their surroundings, dry clothes on, and keep warm, aside from cook food, boil water, or burn debris. Sometimes, they had to build huge fires to light up whole surroundings on special occasions and community rituals. But they eventually realized, the myth adds, that bonfires, no matter how huge, were not enough to provide enough heat and light drive for all of them. Bonfires were not enough to sustain any kind of development.

So the people thought of ways to remedy the situation. The myth continues that they knew there had to be some kind of a continuous supply of heat and light from a permanent source that didn’t need human supervision. The supply had to be self-sustaining. So what did the people do? What they usually did. They resorted to what they discerned to be gods and goddesses that they believed controlled nature, the myth says.

After some worship rituals and offerings, finally the god of fire purportedly came down from above, according to the myth, and answered their supplication—a perpetual source of heat and light. The god was said to create a very big ball of fire. The myth says, the giant ball of fire was enough to warm and light up the whole surroundings—and even beyond. Miles upon miles of land was amply lighted up by this ball of fire. But it merely rested on the Earth. The myth continues, it was so big and hot that everybody had to stay inside caves to avoid being burned. Even the ground where it rested started to melt.

Seeing this, the god of fire threw the ball of fire to the sky. It was hurled away so strongly that it reached the sky and stayed there.

The local myth about the sun shows us that mere human efforts at life survival and progress is not enough. The sustaining power of nature and belief in a superior force or presence is needed.
  • Source : http://www.philippinesinsider.com

Myth on Why Roosters have Crowns


The Philippine Myth on Why Roosters have Crowns

  • Roosters anywhere in the world seem to be encumbered with a mission just before daylight appears on the horizon. Why do they have to crow? This popular folk myth offers an amusing suggestion why.

The myth begins by stating that long ago, before roosters were known to crow, Batalla was a great kingdom nestled on a hill between two huge and majestic mountains somewhere in the North. Thick mists covered the hilltop early in the morning and in the evening. Thus, according tothe myth , Batalla was a cold mountain fortress. The people’s eating habits increased which, they claim, was due to the cold weather. So they gained weight and became increasingly sleepy. This affected the health of the people, according tothe myth.

Learning of Batalla’s growing health predicament, a rival kingdom from the plains below planned on an attack. The myth goes on that they planned an all-out attack at dawn. The King of Battalla asked everybody’s help to save the kingdom; the soldiers, men and women, and even the children and animals. Haphazard preparations were done to defend the kingdom. But, says the myth, most of them found their physical unfitness the main concern—in fact, it was the number one hindrance to counter the impending attack. It was too late to limber up and train for battle. Hence,the myth adds, at dawn when the enemies were about to start the attack, everybody in the kingdom was fast asleep. It was a very cold night and everybody in Batalla, including the king himself, had a heavy supper the night before, according tothe myth.

The myth continues that the enemies were poised to deal the first fatal blow on the kingdom when suddenly, for some reason, all the roosters in Batalla crowed loudly and simultaneously, waking up everybody in Batalla. Not only that, but the enemies were shocked and dumbstruck at what was going on.The myth says the enemies thought the crowing came from the people. In panic, the enemies imagined that ambush teams were hiding in the dark, and the crowing was a signal for the ambush. According to the myth, the attack was successfully repelled and the enemies ran away like mad chickens scampering for safety. In gratitude, the king put a crown on every rooster’s head.

The myth on why roosters have crowns shows the significance of being warned as a preventive measure against any problem.

  • Source : http://www.philippinesinsider.com

Myth on the Coconut Tree


A Myth on the Coconut Tree

  • Considered by some as the second national tree, the coconut tree is as versatile and useful as the Narra tree. From roots to leaves, the coconut is valuable. But how did it come into being? The coconut tree has lots of myths about it, and here is one.

According to this myth, once there was a kingdom in Mindanao known as Bangonansa Pulangui (“kingdom by the river”), which was ruled by a just and kind sultan. The myth says the kingdom was known for Putri Timbang-Namat, the sultan’s only daughter. She was a most beautiful and charming woman. Her name meant “lady grace.”

Putri’s admirers came from the seven seas, but she did not care for any of them. According to the myth, the kind sultan was touched by their persistence. One day, he tried to ask his daughter to choose from among them the man she would marry, the myth adds.

”I need a son to succeed me when I die,” the father said, “and I wish that before I die, I would see you married,” he added. The myth says the king thought of a contest for the princess’ hand. A tournament was held to determine who among the suitors was worthy of the princess’ love, the myth says.

In the palace garden, meanwhile, the myth says the princess met a young and handsome gardener, Wata-Mama. The myth says Wata-Mama decided to reveal his past to her. According to the myth he was of royal descent but had been lost when he was three. His father was killed by his greedy uncle. The myth says that the princess said, “We love each other, that’s all that matters. ”

The myth says a general was very jealous of Wata. So, that night, in the dark corner of the palace, he and his aides waited for the young lovers. The myth says the general suddenly emerged, struck Wata-Mama and beheaded him. The princess, fearless, picked up Wata’s head.

