The Life of Lam-ang

(An Ilokano Epic)

Namongan gives birth to Lam-ang, a baby of incredible strength and courage. The boy asks his mother about his father's whereabouts and learns that he has gone to fight the Igorot. Lam-ang arms himself with charms and decides to look for his father. From a dream, he learns that his father Don Juan Panganiban had been killed by the Igorot. Later, Lam-ang finds the Igorot in a "sagang", a feast celebrating a successful headhunting expedition. His father's head is displayed in the feast. Lam-ang slays them all with his spear and mutilates the last among them.

When Lam-ang returns home, 99 maidens wash his hair in the river. For his shampoo, he burns so much rice straw that the communities near the river are alarmed by smoke. The dirt from his hair kills all the fish in the river. He then kills a crocodile and carries it on his shoulder ashore amidst the applause of his companions.

Lam-ang hears of a beautiful maiden named Ines Cannoyan, daughter of the richest man of the town of Kalanutian. He tells his mother of his desire to court the maiden. Although his mother discourages him, he goes anyway, dressed in gold and accompanied by his pet rooster and white dog. The giant Sumarang blocks his way and belittles him. Lam-ang defeats him in a duel and hurls him nine hills away. Later, Sarindadan tries to seduce him, but Lam-ang rejects her advances.

Reaching Kalanutian, he impresses Ines with his magic. His rooster crows and topples a small outhouse. His dog barks and the outhouse is rebuilt. Ines invites him to the house where the rooster acts as Lam-ang's spokesperson. Ines' parents ask for a bride price, which Lam-ang agrees to give. Lam-ang returns home to prepare for the wedding and the presents. He and his townfolk sail on two golden ships to Kalanutian where Lam-ang and Ines have a Catholic wedding. The townspeople board the two ships to Nalbuan, Lam-ang's birthplace, to continue the celebration.

After the celebration, Lam-ang agrees to hunt "rarang" a shellfish. He is swallowed by the giant fish "berkakang" as he has dreamt so. However, a diver recovers his bones. The pet rooster flaps its wings and resurrects Lam-ang. Lam-ang rewards the diver and lives happily with his wife and pets.

The Iloko Biag ni Lam-ang is the oldest recorded Philippine folk epic and the only complete epic from the Christian Filipino groups. A relatively short epic with 977 lines.

See also Kabuuang Teksto ng Lam-ang (epikong Ilocano) – Tagalog version.

See also Complete Text of "Lam-ang" (an Iloko epic) – English version.

See also the Tagalog version of Lam-ang (an Iloko epic).

See also the Bilingual (Tagalog-English) version of Lam-ang (an Iloko epic).

See also the Complete Text (in English): The Life of Lam-ang (an Iloko epic).

Learn this Filipino word:

ibig na ayaw