The Visayan Creation Myth
Each region and ethnic group in the Philippines has their own creation myth. Here is the origin of the world as told by the ancient Visayans.
The Visayan Creation Myth
In the beginning, the world was only a great sea of water under the sky. The sea was the domain of the goddess Magwayen, while the god Kaptan ruled the sky.
The two gods were constantly at war until they decided to unite through the marriage of their children, Lidagat and Lihangin. Lidagat was Magwayen’s daughter and goddess of the sea, while Lihangin was Kaptan’s son and god of the wind.
They had four children – Likalibutan, the eldest son, had a body of rock and was strong and brave; Liadlaw, the second son, was made of gold and was happy-go-lucky; Libulan, the youngest son, was made of copper and was timid; and Lisuga, their only daughter, was made of silver and was sweet and gentle.
When Lihangin died he left control of the winds to Likalibutan. Soon after Lidagat also died, and Magwayen, in her grief, followed her daughter to the underworld.
Likalibutan soon grew proud and sought to gain more power. He asked his brothers to join him in an attack on the sky realm of Kaptan.
The three brothers charged through the gates of Kaptan’s palace, where they were met by the angry god himself. The sky darkened with the fury of the sky god, so the three brothers fled in fear. In his rage, Kaptan sent three lighting bolts after his grandsons. The first struck Libulan and melted his copper body into a ball. The second melted the golden Liadlaw. The third shattered Likalibutan’s rocky body into many pieces that fell into the sea.
Meanwhile, Lisuga went in search of her brothers and looked for them in the sky. Blinded by anger, Kaptan struck her with lightning and shattered her silver body into thousands of pieces.
Kaptan then called Magwayen, blaming her for the attack. Magwayen denied this saying she was asleep under the sea. The two gods wept at the loss of their grandchildren, but could not revive them.
So instead they gave each of them a light to shine in the sky forever.
The golden Liadlaw became the sun.
Lisuga's shattered silver body became the stars.
Copper Liadlaw became the moon.
To the evil Likalibutan they gave no light, but made him the land upon which would support a new race of people.
Kaptan then took one of the silver shards of Lisuga's body and planted in the earth. A bamboo plant soon sprouted and from one of its hollows came a man and a woman. These were Sikalak and Sikabay, and from them came the human race.