Filipino Epic, Fable, Legend

Biag ni Lam-ang



The Iloko people still tell stories of their hero Lam-Ang, a symbol of strength and perseverance so pure that he was elevated into the ranks of godhood. Below is a short version of Ti Biag ni Lam-Ang, the epic story of this most unusual hero.

Nine months before he was born to a noble family his father left for the mountains to defeat an evil tribe of Igorots. Unfortunately, he was beheaded, and his head was displayed at the center of the village as a prize. When the mother gave birth, she was surprised when the baby grew up instantly. Lam-Ang, as he was named, promised to find out what happened to his father by going up the mountains himself. There, helped by a good tribe of Igorots, he encountered the evil tribe and killed every last one of them as vengeance, just by using a single spear.

When he returned home, he was so tired that he wanted to bathe. He dipped into the Amburayan river, which was instantly drenched in mud and blood. So filthy was the flow that the animals in the river crawled out and died on its shores.

The following day he told his mother that he wanted to marry; using his supernatural abilities he predicted he would wed a woman named Ines who lived north in a small town named Kandon. On the way he encountered a stone giant who was burning the rice and tobacco plants. Using a silver shield he inherited he beheaded the giant and burned the body.

Ines had a multitude of suitors, and they crowded her house in Kandon. So many were they that Lam-Ang had to step on their heads and walk through a window just to enter the house. Ines was immediately stricken by his strength that she agreed to marry him. But her parents were still skeptical: they needed a dowry from his parents in return for Ines’ hand. Lam-Ang agreed to return in a week, bringing his mother, as well as wealth and goods. Back in his town Lam-Ang prepared a gold gilded with gold, filled with fruit, jewels, statues and other amenities. When he...
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