A Ultimate Guide To Philippine Mythology's Legendary Deities

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No Christianity, Islam, or any of the cutting edge religions. All you require to endure is in a real sense before you–food, garments, a rooftop over your head, and so on.

Yet, while things around you appear to be in wonderful request, a tsunami of disarray begins framing in your psyche.

You're currently scrutinizing your own one of a kind presence. Questions you never realized you expected to answer are flooding your cerebrum: Why is the sky blue? Where did we originate from? Who controls everything? Be that as it may, with no religion to depend on, in what manner can you figure out everything?

The appropriate response, as per our progenitors, is Philippine folklore.

No, we're not going to discuss the whitewashed gods you grew up viewing in films. While nearly everyone knows about Zeus, Athena, Aphrodite, Eros and other amazing divine forces of Greek folklore, it appears to be that we are altogether ignorant regarding their Filipino partners. Also, that is the motivation behind why we've chosen to compose this article.

Philippine folklore is significantly more significant than you might suspect. It gave our precursors an internal compass and helped them clarify everything–from the cause of humankind to the presence of ailments.

For them, it was not simply a faith in undetectable higher creatures. Philippine folklore characterized what their identity was and what they should do.

The late anthropologist H. Otley Beyer shared his own perception:

"Among the Christianized people groups of the fields the legends are protected predominantly as folktales, yet in the mountains their recitation and safeguarding is a genuine and living aspect of the day by day strict existence of the individuals. Not many of these legends are composed; the incredible larger part of them are saved by oral custom as it were."

There's nobody size-fits-all standard in Philippine folklore. All in all, antiquated Filipinos from all aspects of the nation didn't adhere to a solitary rendition of creation story nor did they give uniform names to their gods. Thus, Philippine folklore turned out to be various to the point that contemplating it currently resembles gazing at a rundown of gazillion Pokémons.

It's difficult to cover each divinity remembered for the outline (recall, this is a blog entry, not a book), but rather we'll attempt to highlight the most fascinating characters and make this as complete as conceivable FilipiKnow style.

Presently, before we go directly to the most energizing part, it's significant that we initially return to the rudiments.

What precisely is Philippine folklore?

Philippine folklore is an assortment of stories and strange notions about otherworldly creatures a.k.a. gods whom our precursors accepted controlled everything.

It's aspect of the old stories, which covers a wide range of customary information installed in our general public: expressions, people writing, customs, convictions, and games, among others.

In case you will look at the legends genealogical record (see the diagram underneath), you'll see the people writing spreading out into three gatherings: society discourse (which incorporates the bugtong or conundrums and salawikain or axioms), society melodies, and the people accounts.

People accounts are about stories. They might be told in composition, section, or both. They are additionally separated into three sub-classifications: the folktales or kuwentong bayan, legends or alamat, and fantasies.

The folktales are unadulterated fiction, something that you use to engage exhausted children. The legends and fantasies, in the interim, are thought to be valid by the narrator. The timetable separates them.

While legends occurred in a considerably more late time-frame, fantasies are accepted to have occurred in the "far off past," which means a period when the world as we probably am aware it today wasn't full fledged at this point.

Philippine Mythology and Folklore

As indicated by the late Damiana L. Eugenio, the Mother of Philippine Folklore, legends "represent the cause of the world, of humankind, of death, or for attributes of flying creatures, creatures, topographical highlights, and the marvels of nature."

Falling under this sub-class are the narratives or experiences of divinities, characterized as heavenly creatures with human qualities.

These divinities are either fortunate or unfortunate, and every one of them has a particular capacity. Eminent anthropologist F. Landa Jocano, creator of Outline of Philippine Mythology, clarified it further:

"A portion of these gods are consistently close; others are occupants of distant domains of the Skyworld who look into human issues just when they are conjured during legitimate functions which constrain them to come sensible."

In this three-section arrangement, you'll become more acquainted with additional about these intriguing gods from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. We'll inspect their accounts, unique forces, and different subtleties that will stimulate the inquisitive youngster in you. Unique gratitude to the gifted Pinoy visual specialists whose astonishing works have resurrected these old gods.

