Deities of Philippine mythology

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The deities of Philippine mythology are the gods and goddesses (natively called anito in the north and diwata in the central and south) worshiped by Filipinos before the Christianization of the natives. These deities form part of anitism, commonly referred in the West as Philippine mythology, which was the dominant religion in the archipelago for more than a millennium prior to colonization. These deities and their stories have similar elements and characteristics when compared to other mythologies, especially in Asia and Oceania. As the majority of pre-colonial societies in the Philippines prior to Spanish colonization viewed everything in balance, many gods and goddesses of these societies were depicted to possess both female and male personifications or the personifications of an opposite gender, in line with the same gender balance personifications in many indigenous mythologies in Southeast Asia and Oceania. This "no official gender" characteristic of deities in Anitism is backed by the indigenous words for them, as both anito and diwata connoted neutral terms, neither masculine nor feminine – the very reason why some deities have a variety of male, female, or boundary forms. These "shared beliefs" in balancing gender personifications upholds the theory that some Southeast Asians migrated towards other islands and later towards Oceania, bringing with them portions of their culture.

List of gods and goddesses[edit]

The deities (anitos and diwatas) in Anitism vary among the many indigenous ethnic groups of the Philippines. Each ethnic group has their own distinct pantheon of deities. Some deities of ethnic groups have similar names or associations, but remain distinct from each other as the ethnic groups's culture are distinct and unique on their own.

Some ethnic groups have a supreme deity, while others revere ancestor spirits and/or the spirits of the natural world. The usage of the term "diwata" is mostly found in the central and southern Philippines while the usage of "anito" is found in the northern Philippines. There is also a 'buffer zone' area where both terms are used interchangeably. The etymology of diwata may have been derived from the Sanskrit word, devata, meaning "deity", while anito's etymology may have been derived from the proto-Malayo-Polynesian word qanitu and the proto-Austronesian qanicu, both meaning "ancestral spirits". Both diwata and anito can be translated into deities (gods and goddesses), ancestral spirits, and/or guardians, depending on the associated ethnic group. Each of the supreme deities per ethnic people is completely distinct, even if some of their names are the same or almost the same.[1][2][3]

Aside from the supreme deities per ethnic pantheon, there are also other deities who are ruled by the supreme deity of certain ethnic groups. All deities of various ethnic groups in the Philippines must be treated as existing and prevalent, as they are still believed by many societies, the same way Christians believe in a supreme god they refer as 'God' and the same way Muslims believe in god they refer as 'Allah'. Below are some of the deities per ethnic group:

Ancient Tagalog deities[edit]

This section includes Ancient Tagalog deities from a certain pantheon story. The ancient Tagalog people used to cover the following: present-day Calabarzon region except the Polilo Islands, northern Quezon, Alabat island, the Bondoc Peninsula, and easternmost Quezon; Marinduque; Bulacan except for its eastern part; and southwest Nueva Ecija, as much of Nueva Ecija used to be a vast rainforest where numerous nomadic ethnic groups stayed and left. When the Kingdom of Tondo expanded its domain, swallowing the Bicol region except Masbate and Catanduanes, the entire Central Luzon region, Nueva Viscaya, La Union, and Benguet, the Tagalogs remained in their core zones and did not impose a migration policy. during When the Kingdom of Tondo fell due to the Spanish the Tagalog-majority areas grew through Tagalog migrations in portions of Central Luzon and north Mimaropa as a Tagalog migration policy was implemented by Spain. This was continued by the Americans when they defeated Spain in a war. There have been attempts to restore the Tagalog indigenous religion as the religion for the Tagalog people.