After Wata’s head was buried, the myth says, early one morning, while the princess was watching the spot, she saw a tiny plant growing from the ground. Suddenly, the myth says, it grew into a tree and reached the height of the window where the princess was sitting at. It produced a round fruit the size of a man’s head.

Love’s passion and jealousy’s wretchedness can suddenly change lives disastrously. This myth on the coconut teaches that love is best kept going on its natural course.

  • Source : http://www.philippinesinsider.com

Myth about the Lanzones Fruit


The Myth about the Lanzones Fruit

  • Lanzones are local berry-like fruits with light brown skin. The fruit itself is white inside. When ripe enough they have a subtle sweetness that tantalizes the taste buds and make them want to sample for more. But according to a local myth, it used to be a harmful fruit.

Before, according to the myth, the lanzones fruit was poisonous. The fruit looked edible enough, and in fact many were tempted to sample it. The myth says, the people wondered: How could anything that looked so good be so dangerous? Some people, despite the death toll, could not fight off the temptation once they see the fruits abundantly display themselves in clusters hanging invitingly on thelanzones tree. Several deaths in the village had been linked to eating its fruits, the myth adds.

One day, the myth says, a hungry old woman came to the village begging for food. The kind villagers gladly gave the old woman food and water and clothes to wear. They even offered her free lodging as long as she saw the need to stay with them. According to the myth, the woman was awed by the kindness of the villagers. One day, while staying with the people, she learned about the lanzones fruits that could not be eaten because they were poisonous. She asked the people where the tree was. They gladly obliged. Then, according tothe myth, upon seeing the lanzones tree and its fruits, the old woman smiled knowingly. She announced to the people that the fruit was edible, to everyone’s wary delight.

She taught the villagers the proper way to pick, peel and eat the fruits of the lanzones tree. According to the myth, the old woman said that peeling the fruit by pinching it lets out a small amount of the white sticky sap from the fruit, and that served as an antidote to the poison of the fruit. Then,the myth says, she did it with a fruit and ate it. She did the same with another fruit, and another, and another. The myth says the villagers also discovered for themselves that the fruits were very edible and delicious. Since then, the villagers started planting morelanzones trees and it became a very lucrative source of income for everyone, the myth adds.

  • The Philippine myth on the lanzones tree and fruit reminds us that there is a proper procedure for doing things, even things untried before, to end up with a safe outcome.
  • Source : http://www.philippinesinsider.com

Myth on Mango Fruits


Myth on Mango Fruits

  • Philippine succulent mangoes are among the well patronized products in the international market since early times. One of the Philippine myths on the mango fruit goes this way.

Long time ago, so this Philippine myth goes, in a wooden villa deep in the forest was a beautiful lady. An only daughter of an old, old couple, they wanted her married as soon as possible. They feared dying without seeing her married. This Philippine myth says Pangga was her name, meaning “object of love” in the vernacular. Aside from her arresting natural pulchritude, she was very industrious, kind, and smart with rustic wisdom. Moreover, Pangga knew a lot of trade skills that had earned her quite a bit of money. Thus, her parents wanted nothing but the best man for her.

But Pangga fell for a local poet, a professional dreamer. He was known in the village as a desperate writer whose works of poetry made meager money. This Philippine myth continues that Manong, the dreamer, lived in the fields and slept in mangers. He was the town’s vagrant. But one thing about him; he had a knack for speaking sweet nothings, a full-pledged sweet talker who could promise the sun, moon and stars to the one his eyes beheld. Girls in town went crazy for him (though they never bought his poems) but his eyes were only for Pangga.

His sweet nothings never fooled old folks, though. His own parents, when still alive, often remarked “Please cut out the sweet pleasantries!” when he was at his verbal talent again. In the vernacular the remark went “Manong magtigil ka nga!” So, as this Philippine myth goes, they gave him the nickname Manong.

Pangga’s parents never bought Manong’s promises of bringing down the sun and moon to shine on their forest-dimmed bungalow and other sweet nothings. “You’re always saying that sun-moon conversation of yours. That’s all you know!” Pangga’s parents mocked him. But Manong and Pangga sought to stubbornly keep their love vows till their dying day. Then, the Philippine myth says, one day they disappeared in the woods.

The Philippine myth ends with a discovery of a new kind of tree. Its fruit was a bit crescent-shaped like the moon, yellow like the sun, and sweet like Manong’s tongue. It was rich in nutrition as Pangga’s multi-faceted genius. In time it was called “Manga,” a mix of their names, and today’s vernacular for mango.

