The Life of Lam-ang (an Iloko epic) - Page 2 of 16

Complete Text (in English)

And let old man Guibuan be my godfather.
Mother, I must also ask you if I have a father;
Whether or not I arose like water vapor.

My son, Lam-ang; if it’s your father you speak of,
You were still in my womb when he left,
Left for the forest, the place of Igorot.

Lam-ang then said:
My mother Namungan, please let your son go,
For I would seek Father whom I came from.

Ah, son, brave-man Lam-ang,
Please don’t go.
For your legs are like bamboo string.
And your hands are like needles.
And you were born, my son,
Even before your ninth month inside me.

All the more brave-man Lam-ang still persisted.
He left for the forest, the place of Igorots.
For he wanted to see the father he sprang from.

For he had with him the stone of sagang,
The stone of tangraban, of lao-laoigan,
A wild carabao’s amulet.
When he passed by a grove of caña vernal,
The shoots bent down
For he also had the amulet of the centipede.

And having reached the river’s ford,
He spied the tallest tree around, a rancheria,
A landmark of tattooed Igorot country.

He cast his eyes around
And saw this root shaped like a stove
And went to wash his one-man pot.

And placed his food inside it,
The pot of mound-dwelling dwarves,
That cannot suffice for more than one traveller.

Having eaten his fill,
The man Lam-ang gratefully rested,
Amiable host to the food, the filling grace.

He rested his shield against his body;
Stuck his spear into the ground by his feet;
Unsheathed his trustworthy campilan from its sheath;

Then fell into a light sleep.
Then came the ghost of his father, saying:
My friends Lam-ang, go quickly instead;

Right now, they feast around you father’s skull.
Lam-ang was jolted out of his slumber
And at once collected his weapons and started to go,

Walking on and on.
Upon reaching the blackest mountain
At Maculili and Dagman,

He went directly to the assembled revelers.
For he had seen his father’s skull facing the East,
Caged in the woven end of a bamboo pole.

Tattooed Igorots, just tell me
What foul thing my father I came from did.
It is only right that it be paid.

Our friend Lam-ang,
It is only right; too,
That you go back to the house

You stepped down from.
Or else, You’ll be the next (to die)
After the man who was your father.

You tattooed Igorots…
I cannot be satisfied (with your number),
You Igorot captain,

Learn this Filipino word:

tabáng lamíg