Part I: Luzon Divinities

In light of the early records of Spanish conquistador Miguel de Loarca, the antiquated Tagalogs had confidence in one maker god. Notwithstanding, they didn't have the ability to speak with him legitimately. An arbiter or "broker" was required.

This go-between could either be the soul of their dead family member or any of the lower-positioning gods. Antiquated divine beings were typically loved as adobe carvings called likha, while the dead precursors were respected by offering nourishments or gold embellishments to wooden pictures known as anito.

Observe that the early teachers contrasted on how they characterized anito. Father Pedro de San Buenaventura, for instance, demanded that the word alluded to the demonstration of offering ("naga-anito") and not simply the soul ("pinagaanitohan").

Beside the divinities and the spirits of the withdrew, the antiquated Tagalogs additionally revered creatures like the crocodiles, accepting that these wild monsters contained the human spirits. Then again, a tigmamanukan fowl flying over somebody's way was viewed as a sign. Contingent upon the bearing of its flight, this fowl could predict whether an undertaking would wind up a triumph or calamity. Bathala.

Otherwise called Abba, this most elevated positioning god was depicted as "may kapal sa lahat," or the maker of everything. His root is obscure yet his name recommends Hindu impacts. As per William Henry Scott, Bathala was gotten from the Sanskrit bhattara which signifies "respectable ruler."

From his home in the sky called Kawalhatian, this divinity investigates humankind. He's satisfied when his kin keep his standards, giving all they require to the point of ruining them (thus, the bahala na theory). Be that as it may, mind you, this incredible divinity could likewise be brutal some of the time, sending lightning and roar to the individuals who sin against him.


Those from Benguet regarded Apo as their most elevated positioning divinity. Ifugaos, in the interim, called their own Kabunian. The last was accepted to have occupied the "fifth locale of the universe," and was helped by other minor divine beings, among them Tayaban, the firefly-looking lord of death; Gatui, the lord of pragmatic jokes who was likewise accused for causing unsuccessful labors among Ifugao moms; Hidit, divine forces of the ceremonies answerable for offering disciplines to the individuals who broke restrictions; and Bulol (or bulul), the celebrated Ifugao rice god adored as little wooden sculptures taking after their progenitors.

Early individuals of Zambales, then again, named their most noteworthy positioning god Malayari. Much the same as the Bathala of the Tagalogs, this maker god remunerated his admirers with great wellbeing and collect and rebuffed the unbelievers with sickness and starvation.

Lesser divinities likewise helped Malayari in completing his assignments, among them Akasi, lord of wellbeing and disorder; Manglubar, lord of ground-breaking living whose errand was to "placate irate hearts"; and the gatekeeper heavenly attendant Mangalabar, the divine force of good beauty.


On the off chance that Bathala was the chief, the other lesser gods who lived with him in the sky were his associates. Every one of these lower-positioning divine beings and goddesses had explicit duties. One of them was Idianale (Idiyanale or Idianali in different sources), the goddess of work and great deeds.

There are fluctuating records regarding what explicit field Idianale was loved for. Student of history Gregorio Zaide said that Idianale was the divine force of horticulture, while different sources propose that she was the supporter of animal cultivation, a part of farming.

Idianale wedded Dumangan, the lord of good reap, and later brought forth two more Tagalog gods: Dumakulem and Anitun Tabu.


Dumangan was the Tagalog sky-lord of good reap, the spouse of Idianale, and father to Dumakulem and Anitun Tabu.

In Zambales culture, Dumangan (or Dumagan) made the rice "yield better grains." According to F. Landa Jocano, the early individuals of Zambales likewise trusted Dumagan had three siblings who were similarly as ground-breaking as him.

Kalasakas rushed the aging of the rice stalks while Kalasokus was liable for transforming the grains into yellow. Ultimately, the god Damulag secured the blossoms of the rice plants from the dangerous typhoons.

Anitun Tabu.

Among antiquated Tagalogs, Anitun Tabu was known as the "flighty disapproved of goddess of the breeze and downpour." She's one of the two offspring of Dumangan and Idianale.