  • The Philippine myth on mango fruits is a local version of Romeo and Juliet but which went sweeter as to create a sweet offspring—the mango fruit.
  • Source : http://www.philippinesinsider.com

Jeepney Ride


Jeepney Ride
By Matthew
Date: 2006-12-03
Country: Philippines

It's funny when certain events in our lives occur and we blame it all to bad luck. What's funnier is the things that we do to counter the flow of bad energy that causes these so called bad luck or bad events. At least at that time I thought it was funny, until my friend shared her unlikely experience.

jeepney This story is about my friend and her scary jeepney ride going home. For those of you who don't know what jeepneys are, they are a popular means of public transportation in the Philippines. They were originally made from US military jeeps left over from World War II and are well known for their flamboyant decoration and crowded seating.

My friend went home late after finishing their school project, now since she lives within the vicinity of the U.P. Diliman campus (University of the Philippines) it was perfectly safe for her to take the jeepney instead of taking a taxi in going home during late hours. It was about midnight when she took the ride home, and she could not help but notice the driver kept glancing at her through his rear view mirror and then he would turn to her. (Now all jeepneys have their own route and do not take any turns and they have to stick to their route or else there is a big chance that they would run into some cop trouble). What's odd about this jeepney ride besides the eerie glances that the driver gave from time to time, he was also taking turns in corners that he was not suppose to. Afraid of what the drivers plans are, she was even more afraid of her surroundings because it seemed as if she was in the middle of nowhere already. So instead of going down, she just stayed on the jeep. On the last turn that the driver made, she noticed that they were back on the route that they were suppose to be in the first place.

Before reaching the end of the terminal, the driver turned to my friend and said, "Im sorry if I scared you or startled you! It was not my intention".. "Could you do me a favor and BURN all your clothes when you get home".. Wondering why my friend asked why he was acting very strange. The driver explained, "The reason why I kept glancing was because your head was not attached to your body when I looked through my rear view mirror." "That is why I changed my route awhile ago, hoping we could get away from the bad energy present in that area, and thats why I want you to BURN your clothes when you get home because I think its still with you."

Upon arriving home, still shaking from fear, my friend took all her clothes off and burned them as quickly as she could. A few days later she found out on the news that the jeepney driver died a day after the incident. It turned out the warning was not for her but for the driver.

  • Source : http://www.yourghoststories.com/real-ghost-story.php?story=105



Written by Johnneen

Hi my name is Jen and I live at manila Philippines. I’m now 22 years old living with my boyfriend. Anyway, this is a real story that actually happened to me when I was staying in our house at the province. This experience happened to me when I was 12 years old right after my grandfather died.

My grandfather died of a heart attack and the whole family was in shock. Well, as for me I was only 12 and I didn’t actually have a close bond with my grand dad back when he was alive so I never actually paid too much attention to his death. Well, before his funeral we offered a mass and a small gathering to pay our respects. We celebrated it in a small chapel with his casket opened in the front of the chapel. Each one of the family members would come up to the casket to see my grandfather for the last time and say their goodbyes.

Everyone had come to the casket so it was my turn (Filipino children are not actually scared of dead bodies). I had this habit of knocking into every wooden surfaces that had touched my hands. Anyway, while I was looking at my grand dad while I was up at the casket I was knocking at it with a beat like 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3.

Then after like 3 minutes my aunt had noticed what I was doing. So she shouted at me and pinched me and told me this old Filipino superstition that when you knock at the casket of a dead body he will come at your doorstep and knock at your door. Well, I never actually paid too much attention to what my aunt had said and continued playing.

When we got back to our house with one of my cousins and my parents it was already around 10 PM. My parents had go to sleep early because they were so tired. So my cousin and I decided to watch TV. And that’s when things started to happen.

At first we were hearing loud sounds coming from outside, but we didn’t pay much attention to it so we just continued watching. Then I got really scared when the lights and TV went on and off. And freaky thing is that it had a pattern, like my knock 1-2-3,1-2-3.

For about three minutes this continued and I felt really scared and so did my cousin. And the scariest was after the flickering stopped someone knocked on our door with the sound exactly as what my knocks at the casket sound… 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3. Though I was really scared I got the courage to stand up and look out the window to see who it was.

With my cousin next to me we slowly went to the window and checked. Then what I saw was something I will never forget. It was an old man wearing a black suit. His back was turned so I didn’t actually see his face, but I knew this wasn’t my grand father. So I was scared and when I pushed my face at the window the man vanished right in front of me.

My cousin and I cried and ran to my parents room and told them what happened. Well, they didn’t believe us and just told us to go to sleep. After that night I prayed and asked that whoever that guy was I hope he would leave me alone. Could it be possible that other spirits heard me knocking back at the burial?

  • Source : http://www.trueghosttales.com/paranormal/philippine-ghost-story/

Staring at the wall


Staring at the wall
December 16, 2008

It was late at night, and everybody was already sound asleep. Lights were off and the only thing that kept the room dimly lit was the balb light outside… right at the room’s jalousy windows. There were no clocks inside, but I knew it was almost 12 o’clock in the midnight. I woke up like a zombie, not making any movemets… just stationary and catatonicly staring directly at a wooden wall.

