Ancient Tagalog Deities in Philippine Mythology

This is something I just randomly run across with in research about Ancient Philippines mythology and thought it may not be bad to share with others reference link for its website is below:

Tagalog Deities in Ancient Philippine Mythology

The first part as shown below were the residents of Kaluwalhatian (the Ancient Tagalog Skyworld). The list is divided into generations based on common beliefs about the offspring of the gods.

FIRST GENERATION GODS:

Bathala – The supreme god of being; creator of man and earth and addressed sometimes as Bathalang Maykapal. He dwells in Kaluwalhatian together with the lesser gods and goddesses. Aside from the lesser gods and goddesses, he sent his anitos in order to assist the daily lives of every human. When most of the natives were converted to Christianity during the Spanish Era, he was referred to the Christian God. [Click here to learn more about Bathala]

Amanikable – Originally this god was worshipped as the god of Hunters. In more modern stories he has become associated as the ill-tempered god of the sea, replacing Aman Sinaya among of the first generation gods (aside from Bathala), he was never married after his love was spurned by a beautiful mortal maiden, Maganda. In frustration, he swore vengeance against the humans by sending turbulent waves and horrible tempests in order to wreck boats and to drown men.

Idiyanale – The goddess of labor and good deeds. Natives used to call for her guidance in order to make their works successful. She married Dimangan and had two offspring.
Dimangan The god of good harvest. He was married to Idiyanale and had two offspring.

Ikapati The goddess of cultivated land. She was the most understanding and kind among the deities of Bathala. Her gift to man was agriculture. As the benevolent giver of food and prosperity, she was respected and loved by the people. From her came fertility of fields and health of flocks and herds.

Ikapati was said to have married Mapulon, god of seasons. They had a daughter named Anagolay, who became the goddess of lost things. When Anagolay attained maidenhood, she married Dumakulem, son of Idianale and Dumangan, by whom she had two children, Apolake, who became god of the sun and patron of warriors, and Dian Masalanta, who became goddess of lovers.

Lakapati – Often confused with Ikapati from variant Tagalog pantheons, Lakapati was a major fertility deity. During sacrifices made in a new field, the farmer would hold up a child and say, “Lakapati, pakanin mo yaring alipin mo; huwag mong gutumin [Lakapati, feed this thy slave; let him not hunger]” (San Buenaventura 1613, 361).

Prominent among deities who received full-blown sacrifices were fertility gods. Lakapati, fittingly represented by a hermaphrodite image with both male and female parts, was worshiped in the fields at planting time.

Mapulon – The god of seasons and husband of Ikapati of whom they had a daughter.

SECOND GENERATION GODS:

Mayari – The goddess of the moon and one of the three daughters of Bathala by a mortal woman. She was the most charming of all the goddesses. She had two sisters, Tala and Hanan.

Tala – The goddess of the stars; sister of Mayari and Hanan and one of the three daughters of Bathala by a mortal woman.

Hanan – The goddess of morning; sister of Mayari and Tala and one of the three daughters of Bathala by a mortal woman.

Dumakulem – The strong, agile guardian of mountains and the son of Idiyanale and Dimangan. His sister was Anitun Tabu. He later married Anagolay.

Anitun Tabu – The fickle-minded goddess of wind and rain. She was the daughter of Idiyanale and Dimangan and the sister of Dumakulem.

Anagolay – The goddess of lost things and the only offspring of Ikapati and Mapulon. She was married to Dumakulem.

THIRD GENERATION GODS:

Apolaki – The god of sun and the chief patron of warriors. He was the son of Anagolay and Dumakulem.

Diyan Masalanta – The goddess of love, conception and childbirth and the protector of lovers. She was the daughter of Anagolay and Dumakulem and youngest of all the deities.

In Outline of Philippine Mythology , F. Landa Jocano wrote, “The ancient Tagalogs also believed in the final judgment of men—that is, the punishing of the evil and the rewarding of the good. The souls of good men were said to be taken to a village of rest called Maca, which resembled the Christian Paradise, where they enjoyed eternal peace and happiness. However, those who deserved punishment were brought to Kasanaan, the village of grief and affliction where they were tortured forever. These souls were kept there by the chief deity named Sitan .

I think it is important to say that there may not have ever been a Tagalog deity named Sitan, but instead a class of demons that embodied evil and punishment, called sitan – documented by Juan de Plasencia’s in 1589 Relation of the Worship of the Tagalogs, Their Gods, and Their Burials and Superstitions”:

“There were also other pagans who confessed more clearly to a hell, which they called, as I have said, casanaan; they said that all the wicked went to that place, and there dwelt the demons, whom they called sitan.”

With such a strong Islamic influence in the Tagalog region, the sitan may have been more like the Arabic zabaniyah – the forces of hell, who torment the sinners, also called the Angels of punishment or Guardians of Hell.

Jocano presents that Sitan was assisted by many mortal agents. The most wicked among them was Mangagauay . She was the one responsible for the occurrence of disease. She was said to possess a necklace of skulls, and her girdle was made up of several severed human hands and feet. Sometimes, she would change herself into a human being and roam about the countryside as a healer. She could induce maladies with her charms.

If she wished to kill someone, she did so by her magic wand. She could also prolong death, even for a number of months, by simply binding to the waist of her patient a live serpent which was believed to be her real self or at least her substance.