In Zambales, this goddess was known as Aniton Tauo, one of the lesser gods helping their main god, Malayari. Legend has it that Aniton Tauo was once viewed as better than different Zambales gods. She turned out to be so brimming with herself that Malayari decreased her position as a discipline.

The Zambales public used to offer her with the most ideal sort of pinipig or beat youthful rice grains during harvest season. Penances that utilized these fixings are known as mamiarag in their nearby lingo.


Dumakulem was the child of Idianale and Dumangan, and sibling of wind goddess Anitun Tabu. The antiquated Tagalogs venerated him as the gatekeeper of the mountains. He is frequently portrayed as a solid and handy tracker.

This Tagalog sky-god later got married to another significant divinity, Anagolay, known as the goddess of lost things. The marriage created two youngsters: Apolaki, the sun god, and Dian Masalanta, the goddess of darlings.


Likely one of the most interesting divinities of Philippine folklore, Ikapati (or Lakapati) was the Tagalog goddess of ripeness. F. Landa Jocano depicted her as the "goddess of the developed land" and the "kindhearted supplier of food and thriving."

A few sources portray Lakapati as male/female, bisexual, and even a "transsexual" god. In William Henry Scott's "Baranggay," Lakapati is depicted as a significant ripeness divinity spoke to by a "bisexual picture with both male and female parts."

Prior to planting in another field, the antiquated Tagalogs as a rule offered penances to Lakapati. In a seventeenth century report by Franciscan minister Father Pedro de San Buenaventura, it was said that a rancher giving proper respect to this ripeness goddess would hold up a kid before saying "Lakapati pakanin mo yaring alipin mo; huwag mong gutumin" (Lakapati, feed this thy slave; let him not hunger).

Being the kindest among the lesser gods of Bathala, Lakapati was cherished and regarded by the individuals. She wedded the lord of seasons, Mapulon, and turned into the mother of Anagolay, goddess of lost things.


In Tagalog folklore, Mapulon was the lord of seasons. F. Landa Jocano, in the book "Framework of Philippine Mythology," portrayed Mapulon as one of the lesser divinities helping Bathala.

Very little is thought about this divinity, beside the way that he wedded Ikapati/Lakapati, the fruitfulness goddess, and sired Anagolay, the goddess of lost things.


Pre-pilgrim Tagalogs who were pitifully searching for their missing stuff appealed to Anagolay, the goddess of lost things. She was the girl of two significant Tagalog divinities Ikapati and Mapulon.

At the point when she arrived at the correct age, she wedded the tracker Dumakulem and brought forth two additional divinities: Apolaki and Dian Masalanta, the old lords of sun and darlings, individually.

Clearly, the space rock was named after the old Tagalog goddess of lost things. The name, put together by Filipino understudy Mohammad Abqary Alon, outperformed in excess of 1,000 sections in a challenge held by the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC).


Seemingly the Filipino partner of the Roman god Mars, Apolaki showed up in a few antiquated fantasies. The Tagalogs worshipped Apolaki as the sun god just as supporter of the heroes. He imparts nearly similar characteristics to the Kapampangan sun divine force of war and passing, Aring Sinukuan.

Early individuals of Pangasinan guaranteed that Apolaki conversed with them. A while ago when darkened teeth were viewed as the norm of magnificence, a portion of these locals told a minister that a baffled Apolaki had reprimanded them for inviting "outsiders with white teeth."

In a book by William Henry Scott, the name of this god is said to have started from apo, which signifies "ruler," and laki, which signifies "male" or "virile." Jocano's Outline of Philippine Mythology subtleties how Apolaki became: He was the child of Anagolay and Dumakulem, and furthermore the sibling of Dian Masalanta, the goddess of sweethearts.

In different stories, be that as it may, Apolaki was, actually, the child of the incomparable lord of the old Tagalogs, Bathala. The book "Philippine Myths, Legends, and Folktales" by Maximo Ramos contains the tale of how the sun got more splendid than the moon. In the said fantasy, Bathala sired two youngsters from a human lady. He named his child Apolaki and his girl Mayari.