My mind was blank and all I did was simply gazing at the wall just a meter and a half away from my bed. Then all of a sudden, an eerie white figure appeared. My eyes widened and I couldn’t move as if my body was strangled in bed. I froze in shock. I saw a spirit floating, but steady on the same spot. And I could tell it was a male. The face was blurry, but the features were distinctly those of a male. No eyes, only black… just plain black almost occupying the very facial area. What made it even more horrifying was the pose. Its arms were stretched out as if gliding, but stiff. And the lower torso was fading down.

I wasn’t dreaming nor was I half-awake. My sight was locked on the very sighting. Then it was gone… it disappered in the darkness. I was so frightened. It only lasted for a few seconds, but it felt long. My heart beat immensely fast as if it was trying to recover from a state of freeziness. My senses had gone even more active. I covered my whole chilling body with blanket and I forcibly kept my eyes closed… never to open them right then and there.
I was still very young that time, and the next day, no one believed me except my brothers.

It wasn’t imagination. And I know, it happened… it was real!

  • Source : http://takot.i.ph/

Shadow on our way


Shadow on our way
December 19, 2008

My classmates and I went out together from a school event earlier to finish some important group stuff. There were four or five of us that night… enjoying each other’s company. While we were heading to a friend’s house not far from the venue where the show was held, the moment of laughter irresistably enveloped everyone. The road was a bit dark and the nearby residences had their lights off already. All we could hear were our loud giggles and squeels… we were very noisy.

As we reached halfway to our destination, I was already starting to feel uneasy. And I instantly gave my friends a passive hint to tone down their voices. Others didn’t quite get it, but one responded, who was also struck a bit by a haunting paranoia that time. She then made a follow-up attempt to silent them. But still, the rest of them kept on with their business. Coincidentially, she was beside me that time.
We were nearing our destination and I was already looking straight ahead. My friends remained carefree, not minding the eerieness of the night’s silence. I still locked my sight on the road as if expecting someone from afar. We continued walking, then suddenly, my eyes captured something up ahead. A vague shadowy image strode across the other side of the road. It was very fast, like a blink of an eye.

I instanly turned to my peers, and surprisingly, the friend beside me quickly confirmed what I saw and made a secret gesture to pull my acts together. She saw it, too, and she didn’t want to frighten the others. So, I decided to subtly call their attention to keep quiet. This time, they understood the implication of my concern and started to settle. Our pace went faster, and I kept on watching on the very spot where I saw the black figure.

Eventually, we passed through it. I gazed around the area and I saw no one or nothing for that matter.

I realized that it was some sort of a warning or something. Who knew what would probably transpire if we continued to mess around? We arrived at our friend’s house safe and sound. But that experience still lingers in my mind until now. That was a lesson for all of us. There’s always an appropriate time and place to make nuisances with your friends.

  • Source : http://takot.i.ph/blogs/takot/2008/12/19/shadow-on-our-way/

Haunted Stories


Module No.8 : Haunted Stories
Posted by : Raymond G. Pepito
Sources : http://takot.i.ph/blogs/takot/


Here are some Haunted Stories here in the Philippines :

Tagbanua Mythology


Module No.7 : Tagbanua Mythology
Posted by : Raymond G. Pepito
Sources : http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/tagbanua-mythology/the-tagbanua-deities.html


Tagbanua Mythology

The Tagbanua mythology is part of the religious beliefs and superstitions that has shaped the Tagbanua way of life. It shares certain similarities with that of other ethnic groups in the Philippines, such as in the belief in heaven, hell and the human soul.

The Tagbanua soul


The Tagbanua soul

A Tagbanua is believed to have six souls in all. A "true soul" called kiyarulwa, and five secondary souls called the payu. The kiyarulwa is a gift of Mangindusa to a child emerging from the mother's womb, while the other souls appear only during the lambay ritual for the child upon reaching one month or two. Lambay is any ceremony, which is directly addressed to Mangindusa. These other souls are found at the extremities of the hands and feet, and on top of the head. When a person dies the kiyarulwa wanders to four possible destinations. If the cause of death is epidemic or sickness, then the soul will go to the Kiyabusan, they become known as the salakap. If a person from poisoning or violence the souls goes to inhabit the Dibuwat. Those who died because their souls were caught by the environmental or evil spirits - their soul will transform into biyaladbad and will inhabit the environment. If a person dies of natural death, the souls travels to Basad, the underworld, and becomes the tiladmanin.

  • When a Tagbanua dies, his or her soul remains on earth for seven days, until the kapupusan or rites for the dead are finished. For seven days, the soul lingers on in the grave at daytime, but returns to its former house at night to observe the behavior of those left behind.


In the its journey to the underworld, the soul encounters several places. These include:

  • Kalabagang - the sacred river where souls meets Taliyakad
  • Balugu - the vine bridge

In Basad, the spirits of the dead live a life that mirrors exactly that of the living. But everything is the reverse of what happens in the world of living. As the sun rises on earth, it goes down in Basad or planting time on earth is harvest time in Basad.

