Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Courtship of Lihangin and Lidagat
Artist: Le Fou

Lihangin is a popular diwata for the ancient Visayans as the king of the winds, and the husband of Lidagat in their stories. Lihangin was the only son of Makaptan, the god of the sky, created from his breath and was given control over the winds that move his Sky Kingdom. Creation Myths vary on how the world got started but according to most stories from folktales (both oral and written traditions) most of the stories detailed an account of war between the sky and the seas. Oral tradition sings of Makaptan and how he threw thunderbolts and gale force winds to force his rival, the former sea goddess Magwayen into submission. Magwayen in turn sent endless water spouts and typhoons, to try and inundate the world of Makaptan. As the war goes on, both did not know the secret feelings of longing and loneliness of their children, Lihangin and Lidagat, Lihangin visits Lidagat every night when their parents were asleep, vowing his feelings of love for the female deity, until Magwayen discovered them. Lihangin and Lidagat, fought for their relationship, and seeing that their children could not live without each other, Makaptan and Magwayen consented to them being married, uniting both the sky and waters of the world. Lihangin was a devoted husband to Lidagat and the father of their 4 children, he is described as a noble man riding the clouds or being carried by the wind, he was also worshipped as a weather deity by the ancient Visayans, they pray to him for good weather during planting season and good warm winds during the dry season when the crops are harvested and pottery making were in demand, and he was also venerated together with his wife Lidagat, as a couple by ancient sailors and people who travel via the sea in their large balangays, seeking for favorable wind which will take them to a much fertile land to set foot on . Lihangin is also known in the stories for making the mistake of entrusting his winds to his son Likalibutan before he died, the very same powers the latter used to challenge his grandfather Makaptan. The veneration of Lihangin was stopped when the Spanish missionaries propagated Christianity all over Visayas, and he also faded to the background along with the other Elder Gods, but his contribution in the creation myths is still undeniable and is very much alive in the memories of Visayans today.

Related Stories: Lihangin and Hangin Bai

Even though the sky and waters are now at peace with each other, there are still air monsters and water monsters that threatens both realms, Lihangin was not only a husband and a father to 4 children with Lidagat. but he was also the sole protector of his father's realm, and Lidagat the protector of her mother's watery world. The air creatures were easy for Lihangin to contain and defeat, but it was the more ominous, large and aggressive sea monsters that gave the couple new problems. One day, the sea creatures launched an attack at Magwayen's home, forcing thelatter to take temporary refuge at Makaptan's throne, Lidagat was left alone to defend the waters. Lihangin ever the chivalrous diwata, met the attack head on, killing most monsters in the process, but was gravely injured to the multitude of monsters that attacked him simultaneously, of the sea monsters that escaped, only a few undines, the Bakunawa and his sister and the great fish of the western seas that survived. Lihangin was dying, and his feelings of regret as well as some bitterness about his impending doom left his lips, which gave birth to Hangin Bai (or Bais) a female air nymph (or maybe counterpart to sylphs) it is said, that Hangin Bai is both benevolent and malevolent, bringing warm winds to cold places and cool winds during dry season. She is also known to whisk away men by putting them to sleep with her perfumed air to lands unknown, never to be heard from again by their ka-barrios.

Female Lihangin (he is a male deity in Visayan mythology)
 in GMA Network's Indio, 2013
Sketch artist: James/ Squeegool
Female Lihangin (he is a male deity in Visayan Mythology)
portrayed by Ehra Madrigal
GMA Network's Indio, 2013

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