It is remarkable for being the first Philippine folk epic to be written down, and it was one of only two folk epics documented during the Spanish Colonial period in the Philippines, along with the Bicolano epic of Handiong. Lam-ang's poem consists of more than 1000 lines, most of which were probably not written by him but rather copied from other poems or songs. The work focuses on the exploits of a young man named Biag ni Lam-ang who travels across the country in search of wealth and fame, using his wits and physical strength to outdo his rivals.
Biag ni Lam-ang makes several significant contributions to Philippine literature. First, he is considered the first hero in the history of the Philippines because of his courage, strength, and conviction. He is also praised for his generosity and humility, two qualities that are widely regarded as exemplary behaviors for a noble person. Last, he is said to have inspired future Filipino heroes such as Mang Cuong (c. 1470-1540) and Andres Bonifacio (1837-1892), thus paving the way for the kapwa movement in the Philippines.
In conclusion, Biag ni Lam-ang is considered one of the founding fathers of the Filipino nation because of his significant role in popularizing heroic values among the people.
Volume III of the author's eight-volume Philippine Folk Literature Series is Philippine Folk Literature: The Legends. The current book concentrates on legends, which are basically accounts of unusual events that are believed to have occurred. Like other forms of folklore, they serve as a guide for future generations regarding what not to do or what precautions should be taken.
It is estimated that there are thousands of legends worldwide and in the Philippines alone there are more than enough stories to fill a whole library.
The legends deal with many subjects such as myths (stories about gods), history (stories about famous people) and fables (stories about animals). However, all legends share certain characteristics. They all begin with something happening that is considered an oddity, an event that no one else could have done. This makes people wonder why it happened and what purpose it might have had. Next, they create a story to explain this event. The story may include characters who act out the parts they were given, and sometimes will add in some details of their own. Finally, they conclude with a message about what can be learned from the story.
In conclusion, legends are simply stories that have been passed down through the ages and made into songs, dances, movies and plays. Some people think they're fun to tell others, while others consider them to be very serious business.
Pre-Hispanic Philippine literature was essentially epics passed down by oral tradition from generation to generation. These arts are split into two categories: traditional arts and non-traditional arts.
Traditional arts include drama, song, and dance. The first written evidence of an indigenous Filipino is a fragmentary poem called "Kapok" which dates back to at least 1450. It is believed that the poet was a native speaker of Tagalog who lived in what is now Manila. His name has been lost to history but he is regarded as one of the founders of modern Philippine poetry.
Non-traditional arts include painting, carving, metalworking, and architecture. Some of these were done for ceremonial purposes only but many artists took pride in their work and tried to sell it. The first documented example of sold Philippine artwork comes from 1638 when Spanish traders bought paintings from a group of natives in what is now Manila. By then, the natives had adopted the new technology and used it to make portraits of their Spanish masters.
Filipino literature can be considered as an offshoot of Hispanic literature. The first writers were monks who kept journals about their experiences during their visits to Spain. Today these writings are known as "nunti scripts" and they are considered important sources for studying early Philippine history.
The epic Biag ni Lam-Ang depicts the characteristics and attributes of Filipinos. The features, attitudes, and ideals shown in this wonderful epic are all reflections of our forefathers, particularly the Ilocanos, who were the source of this imaginary composition during the pre-Spanish period.
In the poem, it is revealed that the main character, Biag, was a young Ilokano warrior who refused to marry until he had killed an enemy named Lam-ang. This epic was probably written down by native poets among the Ilokanos before Spanish colonization. It has been called "the national anthem of the Philippines" because it expresses the spirit and soul of our country.
Lam-ang was a powerful king who ruled over many provinces in northern Luzon. He had two golden daughters who were so beautiful that they drew everyone's eyes. But the prince who was going to marry them had three sisters instead, and he wanted to keep his kingdom intact. So, he decided not to marry either of the two princesses. One day, Lam-ang went out hunting when his two golden daughters took revenge for his neglecting them. They flew away with him on his horse until they reached a river where some fishermen were trying their luck with a net. The girls pushed Lam-ang into the river where he was drowned. After his death, they returned home with their father who was very sad when he heard what had happened.