Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Long ago, the land of Ibalon, known as Bicol, was a land of lush and virginal beauty, but no one lived there.

One day, a mighty warrior called Baltog came upon the land. The richness and beauty of the region made him decide to take his family and his workers to this wonder place. Here they lived in peace and prosperity.

But one day, the tranquility of their lives was threatened by a huge man-eating wild boar. The ferocious beast destroyed the linsa or gabi plants and other crops as well. It also killed people. Soon, vast areas in Ibalon were reduced to waste, and countless people were either killed or maimed. Baltog was dumb-founded as he surveyed the depredation wrought on his kingdom.

Leaving his home under the cover of the night, he went to the muddy fields to wait for his enemy.

Baltog waited for long, long time. Finally, when the moon was bright, the man-eating boar came snorting and tearing crops as it went along. Baltog hid under the bushes. When the boar came within reach, he sprang at it. Man and beast tumbled to the ground in mortal combat. Fortunately, Baltog was able to pin down the beast and summoning all his strength, he finally subdued the boar, not with a spear, but breaking its super-sized jaws with his own strong arms. Baltog’s victory put an end to a terror that had ravished his kingdom for a time.

Ibalon, however, saw few years of peace. One day, huge carabaos followed by winged sharks and giant crocodiles rushed to Ibalon. Every mortal was in fright: death and destruction took a heavy toll. The mighty Baltog could no longer defend his kingdom, for years had sapped his strength. Defenseless, Ibalon had become an easy prey.

Luck, however, was still with Ibalon. On that tragic day, Handiomg, a mighty warrior of the neighboring kingdom, happened to pass by Ibalon. Handiong came to the rescue.

Handiong and his brave seasoned men threw themselves at the stampeding and winging wild enemies. For untold hours, Ibalon saw mortal combat. Blood flowed freely over the land and the streams. One by one, they slew the beasts.

Only one monster escaped Handiong’s mortal blows. This was Oriol., the serpent who could transform itself into a beautiful woman. With her seductive words, she enticed him. But Handiong pursued her through the forest without rest. To save itself, the she-snake struck an alliance with Handiong. She promised to drivethe evil spirits out of the mountains if Handiong would leave her alone. And at last, peace came to Ibalon again.

Handiong encouraged the people to plant, invent farming equipments, build banca and houses. Under his wise administration, Ibalon became rich and peaceful again.

Outside Handiong’s domain, there appeared another threat to his kingdom. This time it was Rabut, a far more terrible monster, for under its spell, mortals could turn to stone.

Handiong called his friend and companion, the mighty Bantong, to deal with the enemy. Together with a handful of men, Bantong raided the monster’s lair. He found the enemy taking its nap. With a cat-like agility, Bantong delivered a mortal blow at the monster’s neck. The wounded monster cried in agony, and in his struggle for breath, the earth cracked and the water in the sea rolled landward.

Ibalon underwent great physical change. New island beagn to dot the water near the peninsula. Finally, a tall and perfect cone reared its head to lord over the leveled ruins. This perfect cone is now known as Mayon Volcano.

Thus ends Ibalon.


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