Q:

What is the epic of "Biag ni Lam-ang?"

A:

The "Biag ni Lam-ang" is an epic poem of the Ilocano people dating from the pre-Hispanic era of the Philippines. The title translates to "The Life of Lam-ang," and the story reveals the details of this man's birth and life. Originally the epic was passed down generation to generation orally. The poem was written down in 1640, allegedly by a blind Ilocano bard named Pedro Bucaneg.

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The story told by the Ilocano people begins with the birth of Lam-ang. Lam-ang's father, Don Juan, had left his pregnant wife in order to punish a rival tribe in the mountains. While he was away, his son was born. According to the Tagalog Lang website, Lam-ang chose his own name and his own godparents as a newborn baby. When he was 9 months old, he went in search of his father, who still not had returned. He dreamed his father had been murdered on this journey, which proved to be true. Lam-ang sought to punish the village that had impaled his father, and he killed all the villagers except for one, in order to tell the story of his greatness. When Lam-ang returns home, he is a hero. The story ends with Lam-ang wooing and eventually marrying a beautiful woman named Ines. They lived together happily for the rest of their lives.

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