Before the Spanish colonized the Philippines, there were classical epic poems that exist to this day that Filipinos are proud to possess.
Before 1565, the year that Spain discovered and colonized the Philippines, there existed published written classical epic poems in the Philippines. They were written in the Malaysian dialect of the specific province or island from which the epic poem was written. Here are those classical Filipino epic poems.
This epic poem was written in the province of Kalinga in Luzon, Philippines in the Kalingan written dialect. The central hero in this epic poem is Banna, and his romance with a young woman named Laggunawa.
This epic poem was written in Western Visayas islands in the island of Panay, Philippines. It is 8,340 lines long in the written dialect of Panay. The poem deals with three brothers, Labaw Donggon, Humadapnon and Dumalapdap. This epic poem is considered the longest and most famous epic poem of the Visayas islands in the Phillipines.
This epic poem was written in the island of Mindanao, Philippines in the Mindanao written dialect. Prince Bantugan is the main character. He has a magic sword called a Kampilan and uses it to embark on adventures to glorify his village called Bembaran. The pride of Mindanaoan people! It is similar to The Iliad.
This epic poem was written in Mindanao, Philippines, in the province of Lanao in the written dialect of Mindanao. Emperor Indarapatra is the main character, who kills a monster.
5. Biag ni Lam-Ang
This epic poem was written in in the province of Ilocos in Luzon, Philippines in 1640 by the blind Ilocano Filipino Pedro Bucaneg in the Ilocano written dialect. It is considered the greatest epic poem of the Ilocano people of the Philippines. Lam-Ang is the main character and hero. The epic poem deals with Lam-Ang’s adventures that made him a hero for the Ilocano people.
This epic poem was written in the island of Iliolo in Western Visayas islands, Philippines in a mixture of both the written Hilagaynon and Kinaray-e dialects. This epic poem is a history poem about the origins of the Panay people before the arrival of the Spanish. It was written by Pedro Alcantara Monteclaro in 1907. It is considered by Filipinos as a masterpiece of Visayan literature.
7. Hari Sa Bukid
This epic poem was written in southern Luzon, Philippines in the province of Negros in the written dialect of Tagalog. The epic poem was about the hero, Ari Sa Bikud, a king of a certain tribe in southern Luzon. The epic is a famous folk legend among the people of Negros.
This epic poem was written in Ifugao, a province in Luzon, Philippines in the Ifugoan written dialect. The central hero of the epic poem is Aliguyon, a warrior who possessed incredible powers and Herculean strength. He is considered the Hercules of the Philippines! This epic is similar to the legend of Hercules in Greece!
This epic poem was written in the province of Bicol, Philippines. The hero of the epic is Hiandong, a great warrior who fights a cyclops monster and a winged Tiburon monster in many of his adventures. A fantasy epic akin to Hercules and Sinbad legends!
This epic poem was written by the Bagobo tribe of Mindanao, Philippines in the Mindanao written dialect. The epic poem deals with the hero, Tuwaang who possesses great powers and embarks on great adventures.
These are the ten famous classical epic poems of Filipino literature before the arrival of the Spanish. They are of Malaysian origin, indicating the true Asian origins of the people of the Philippines.