Ama-Ron or Amaron is a character in Philippine mythology of whom little is known. His story is more common in the southern parts of Luzon, figuring mostly in folk songs. Like most male Filipino mythological heroes, he is described as an attractive, well-built man who exemplifies great strength. Ama-ron is unique, however, due to his apparent lack of an origin myth.
Etymology and possible history
The name Ama-ron is believed to have come from the Tagalog words Ama (Father) and Roon (There) therefore Ama roon (Father is there). The basic unit of settlement on 14th century Philippines is called a Barangay led by a Datu. The title Datu is reserved for ancient tribal chieftains and monarchs in pre-Hispanic Philippines. Ama-ron is believed to be a Datu of a similar-sounding name. Songs and poems may have been created telling of Ama-ron to strengthen their barangay's image and stature among nearby tribes.
The accent and phonology on which Ama-ron is pronounced is more similar to that of the earliest Batangueño dialect which can also be heard on folk songs of Ama-ron. The Batangan dialect, being closer to Old Tagalog than any other, shows that the root of Ama-ron's mythological history is older than what people believed since Southern Tagalog and Visayan Regions were the first areas of settlements.
In modern culture
The lack of knowledge on the Ama-ron legend can be traced to the medium of its transmission. His legend is mostly preserved through oral tradition as a children's bedtime tale and story, known as hele – a custom gradually waning in popularity.
- Eugenio, Damiana (2002). Philippine Folk Literature: The Legends. University of the Philippines Press. pp. 4–5. ISBN 971-542-357-4.
- Lopez, Mellie Leandicho (31 January 2008). A Handbook of Philippine Folklore. University of the Philippines Press. p. 520. ISBN 978-971-542-514-8.
- Barangay-Sixteenth Century Philippine Culture and Society by William Henry Scott
- Philippine Folklore Stories by John Maurice Miller