The territories where the ancient Tagalog pantheon was worshipped were the areas that were under Tagalog-majority influence prior to the biggest expansion of the Kingdom of Tondo. During that time, Hinduism in the Philippines#HistoryHindu influences in customs and traditions were present due to trade with other Asian independent or vassal states. The first part as shown below are the residents of Kaluwalhatian (the abode of the gods, roughly corresponding to the Christian idea of Heaven). The term, anito, has three meanings. The first is deity (gods and goddesses including Bathala and the lower deities living and not living in Kaluwalhatian. The second is non-ancestral spirits, the beings sent by Bathala along with the deities to aid mankind in everyday life. These non-ancestral spirit anitos can be formless or possess forms of various beings. The last is ancestral spirits, the souls of human beings who have passed on. These ancestral spirit anitos can also be summoned by Bathala to aid their relatives and descendants in special cases, usually through dreams or flickers of light. Aside from the anitos, there are also beings lower than them. These beings are diverse in forms and are considered as monsters (example is the aswang) and/or guardians (example is the tikbalang) that roam the world along with mankind. These beings usually reside within the confines of nature, but when disturbed, can inflicts severe damages to man and even cause death. Tagalogs who had spiritual prowess to contact the deities and anitos were known as katolanon. The katolanon, being the spiritual leader and personified contact to the deities, also assumed the role of the datu if the datu has not yet returned from his travels. He also acts as the datu during transition periods, where the official datu (leader) has yet to be chosen. Like the datu, the katolanon may be male or female. Katolanon may choose to have a wife or husband as partner with his or her spiritual activities, regardless of gender. The katolanon, male or female, usually has a female gender expression, according to Spanish accounts. The reason for this is because a female expression is the embodiment of natural spiritual balance, and is pleasing to the Tagalog deities. In times when certain barangays choose to establish a unification pact with other barangays, the datus of each barangay will vote among themselves who will be considered as the lakan (also known as punong datu), which is regarded as the head of all the datus within the pact. To establish the pact, a sandugo or blood compact is made. The katolanan of the datu, that was made into lakan, is also uplifted into the title of punong katalonan (head katolanan).[2]

The belief in trinity deities from Asian cultures is also found in the Tagalog religion. But unlike other religions, where the membership of the trinity of deities is retained from the beginning up to the end, the Tagalog trinity deities have made numerous changes in composition. The first trinity was composed of Bathala, Ulilang Kaluluwa, and Galang Kaluluwa. Ulilang Kaluluwa was later on killed by Bathala, while Galang Kaluluwa died from an illness. The second trinity comprised Bathala, Aman Sinaya, and Amihan. Aman Sinaya later on chose to dwell underneath the ocean while Amihan chose to travel the middleworld. The third trinity comprised Bathala, Lakapati, and Meylupa. Meylupa was later replaced by Sitan after Meylupa chose to become a hermit. Bathala later on died (or went into a deep slumber according to other sources), while Lakapati continued her role as the pantheon's major fertility deity. The final trinity comprised Mayari, Apolaki, and Sitan.[4]

