MainMenu Link Contents Link. Prev Next List. Chanting epics is a traditional practice in the heart of the island of Panay in central Philippines. One of these is the Sulod epic of Hinilawod. The epic has two cycles: Labaw Donggon and Humadapnon. This deity has a husband named Buyung Paubari.
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Labaw Donggon is one of three handsome sons of the "diwata" Abyang Alunsina and her mortal husband Buyung Paubari, the other two being Humadapnon and Dumalapdap. Being of semi-divine birth, the three possess extraordinary powers. Labaw Donggon , for instance, miraculously grows into a sturdy young man shortly after his birth and embarks upon the first of his three courting adventures.
The first object of his affections is Abyang Ginbitinan, who lives "by the mouth of Handog, by the river Halawud. This is done, the dowry is agreed upon and given, the wedding is held. Not long after his wedding to Ginbitinan, Labaw Donggon hears about another beautiful woman, Anggoy Doronoon, of the underworld, and conceives a desire to court her. So he visits her and wins her without any difficulty.
Presumably [the text does not say so] he stays with her for a while and then returns to Handog. Very soon, however, Labaw Donggon is again restless with desire for another woman. This time he chooses a married woman, Malitung Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata, "who resides where the brilliant light of the sun starts," for she is the wife of Saragnayan, who takes charge of the course of the sun.
Labaw Donggon dresses in his best, as usual, and after gazing into a "crystal ball" to know how Malitung Yawa looks, sails upward in his magic boat to the land of the sun. His coming is, however, detected by Saragnayan, who intercepts him. But though Labaw Donggon submerges Saragnayan into the water for seven years and puts him on top of a stone and beats him with coconut trunks, he cannot kill Saragnayan. After many years of fighting, Labaw Donggon weakens and Saragnayan eventually defeats him, binds his arms and feet, and puts him inside a pig pen below his kitchen.
Meanwhile, in Handog, Anggoy Ginbitinan has borne a son, Asu Mangga, who asks his mother about his father. And down below in the underworld, Anggoy Doronoon has also given birth to a son, Buyung Baranugun.
Though his umbilical cord is still uncut, Baranugun asks about his father and insists that his mother allow him to search for him.
He dresses up and asks his mother for his poisoned arrow "which with one shot pierces through seven men. Ginbitinan warns him that he is likely to meet his young brother and that if he does, they should not fight each other. The brothers do meet, Asu Mangga riding on a magic boat and Baranugun walking on the sea.
The latter joins his brother in his magic boat and they plan their search. Looking into the crystal ball, they learn the whereabouts of their father and see the pitiful state into which he has fallen: he has become hairy all over. By invoking the power of their "pamlang", the boat is able to soar to the Land of the Morning Sun.
Their arrival does not escape the notice of Saragnayan who wonders who they may be. There they wash their father clean until he is handsome once more. Labaw Donggon tells them of his long and futile fight with Saragnayan. The two sons then shout their challenge to Saragnayan — ten times. It is so loud that Saraganayan loses his courage. Everything about the Philippines' Literature. All Rights Reserved. Jump to content. Jump to main menu bar. Jump to left secondary navigation bar.
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Elena Laniog choreographers. An extraordinary festival of performance design, including exhibitions, performances and diverse events,attracted over 15, visitors from 71 countries. The musical revolves around Labaw Donggon, a demigod in an epic poem called the Hinilawod from the island of Panay in the Philippines. It chronicles his quest for three wives, his subsequent defeat from Saragnayan the Lord of Darkness , his salvation by his two sons, and the eventual realization of his own vanity and pride being his greatest enemies. The production was conceived as an outdoor performance situated in a real bamboo grove.
The Epic of Labaw Donggon
Hinilawod is an epic poem orally transmitted from early inhabitants of a place called Sulod in central Panay , Philippines. The epic must have been commonly known to the Visayans of Panay before the conquest, since its main protagonists, like Labaw Donggon, were noted in the accounts of the Islanders' beliefs and recorded by early Spanish colonizers. These worshippers would stealthily enter a certain cave in Dingle in the evening of a certain day of the year, in order to render homage and to offer chickens, doves, rice, bananas, and pigs to the ancient Visayan god. Hinilawod is a 29,verse epic that takes about three days to chant in its original form, making it one of the longest epics known, alongside that of Tibet's Epic of King Gesar. Hinilawod is one of the many pieces of oral literature passed from one generation to the next, changed and morphed by the chanter to one degree or another as he told it to his audience. The Hinilawod is not just a literary piece but also a source of information about culture, religion and rituals of the ancient people of Sulod; showing us that ancient Filipinos believed in the "sacred," in the importance of family honour and in personal courage and dignity.
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