A closer look on Alamats, the legends of the Philippines.
When one wants to learn about a nation’s culture, all he has to do is divulge on a study of their literature. The Philippines is composed of 7,107 islands. These are inhabited by different ethnic groups with their own set of languages, values and cultures. The diversity of Philippine culture can be summed up in its diversified literature. Such stories tell a lot of the cultural and historical point of view of the people. It lets us a glimpse into their ways of living, beliefs and traditions and even their cultural development.
Philippine Literature can be studied into three distinct headings: (1) Pre-Colonial Era; (2) Colonial Era: (3) Modern Era. It is in the first era upon which Philippine Legends or Alamat fall into. Although, many of these stories have not been written down into manuscripts until the later era, they unmistakably belong to the Pre-Colonial Era where there was prevalent belief in the supernaturals and deities such as “diwata”, “diyos” , “diyosa”, “aswangs” and the like.
Long before science, our ancestors created stories to explain the different phenomena occurring in nature. The stories are to ease the fear they face with the changes happening around them, thus the birth of folktales, folklores, myths, legends, and Alamat.
Legends or Alamat relate the origins of local phenomena, places, plants, animals, things and names. These are stories which seek to explain how things came to be or why things happen. These are fictional works which have been handed down from generation to generation originally by word of mouth. Although, some legends or Alamat are funny, ridiculous or even impossible to us now, it would have seemed real and plausible to a developing culture whose only way of explaining a natural phenomena is through a supernatural occurrence or intervention.
Philippine Legends or Alamat can be classified based on the subjects they take upon such as: Alamat ng mga Prutas, Alamat ng mga Puno, Alamat ng mga Lugar, Alamat ng mga Hayop, etc. There are really countless subjects that can be written about and turn into Alamat as stories as such seek not only to explain how things came to be but also aim to incorporate values to the younger generation through a subtle but creative storyline.
This blogs devotes upon the diversified Philippine Legends or Alamat. The stories written here were either read, researched or heard upon. It may seem new to some or familiar to others. And then there are some who may even know a different version of it. But ultimately, the site aims to celebrate the development of Philippine Literature by going back to its primitive but beautiful aspect: the Pre-Colonial Era wherein the simple and moral legends and myths were written.