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Filipino Epics

In Filipino epics, Pre-colonial and Colonial Times on October 19, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Reading about early forms of Philippine literature, one would come across a rich collection of Filipino epics. Although it is difficult to tell which of these is the oldest and the first to have been written, Filipinos had several epics handed down from generation to generation before the coming of the Spaniards. The verses were chanted and sung as part of their oral tradition. The diverse ethno-linguistic communities all over the country produced epic poems which are written in different regional languages and acclaim their own community heroes.

Like most epics, these are lengthy poems of adventures which revolve around supernatural events and heroic deeds. Christian missionaries translated and published a few of the Filipino epics. Unfortunately, plenty of the epics are not yet known since the groups’ language have perished even before they can be translated into Filipino. Among those which have survived and are better known include:

  1. Biag ni Lam-ang (Ilokano)
  2. Hudhod & Alim (Ifugao)
  3. Kabuniyan & Bendian (Ibaloi, Benguet)
  4. Kumintang (Tagalog)
  5. Ibalon & Aslon (Bikol)
  6. Maragtas, Haraya, Lagda & Hinilawod (Bisaya)
  7. Hari sa Bukid (Negros)
  8. Dagoy & Sudsud (Tagbanua of Palawan)
  9. Darangan (Muslim)
  10. Indarapatra at Sulayman (Maguindanao)
  11. Bidasari (Muslim)
  12. Parang Sabil/ Parang Sabir (Sulu Muslim)
  13. Tatuaang/ Tuwaang (Bagobo)
  14. Ulagingen at Seleh (Manobo)
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