Lam-ang

(an Iloko epic)

Bilingual (Tagalog-English) version

May isang mag-asawa na nagngangalang Juan at Namongan ay nakatira sa malayong baryo ng Nalbuan.  Isang araw iniwan ni Don Juan ang kanyang buntis na asawa at pumunta sa kabundukan upang parusahan ang isang grupo ng mga Igorot.  Habang papunta sila sa kabundukan ay ipinanganak ni Namongan ang isang batang lalaki.  Kakaiba ang sanggol sa iba sapagkat pagkasilang pa lamang ay nakapagsasalita na ito.  Gusto niyang pangalanan siyang Lam-ang.  Siya na rin mismo ang pumili ng kanyang mga ninong nang siya ay binyagan.

Nasaan ang aking ama? isang araw ay tinanong ni Lam-ang ang kanyang ina na si Namongan.

Nasa kabundukan siya upang ayusin ang di pagkakaunawaan sa isang grupo ng Igorot doon, sabi ng kanyang ina.

Nalungkot si Lam-ang.  Hindi pa niya nakikita ang kanyang ama buhat ng siya ay isinilang at nasasabik na siyang makita ito.

Matatagalan kaya ang kanyang pagbalik?

Hindi ko alam, malungkot na sagot ng kanyang ina na si Namongan na nasasabik din itong makita.  Ni hindi ko man lamang alam kung buhay pa siya.

Isang araw ay nanaginip si Lam-ang.  Sa kanyang panaginip ay nakita niya ang kanyang ama na walang awang pinatay ng isang grupo ng Igorot.  Lubos siyang namuhi nang siya ay nagising.  Nagpasya siya na sundan ang ama sa kabundukan.  Siyam na buwang gulang siya noon.  Nang marating niya ang pamayanan ng mga Igorot, nakita niya na nagsasayawan ng mga ito paikot sa ulo ng kanyang ama na nakatusok sa isang kawayan.  Sa kanyang galit ay kinalaban at pinatay niya ang lahat ng Igorot, kasama ang kanilang pinuno na pinahirapan muna bago pinatay.

A couple named Don Juan and Namongan lived in a faraway barrio of Nalbuan.  One day, Don Juan left his pregnant wife and went to the mountain to punish a group of Igorots.  While he was in the mountain, Namongan gave birth to a baby boy.  The baby was different from other babies because upon birth he could already speak.  He wanted his name to be Lam-ang.  And he was the one who chosed his godfather when he was baptized.

Where is my father? Lam-ang asked his mother Namongan one day.

He is in the mountain to settle his feud with a group of Igorots there, said his mother.

Lam-ang felt sad.  He hadn't seen his father since he was born and he was terribly longing to see him.

Would it be long before he comes back?

I don't know, answered his lonely mother Namongan who was also terribly missing her husband.  I don't even know if he is still alive.

One day, Lam-ang had an unusual dream.  In his dream, he saw how his father was mercilessly killed by a group of Igorots.  He was seething with anger when he woke up.  He decided to follow his father to the mountain.  He was then nine months old, when he reached the Igorot's village, he saw them dancing around the head of his father that was on top of a thin bamboo pole.  In his rage, he fought all the Igorots and slew them all, including the leader of the group whom he tortured first before he killed.

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