The second agent of Sitan was called Manisilat. She was sometimes known as the goddess of broken homes. She was said to be restless and mad whenever there was a happy home within sight. And when she was determined to destroy every such happy home, she would disguise as a woman healer or an old beggar, enter the dwelling of her unsuspecting victims, and then proceed with her diabolical aims. With the aid of her charms and magic powers, she would turn the husband and wife against each other. She was most happy when the couple quarreled and she would dance in glee when one of them would leave the conjugal home.

The third agent of Sitan was known as Mankukulam , whose duty was to emit fire at night, especially when the night was dark and the weather was not good. Like his fellow agents, he often assumed human form and went around the villages pretending to be a priest-doctor. Then he would wallow in the filth beneath the house of his victim and emit fire. If the fire was extinguished immediately, the victim would die.

The fourth such agent was called Hukloban . She had the power to change herself into any form she desired. In fact, some people said that she had greater power than Mangagauay. She could kill anyone by simply raising her hand. However, if she wanted to heal those whom she had made ill by her charms, she could do so without any difficulty. It was also said of her that she could destroy a house by merely saying that she would do so.
If she wished to kill someone, she did so by her magic wand. She could also prolong death, even for a number of months, by simply binding to the waist of her patient a live serpent which was believed to be her real self or at least her substance.

Some variations exist depending on what source material you are referencing. Some of these differences include:

  • In some sources, Bathala is the father of Apolaki, aside from Mayari and Tala hence excluding Hanan.
  • In some sources, Amanikable is referred as a sea deity of the Manobo tribe.
  • In some sources, Idiyanale is identified as the goddess of agriculture.
  • In some sources, aside from being a goddess of agriculture, Idiyanale is also identified as the goddess of animal husbandry.
  • In some sources, Lakapati is identified as a hermaphrodite and confused with the female deity Ikapati.
  • In some creation myth, Mayari is the sister of Apolaki.
  • In some sources, Mayari is identified as an one-eyed goddess.
  • In some creation myth, Tala is the sister of Mayari and Apolaki and the daughter of Bathala.
  • In some creation myth, Apolaki is the brother of Mayari and the son of Bathala.

Other Tagalog Deities in Philippine Mythology

The list includes the gods and goddesses who don’t have a unified pantheon within the Tagalog deities mentioned above.

Aman Sinaya – She is the primordial goddess of the ocean and protector of fishermen.

Galang Kaluluwa (Wandering Spirit) – The winged god present in some creation myths who loves to travel. He is identified as a close friend of Bathala.

Haik – god of the sea.

Lakambakod – The protector of the growing crops.

Lakambini – is know as the “pure maiden” for his incomparable beauty, ironic that he is a male diwata. He was originally known as the god of “kapurihan”(purity) and is also the god of food, festivity and anti-gluttony. worshiped mainly by men: they pray to Lakambini to let them find a beautiful maiden to wed. An obscure deity called “abogado dela garganta” (throat advocate) by the Spaniards and was turned into the god of gluttony.

Lingga – a phallic god.

Ulilang Kaluluwa (Orphaned Spirit) – It is a serpent god present in some creation myths that was killed by Bathala after an ensuing rival.

Link reference: https://www.aswangproject.com/ancient-tagalog-deities-in-philippine-mythology/

Additional source: https://filipiknow.net/philippine-mythology-gods-and-goddesses/

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Wow. Thanks for that information. Always welcome the opportunity to learn about a new pantheon!

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This is fascinating! Thank you for sharing! :smiley:

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You’re welcome, @Amethyst and @wade , I’m glad others found this to be interesting as well

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Thank you :heartpulse: I’ve bookmarked it so i can read it all properly :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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This is super interesting. I started reading about the Bathala (Philippine mythology) and I learned that their shamans (Babaylan) were treated as witches during the Spanish rule, and forced to convert.

I found an article about them, they were usually women who worked as mediums and also healers.

Thanks for sharing this part of your cultural background, Margaret!

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Yep, You’re welcome too @Liisa and @Francisco ,

If I could find even just one in this era from the mountains in the future…there goes a potential period of learning for me both in learning any sort of herbal recipes from the country to ointments (if any of it’s oral knowledge ever did manage to survive). That’s usually why most of the ancient traditions are passed down in the provincial places away from society.

Babaylans before are either healers, mediums or in an extraordinary case also known as warriors, I don’t know if I’ll ever reach the level of Head Apprentice there if it returns but if I’m given the chance, I’ll join and attempt it, to me there’s no harm in learning their side too. I may end up calling Bathala as Abba or Odin or Zeus instead (the connection to lightning)

Link: https://www.centerforbabaylanstudies.org/history & Decolonizing as a Spiritual Path- Leny Strobel, Center of Babaylan Studies - YouTube

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I’m watching the video on decolonizing as a spiritual path and it is so interesting! Whichever path you take, I think you’re on the right track today. Great resources, thank your for sharing them!

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You’re welcome @Francisco ,

I had watched the link an hour or two ago, while I’m not doing any school theoretical or practical work, I’d view or read the history and the sort of legacy others would want to leave behind. If not I’m studying Shogi basics, I’ve got a long list to study in it considering this is a board game studied for years by other athletes in it, professional or not

Blessed Be,
Martinez, Margaret

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