Lam-ang grappling the Berkakan

Biag ni Lam-ang (Life of Lam-ang) was a pre-Hispanic epic poem handed down from generation to generation by Ilocano people of the Philippines until it was written down by the legendary Ilocano poet, Pedro Bucaneg, around 1630.

Bucaneg, which is known to be blind since birth, was eventually known as the “Father of Ilocano Literature”. Equally to Bulacan’s “Balagtasan” of Francisco Balagtas, here in the North, we have “Bucanegan” in honor of Pedro Bucaneg.

Biag ni Lam-ang tells a story with epic grandeur and tales of borderline absurdity. This, I mean, is that on Namongan’s famous childbirth there were four people who would force Lam-ang out of Namongan’s womb.

And even so, Lam-ang manages to speak seconds after his birth, choose his own name and godparents, and vows to take vengeance against his father’s murderers as soon as he learned about it. He waited for nine months at his ancestral home at Nalbuan, now a part of La Union.

According to tradition, he, alone, would challenge an entire tribe of Igorots but left only one tribesman at his mercy and lived to tell the tale of his exploits.

The blood and dirt of all his fallen enemies would adhere to his skin. After the battle, he took a dip in the Amburayan River and upon immersion; upon the stench, all of the fish and aquatic life died as filth awash. Maidens of the nearby village attend to aid him soon after.

Yet, the story here is not the absurdity of desire or strength of Lam-ang’s revenge but his dedication to his beloved Ines Kannoyan who was known to have lived at Calanutian, Sinait, Ilocos Sur.

Ines Kannoyan was the embodiment of great beauty and many men would line up to woo her, in fact, even creatures and characters of mythology. Lam-ang encountered, one of which, the proud and pompous giant Sumarang to whom he would soon defeat in a duel.

And, Lam-ang took it to the extremes to make the lady’s attention his own; he sent two magical pets at her keeping. One of which is a white rooster, that its crow could tear an entire house apart, and then a gray dog, who could reassemble an entire building at his bark. And these took Ines’ parents’ attention.

Traditionally, men offer dowry twofold to all of the combined wealth of the woman they intend to marry, at least that was a challenge for Lam-ang. He offered two ships full of gold, this made the Kannoyan’s parents left in awe, and then they were married.

But these were not enough. Tradition also states that a newly married man should swim in the river in search of the elusive fish called “rarang”. And there, Lam-ang met the whopper of tides and waters, the Berkakan.

In Bucaneg’s manuscript, it is well debatable if the Berkakan was a Shark or a Crocodile, but logically, the location was a river, it must be a Crocodile.

Alas, in Berkakan’s mouth, Lam-ang faced his doom.

This edifice commemorates the epic battle of which Lam-ang soon recovered with the help of Ines and her magical pets. His bones were gathered. The rooster crows and the dog bark simultaneously. Soon, Lam-ang’s body was restored to life.

The epic of Lam-ang reflects the history and lore of the Ilocano people in the Philippines. With every twists and turn, the valiant and proud people from the North have endured across conquest, tribulations, and skirmishes.

Biag ni Lam-ang tells how in Ilocano society the love for our family and ties of blood is our best priority. Through it, Ilocandia never truly survived without the familial warmth.

Perhaps we will wrestle our own Berkakan, one day, in search of our own “rarang” not for ourselves but for the people who holds our deepest regards. One must be strong to accept and face the taunts of reality.

Here, at Kapurpurawan White Rock Formation at Burgos, Ilocos Norte, the effigy of the long remembered epic that stands up until today is waiting for every would-be tourist to turn their heads and reminisce the past, the origin, the tales, myths, and culture of Ilocano heritage and the lessons it conveys.

via Daily Prompt: Paragon


Frailties of a Strongman

The Hunger Games is actually an allegory of a democratic age when at a sudden one man found his way to power. Clad with the seemingly Lawful demands, white as snow, behind is an autocratic despot.

President Snow, the Ozymandias of Panem left by his people along with his ashes and a desert of sand as far as the eye could see.

Only a crumbled statue can tell his glory. The statue was stern and powerful. It perfectly resembles the personality of the ruler. The ruler was wicked but he cared for his people.

Little did he know, he cared for himself. He poisoned his enemies as much as he blight his country. None that is sore enough than his tongue of blood but a mouth full of lies.

“Look at me, I am awesome!” the inscription says. Only him could tell how awesome he was but there is no evidence, just a land ridden by dust and despair. Poor, poor President Snow like Ozymandias he was in self-glorification. But now he lies in pity.

He built walls, cities, buildings, and The Hunger Games to make his citizen forget what brutality there is that lies below his fingers; whatever the fickle minded puppets could do to please their master. Nothing but grandiose above and sheer ferocity below.

Little did he anticipated, a district that he thought was weak is strong enough to unseat him. How could he? He lusted for dominion, the only thing that comforts him. And, in the end, the only thing that destroyed him – the Mockingjay.

Remember his name, Corolianus Snow.

