What Is the Epic Hudhud Story of the Warrior Aliguyon?

Aliguyon is the most famous warrior in Filipino hudhud songs who fought an epic battle with Pumbakhayon and ultimately brought peace to his people. Hudhuds are long tales typically sung on special occasions — Aliguyon’s epic is traditionally sung at harvest time. Hudhuds are stories that center around the heroes of the native Ifugao people.

Aliguyon was born into the Gohandan tribe in a village called Hannanga, the son of Amtalao and Dumulao. Aliguyon was a born leader and an inquisitive child who soaked up all the information he could learn from his father, including stories of his tribe, fighting skills and magic.

Leaving childhood and his village behind, Aliguyon set off on a quest to defeat his father’s enemy, Pangaiwan, the leader of the village Daligdigan. Pangaiwan sent his son, Pumbakhayon, to answer Aliguyon’s challenge and the two began an epic dual.

According the tale, their fight raged on for 3 years with a break after 1 1/2 years, with a single spear as the battle’s only weapon. Pumbakhayon was much like Aliguyon as a warrior and honorable son. When Aliguyon launched the spear in his direction, Pumbakhayon snatched it out of the air with ease. Aliguyon also caught the spear when it was thrown to him. Aliguyon’s endurance in battle is attributed to an unnatural power and strength that did not require him to rest or eat.

After 3 long years of fighting with no sign of defeat, the two warriors called a truce. Pumbakhayon’s baby sister was betrothed to Aliguyon and the two married when she matured. Pumbakhayon, in turn, married Aliguyon’s younger sister, Aginaya. The marriages united the tribes of Gohandan and Daligdigan.