The Philippines is a predominantly Christian nation on account of 300 years of Spanish rule. It is estimated that 81% of the population is Roman Catholic. In the south on the large island of Mindanao, many are adherents of Islam. Filipino Muslims make up about five percent of the national population.
The Ten (10) Commandments of God are listed twice in the Bible — first in Chapter 20 of the Book of Exodus, and also in Chapter 5 of the Deuteronomy. Most Filipinos being Christian, the Bible is read and taught widely in the Philippines.
The Lord’s Prayer is often sung in Tagalog during Catholic Mass in the Philippines. It is known as Our Father (Ama Namin). Here is one old version familiar to a certain generation.
The Lord’s Prayer in Tagalog translation
Ama namin, sumasalangit Ka Sambahin ang ngalan Mo Mapasaamin ang kaharian Mo Sundin ang loob Mo Dito sa lupa, para nang sa langit. Bigyan Mo kami ngayon ng aming kakanin sa araw-araw. At patawarin Mo ang aming mga sala, Para ng pagpapatawad namin Sa mga nagkakasala sa amin. At huwag Mo kaming ipahintulot sa tukso, At iadya Mo kami sa lahat ng masama. Sapagkat Iyo ang kaharian, at kapangyarihan, At ang kadakilaan, magpakailanman. Amen.
The word Bathala is believed to have come from the Sanskrit Bhattara Guru or “the highest of the gods.”
In Philippine mythology, the highest-ranking god of the ancient Tagalog people is Bathala, also known as or Maykapal or Abba. Bathala is the creator of all things — the sea, the sky, the earth, and all the plants. He dwelt in the highest realm of the sky. No one knows where Bathala came from. One day, he simply appeared (in different versions, heralded by flood, fire or strong earthquake) and announced his authority over the world. So great and powerful is Bathala that no one dares question his demand for obedience and reverence. He is often imagined as very humanlike. Continue reading “Bathala, the Tagalog God”