The Tagbanua spirit world


The Tagbanua spirit world

  • Awan-Awan - the zenith, or the area beyond Langit; the place where Mangindusa reigns from
  • Langit - the visible celestial region where Tungkuyanin sits from
  • Sidpan - the West; the placewhere Diwata Kat Sidpan lives at
  • Babatan - the East; the place where Diwata Kat Libatan lives at
  • Dibuwat - the skyworld of the Bulalakaw or Diwata Kat Dibuwat (flying deities); the "high" region; the place where souls who died of poisoning and violence roam around
  • Kiyabusan - the place where souls who died of epidemics or sickness go to
  • Basad - the underworld; the place where souls who died of natural death travels to
  • Material world - refers to the environment; where souls who died of evil spirits or environmental causes inhabit

The Tagbanua deities


The Tagbanua deities

Major Gods

  • Mangindusa or Nagabacaban - the highest-ranking deity who lives in Awan-awan, the region beyond the Langit; the god of the heavens; the punisher of crime;
  • Polo - the benevolent god of the sea; whose help is invoked during the time of illness
  • Sedumunadoc - the god of the earth, whose favor is sought in order to have a good harvest
  • Tabiacoud the god of the underworld in the deep bowels of the earth

The Diwatas

The diwatas control the rain, and they are believed to be the creator of the world and of the human beings. They live where the tree trunks that hold up the Langit ("an infinitely high canopy"), which is the visible celestial region.

  • Diwata Kat Sidpan - a deity who lives in Sidpan (West)
  • Diwata Kat Libatan - a deity who lives in Babatan (East)

Celestial beings

  • Bugawasin - the wife of Mangindusa
  • Tungkuyanin - sits on the edge of Langit, with his feet dangling in the vastness of the cosmos and his eyes always cast down toward the earth
  • Tumangkuyun - washes the trunks of the trees that hold up the Langit with blood of Tagbanua who died in epidemics
  • Bulalakaw or Diwata Kat Dibuwat - flying deities who roam the region of the clouds, ready to come to the aid of any Tagbanua needing their help
Other deities

  • Taliyakad - the watcher who guards the vine bridge called Balugu
  • Anggugru - the "keeper of the fire," who welcomes the soul to the underworld and gives it fire

The Tagbanua Rituals


The Tagbanua Rituals

  • Lambay
The lambay is held two times a year. It is observed first in January, and involves ritual appears to the deities for days of sunshine and winds that sufficiently dry the forests and prepare them for clearing and planting. A second one is held in May, when the people ask for moderate rains that will make their upland rice grows.

There are two rituals, which seeks protection for all Tagbanua wherever they may be, from the feared salakap, the spirits of epidemic, sickness and death. These two rituals are the pagbuyis and the runsay.

  • Pagbuyis
The pagbuyis is performed three times a year. The first is in November, and second in December. The third is when the moon can be seen during the daytime, called magkaaldawan.

  • Runsay
The runsay is described as the most dramatic of all Tagbanua rituals. It is observed only once a year, at nighttime, on the fourth day after the full moon of December. It takes place on the beach near the mouth of the Aborlan River. The runsay, like the pagbuyis, is held to ask for protection against epidemic. The ritual begins at dusk and ends at dawn.
  • Phases Of Runsay

There are five distinct phases in the runsay. These include:
  • 1st phase - the building of the bangkaran or banglay, a 3.6m ceremonial raft
  • 2nd phase - the panawag, invocation to the spirits of the dead and the nine deities who rode the kawa on the sea; the burning of incense on the kadiyang atop the bangkaran; prayers by the rituals leader; lighting of the candle and offering of ritual foods to the deities
  • 3rd phase - the second call to the deities to partake of the food, which the signal for the children to dive into the mound of food on the raft, and eat as much as they can; and the cleaning up and repair of the raft.
  • 4th phase - the third invocation to the nine deities, followed by the individual family offerings represented by a woman; the tying of the chicken to the platform and the lighting of candles beside it; the hoisting of the raft towards the sea; the re-lighting of candles blown out by the wind; the throwing of a pinch of rice to the sea; and the voyage seaward of the bankaran.
  • 5th phase - includes group singing and dancing after the raft has disappeared

