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Silas Sanders
Silas Sanders

The Legend of Biag ni Lam-ang: A Cultural and Historical Perspective

Biag ni Lam-ang: The Full Story of the Ilocano Epic in English

Biag ni Lam-ang (The Life of Lam-ang) is a Philippine folk epic that narrates the adventures of an Ilocano hero named Lam-ang. It is one of the oldest and most popular epics in the country, and the first one to be written down in the Ilocano language. The epic showcases the rich culture, history, and values of the Ilocano people, as well as their courage, strength, and resilience.

biag ni lam-ang full story english version

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In this article, we will present the full story of Biag ni Lam-ang in English, based on various sources and versions of the epic. We will also explore the literary elements, themes, and significance of this masterpiece of Philippine literature.

The Birth of Lam-ang

The story begins with the birth of Lam-ang, the son of Don Juan and Namongan, who live in Nalbuan, a village in the Ilocos region. Lam-ang is no ordinary child, as he can speak and choose his own name as soon as he is born. He also has a remarkable sense of smell, which he uses to identify his father's enemies.

Lam-ang grows up to be a handsome and brave young man, who is eager to follow his father's footsteps as a warrior. He learns that his father went to fight the head-hunting Igorots in the mountains, but never returned. He decides to go on a quest to find his father and avenge his death.

The Quest for the Father

Lam-ang sets out for his journey, accompanied by his pet rooster and dog. Along the way, he encounters a giant crocodile named Burican, who tries to stop him from crossing the river. Lam-ang defeats Burican by throwing rocks at him and breaking his jaws. He then crosses the river and reaches the land of the Igorots.

There, he finds out that his father was killed by the Igorot chief along with his men. He challenges the chief to a duel, and kills him with his powerful spear. He then slaughters all the Igorots in revenge, sparing only one old woman who begs for mercy. He takes the old woman as his prisoner and makes her gather all the bones of his father and his men.

Lam-ang then performs a ritual to honor his father's remains. He uses his magical powers to make his rooster crow and his dog bark, which causes an earthquake that restores his father and his men to life. He then returns to Nalbuan with his father and his followers, where he is welcomed as a hero.

The Quest for the Wife

After fulfilling his duty to his father, Lam-ang sets his sights on finding a wife. He hears about a beautiful maiden named Ines Kannoyan, who lives in Calanutian, another village in the Ilocos region. He falls in love with her at first sight, and decides to woo her.

He prepares for his courtship by dressing up in fine clothes and jewelry, and bringing gifts of gold and pearls. He also brings along his rooster and dog as companions. He travels to Calanutian, where he meets Ines' parents and asks for their permission to court their daughter.

However, he faces two obstacles in his pursuit of Ines. The first one is Sumarang, a rival suitor who is jealous of Lam-ang's wealth and charm. Sumarang tries to sabotage Lam-ang's courtship by spreading lies about him and challenging him to various contests. Lam-ang proves himself superior to Sumarang in every aspect

and humiliates him in front of Ines and her parents.

The second obstacle is Saridandan, a monstrous fish that lives in the Amburayan river near Calanutian. Saridandan has a foul odor that can kill anyone who smells it. Ines' parents ask Lam-ang to catch Saridandan as a test of his courage and love for their daughter.

Lam-ang accepts the challenge and goes to the river with his rooster and dog. He dives into the water and fights Saridandan with his bare hands. He manages to kill Saridandan, but not before being covered with its stench. He emerges from the water smelling so bad that even his rooster and dog die from it.

Lam-ang realizes that he needs to wash himself before he can see Ines again. He asks Ines' parents where he can find a clean water source. They tell him to go to another river nearby, where there are many white fish that can cleanse him of Saridandan's odor.

Lam-ang goes to the river with his dead rooster and dog. He throws them into the water first, hoping that they will come back to life. To his surprise, they do come back to life after being touched by the white fish. He then jumps into the water himself, and emerges clean and fresh.

The Wedding Banquet

After passing all the tests set by Ines' parents, Lam-ang finally wins their approval and Ines' heart. They agree to marry him and prepare a lavish wedding banquet for him and his guests.

Lam-ang invites all his relatives and friends from Nalbuan to attend his wedding. He also invites all the animals that helped him in his adventures, such as Burican, Saridandan, and the white fish. He provides them with food and drinks according to their preferences.

The wedding banquet is a grand celebration that lasts for several days. Lam-ang and Ines exchange vows and rings, and dance with each other. They also entertain their guests with songs and stories about their love.

Lam-ang gives Ines a precious gift: a golden necklace that belonged to his mother Namongan. He tells her that it is a symbol of his eternal love for her.

The Death and Restoration of the Hero

After enjoying their wedding banquet, Lam-ang and Ines decide to go back to Nalbuan with their guests. They bid farewell to Ines' parents and thank them for their hospitality.

On their way back home, they pass by a place called Naguilian river where there are many bamboo trees along its banks. Lam-ang sees some bamboo shoots that look appetizing so he stops by to cut some for himself.

However, as he cuts one of them

he triggers a trap set by some Igorots who are still angry at him for killing their chief and their people. The trap releases a swarm of bees that sting Lam-ang all over his body.

Lam-ang tries to fight off the bees with his spear but it is too late: he dies from their venomous bites.

Ines sees her husband's lifeless body lying on the ground covered with bees. She cries out in grief and runs towards him.

She tries to revive him by calling out his name but it is no use: he does not respond.

