According to Maranaw folklore, this world was created by a great Being. It is not known, however, who exactly is this great Being. Or how many days it took him to create this world.
This world is divided into seven layers. The earth has also seven layers. Each layer is inhabited by a different kind of being. The uppermost layer, for example, is the place we are inhabiting. The second layer is being inhabited by dwarfs. These dwarfs are short, plump, and long-haired. They are locally known as Karibanga. The Karibanga are said to possess magical powers. They are usually
invisible to the human eye. The third layer of the earth which is found under the sea or lake is inhabited by nymphs. These nymphs also possess certain magical powers. It is stated in the story of Rajah Indarapatra that he met and fell in love with the princessnymph with whom he had a child. 3
The sky also consists of seven layers. Each layer has a door which is guarded day and night by huge mythical birds called garoda. The seventh layer of the sky is the seat of heaven which is also divided into seven layers. Every layer in the sky is inhabited by angels. Maranaws believe that angels do not need food. They all possess wings with which they fly. 4
Heaven which is found on the seventh layer of the sky is where good people‘s spirits go after death. Saints are assigned to the seventh layer while persons who ―barely made it‖ are confined to the lower most layer which is found at the bottom of heaven.
It is in heaven where we find the tree-of-life. On
each leaf of the tree-of-life is written the name of every
person living on earth. As soon as a leaf ripens or dries
and falls, the person whose name it carries also dies.
The soul of every person is found in tightly
covered jars kept in one section of heaven. This
particular section of heaven is closely guarded by a
monster with a thousand eyes, named Walo. Walo, in
addition to his thousand eyes, has also eight hairy
heads. The epic Darangan speaks of Madale,
Bantugan‘s brother and, Mabaning, Husband of
Lawanen, entering this section and retrieving the soul
How the World Was Created (Panayan)
One of the stories about the creation of the world, which the old folks of Panay,especially those living near the mountain, do not tire relating, tells us that in the beginning there was no heaven or earth—only a bottomless deep and a world of mist.Everything was shapeless and formless—the earth, the sky, the sea, and the air were almost all mixed up. Then from the depth of this formless void, there appeared two gods, —Tungkung Langit and Alunsina. Just where the two deities came from it was not known. However, it is related that Tungkung Langit fell in love with Alunsina and, after so many years of courtship, they got married and had their abode in the highest realm of the eternal space where the water was constantly warm and the breeze was forever cool. It was in this place where order and regularity first took place.Tungkung Langit was an industrious, loving, and kindgod whose chief concern was how to impose order over the whole confused set-up of things. He assumed responsibility for the regular cosmicmovement. On the other hand, Alunsina was a lazy, jealous, and selfish goddess whoseonly work was to sit by the window of their heavenly home, and amuse herself with her pointless thoughts. Sometimes, she would go down from the house, sit down by a poolnear their doorstep and comb her long, jet-black hair all day long. One day Tungkung Langit told his wife that he would be away from home forsometime to put an end to the chaotic disturbances in the flow of time and in theposition of things. The jealous Alunsina, however, sent the sea breeze to spy onTungkung Langit. This made the latter very angry upon knowing about it Immediately after his return from the trip, he called this act to her attentionsaying that it was ungodly of her to be...