The Visayan God and Goddess, Lidagat and Lihangin
and the Visayan Creation Myth.
Mythology from the Philippines
There was no land,no sun, nor moon, nor stars and the world was only a great sea of water, above which stretched the vast and empty sky. There were no humans yet and the gods were so blissful and happy that the idea of making them never crossed their minds. The water was the kingdom of the god Maguayan and the sky was ruled by his brother Kaptan, the great sky god.
Maguayan had a daughter he named Lidagat, for she was born of the sea, and Kaptan, who had a son who loved to ride the wind, who he named Lihangin. On a very fine and beautiful day—for, during that time the gods never created a day other than so—Lihangin, as usual on his steed, on one of his little adventures chanced upon the lovely Lidagat, and both fell in love. The gods agreed to the marriage of their children,and so the sea became the bride of the wind.
In due time, a daughter and three sons were born to Lidagat and Lihangin. The sons were called Likalibutan (whose name means the whole of the world), Liadlao (the day) and Libulan (the calm and serene moon); the daughter received the name of Lisuga (the light).
The children of Lihangin and Lidagat
Likalibutan had a body of rock and was strong and brave; Libulan was made of copper and was weak and timid; Liadlao was formed of gold and was always happy; and the beautiful Lisuga had a body of pure silver and was sweet and gentle. Their parents were very fond of them and nothing was wanting to make them happy.
After a time Lihangin died and left the control of the winds to his eldest son Likalibutan. The faithful wife Lidagat, forlorn and lonely and missing her husband, soon followed him, and the children, now grown up, were left without father or mother. However, their grandfathers, Kaptan and Maguayan, were as equally fond of them as them as their parents were, and so took care of the four children and guarded them from all evil.
After some time, Likalibutan, proud of his power over the winds and forgetting that his grandfather loved him with all his heart and sheltered him from harm, resolved to gain more power, and asked his brothers to join him in an attack on Kaptan in the sky above. They refused at first, but when Likalibutan, whose temper he inherited from the very god he was plotting against, became angry with them, the amiable Liadlao, not wishing to offend his brother, agreed to help. Then together they induced the timid Libulan to join in the plan.
When all was ready, the three brothers rushed at the sky, but they could not beat down the gates of steel that guarded the entrance. Likalibutan, a confident and proud grin on his face, turned to his brothers and slashed his arms harshly towards the gates in a great show of power; by doing so he let loose the strongest winds and blew the bars in every direction. The brothers rushed into the opening, but were met by their grandfather, the angry god Kaptan. So terrible did he look that they turned and ran in terror. Both Likalibutan’s power and temperament paled greatly against the elder deity.Kaptan, furious at the destruction of his gates, sent three bolts of lightning after them.
The first bolt hit the copper Libulan and melted him into a ball. The second struck the golden Liadlao and he too was melted, and turned into a sphere of gold. The third bolt struck Likalibutan, and his rocky body broke into many pieces and fell into the sea. So huge was he that parts of his body stuck out above the water and became what is known as land.
In the meantime the gentle Lisuga had missed her brothers and started to look for them. They had loved her just as dearly, and agreed that their sister must not be brought into their plan, as it would have been too dangerous for her. And so unknowing of the chaos above she went toward the sky, and as she approached the broken gates, Kaptan, blind with anger, struck her too with lightning, and her silver body broke into thousands of pieces. Thus Lisuga died at the hands of her grandfather, because of her brothers, and without ever knowing why. In the otherworld, Lihangin and Lidagat wept at the ignominious end of their beloved children.
Kaptan then came down from the sky and tore the sea apart, calling on Maguayan to come to him and accusing him of ordering the attack on the sky. Soon Maguayan appeared and answered that he knew nothing of the plot as he had been asleep deep in the sea. After some time, he succeeded in calming his very angry brother. Together they wept at the loss of their grandchildren, especially the gentle and beautiful Lisuga, but even with their powers, they could not restore the dead back to life. However, they gave to each body a beautiful light that will shine forever.
And so it was the golden Liadlao who became the sun and the copper Libulan, the moon, while Lisuga’s pieces of silver were turned into the stars of heaven. To wicked Likalibutan, the gods gave no light, but resolved to make his body support a new race of people. So Kaptan gave Maguayan a seed and he planted it on one of the islands.
Soon a bamboo tree grew up, and from the hollow of one of its branches a man and a woman came out. The man’s name was Sikalac, and the woman was called Sikabay. They were the parents of the human race. Their first child was a son whom they called Libo; afterwards they had a daughter who was known as Saman. Pandaguan was a younger son and he had a son called Arion.
Pandaguan was very clever and invented a trap to catch fish. The very first thing he caught was a huge shark. When he brought it to land, it looked so great and fierce that he thought it was surely a god, and he at once ordered his people to worship it. Soon all gathered around and began to sing and pray to the shark. Suddenly the sky and sea opened, and the gods came out and ordered Pandaguan to throw the shark back into the sea and to worship none but them.
All were afraid except Pandaguan. He grew very bold and answered that the shark was as big as the gods, and that since he had been able to overpower it he would also be able to conquer the gods. Then Captan, hearing this, struck Pandaguan with a small thunderbolt, for he did not wish to kill him but merely to teach him a lesson. Then he and Maguayan decided to punish these people by scattering them over the earth, so they carried some to one land and some to another. Many children were afterwards born, and thus the earth became inhabited in all parts.
Pandaguan did not die. After lying on the ground for thirty days he regained his strength, but his body was blackened from the lightning, and all his descendants ever since that day have been black.
His first son, Arion, was taken north, but as he had been born before his father’s punishment he did not lose his color, and all his people therefore are white.
Libo and Saman were carried south, where the hot sun scorched their bodies and caused all their descendants to be of a brown color.
A son of Saman and a daughter of Sikalac were carried east, where the land at first was so lacking in food that they were compelled to eat clay. On this account their children and their children’s children have always been yellow in color.
And so the world came to be made and peopled. The sun and moon shine in the sky, and the beautiful stars light up the night. All over the land, on the body of the envious Licalibutan, the children of’ Sikalac and Sikabay have grown great in numbers.