Balladeer’s Blog concludes its examination of this epic myth of the Bukidnon people of the Philippines.
Alisngaran, the favorite disciple of Baybayan, stood beside the woman he loved and continued wielding his kampilan sword against the trio of attacking giants. Whenever his kampilan – so heavy no other mortal man could lift it – sliced off the head or one of the limbs of the giants the other two would intensify their attack until the head or limb of the third could grow back.
Meanwhile, on board the flying ship the Salimbal the demigod Baybayan, whose divine senses could see what was transpiring back on the Earth, again caused a mental image of himself to appear to Alisngaran and his beloved. (The names of many of the women in Philippine myths are unknown because their “holy men” considered the names too sacred to share with outsiders.)
Baybayan pleaded with his favorite follower to abandon his battle with the giants and join the rest of his hundreds of surviving disciples on the trip to Skyland, the home of the gods. Alisngaran complied, grabbing his woman with one arm as Baybayan tried levitating the couple upward toward the faraway Salimbal. The weight of Alisngaran’s mighty kampilan prevented the pair from rising very far, however.
Thinking quickly Alisngaran broke off the tip of his sword and had his fiancee swallow it for safekeeping. He asked Baybayan to levitate the woman up to the Salimbal first and the demigod did so, while his favorite follower fought off the three giants with the remainder of his kampilan. Now it was Alisngaran’s turn to be transported to the divine ship.
The heroic figure dropped his sword and, without its incredible weight as a burden, he was levitated so quickly that he overshot the Salimbal and arrived at the gates of Skyland well ahead of the divine craft. Back on the Earth the trio of giants each wanted Alisngaran’s sword as a trophy and weapon for themselves. They fought over it with such intensity that they wound up killing each other, ending their menace to the people of Bukidnon.
Back at the gates of Skyland, Alisngaran greeted the arriving Salimbal. Baybayan was delighted to be reunited with his favorite follower and after they said their warm hellos to each other Alisngaran was about to search for his betrothed among the masses of arriving disciples. Before he could begin his search the god who guarded the gates of Skyland interrupted.
Malagonot, one of the unmarried deities of Skyland, was the guardian god of the gates to the heavenly realm. As such he was also the keeper of the Salimbal. Malagonot performed a cavity search (yes, really) on each of Baybayan’s disciples as they disembarked from the divine ship. This was done to ensure that they were not trying to smuggle any of their worldly possessions into the land of the gods.
One by one the followers of Baybayan were cleared to enter Skyland. The gods – who considered Earth women to be more beautiful than the goddesses of the heavenly realm – immediately laid claim to any of the arriving female disciples who were not married.
Malagonot himself laid claim to the beloved of Alisngaran since she was the most beautiful mortal woman ever born. He was so awestruck by her loveliness that he felt it would be disrespectful to do a cavity search on her so he permitted her to enter Skyland immediately. Alisngaran embraced her but Malagonot ordered him away from her.
In the ensuing argument Baybayan sought to intercede on behalf of Alisngaran but the other gods decided the matter must be taken before the supreme deity Magbabaya. As that chief deity sat in judgment on the matter Baybayan pleaded his disciple’s case while Malagonot represented himself.
After hearing out both sides Magbabaya announced that he sensed the woman in question was hiding something. At that she revealed that she still had the tip of Alisngaran’s sword, which she had swallowed. Because Malagonot’s infatuation with the woman had caused him to shirk his duty by not subjecting her to a search which would have revealed what she had smuggled into Skyland it was decided by Magbabaya that the guardian god had forfeited his claim on her.
Alisngaran and his beloved were considered joined forever from that point on. Magbabaya soothed Malagonot’s feelings by promising him that the very next time such a beautiful woman was born on Earth she would belong to him. It was decided that the Salimbal would not be sent back down to the Earth for any more mortals until that woman was born.
Meanwhile, the demigod Baybayan was granted a portion of Skyland as his kingdom, where he and his followers would dwell in happiness and glory for all eternity.
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