The two kids had eyes so brilliant that they turned into the wellspring of light for the remainder of the world. At the point when Bathala passed on, Apolaki and Mayari both needed to succeed their dad. A long, bleeding contention followed as neither one of them needed to surrender the seat. The battle arrived at the breaking point when Apolaki hit Mayari's face with a wooden club, blinding her one eye.

Cooler heads won, and both consented to simply alternate in administering the world. Apolaki currently possesses the seat during daytime while Mayari, the moon goddess, gives the "cool and delicate light" during evening, for she is visually impaired in one eye.

Dian Masalanta.

On the off chance that the Greeks had Aphrodite, our Tagalog predecessors had Dian Masalanta. The supporter goddess of sweethearts and labor, this divinity was the sibling of the sun god Apolaki to guardians Anagolay and Dumakulem.

Penances were offered to Dian Masalanta to guarantee effective pregnancies. The equivalent was accomplished for other lesser gods who controlled explicit areas, as Mankukutod, the defender of coconut palms who could cause mishaps if the contribution was not made. Haik, the ocean god, was regarded via ocean explorers for a protected and effective journey, while Uwinan Sana, the backwoods god, was recognized with the goal that any individual who entered his "property" wouldn't be rebuffed for intruding.


Contingent upon what book you read, Amanikabli (Amanikable or Aman Ikabli in different sources) could either be the antiquated Tagalog supporter of trackers or lord of the ocean.

In the book Barangay by William Henry Scott and the 1936 Encyclopedia of the Philippines by Zoilo Galang, Amanikabli was recognized as the Tagalog anito of trackers who remunerated his admirers with a decent game.

The central defender of the ocean, then again, was Aman Sinaya (or Amanisaya in different references), who "gave his lovers a decent catch." In a similar book by William Henry Scott, Aman Sinaya was depicted as the god called upon by devotees "when first wetting a net or fishhook." He was likewise distinguished as the dad of Sinaya who developed the fishing gear.

Crafted by anthropologist F. Landa Jocano tend to disagree. As per his generally more present day form, Amanikabli was one of the lesser divinities helping Bathala in Kawalhatian. He was depicted as "the imposing, irritable leader of the ocean," whose contempt towards humankind began when a wonderful human lady, suitably named Maganda, dismissed his adoration.

From that point forward, the ocean god had made it his own plan to send "fierce waves and terrible whirlwinds occasionally to wreck pontoons and suffocate men."


Quite a long time ago, Bathala experienced passionate feelings for a human lady. She passed on in the wake of bringing forth three lovely little girls. Obviously, Bathala didn't need anything awful to happen to his young ladies so he carried each of them three to the sky to live with him.

In a little while, these three diving beings were given explicit jobs: Mayari, Hana (or Hanan in different references), and Tala turned into the Tagalog goddesses of the moon, morning, and star, separately.

F. Landa Jocano's Outline of Philippine Mythology gave a complimenting depiction of the moon goddess: She was the "most wonderful heavenly nature in the court of Bathala." In other Luzon legends, be that as it may, the moon divinity was definitely not an excellent goddess.


Hana/Hanan, the goddess of the morning and sister of Mayari.

One Pangasinan legend attempted to clarify the beginning of the sun, moon, and the stars. The story began with an almighty god called "Ama" giving a red hot royal residence to every one of his two children: Agueo ("sun") and Bulan ("moon"). With their castles, these two divine beings would pass over the world consistently to give light to the individuals.

Agueo and Bulan are equivalent to the Bible's Cain and Abel. Between the two, Bulan was the wicked one. At the point when he caught a gathering of cheats wanting for obscurity so they could take and unleash destruction to humanity, Bulan was excited. He at that point asked his sibling, Agueo, to rapidly leave the earth so his abhorrent companions could do their business. At the point when Agueo can't, a warmed contention occurred.

