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Summary of BIAG ni LAM-ANG

Biag ni Lam-ang (English: The Life of Lam-ang) is a pre-Hispanic epic poem of the Ilokano people from the Ilocos region of the Philippines. Recited and originally written in the Ilokano language, it is believed to be the work of many poets from various generations, and was first preserved in writing around 1640, by a blind Ilokano bard named Pedro Bucaneg. Its origin occurred during the pre-Spanish period of the Philippines and it is one of the greatest Ilocliterature of the country. The story is a mix of adventure and romance with exciting and unpredictable outcomes. Lam- ang was an extraordinary being. He started to speak at an incredibly young age and was the one to choose his own name. His adventure began when his father, Don Juan, went to a battle but never came back. At the age of barely nine months he went to search for his father in the highlands where his father was said to go. Aware that her child was a blessed, extraordinary creature,Namongan, his mother, allowed him to go. Lam-ang then went off to search for his father, leaving his grieving mother behind. When Lam-ang reached the place, he was enraged upon seeing his fathers head on top of a bamboo pole that was stuck in the ground which was a scene that he had dreamed before reaching the place. Lam-ang then demanded to know the reason why that had happened to his father, but did not receive an answer. Instead he was demanded by the chieftain of the village to go or else he would receive the same fate like his father. Instead of running, Lam-ang bravely fought with the chieftain and its tribesmen. Lam-ang won the fight with less effort, serving as his revenge for his father. The epic poem also presented some humorous points. As Lam-ang was on his way home he passed by a river (Amburayan River which is known to be the biggest river in Ilocos) and then decided to have a dip. The dirt from his body caused the death of fishes, crabs and shrimps in the river. He was gladly attended by some of the women who saw him. Lam-ang, upon reaching home decided to court his love interest, Ines Kannoyan. Despite his mothers disapproval he followed his heart and set off again on another journey for her love. His adventures had never been that easy. He faced one of Ines suitor and monsters. But he won the battles with ease. Upon reaching He was helped by his magical pets: cat and dog. Lam-angs rooster flapped its wings and a house toppled. This amazed everybody, especially Ines. Then, Lam-angs dog barked and the house rose up. Being invited to the lunch of the family of Ines, Lam-ang impressed Ines parents with his wealth and upon returning he gave to the family two golden ships. Their wedding was held with a lot of feasts. However Lam-angs story did not end there. His bones were recovered and Lam-ang was resurrected with the help of his magical pet. Ines was ordered by the rooster to wrap the bones with her tapis while the hen was flapping its wings and the dog was growling. In an instant Lam-ang happily rejoined his wife. The epic poem showed some of the earlier customs, culture, tradition and belief of the Ilocano people of the Philippines. The story presented some of the qualities of the people of the Ilocos region- adventurous, hard, and brave as strongly portrayed by Lam-ang. The epic poem presented the fact that life is full of trials and problems. One must be strong and just accept the reality as it is already part of life.

Summary of the story of Lam-ang


Centuries ago, there was a great warrior who was widely known in Ilocos as a hero who fought the Igorots. When Lam-ang was born, he had the most unusual ability to speak immediately at birth. He immediately asked where his father was, and, upon being informed that his father was killed by Igorots, Lam-ang vowed revenge: A vendetta was born. Lam-ang grew up immediately, and went up into the mountains to take his vengeance. Alone, he fought off dozens of Igorot warriors, defeating them all. He cut off the ears of the warriors, as trophies, and returned to Ilocos. He then met and was captivated by a beautiful woman named Ines, and he immediately fell in love. He pledged her all of his gold, land, and livestock. Naturally, as the most beautiful woman in the province, Ines had many suitors, but all quietly gave way to Lam-ang, since they knew that they could not compete with him for her affections. All except a giant of a man, named Sumarang, who would not yield. So, Lam-ang and Sumarang fought, and Lam-ang won, easily defeating Sumarang. Lam-ang and Ines were married with the largest wedding feast that ever been seen in the province. In order to secure the unions blessing, Lam-ang was informed that he must dive down to the very depths of the sea and retrieve a pearl from a magical oyster, otherwise the marriage would have bad luck. (Other versions say that Lam-ang went to fish for a rare fish called rarang.) So Lam-ang dove into the sea and, on his way down, was eaten by a fearsome fish called the Berkaken. Heartbroken, Ines went into mourning, as did most of the town, as Lam-ang was their hero. The next day, Lam-angs rooster, who had magical powers (Lam-ang also owned a magic dog and cat), spoke to Ines, and told her to have Lam-angs bones fished out of the sea. Ines did as she was instructed, bringing Lamangs bones before the rooster, who then blew on them.