Q:

What is the full story of "Biag ni Lam-ang?"

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Quick Answer

"Biag ni Lam-ang" is an epic poem about the birth, life, death and resurrection of the hero Lam-ang. Aided by his pet dog and rooster, Lam-ang avenges his father's death, woos the beautiful Ines Kannoyan, defeats her rival suitors and survives the water monster Berkakan before marrying Ines.

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Full Answer

Told orally for generations, "Biag ni Lam-ang" was first transcribed onto paper by a blind Ikokano bard named Pedro Bucaneg in 1640. The poem dates to pre-Hispanic times and is a key element of Philippine mythology and literature. It is slightly over 1400 lines long and is divided into four sections covering different parts of Lam-ang's story.

As the poem begins, Lam-ang is immediately marked as unusual because he is born with the ability to speak immediately. After waiting for nine months, he sets out to avenge his father's death at the hands of the Igrot. Later, he is successful at wooing Ines and impresses her parents but must defeat her suitors, including the massive and powerful Sumarang. Shortly after the wedding, Lam-ang runs afoul of the water monster Berkakan, who kills Lam-ang. However, Lam-ang's magic dog fetches his bones and, along with Lam-ang's magic rooster, brings Lam-ang back to life, so he and Ines are able to live together happily.

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