Ibong Adarna / The Legendary Bird of Piedras Platas

(Booknotes / Summary in English)

The Ibong Adarna is an epic about a legendary bird which is said to be found in Mt. Tabor, where it perches on the shimmering Piedras Platas at night (Piedras Platas is Spanish for silver stones). During the daytime, the bird goes off somewhere but it comes back at night to roost, and it sings before it sleeps.

The Ibong Adarna is a narrative poem with the full title, Corrido at Buhay na Pinagdaanan nang Tatlong Principeng Magcacapatid na Anac nang Haring Fernando at nang Reina Valeriana sa Cahariang Berbania (Corrido and the Life of Three Princes, sons of King Fernando and Queen Valeria from the kingdom of Berbania). The poem has no exact date of origin and its author remains unknown. However, it is believed that the poem was composed by Huseng Sisiw, pseudonym of Jose de la Cruz.

It contains 1,034 stanzas (8 syllables per line, 4 lines per stanza), and it is a corrido or metrical romance that involves the struggles of a heroic character. It tells of the adventures and magical powers, the romance and love, the courage and piety, and the treachery and betrayal of highborn characters.

At present, Ibong Adarna is an important Filipino literary classic that is being studied in secondary school (in the first year) in the Philippines, in accordance with the curriculum set by the Commission on Higher Education.

Learn this Filipino word:

dinaán sa bibíg