By: Mark Barba
IP411: Ilokano Literature in Translation/English
Biag ni Lam-ang, which translates into “Story of the Life of Lam-ang”, is the epic story of the Ilokano people. Lam-ang is a man who comes from a prominent family in his hometown in which they all an array of special abilities. The story begins with the preparation of the birth of Lam-ang. It was crucial process by which many traditions needed to be followed in order to have a promising birth. Lam-ang was born an extraordinary infant by which he had the attributes of a matured man. Also, he possessed magical powers in which he is able to anticipate things. He would properly refer to his mother, Namongan, by her first name and also ask many insightful questions for his knowledge. One question that Lam-ang had was why his father absent. Namongan had told the new born Lam-ang that his father went to war to fight the Igorots. This news made Lam-ang determined to find him. He set himself on a journey to find him and on his way he had a dream in which it revealed that his father had already passed away. Startled by his dream, Lam-ang immediately sets forth to where his father was. His dream was indeed true and found himself facing an army of Igorots. During this battle it showcased his dynamic war skills. Lam-ang murdered everyone in sight and for his last kill, he completely disfigured him. After gaining success and a stronger reputation, Lam-ang desired a wife. He was extremely interested in a woman named Dona Ines Kannoyan. This woman had a reputation for disliking even richest of men. Despite this, Lam-ang remained persistent and took another journey in hopes of marrying her. To the surprise of many, Dona Ines Kannoyan agreed to wed with Lam-ang. The final journey of Lam-ang was to dive for rarang. This had been claimed as the monster fish of the sea. Before setting out to the sea, Lam-ang had a premonition of him dying by the fish. He foresaw that if the staircase would topple and crush their stove, he was dead. Lam-ang continued to the sea and his premonition was indeed true. The news reached Kannoyan and left her devastated. This would not be the case for long. The cock and dog of Lam-ang promised her that if the bones of Lam-ang were to be found, they would be able to resurrect him back to life. Marcos, a skilled diver, was assigned to find the remains of Lam-ang and did so successfully. The story ends with Lam-ang coming back to life and living happily ever after with Kannoyan.