Look what he is now…

Lifeless here and nothing more.

via Daily Prompt: Uneven

Singles’ Policy

Why being single isn’t so bad after all?

We are all familiar in witnessing a couple cuddling, holding hands, smooching in public parks and all we might think, in inference, is how sweet and romantic they are. Some of our friends might be in a relationship too and they share to us a brief story of their experiences with their partner and how well they enjoy their partner’s company. We might also be familiar about the memes and inane depictions we see on social media regarding on being in a relationship compared to being single. We might often see pictures of both heterosexual and homosexual couples, posted in public visibility, about how they get along and how they love each other so much. We see it at first as a public display of affection but honestly there is a tingle of envy that lies somewhere inside of us.
Based on my own outlook in our social culture, there is an obscure divide between those who are in the relationship and those who are single (not to mention those friends who abandoned their friends just to have an intimate concentration in their new relationship); we think that to be in a relationship status is heavenly, glamorous, magical and it feels to be connected day by day and that in single life status we apt to feel miserable, pitiable, alone, unromantic of some sort and sometimes we likens it to being ugly which then causes insecurity, feeble signs of paranoia on growing old solo and sudden distress on our appearance.

Oh, no, no, no. Fear and fuss not. To be single is not entirely dismal but, in the other way around, even beneficial and favorable if we look at a certain perspective.

Let reason guide you with some of these opinions.

  • To love deeply means to suffer deeply.

    • We should be aware that a fairy-tale-like relationship is an odd, idealistic, ambitious and, more so often than not, very doubtful to happen. It is theoretically possible but as we should think more realistic it is somehow awfully unlikely in performance. As we know it, even long term or promising relationships can lead to unfortunate and negative endings. When the relationship do so meets its end the one which deeply fallen in love suffers the most costly backlash in recovery in emotional and psychological state.
    • That is because our attachment to one another, as humans, is made to last during the course of our evolution, when our attachment means our survival. But now, our attachment dictates that our dearly parted loved ones must become once again stay on our side yet they can stay no longer. So if you are new in a relationship and you are not warned in these predicaments better stay single until you are certain about the people you fall in love with. (Especially if you are planning to give the V-Card)
  • Passions can be temporary.
    • You, being at the receiving end of a hapless relationship, will grow weary of the fights, squabbles, nagging or infidelity your partner commits. And when we are piqued too much, we might stand and shout, “I had enough!”
    • Those who choose to be single shouldn’t be branded as unromantic at all. Actually, they might be romantic after all because they are careful not to end up at mediocre relationships which save others and one from boiling inner conflicts that seizes to explode.
    • Most of us, at first, might feel joyful and superb at the dawn of a relationship but when the fog starts to settle and the daybreak begins to scorch it is then we notice that something has changed in the way our partner deals with us. The mystery and excitement might have gone in the light of day. And it feels exhausting and that the laughter of our partner started to bore us. And when the sundown befalls us, we had enough. So we leave and find another one. Beginners or suitors do come jubilant and inviting in order to allure us because they expect something more from us, and when that expectation becomes insufficient your world can be as dark as night – as cynic as it may seem but passions really can be temporary.
  • We are not rational enough to be in a relationship.
    • It is rational and normal to be with someone or more specifically in a relationship; but it is even more rational to think that we cannot be with someone because we are not emotionally and psychologically prepared. Confusingly, we wanted to love and be loved at the same time. There are times we become subconsciously selfish and we collect every drop of love we deserve alright.
    • That is because we started to know love since we are a baby. As a child, it feels that our parents are always there to feed, clean, comfort, guide, support and carry us and he or she will go out as kind and cheerful no matter what. Our parents do not expose to us that they are tired, nearly sobbing, sleepy, angry, and growing impatient. Our relationship to our parents as an infant is almost and always one-sided; that they do not expect us to serve, comfort and feed them. As a child, we think that the spotlight is always on us that we don’t actually care about what our parents may feel about us but as long as they constantly take care of us we are satisfied.
    • That is why, as adults, when we say we wanted to be loved, we actually want to say that we wanted to be loved as our parents have loved us when we were once a child. There is no reciprocity as long as we receive care and attention from the person we love. We wanted our partner to give us what we want, be enormously tolerant and patient, selfless and just be willing to solve our own problems to make things better for our own. Point in fact; it is a catastrophe to any relationship especially if both of you longs to have the same. In our teen age, it is unlikely that we realize that kind of understanding because we are still a child in a developing body; unless you and your partner come up in to learn how to put yourselves ahead of significant others rather than acting childishly.
“The best guarantor of ending up in a good relationship is the capacity to be alone.”
-Alain de Botton
  • There are rooms for self-improvement.

