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The Epic of Aliguyon

In: English and Literature

Submitted By SteffieGanda
Words 1411
Pages 6
THE PROWESS OF ALIGUYON
Retold by: F. Landa Jocano
(Ifugao, Visayas)
Long ago in Hannanga there lived a rich couple, Amtulao and Dumulao. They owned the longest and widest of the rice terraces that covered the mountainsides, and their harvests were the most plentiful. Their thatched house, large enough to contain three of their neighbors’ huts, had piles of red and white camote. Buried in the earth were jars of rice wine. Amtulao’s dogs were fat and well fed, not lean and starved looking as were the dogs of his neighbors. But will all their wealth, Amtulao and Dululao were unhappy, for they were childless. They offered numerous sacrifices to the spirits; and they lived frugally and simply feeling somehow that austerity and lack of ostentation would please the anitos. In the end their prayers were answered, and Dumulao gave birth to Aliguyon, a sturdy and handsome child.
Even as an infant, Aliguyon was precocious. He quickly learned the songs with which his mother lulled him to sleep, and in no time he could recite the long prayers chanted by the warriors on Hannanga. He even knew by heart the village lore, the stories that the old folks of the village told, reciting them word for word as he had heard them in the cool evenings. But what pleased Amtulao most was Aliguyon’s skill with the spear and the shield. Amtulao made for him a little spear; and when at the age of three Aliguyon speared his first fish, Amtulao offered a pig as a sacrifice to the gods in thanksgiving. At five Aliguyon had speared wild chickens, at seven he was an accepted companion of Amtulao on hunting trips.
Among his playmates Aliguyon was a favorite. He was accepted as the leader, and no one challenged his leadership, for could he not spin a top better than anyone else? And could he not “kill” the strongest tops by hitting them with the pointed stem of his own top? Amtulao loved his...

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