She then remembers that Lam-ang has a magical power: he can come back to life if his bones are gathered together.

She orders her servants to collect all of Lam-ang's bones from under the bamboo tree where he died.

She then places them inside a large jar filled with water mixed with herbs.

She then prays fervently for Lam-ang's resurrection.

Miraculously, after some time passes by,

Lam-ang's bones start moving inside the jar.

They slowly reassemble themselves into a human form.

Lam-ang's flesh grows back on his bones.

His eyes open wide.

He breathes deeply.

He smiles at Ines.

He speaks softly.

He says: "My love,

I am alive again.

Thanks to you,

And your faith,

And your love."

Ines embraces him.

She kisses him.

She says: "My love,

I am so happy.

You are alive again.

Thanks to God,

And your power,

And your will."

They hug each other.

They thank God.

They rejoice.

They continue their journey home.

They live happily ever after.

The End

The Literary Elements of Biag ni Lam-Ang

Biag ni Lam-Ang is an epic poem that uses various literary devices such as rhyme,







hyperbole etc.,

Some examples are:

Rhyme: The poem uses end rhyme throughout its verses such as:

"Sa lahat ng mga bayan ay siya ang pinakamatapang

At sa lahat ng mga labanan ay siya ang pinakamatikas"

Meter: The poem uses dactylic tetrameter throughout its verses such as:

"Si Don Juan ay nagtungo sa bundok ng Cordillera

The Themes of Biag ni Lam-Ang

Biag ni Lam-Ang explores various themes that reflect the values and beliefs of the Ilocano people, such as:

- Heroism: Lam-ang is a model of heroism, as he displays courage, strength, intelligence, and loyalty in his quests. He fights for his father's honor, his people's welfare, and his love's happiness. He also shows compassion and generosity to his friends and allies, and justice and mercy to his enemies.

- Love: Lam-ang and Ines share a deep and enduring love that transcends all obstacles and challenges. They are faithful and devoted to each other, and willing to sacrifice for their relationship. They also respect and support each other's decisions and aspirations.

- Family: Lam-ang values his family above all else, as he honors his parents, respects his elders, and cares for his relatives. He also treats his rooster and dog as part of his family, as they accompany him in his adventures and help him in his troubles.

- Culture: Lam-ang embodies the culture of the Ilocano people, as he speaks their language, wears their clothes, follows their customs, and practices their religion. He also respects and appreciates the culture of other people groups, such as the Igorots and the Kannoyans.

The Significance of Biag ni Lam-Ang

Biag ni Lam-Ang is a significant work of Philippine literature, as it:

- Preserves the oral tradition of the Ilocano people, who passed on the epic from generation to generation through chanting and singing.

- Represents the identity and heritage of the Ilocano people, who take pride in their history, culture, and values.

- Contributes to the diversity and richness of Philippine literature, as it showcases the unique style, form, and content of the Ilocano epic genre.

- Inspires the readers and listeners with its timeless message of heroism, love, family, and culture.

The Comparison of Biag ni Lam-Ang with Other Epics

Biag ni Lam-Ang can be compared and contrasted with other epics from the Philippines and other parts of the world, such as:

- The Iliad and the Odyssey: These are ancient Greek epics attributed to Homer that tell the stories of the Trojan War and the journey of Odysseus. Like Biag ni Lam-Ang, they feature heroic characters, supernatural elements, and cultural values. However, they are more complex and lengthy than Biag ni Lam-Ang, and have more diverse themes and perspectives.

- The Ramayana and the Mahabharata: These are ancient Indian epics that narrate the adventures of Rama and Krishna, respectively. Like Biag ni Lam-Ang, they depict the struggles of good versus evil, love versus duty, and human versus divine. However, they are more religious and philosophical than Biag ni Lam-Ang, and have more elaborate plots and characters.

- The Epic of Gilgamesh: This is an ancient Mesopotamian epic that recounts the exploits of Gilgamesh, a legendary king of Uruk. Like Biag ni Lam-Ang, it explores the themes of friendship, mortality, and heroism. However, it is more tragic and pessimistic than Biag ni Lam-Ang, and has a different worldview and morality.

- The Hudhud and the Alim: These are oral epics of the Ifugao people from the Cordillera region of the Philippines. Like Biag ni Lam-Ang, they celebrate the culture and history of their people, and feature extraordinary characters and events. However, they are more poetic and musical than Biag ni Lam-Ang, and have a different structure and style.

The Conclusion of Biag ni Lam-Ang

Biag ni Lam-Ang is a remarkable work of Philippine literature that deserves to be read and appreciated by all. It is not only a source of entertainment and inspiration, but also a reflection of the identity and heritage of the Ilocano people. It is a testament to their creativity, resilience, and spirit.

By reading Biag ni Lam-Ang, we can learn more about ourselves and our culture, as well as respect and appreciate the diversity and richness of other cultures. We can also discover the timeless values and lessons that can guide us in our lives.

Biag ni Lam-Ang is a living epic that continues to evolve and adapt to changing times and contexts. It is our responsibility to preserve and promote this epic for future generations to enjoy and learn from.

In conclusion, Biag ni Lam-Ang is a fascinating and captivating epic that tells the story of an Ilocano hero and his adventures. It is a valuable work of Philippine literature that reflects the culture, history, and values of the Ilocano people. It is also a universal work of literature that explores the themes of heroism, love, family, and culture. It is a work of literature that we can all enjoy and learn from, as well as preserve and promote for future generations. 4e3182286b


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