    • Although being in a relationship also mean days of constant reminder that you are special, exceptional, beautiful and loving, it could also mean otherwise; that you’re difficult to please, strange and weird. Someone is there to make you accountable of a mistake, who blames you for the obstinate you are, to show you how deeply disappointing you are, someone who sees you routinely, and someone who shows you a mirror that you’re wrong. Coincidentally for you, if you’re single, you might manage to tolerate your own peculiarities and even adore them when you are on your own. #OnMyOwn
    • Without much person to rely and focus on, both the mind will work to for solely to you and you will be surprise to the wonders they carry. It is not necessarily inferior to be in a relationship for it is comforting but if you are single do not be upset because the mind creates a space for self-improvement. Why not channel that energy in loving the world – in that sense dream for the advancement of the society?
“Is it possible, finally, for one human being to achieve perfect nuderstanding of another? We can invest enormous time and energy in serious efforts to know another person, but in the end, how close are we able to come to that person’s essence? We convince ourselves that we know the other person well, but do we really know anything important about anyone?”
-Haruki Murakami
  • Predominant relationships’ configuration putrefies the true meaning of Love.
    • In the 17th Century, there is an emotional ideology called “Romanticism”. Hitherto, it developed in the minds of poets, artists, and philosophers alike and now consumed the idea of people on Love around the world up until now. The romantic outline took marriage as a necessary product of a promising, healthy, long lasting relationship. Then, Romanticism united the concept of Love and Sex. In it, Sex is a pure expression of Love and in consequence an irregular sex and adultery have been condemned. It also proposed that Love is the end of all loneliness, that a partner could understand us without even uttering a word! That our souls speak to each other in the same amplitude. (#SoulMate)
    • It came to a catastrophe when Romanticism also dictates that what matters beyond any consideration are feelings rather than reasonable thoughts. So far, it caused devastation to ordinary peoples relationships to live in fruitful emotional lives. That people only consider: people with inner and outer beauty strictly to be the one best for them without considering various details; they should feel from them joy in seeing them; keep no secrets from their partners; and they also expect that one’s relationship must stay persistently and that day-to-day problems are just challenges that needed to be conquered in order to last forever.
    • Romanticism has greatly affected our mind-set up until now. Considering the posts on social media about “Forever” and “Mr Right”, I do not doubt that Romanticism has been washed an inch or is removed from our culture even if the new millennium is in our time. When you’re newly or in a relationship or not, you must have expected that undeniably. And, a posteriori, when things are not on Romanticism’s’ point of view, your relationship will turn sour and in consequence end up in tears. Our contemporary customs and traditions about relationship must somehow be adjusted. In the meantime as the public is concern, relationships’ configuration today putrefies the true meaning of Love. And if you not knowledgeable enough on these matters to back yourself up then heartache is upon you.
The internal pressure building up drives us to find, in rush, the perfect, charming and elusive creature called the “Right One”. In the course of our modern world of social media, smart phones, computers, Wi-Fi, etc. our world became much smaller and our scope to peoples of the other side of the world has become utterly unlimited so we have set a sail on a modest venture to look for the one we are after; but in our determined stride of finding the “Right One” we meet of course the “Wrong One” and if you rush even more you can encounter a lot of heartaches and even end up marrying the “Wrong One”.
But if I am not so bold to ask myself, why am I not suggesting that it is like “more entries you send, more chances of winning” or in these case more chances of finding the “Right One”? If you are so keen on having many experiences why not; but is it really worth the cost? I leave the answers to you.
We should not be pushed to be in a relationship out of fear or shame of being alone later in life but in the essence that we love the person we are in a relationship no matter how long we wait rather than we are coerced to be into one.
For it is intrinsic to desire a partner, it must feel claustrophobic to be alone but you’re not alone actually. There are millions of unmarried people in the world clamoring and searching to find themselves from others and that won’t be a problem. Let us imagine and think that a genuine and special person as you are is worth finding painstakingly in the multitude. Yet of course, if we ignore the perils and troubles of the people who are in a relationship we might end up breathing the misery also.
The bottom line is we should not rush so much in being in a relationship or rush so much on choosing to be single. There are of course disadvantages on both statuses. Loneliness in the second whilst irritation, edginess, suffocation and disappointment in the first. To tell the truth, there will always be problems along the way whichever we select. However, if you’re not prepared to be in a relationship psychologically and emotionally it would be a bit much better to put your wager on the singles’ policy.
Theme Painting: “Alone in The Fog” – By Leonid Afremov
 *This piece of essay was inspired by Alain de Botton and The School of Life and, in addition, the incessant inferiority sensation that teenage girls and boys feel on their current status. The author wishes to advise that you are not at the disadvantage all in all. The author also wishes to thank the people who responded as he asked vis-à-vis what it feels to be single or what are the reasons that they are single. Credits and Praises are on you.
 *The words written above are merely opinions of the author or the product of his research and inquiry regarding the goodness and benefits it may occur on being single. If the words may be in somewhat displeasing to the reader, be reminded that article wishes to inform and comment in the most inoffensive possible way rather than hurt. Nonetheless, positive and negative comments are welcomed as the reader is free to commend or challenge the opinions and details above.
 *Research and other search materials have a huge credit amount to the following and to learn more about the topic you can click the links below:
Reasons to remain single
Loving and being loved
How Romanticism ruined Love