  • Pagdiwata
At the center of the diwata rituals is the babaylan, who has the responsibility of selecting the areas for a new clearing, placating the spirits of the surroundings, providing magical charms for hunters and fishers, and curing all kinds of ailments. While any adult can invoke the spirits of the dead in other Tagbanua rituals, only the babaylan can summon them in the pagdiwata.
  • The bilang ceremony is the all-important ritual for the dead. It takes place after the rice harvest, a time when tabad becomes plentiful. Every family is expected to host one or more bilang rituals. The bilang rituals begin with the rite of divination, to determine which among the spirit relatives has caused a person's illness. This makes use of the babaylan, who performs the brief rite of panawag near the grave of the dead relative by making offerings of the betel quids and ceremonial cigarettes, and promises tabad should the ill become well. The celebrants together with the offerings prepare a jar of tabad with sipping reeds. The bilang ceremony involves the paurut invocation of as many spirit relatives as possible through incantation, and the burning of the parina incense whose pleasant smells attract the deities and spirits of the dead. The gongs are played as the paurut is being performed, and their music is an added incentive for the spirit to descend on the gathering. After the ritual offering of the articles have been laid out on the mat, the food is distributed to the children first, and then to the guests; then the bilang mat is removed. The communal drinking of tabad through the reed straws follows, a very festive social event that lasts through the night.



  • Uses

Each "anting-anting" serves different purposes. Some of them provides a promise of romance or love charms while others promises the holder to be impervious to bullets, to disappear and reappear at will, and to ward off evil spirits and be protected from danger. There are also "anting-antings" that offer special gifts, such as the mysterious and esoteric art of hilot (massage and healing), hula (fortune telling), and kulam (spells and witchcraft).



  • Form
There are different kinds of "anting-anting" which come in different forms. It can be a crocodile’s tooth, snake’s fang, whale’s spine, shark’s fin, odd stones, rooster’s spur, guinea bird’s horn, plant's roots, herbs, or anything rare and/or strange like a twin-tailed lizard and two-headed snake.

  • LIBRETTO - a "curse" curse, be large or small, and the shape is square, with circles, triangles and a linear book.
  • INSIGNIAS - a sacred piece of cloth has written shapes also vary.
  • TALISMAN - connecting with the drawings - in different shapes can be wood, metal or tinatatak taking the rock or at home.
  • AMULET - the Medalla have written this letter and Gnosticong emblem.
  • SCAPULAR - anting of reliheyosa / religious devotee for their church, this holy saint for what do they want to devote.
  • MUTYA - can rock, metal or wood with bones become ordinariong extra quality and got this strange and unusual ways, be the talisman that antingong money, charm the other terms, the wand into stone, wood metal is a kind of talisman.



  • Acquisition

The fact that Filipinos are unable to define the real nature of the "anting-anting" makes it more enigmatic. "Anting-anting" is not a common item that can be bought anywhere else and is not easy to acquire. There are lots of debate being held regarding the acquisition of the item. Some people insist that it can be acquired after defeating a certain spiritual giant in a bare hand combat. Still, the others believe that it can be achieved by swallowing a crystal drop of water from the heart of a banana tree at the dead of night. Or it can simply be received from the previous owner. There are several methods to acquire the item, but stealing an "anting-anting" is not an option because the act takes away its power. Thus, the item becomes useless.

  • "Anting-anting" also loses its power when it leaves its master's possession without his knowledge or blessing. The "anting-antings" sold at holy places are considered as patay (dead/blanks with no power). These kinds have to undergo sacred and secret rituals in order to become powerful and effective.

Origin of the Word


  • Origin of the Word

There are theories tracing the origin of the word anting-anting. One of this is the theory of Lorna Revilla-Montilla. According to her anting-anting was derived from the English word "anti", or against. Although it is logical, it is disputed because of the fact that the anting-anting dates much earlier than the Americans from whom supposedly the word comes from. There are other view points that it is an obsolete native term. However, none of the languages in the Philippines gives the real key to its origin. On the other hand, Jose Garcia Panganiban believes the the word was derived from the Malaysian word anting, which means "dangling", and Javanese word anting-anting means "ear pendants."

Agimat and Anting-Anting


Module No.6 : Agimat and Anting-Anting
Posted by : Raymond G. Pepito
Sources : http://en.wikipilipinas.org/index.php?title=Anting-anting


Agimat and Anting-anting

  • The Agimat or Anting-Anting is a stone or other small object covered with cabalistic inscriptions. It is worn around the neck, and is supposed to render its owner impervious to knife or bullet. Many are wearing these charms, especially the Tulisanes or outlaws. The Anting-Anting must not be confused, however, with the scapular, a purely religious symbol worn by a great number of the Christian Filipinos.
  • The anting-anting, the Philippine amulet, is an essential part of the Filipino folk credo and mythological makeup.
Although it has undergone an evolution of context, commerce and use, the anting-anting still figures heavily in the daily lives of rural folk. Steeped in myth and religion, the anting links to his belief in the soul and his ideas on leadership, power, nationalism and revolution, and contributes a fascinating facet to the complex rural psyche.




  • BIAG NI LAM-ANG (Life of Lam-ang) is pre-Hispanic epic poem of the Ilocano people of the Philippines. The story was handed down orally for generations before it was written down around 1640 assumedly by a blind Ilokano bard named Pedro Bucaneg.


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.




  • In the mountainous regions of Northern Luzon, a hudhud is a long tale sung during special occasions. This particular long tale is sung during harvest. A favorite topic of the hudhud is a folk hero named Aliguyon, a brave warrior.

