Ibalon is a Philippines epic that comes from a fragment of 60 stanzas that is said to be the source of the Philippines indigenous identity and the story follows the hero Handiong as he conquers the land of Ibalon, transforming it into the Bicol it is today. The Ibalon epic was first transcribed by Spanish friars who heard the story in its original oral tradition form from the people of Bicol themselves.Continue Reading
It is not sure whether or not the story is authentic or not. Nevertheless, it has been embraced by the Bicol people. Handiong brought order and civilization to the wild area, but he also destroyed the land and all of the creatures that lived there. Forests disappeared as new settlements grew. The story shows the cautionary tale of man ignoring nature and forgetting to find a balance between conquest and living peacefully in harmony with nature.
Handiong is responsible for domesticating creatures in order to survive, but he learns this through his wife, Oryol. Oryol is a snake woman who is the god of the underworld. When she sees all of the destruction that Handiong is doing and all of the harm that is coming to the animals, she cuts off her tail and agrees to marry him in order to help domesticate the Sarimao creatures ensuring that they live.Learn more about Poetry