Sunday, May 5, 2013

An Introduction to the Mythological World of Visayas


Mythology by definition is a collection of mythic stories belonging to a group of people addressing their origin, history, deities and heroes. It is a collection of ancient tales associated with an event, individual or institution. Also it is defined as a systematic collection and study of the myths. Mythology is nothing new to us, each society around the world has their own mythology; some more popular than others, and some hidden in obscurity. It is a way for our ancestors to tell and explain the origins of the world, the people and the flora and fauna of their landscape through stories about supernatural beings known as gods, spirits, and mythical heroes and heroines. Some of the more popular examples of Mythology known to mankind are that of the Greeks, their stories about the gods, led by the powerful yet impulsive Zeus, set in the famous backdrop of Mt. Olympus. Almost everyone knows about the love affairs of Zeus, the labors of Hercules, the importance of Athena, the fate of the Danaids or even the Quest of the Golden Fleece, yet on the other side of the spectrum, only a small percentage of the worldwide population knows about the Mythology of the Philippines, especially Visayan Mythology. I bet only a handful can recall the adventures of Humadapnon, the battle of Makaptan and Magwayen, the miraculous Catalina, how the cashew fruit came to existence or the existence of the golden goddess of greed Burigadang Pada Sinaklang Bulawan, all of which are part of this mildly known Visayan Mythology. This blog was made to give light to the hidden riches of tales and folklore of the Visayan Islands. A group of islands found in the Central Philippine archipelago which was once called home to proud datus of the Malay Peninsula, a haven for brave explorers from the IndoChina region, a paradise to the humble, nomadic “Atis” (Aeta group of Western Visayas). This blog is made to share some exquisite stories and cultural lore knowledge passed down from generation to generation to Visayan children by their ingkongs and impos, which in turn they inherited from their ancestors and can be traced back to the oral traditions of the village babaylans and lorekeepers. When the Spanish Inquisition came to the islands by mid to late 1500’s, some of these traditions were written down by the foreign scholars and when Christianity propagated, sadly many of these wondrous tales were forgotten and evidence of their existence destroyed and erased from the fabric of time. It is our mission to share with you some of the existing tales that we have encountered along the way, and we sincerely hope that it will be cherished and be enjoyed by all and by the generations to come. These are the tales of our people, evidences of how they lived, worshiped, and experienced life way back when the world was young, some might even say, you can trace the influences of nations that interacted and lived side by side with ancient Visayans through these tales. In conclusion, I could definitely say as a proud Filipino that the stories we are presenting to you are samples of little pearls of wisdom and tradition that lies in our humble and culturally diverse country, the Philippines. I hope you enjoy your stay and treasure the things you might learn along the way, may Kan-Laon bless you and your way!

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