Once upon a time, in a village called Hannanga, a boy was born to the couple named Amtalao and Dumulao. He was called 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.

Mythical Heroes


Module No.5 : Mythical Heroes
Posted by : Raymond G. Pepito
Sources : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernardo_Carpio


Mythical Heroes

Many myths surround the minds of mankind, each culture has their own hero. The ancients created many myths to explain natural phenomenons and human behavior. In many myths, there is usually a hero, a task, and a temptation. Here are some Philippine Legendary heroes :

Stories about folk heroes of long ago were described as "Old Time History" because; they can be used to study the lifestyle and beliefs of the people who produced them. They were also referred to as "Lost", because they were soon forgotten by natives influenced heavily by Spanish and "western" colonization. The famed orientalist, Chauncey Starkweather, stressed that : "These epic romances are charming poem in the Malayan literature."

  • But there are those who perpetuated myths that in the early days of Spanish intrusion, priests in their zealous rage against paganism destroyed all existing records, as well as all forms of writing and art works, regarding ancient Philippine folk heroes. But this is not true. The colorful and fascinating literature of pre-Hispanic Filipinos are still here. Giving the new generation an over view of a heritage that is an unusual and invaluable source of joy and information. Regarding the life style, love and aspirations of early Filipinos. It is from these, wonderful epics, where a Filipino can find his or her national identity.

  • It is from these that a Filipino can feel heroic, truly pulsating with splendor of a magnificent and authentic cultural force.

Philippine Folklore and Mythology


Philippine Folklore and Mythology

Philippine mythology and folklore include a collection of tales and superstitions about magical creatures and entities. Some Filipinos, even though heavily westernized and christianized, still believe in such entities. The prevalence of belief in the figures of Philippine mythology is strong in the provinces.

Because the country has many islands and is inhabited by different ethnic groups, Philippine mythology and superstitions are very diverse. However, certain similarities exist among these groups, such as the belief in Heaven (kaluwalhatian, kalangitan','kamurawayan), Hell (impiyerno, kasanaan), and the human soul (kaluluwa).

Philippine Folk Literature

  • Philippine mythology is derived from Philippine folk literature, which is the traditional oral literature of the Filipino people. This refers to a wide range of material due to the ethnic mix of the Philippines. Each unique ethnic group has its own stories and myths to tell.
While the oral and thus changeable aspect of folk literature is an important defining characteristic, much of this oral tradition had been written into a print format. To point out that folklore in a written form can still be considered folklore, Utely pointed out that folklore "may appear in print, but must not freeze into print."It should be pointed out that all the examples of folk literature cited in this article are taken from print, rather than oral sources.

University of the Philippines professor, Damiana Eugenio, classified Philippine Folk Literature into three major groups: folk narratives, folk speech, and folk songs.Folk narratives can either be in prose: the myth, the alamat (legend), and the kuwentong bayan (folktale), or in verse, as in the case of the folk epic. Folk speech includes the bugtong (riddle) and the salawikain (proverbs). Folk songs that can be sub-classified into those that tell a story (folk ballads) are a relative rarity in Philippine folk literature. These form the bulk of the Philippines' rich heritage of folk songs.

The Philippine pantheon

  • The stories of ancient Philippine mythology include deities, creation stories, mythical creatures, and beliefs. Ancient Philippine mythology varies among the many indigenous tribes of the Philippines. Some tribes during the pre-Spanish conquest era believed in a single Supreme Being who created the world and everything in it, while others chose to worship a multitude of tree and forest deities (diwatas). Diwatas came from the Sanskrit word devadha which means "deity", one of the several significant Hindu influences in the Pre-Hispanic religion of the ancient Filipinos.
Mythological creatures

  • Filipinos also believed in mythological creatures. The Aswang is one the most famous of these Philippine mythological creatures. The aswang is a ghoul or vampire, an eater of the dead, and a werewolf. Filipinos also believed in the Dila (The Tongue), a spirit that passes through the bamboo flooring of provincial houses, then licks certain humans to death.[citation needed] Filipino mythology also have fairies (diwata and engkanto), dwarfs (duwende), kapre (a tree-residing giant), manananggal (a self-segmenter), witches (mangkukulam), spirit-summoners (mambabarang), goblins (nuno sa punso), ghosts (multo), fireballs (Santelmo), mermaids (sirena), mermen (siyokoy), demon-horses (tikbalang) and demon-infants (tiyanak). Indian Influence

The Philippines has cultural ties with India through the Indianized kingdoms of Southeast Asia. Ancient Filipino literature and folklore show the impress of India. The Agusan legend of a man named Manubo Ango, who was turned into stone, resembles the story of Ahalya in the Hindu epic Ramayana. The tale of the Ifugao legendary hero, Balituk, who obtained water from the rock with his arrow, is similar to Arjuna's adventure in Mahabharata, another Hindu epic. The Ramayana have different versions among the many Philippine ethnic groups. The Ilocanos have the story of Lam-Ang. The Darangan, or Mahariada Lawana, is the Maranao version of the Ramayana.

