Creation Deity and Pillar of Heaven
Tungkung Langit is a popular deity of the people of Ancient Panay, he is their version of the all-powerful, creator deity who made the world out of primordial chaos, his counterparts in the Philippine Mythology are Kan-Laon of the Negrense tribes, Bathala of the Tagalogs, Kaptan, the All-Powerful Sky God of the Visayans, Gugurang of the Bicolanos, Kadaw La Sambad of the T'boli tribe to name a few. However, there are 2 gods in the Panay pantheon called Tungkung Langit. Tungkung Langit continues to live on in the hearts and minds of ethnic Panay groups,especially those who escaped the Spanish Acquisition, and his stories continue to live on till this day!
"Tungkung Langit the Creator"
In the Panayanon Myth, Tungkung Langit was the hard-working god who created order out of chaos and made sure that things should be in their rightful place when he made the world. He was also the industrious husband of Alunsina, who was said to be jealous and lazy goddess who would rather spend time brushing her hair and admiring her beautiful self, while Tungkung Langit was perpetually busy arranging the universe. They had a quarrel when Alunsina thought Tungkung Langit was havign a secret affair behind her back and when he discovered her servant, the eastern breeze, Tungkung Langit scolded Alunsina for her pettiness. proclaiming that he would never cheat on her and that they were the only ones in the Universe. Alunsina ran away and he never saw her again, no matter how hard he tried to impress her and bring her back, his efforts were fruitless. He decorated the earth with flowers and trees and threw her comb into the sky to make the moon and her jewelled necklace to make the stars, but Alunsina was nowhere to be seen, and he forever lived alone in their majestic home in Ibabawnon (Upper World) and people believed that the rain they see during the wet season is Tungkung Langit's tears and the thunder is his voice, sobbing or calling out for Alunsina to come back.
"Tungkung Langit, The Pillar of Heaven"
The other Tungkung Langit was a lesser deity, brother of Panlinugon, god of earthquakes. He was a god of immense size, gigantic in stature, The name "Tungkung Langit" means "Pillar of Heaven" therefore it was his duty to bear the skies upon his shoulders so that it would not fall down and crush the citizens below, this is most important job and it also says he never leaves his post as not to risk crushing the other gods and the citizens of Earth, much like the Greek titan, Atlas. This Tungkung Langit has a wife also, her name is
Luyong Kabig, she however lives in the Underworld, guarding the entrance as no live mortal may pass it accidentally or otherwise, until their time has come.
|Alunsina with Tungkung Langit|
adapted by F. Landa Jocano in Outline of Philippine Mythology
(Manila: Centro Escolar University Research and Development Center, 1969).