Mindful of all that occurred, Bathala was incensed at Bulan. From his house in the sky, he "held onto a gigantic stone and flung it whistling through the air." It hit Bulan's royal residence, breaking it into pieces. The gleaming pieces turned into the stars. Bulan had since been restricted from joining his sibling in hovering the world over. He actually lives in a red hot castle, yet its faint light is sufficiently just to control the hoodlums during evening.

Mayari, Tala, and Hana

Another Mayari story seemed both in Maximo Ramos' "Philippine Myths, Legends, and Folktales" and Dean S. Fansler's "Filipino Popular Tales." According to this legend from Pampanga, Mayari was the sister of the sun god, Apolaki, and the two of them were talented with splendid eyes which filled in as a light for the entire world.

At the point when their dad kicked the bucket, the kin contended on who had the right to take the seat. The battle wound up with Mayari blinded in one eye after Apolaki hit her with a bamboo club.

Troubled by blame, the sun god at long last consented to simply impart the authority to her sister. Apolaki before long turned into the "sun" who gives warm light during the day, while Mayari (or the "moon") administers each night with a cooler and dimmer light because of her visual impairment.

Lakanbakod, Lakandanum, and Lakambini.


Not all divinities of Philippine folklore lived in the sky with Bathala. Some of them coincided with the antiquated Tagalogs and were effectively summoned during strict functions headed by a catalonan.

Spanish word specialists called these heavenly creatures anito, Bathala's operators who were allocated explicit capacities. Three of the most intriguing minor gods really had names that rhyme together: Lakanbakod, Lakandanum, and Lakambini.

In William Henry Scott's "Barangay," Lakanbakod (Lakan Bakod or Lakambacod in different sources) was portrayed as a divinity who had "plated privates up to a rice tail."

Lakanbakod was the "master of wall," a defender of yields ground-breaking enough to keep animals out of farmlands. Consequently, he was summoned and offered eels when fencing a plot of land.

Lakambini was similarly as interesting. Despite the fact that the name is practically inseparable from "muse" these days, it was not the situation during the early occasions.

Up until the nineteenth century, lacanbini had been the name given to an anito whom Fray San Buenaventura depicted as "diyus-diyosang sumasakop siya sa mga sakit sa lalamunan." In straightforward English, this minor divinity was summoned by our predecessors to treat throat illnesses.


Among the old Kapampangans, Lakandanum was referred to as the water god portrayed as a snake like mermaid (naga). Before the Spaniards showed up, they would frequently toss animals to the waterway as a harmony offering for Lakandanum. Inability to do so brought about extensive stretches of dry season.

Consistently during the dry season, the locals would make penances for the water god to give them downpour. Furthermore, when the downpour began pouring, they would accept it as a sign that Lakandanum had returned, and everybody would be feeling bubbly.

Truth be told, the old Kapampangan new year called Bayung Danum (in a real sense signifies "new water") began as a festival out of appreciation for Lakandanum. At the point when Christianity came into the image, it was changed over into the dining experience of St. John in Pampanga and blowout of St. Dwindle in different territories.

Galang Kaluluwa and Ulilang Kaluluwa.

In some Tagalog creation fantasies, Bathala was by all account not the only divinity who lived known to man before humankind was conceived. He imparted the space to two other amazing divine beings: the snake Ulilang Kaluluwa ("stranded soul") who lived in the mists and the meandering god appropriately named Galang Kaluluwa.

Ulilang Kaluluwa needed the earth and the remainder of the universe for himself. Hence, when he learned of Bathala who was looking at for a similar stuff, he chose to battle. Following quite a while of relentless fight, Bathala turned into the sole survivor. The dead collection of Ulilang Kaluluwa was accordingly scorched.

A couple of years after the fact, Bathala and Galang Kaluluwa met. The two became companions, with Bathala in any event, welcoming the last to remain in his realm. However, the life of Galang Kaluluwa was stopped by an ailment. Upon his companion's solicitation, Bathala covered the body at the very same spot where Ulilang Kaluluwa was beforehand scorched.

Before long, a baffling tree developed from the grave. Its foods grown from the ground like leaves helped Bathala to remember his left companion, while the hard, ugly trunk had similar characteristics as the abhorrent Ulilang Kaluluwa.

