Ibalon - Page 2 of 3
(an epic from Bicol)
Bilingual (Tagalog-English) version
Ibinigay ni Handiong ang basbas kay Baltog. Naglayag si Baltog kinagabihan sakay ng isang maliit na bangka na magdadala sa kanya sa isang lugar ha tinatawag na Kabikulan. Marami na siya ring narinig tungkol sa lugar at naisip niya na maganda kung makakahanap siya ng lugar kung saan sila maninirahan habang-buhay. Sa malawak na dagat, nasagupa ni Baltog ang malakas na hangin at malalaking alon na sumira sa kanyang bangka. Kinailangan niyang lumangoy at muntikan na siyang malunod bago niya ligtas na narating ang dalampasigan ng baybaying bayan ng Kabikulan.
Nagsimula niyang galugarin ang Kabikulan, hanggang umabot siya sa lupain ng Aslon at Inalon na sumasakop sa kapatagan na nakaligid sa bundok ng Asog, Masaragam, Isarog at Lignion. Natagpuan niya ang Ibalon, isang magandang lugar para sa kanya at sa mga mamamayan. Ang lupa ay mataba at magandang pagtamnan ng mga halamang ugat, palay at mga gulay. Ito rin ay maganda para sa kanilang mga hayop. Para itong lupain ng gatas at pulot.
Nais ko ang lupaing ito para sa akin at sa aking mga mamamayan, sabi ni Baltog sa sarili.
Ngunit nagsalita siya ng maaga. Dahil naninirahan sa paligid ng Ibalon ang ilang buwaya na may pakpak na nakakalipad, mga baboy ramong kasinglaki ng elepante at isang sawa na may ulo ng isang babae. Ngunit desidido si Baltog na makuha ang Ibalon para matirhan kaya nilabanan niya ang mga buwaya at mga baboy ramo ng buo niyang lakas. Dahil sa kanyang galing sa mano-manong pakikipaglaban natalo niya lahat ng buwaya at baboy ramo, pinatay niya ito at pinagpira-piraso. Ngunit, ang sawa na may ulo ng babae ay nakatakas at humanap ng ibang matitirahan.
Handiong gave his blessing to Baltog. Baltog sailed out that night in a small boat that would take him to a place called Kabikulan. He had heard so much about the place and he thought it would be good if he could find a place there where he and his people could live for the rest of their lives. Out in the great sea, Baltog encountered a strong wind and huge waves that destroyed his boat. He had to swim and he almost drowned before he safely reached the shore off the coastal town of Kabikulan.
He begun wandering in Kabikulan, reaching as far as the land of Aslon and Inalon which had jurisdiction over the plain surrounded by the mountains of Asog, Masaragam, Isarog and Lignion. He found Ibalon a perfect place for him and his people. The soil was fertile and was suitable for root crops, rice and vegetables. It was also very ideal for their animals. It was like a land of milk and honey.
I want to have this place for me and my people, Baltog said to himself.
Baltog said it too soon. Because there lived in the mountains surrounding Ibalon several crocodiles that had wings and could fly, wild boar that was as big as an elephant and a snake with a head of a woman. But Baltog was decided to have Ibalon for their settlement area and so he fought the crocodiles and the boars with all his might. With his strength and skill in hand-to-hand combat, he was able to subdue all crocodiles and boar, killing them and cutting them into pieces. However, the snake with a woman’s head was able to escape and left the mountain for another home.