  • Source : http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/enwiki/en/Philippine_mythology




Ama-Ron or Amaron is a sparsely known figure in Philippine Mythology. The story is more common in the Southern part of the island group of Luzon as a folk song.


  • Like most of the male Filipino mythological heroes, he is described as an attractive well-built man and exemplifies great strength. Ama-ron's legend is unique due to the lack of having a story on how he was born which was common with Filipino epic heroes.

Popularity in recent culture

  • Lack of popularity can be associated with the way Ama-ron's legend is delivered. It was a children's bedtime tale. This tradition known as hele is gradually decreasing in popularity hence the unfamiliarity of the youth.

Etymology and possible history

  • The name Ama-ron is believe to have came from the Tagalog words Ama (Father) and Roon (There) therefore Ama roon (Father is there). The basic unit of settlement on 14th century Philippine is called a Barangay lead by a Datu[1]. The Datu is considered as the chief or primary father figure of the whole barangay where in he represents the strength of barangay. Ama-ron is believed to be a datu of a similar sounding name. Songs and poems could be created telling of Ama-ron to strengthen their barangay's image and stature among nearby tribes.

The accent and phonology on which Ama-ron is pronounced is more similar to that of the earliest Batangan dialect which can also be heard on folk songs of Ama-ron. The Batangan dialect, being closer to Old Tagalog than any other dialect, shows that the root of Ama-ron's mythological history is older that what people believed since Southern Tagalog and Visayan Regions were the first areas of settlements

Bernardo Carpio


Bernardo Carpio

Bernardo Carpio is a legendary figure in Philippine Mythology who is said to be the cause of earthquakes. There are numerous versions of this tale. Some versions say Bernardo Carpio is a giant, as supported by the enormous footsteps he has reputedly left behind in the mountains of Montalban. Others say he was the size of an ordinary man. However, all versions agree he had a strength that was similar to that of Hercules.

Basic legend
  • The basic form of the legend is that Bernardo Carpio, a being of great strength, is trapped in between two great rocks in the Mountains of Montalban.

Some versions say he is keeping the mountains from crashing into each other (similar to the Greek titan Atlas holding up the sky), and some versions say he is trapped and trying to break free. When Bernardo Carpio shrugs his shoulder, an earthquake occurs.

As a revolutionary against Spanish occupation
  • According to one version of the tale, Bernardo Carpio was a son of Infante Jimena and Don Sancho Diaz of Cerdenia. Infante was cloistered by her brother King Alfonso, who at that time was very powerful, because of her forbidden love with Don Sancho Diaz. Don Sanchio Diaz then was incarcerated, his eyes are to be plucked out. Then Bernardo was then cared by Don Rubio, by whosedesigns the affair of the hapless love is discovered by the King.

The Spanish hired a local engkantado (shaman) and conspired to trap him through supernatural means. Calling for a parley, they lured him towards a cave in the mountains of Montalban. The lad fell for the trap. The engkantado used his agimat (talisman) and Bernardo Carpio was caught between two boulders which the shaman had caused to grind each other. The legend says he was not killed, but was trapped between these two boulders, unable to escape because the talisman's power was as great as his own strength.

When Carpio's co-conspirators arrived at the cave to rescue him, they were blocked from the cave by a series of cave ins that killed several of the men.

People soon surmised that whenever an earthquake happens, it is caused by Bernardo Carpio trying to free himself from the mountain.

  • The same version says that Bernardo Carpio demonstrated unusual strength, even as a child. As a result, the parish priest who baptized him suggested that his parents name him after the Spanish legendary hero Bernardo del Carpio. This became a foreshadowing of the legendary life Carpio himself would lead.

As symbolism of freedom

Damiana Eugenio was able to find and document a 1940 compilation of tales detailing the legend of Bernardo Carpio.It specifically says that:

  • "Bernardo Carpio is considered the savior of the Filipinos against national oppression and enslavement".

According to that particular telling of the tale, when the last link on the chains binding Carpio is broken, "the enslavement and oppression of the Filipino race will be replaced with freedom and happiness." While this belief apparently referred to the Spanish Occupation of the Philippines and the later occupation by the Philippines by the U.S. and by Japan in WWII, the legend has continued to be told this way, an apparent reference to freedom from poverty rather than foreign domination.

Filipino revolutionary heroes Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio are said to have paid homage to the Bernardo Carpio legend - the former by making a pilgrimage to Montalban, and the latter making the caves of Montalban the secret meeting place for the Katipunan movement.

Mythical Animals


Module No.4 : Mythical Animals
Posted by : Raymond G. Pepito
Sources : http://www.mythicalcreaturesguide.com/page/Agta+or+Kapre


Mythical Animals