The tree, as it turned out, is the "tree of life" we significantly esteem today–the coconut.

Ulilang Kaluluwa

Such was the significance of the coconut tree that when Bathala chose to make the primary man and lady, he constructed a house for them utilizing its trunk and leaves. Concerning their day by day food, the coconut's juice and its delicious white meat end up being sustaining.

It didn't take some time before they found a greater amount of the tree's shrouded endowments: Its leaves could transform into great tangles or brushes while the fiber could become tough ropes, in addition to other things.

Haliya and the Bakunawa.

Haliya is the moon goddess of Bicolano folklore who occasionally comes sensible to wash in its waters.

Legend has it that the world used to be enlightened by seven moons. The huge ocean snake called bakunawa, a legendary animal found in the early Bicolano and Hiligaynon culture, eaten up everything except one of these moons.

In certain legends, the rest of the moon was spared after the divine beings acted the hero and rebuffed the ocean beast. Another story recommends that Haliya was the name of the last moon standing, and she saved herself from being eaten by making commotions utilizing drums and gongs–sounds that the bakunawa discovered horrible.


Pre-pioneer Filipinos accused the bakunawa for causing the obscuration. Its name, which in a real sense signifies "twisted snake," first showed up in a 1637 word reference by Fr. Alonso de Mentrida. Bakunawa was profoundly installed in our old culture that when Fr. Ignacio Alcina wrote his 1668 book Historias de las Islas e Indios de las Bisayas, the name of the ocean snake was at that point inseparable from the obscuration.

The Hiligaynon individuals of the Visayas accept that the bakunawa lives either in a region between the sky and the mists or inside the bungalog which is an underground section "close to the headwaters of large waterway frameworks."

Accepting that a shroud was really a bakunawa endeavoring to swallow the moon, old Visayans attempted to avoid the beast by making sounds. They did this by striking the floors of their homes or by pounding jars, drums, and so forth.


As it were, our Tagalog predecessors previously had faith in existence in the wake of death even before the colonizers acquainted us with their Bible. One proof is the pre-pilgrim custom of covering the dead with a pabaon, which could be as adornments, food, or even slaves.

The cutting edge paradise and damnation additionally had old partners. Jocano said that the early Tagalogs accepted heroes would go to Maca, a position of "interminable harmony and bliss." The underhanded heathens, then again, were tossed into the "town of melancholy and difficulty" called Kasanaan/Kasamaan.

The Kasanaan is a position of discipline governed by Sitan, which offers hitting similitudes with Christianity's definitive scalawag, Satan. Notwithstanding, Jocano said that Sitan was in all probability got from the Islamic leader of the hidden world named Saitan (or Shaitan). This recommends that the Muslim religion previously had a hold to our general public path before the Spaniards showed up.


Much the same as Bathala, the awful Sitan was likewise helped by other lesser gods or mortal operators. First was Mangagaway, the fiendish shapeshifter who wore a skull jewelry and could slaughter or recuperate anybody with the utilization of her wizardry wand. She could likewise draw out one's demise for quite a long time or even a very long time by just restricting a snake containing her mixture around the individual's abdomen.

Mansisilat was in a real sense the home-wrecker of Philippine folklore. As the goddess of broken homes, she acknowledged it as her own central goal to crush connections. She did this by masking herself as an old poor person or healer who might enter the homes of clueless couples. Utilizing her charms, Mansisilat could mystically turn married couples against one another, winding up in division.


Similarly alarming were Hukluban and Mankukulam.

In William Henry Scott's Baranggay, the previous was portrayed as "the most impressive sort of witch, ready to execute or cause obviousness essentially by welcome an individual." Jocano included that a Hukluban was likewise a stupendous shapeshifter who could get anything going state, copy a house somewhere near basically articulating it.

The Mankukulam, then again, frequently meandered around towns claiming to be a minister specialist. In a similar book by Scott, a mankukulam was portrayed as a "witch who shows up around evening time as though copying, setting fires that can't be stifled, or flounders in the rottenness under houses, whereupon some householder will nauseate and bite the dust."

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