The story was handed down orally for generations before it was written down around assumedly by a blind Ilokano bard named Pedro Bucaneg. 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.
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The epic was very long, written versions of it available today seem to show that it was close to stanzas. It is believed to be the work of several poets of different generations, each poet making his own alterations or additions until the 17th century when Pedro Bukaneg, father of Ilocano poetry put it down in writing for the first time about in both Ilokano and Spanish versions were later written by Canuto and Medina Ruiz, the Parayno Hermanos, Isabelo de los Reyes, and Leopoldo Yabes.
However, the Bukaneg version seems to be the basis of all other versions. Bukaneg had retouched the story and put in some Christian material. At the time Namongan was getting ready to deliver her first born, Don Juan had to go to the mountains to punish an Igorot band. While the husband was away, Namongan gave birth to a baby boy.
The boy was very strange because he could talk from the moment he was born and even he told his mother that he should be named Lam-ang. He also chose his own baptismal sponsor.
And he asked his mother where his father was. When Lam-ang was nine months old and his father had not yet returned, the boy resolved to go after his father. While traveling, he dreamed one night of Igorots celebrating the death of his father. He woke up in anger, believing his dreams to be true. He travelled faster after this and soon reached the place in which he found many Igorots still celebrating around the severed head of his father.
He slew them all, except one whom he tortured first before releasing. Upon returning to Nalbuan, several women friends gave him a bath in the Amburayan river. So much was the dirt and so evil was the smell taken off his body that the fish in the river all died. Later, Lam-ang fell in love with a girl named Ines Kannoyan, daughter of the richest man in Kalanutian. Although his mother tried to dissuade him, he nevertheless took a white rooster and a dog with him as he went forth to court Ines.
On the way to Kalanutian, he met another suitor of Ines. Upon knowing that they were rivals, they quarreled violently, and Lam-ang slew Sumarang.
Upon arriving at the house of Ines Kannoyan, Lam-ang found a crowd of rivals vying for the hand of the lady. So Lam-and made his white rooster crow mightily to impress everyone, and immediately a house in the neighborhood collapsed. The people shouted in surprise and fear. Hearing the noise of the shouts, Ines Kannoyan looked out her window. This was what Lam-ang expected. And to impress her, he made his dog growl.
And the house that collapsed before went up again as if nothing had happened. Duly impressed, Ines Kannoyan and her parents came down and learned from the rooster of the intentions of Lam-ang. The parents said they would bestow the hand of Ines upon Lam-ang if the suitor could equal their wealth consisting of lands and gold. Lam-ang went home and prepared for his wedding. When he returned to Kalanutian, he and his companions were aboard and vessel of gold which more than matched the wealth of his future parents-in-law.
So he married Ines and there was great celebration. After some time, the headman of the town reminded Lam-ang that his turn to catch raring a kind of fish had come.
Lam-ang told Ines that he had a premonition that he would be bitten by a big fish called berkakan probably of the shark family while fishing.
And it was as he said. He was killed. But the white rooster told Ines that if the bones of Lam-ang could be recovered and gathered together, he might be revived. So, with the help of a diver named Marcos, the bones of Lam-ang were collected; and with the loving ministrations of the rooster, the dog, and Ines Kannoyan, Lam-ang lived again.
Lam-ang: a story of leadership and self-realizations
Namongan gives birth to Lam-ang , a baby of incredible strength and courage. The boy asks his mother about his father's whereabouts and learns that he has gone to fight the Igorot. Lam-ang arms himself with charms and decides to look for his father. From a dream, he learns that his father Don Juan Panganiban had been killed by the Igorot.
Biag ni Lam-ang (Summary)
The dedication of the creative team and the cast to remain true to the roots of the tribes in the Philippines sends a clear message of how they wanted the younger generation of Filipinos to re-educate themselves on our culture. Lam-ang was born in wartime. His tribe was forced out of their lands by their enemies; the head-hunting Igorots, and his father Lokan had to stay behind so his then pregnant mother Namongan can escape to safety along with their tribespeople. Fully-grown, Lam-ang managed to defeat the leader, Gumakas, all on his own. He was devastated when he found out that despite his triumph, Gumakas had long taken the head of his father. Now that he has defeated their enemies, retrieved both his father and the land of Nalbuan, Lam-ang is at a loss.
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The epic was very long, written versions of it available today seem to show that it was close to stanzas. It is believed to be the work of several poets of different generations, each poet making his own alterations or additions until the 17th century when Pedro Bukaneg, father of Ilocano poetry put it down in writing for the first time about in both Ilokano and Spanish versions were later written by Canuto and Medina Ruiz, the Parayno Hermanos, Isabelo de los Reyes, and Leopoldo Yabes. However, the Bukaneg version seems to be the basis of all other versions. Bukaneg had retouched the story and put in some Christian material.
Lam-Ang: Hero of the epic Biag ni Lam-Ang of the Ilocano
It is notable for being the first Philippine folk epic to be recorded in written form, and was one of only two folk epics documented during the Philippines' Spanish Colonial period, along with the Bicolano epic of Handiong. As oral literature, the poem is believed to have originated in pre-colonial times, evolving as it is passed on from poet to poet and generation to generation. Arsenio Manuel instead attributes its first written documentation to Fr. Blanco of Narvacan, working with the publicist and folklorist Isabelo de los Reyes.