Biag ni Lam-ang (Summary)

BIAG NI LAM-ANG (Life of Lam-ang) is pre-Hispanic epic poem of the Ilocano people of the Philippines.  The story was handed down orally for generations before it was written down around 1640 assumedly by a blind Ilokano bard named Pedro Bucaneg.

BUOD (SUMMARY) OF BIAG NI LAM-ANG

Don Juan and his wife Namongan lived in Nalbuan, now part of La Union in the northern part of the Philippines. They had a son named Lam-ang. Before Lam-ang was born, Don Juan went to the mountains in order to punish a group of their Igorot enemies. While he was away, his son Lam-ang was born. It took four people to help Namongan give birth. As soon as the baby boy popped out, he spoke and asked that he be given the name Lam-ang. He also chose his godparents and asked where his father was.

After nine months of waiting for his father to return, Lam-ang decided he would go look for him.  Namongan thought  Lam-ang was up to the challenge but she was sad to let him go. During his exhausting journey, he decided to rest for awhile. He fell asleep and had a dream about his father's head being stuck on a pole by the Igorot. Lam-ang was furious when he learned what had happened to his father. He rushed to their village and killed them all, except for one whom he let go so that he could tell other people about Lam-ang's greatness. 


Upon returning to Nalbuan in triumph, he was bathed by women in the Amburayan river. All the fish died because of the dirt and odor from Lam-ang's body.

There was a young woman named Ines Kannoyan whom Lam-ang wanted to woo.  She lived in Calanutian and he brought along his white rooster and gray dog to visit her. On the way, Lam-ang met his enemy Sumarang, another suitor of Ines whom he fought and readily defeated.

Lam-ang found the house of Ines surrounded by  many suitors all of whom were trying to catch her attention.  He had his rooster crow, which caused a nearby house to fall.  This made Ines look out. He had his dog bark and in an instant the fallen house rose up again. The girl's parents witnessed this and called for him. The rooster expressed the love of Lam-ang. The parents agreed to a marriage with their daughter  if Lam-ang would give them a dowry valued at double their wealth. Lam-ang had no problem fulfilling this condition and he and Ines  were married.

It was a tradition to have a newly married man swim in the river for the rarang fish. Unfortunately, Lam-ang dove straight into the mouth of the water monster Berkakan. Ines had Marcos get his bones, which she covered with a piece of  cloth. His rooster crowed and his dog barked and slowly the bones started to move.  Back alive, Lam-ang and his wife lived happily ever after with his white rooster and gray dog.