The Life of Lam-ang (an Iloko epic) - Page 5 of 16

Complete Text (in English)

Younger sisters, please do not worry while waiting
For I’ll just swim awhile
And play with the largest crocodile.

Lam-ang dived into the river
Unaware that the crocodile
Had gone downstream,

While he went upstream.
And when he went downstream,
The crocodile went upstream,

They soon spotted each other
And began to fight.
Lam-ang became angry

And in one thrust subdued it.
Then, he carried it on his back,
And beached it,

Younger sisters, take its teeth for a necklace
For they can be amulets when one travels;
Younger sisters we must now return
To the house we came down from.

Mother Namungan please pay
The wages of these, my younger sisters,
A peso for each step, coming from and going back to the house.

And this having been done:
Mother Namungan, please open the second room.
And therefrom get my most valuable clothes.

I must change my clothes…
Into my striped trousers, embroidered shirt
And ornate handkerchief.

This done:
Please open also the third room
And take from there the gold.

Bulaoan of nine coils which breaks
When exposed to the sun
Whose heat is intense enough to sting one’s heel.

I am going to tie my white rooster,
Yellow-legged hen,
And my hairy dog.

For I am going to play at Calanutian
Where Doña Ines Cannoyan lives
As news has it…

A clean-living maiden
Who can spin nine spools overnight.

My son, brave-man Lam-ang,

Please don’t go yet
For you don’t look like one
Whom Doña Ines Cannoyan

Can fall in love with.
For her suitors are many
Including a number of Spaniards.

Yet she has not favored any of them
With even just a glance.
And look at you…

Can you be the one to win her love?
Mother Namungan, I must go.
I must enter the competition.

At the town of Calanutian,
Who knows, Doña Ines Cannoyan
May look on me with favor,

My son Lam-ang, if it’s a spouse you seek,
This town is full of nubile maidens.
And you can take your pick from them.

Learn this Filipino word:

nag-áagaw-buhay