The Guman of Dumalinao

(of the Suban-on tribe of Northwestern Mindanao)

The Kingdom of Mount Dliyagn is set in the mountainous regions of the Zamboanga Peninsula, which is drained by a straight river whose bottom is lined with porcelain and beads of gold, and whose banks are bordered by flowering plants. Datu Pomb'nwa, his wife Bayslaga, and their young daughter rule the kingdom. They live in an eight-room mansion with furniture made of gold. Datu Pomb'nwa and Bayslaga used to have other children, but their daughters drowned in the river, and their sons, venturing out in search of them, failed to return. The other members of the household are Sampilakan and Tinayobo.

One day, while Datu Pomb'nwa is making a shield, he hears disturbing sounds from the sea. War vessels are coming. Tinayobo sounds the magical gong, and as she beats them, the mast and the outriggers of the invading ships are shattered. After six days, the enemies, sent by three evil queens, land. They start to scale the mountain to reach the kingdom, but because the mountain keeps growing taller, it takes the invaders a month and a half to reach the summit.

When they reach the royal household, the invaders are met by Tinayobo. They strike her with a kampilan or blade, but the blow lands on the porch, damaging it. Tinayobo restores it in a flash. Datu Pomb'nwa and Sampilakan join the fight. After a month, however, two old warriors grow exhausted, and they fall to the ground. This prompts their daughter, Ba-e ri Dliyag'n, to fight. Initially, she successfully battles the enemies, but after a month, she bathed in blood. Thinking her dead, the enemies abandon her.

A young man, Sakandal, told that Dliyagn is under attack, appears to help. He restores the princess' spirit and beauty. As he goes to the mansion with her, the strength of Datu Pmb'nwa and Sampilakan is restored. The ba-e's parents take notice of the young man and hope that he will propose to their daughter someday. The daughter is then given a name, Pailalam ri Bolak, for she has come of age. She is also given a chewing box. As she chews, her beauty increases. She then learns about her brothers and sisters.

Meanwhile, Sakandal goes to battle in the kingdom of Tomanong. For days, Pailalam ri Bolak observes him fight from the mansion's porch. Sakandal meets the chief of the Tomanong. As they fight with their kampilan, the enemy causes the river to be overrun by fire, but Sakandal drowns it with flood. After two weeks of fighting, the chief of Tomanong retreats almost lifeless. Sakandal, too, is exhausted, but Pailalam ri Bolak fans him and restores his strength.

Pailalam ri Bolak receives a message from the maiden of Patola, who is asking whether she should go with a stranger who has come to Mount Patola. Sakandal takes his ring and gives it to Pailalam ri Bolak, telling her to knot it in the kerchief and send it to the maiden of Patola. The invaders arrive ahead of Sakandal's ring. The ring drops and becomes unknotted. Out of the ring comes a man named Salilayan. He helps defeat the invaders. The kerchief returns to the mansion, and Sakandal asks Pailalam what else he can do for her. She asks him to lend her his magic powers. She is given a kerchief with 18 rings knotted to it. She disappears from the spot.

The guman shifts to the kingdom of Pagkatolongon. The kingdom is in the same situation as Dliyag'n. With no fighting men, the women of the kingdom are inspired to fight. A man named Madlawe helps them, just as Sakandal has helped Pailalam ri Bolak. The second part, however, may be said to be more magical than the first. Paillalam ri Bolak reappears to take an important role. The guman ends with the return of the missing children. A traditional "buklog" or feast is held to celebrate the union of the two kingdom.

"Guman" is an epic of the Suban-on tribe who inhabit the highlands of Northwestern Mindanao, in the teritory that is now partitioned among the three provinces of Misamis Occidental,Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga del Sur.

Learn this Filipino word:

mabilís ang kamáy