Labaw Donggon Analysis

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The Hinilawod epic tells the story of the exploits of the three demigod brothers, Labaw Donggon, Humadapnon and Dumalapdap of Panay. In its original form the epic would take about three days to perform (including breaks for food and sleep), thus making it one of the longest epics in the world. Anthropologist Dr. F. Landa Jocano recorded a version of the epic from the inhabitants of Central Panay. This is how the story goes: When the goddess of the eastern sky Alunsina (also known as Laun Sina, "The Unmarried One") reached maidenhood, the king of the gods, Kaptan, decreed that she should marry. All the unmarried gods of the different domains of the universe tried their luck to win her hand to no avail. She chose to marry a mortal, Datu Paubari, the mighty ruler of Halawod. Her decision angered her other suitors. They plotted to bring harm to the newlyweds. A meeting of the council of gods was called by Maklium-sa-t'wan, god of the plains, where a decision by those present was made to destroy Halawod by flood. Alunsina and Paubari escaped harm through the assistance of Suklang Malayon, the goddess and guardian of happy homes and sister of Alunsina, who learned of the evil plot and warned the two so they were able to seek refuge on higher ground. After the flood waters subsided, Paubari and Alunsina returned to the plains secretly. They settled near the mouth of the Halawod river. Several months later Alunsina became pregnant and told Paubari to prepare the siklot, things necessary for childbirth. She delivered a set of triplets and summoned the high priest Bungot-Banwa to perform the rites of the gods of Mount Madya-as (the mountain abode of the gods)to ensure the good health of the children. The high priest promptly made an altar and burned some alanghiran fronds and a pinch of kamangyan. When the ceremony was over he opened the windows of the north side of the room and a cold northernly wind came in and suddenly the three infants were transformed into strong, handsome young men. Labaw Donggon, the eldest of the three, asked his mother to prepare his magic cape, hat, belt and kampilan (sword) for he heard of a place called Handug where a beautiful maiden named Angoy Ginbitinan lived. The journey took several days. He walked accross plains and valleys, climbed up mountains until he reached the mouth of the Halawod river. When he finally met the maiden's father and asked for her hand in marriage, the father asked him to fight the monster Manalintad as part of his dowry. He went off to confront the monster and with the help of his magic belt Labaw Donggon killed the monster and to prove his feat he brought to Angoy Ginbitinan's father the monster's tail. After the wedding Labaw Donggon proceeded home with his new bride. Along the way they met a group of young men who told him that they were on their way to Tarambang Burok to win the hand of Abyang Durunuun, sister of Sumpoy the lord of the underworld and whose beauty was legendary. Labaw Donggon and his bride continued on their journey home. The moment they arrived home Labaw Donggon told his mother to take care of his wife because he is taking another quest, this time he was going to Tarambang Burok. Before he can get to the place he has to pass a ridge guarded by a giant named Sikay Padalogdog who has a hundred arms. The giant would not allow Labaw Donggon to go through without a fight. However, Sikay Padalogdog was no match to Labaw Donggon's prowess and skill in fighting so he gave up and allowed him to continue. Labaw Donggon won the hand of Abyang Durunuun and also took her home. Before long he went on another journey, this time it is to Gadlum to ask for the hand of Malitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata who is the young bride of Saragnayan the lord of darkness. This trip required him to use his biday nga inagta (black boat) on which he sailed across the seas for many months, went across the region of the clouds, passed the land of stones until finally he reached the shores of...
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