Name God(dess) of ... Generation
Bathala Sometimes referred as Abba, he is the supreme god of being; creator of man and earth and addressed sometimes as Bathalang Maykapal. He dwells in Kaluwalhatian together with the lesser gods and goddesses. Aside from the lesser gods and goddesses, he sent his anitos (ancestral spirits of mankind) in order to assist the daily lives of every human. The term anito can also be used for gods and goddesses, as ancestors can be "deified" (turn to deities). He provided everything mankind needed, to a point where he spoiled them too much, hence, the Tagalog philosophy of bahala na (what comes will come, let it be). However, despite his intense kindness and love for mankind, he has also the capability to punish mankind through famine, diseases, and "natural" calamities. When he went into a deep slumber, he let Apolaki (his grandson who would later be known as his son) and Mayari (his daughter) rule in his place. This action led to the pre-colonial Tagalog notion that the younger generations also have the capability to become leaders. Many datus (community leaders) during the pre-colonial era were young men and women. In some accounts during the Spanish occupation, Bathala was not in deep slumber, but 'died' instead. This source is believed to have been crafted by Spanish friars so that Tagalogs at the time would stop believing in Bathala and would instead embrace the Christian God who the friars branded as 'undying', and therefore 'more powerful'. When most of the natives were converted to Christianity during the Spanish era, Bathala was referred interchangeably by many as the Christian God, as the natives would not let his name be forgotten despite threats from the Spanish colonialists and friars. Researchers have suggested that Bathala's name is Hindu in origin as it comes from the Sanskrit word, bhattara, meaning noble lord. In Tagalog polytheism, the tigmamanukan omens (which can be a bird, lizard, or snake) were Bathala's emblems. In some accounts, Bathala chose the tigmamanukan creatures, especially the bird, as his messengers as they look like the bird form of his friend, Amihan, one of the five primordial deities. A tigmamanukan omen bird was used by Bathala to split the bamboo that would let out the first man, Malakas, and woman, Maganda. The tigmamanukan omens were also used by Bathala to warn mankind if they should continue or discontinue their journey. If a traveler sees a tigmamanukan omen, and it passes from right to left, then it symbolizes a labay (Bathala's approval to proceed with the journey). If the tigmamanukan omen passes from left to right, the traveller should not proceed, or else he or she will never return. According to Tagalog elders, the tigmamanukan omen birds had blue strikes on their feathers and live in the mythical Mount Batala (a mountain dedicated to Bathala). According to research, the most probable bird species qualified as a tigmamanukan omen bird, as described by elders, is the fairy bluebird from the genus Irena.[5] Other children of Bathala include Hanan, Tala, Hangin, Kidlat, Tag-ani, Liwayway, and Bighari.[6] First[A]
Amanikable Originally worshiped as the god of hunters who provided good game to his followers. He gave titles to people who proved their prowess in hunting. In later stories, he has become associated as the husky, ill-tempered god of the sea, replacing Aman Sinaya as god of the sea after Aman Sinaya chose to dwell deep within ocean depths. He was never married after his love was spurned by a beautiful mortal maiden, Maganda, the first woman who was the partner of Malakas, the first man. Both came out from a bamboo that was pecked by Bathala's sacred bird, the tigmamanukan bird according to traditional Tagalog tales. In frustration, he swore vengeance against the humans by sending turbulent waves and horrible tempests in order to wreck boats and to drown men. Despite this, he is also wise and will help men if they earn his praise. This notion is in line with the dogma that Tagalog deities who are welcome in Kaluwalhatian are all kind. Amanikable has a cordial relationship with Haik, the sea god who brings peace to the sea, which is the opposite of Amanikable's sea prowess. In Tagalog polytheism, hunting weapons such as arrows and spears were Amanikable's emblems.[7] First[B]
Idiyanale Also known as Idianale or Idianali, she is the goddess of labor and good deeds. In some accounts, as pre-colonial Tagalog deities had fluid genders, she was also known as a female deity of animal husbandry, and a male deity of agriculture. She is also regarded as a deity of craftsmanship. Natives used to call for her guidance in order to make their works successful. If a person does not call her name, the work being conducted may not be finished in time, not finished properly, or not finished at all. She is friends with the mischievous Bibit and medicine deity Lingga. She married Dimangan and had two offspring, namely, Dumakulem and Anitun Tabu. Her nature of needing to be considered was passed down to Anitun Tabu, while her nature of hard work was passed down to Dumakulem. In Tagalog polytheism, the water buffalo was Idiyanale's emblem.[3] First[C][D]
Dimangan Also known as Dumangan, he is the sky god of good harvest. People offer him words of praise and respect to have a bountiful harvest and for the crops to yield better quality grains. In old tradition, singing songs for Dimangan is conducted to appease the god while harvesting the bounties he blessed on men. The harvest song tradition is also prevalent in many ethnic groups throughout the Philippines. Dimangan has the capability to enhance the harvests of men with a wave of his hand. Because of this, he is praised together with Ikapati, who taught agriculture to mankind. He was married to Idiyanale and had two offspring, namely Dumakulem and Anitun Tabu. His nature of needing appeasement was passed down to Anitun Tabu, while his nature of giving aid to people was passed down to Dumakulem. In Sambal mythology, Dimangan had three brothers with equal strength as him, namely, Kalasakas, who hastened the ripening of rice stalks, Kalasokus, who was responsible for turning the grains from green to yellow, and Damulag, who protected the flowers of the rice plants from destructive hurricanes. In Tagalog polytheism, a basket of bounties was Dimangan's emblem.[7] First
Ikapati Ikapati was the goddess of cultivated land, was the most understanding and kind among the deities of Bathala. Her gift to man was agriculture. As the benevolent giver of food and prosperity, she was respected and loved by the people. From her came fertility of fields and health of flocks and herds. Ikapati was said to have married Mapulon, god of seasons. They had a daughter named Anagolay, who became the goddess of lost things. When Anagolay attained maidenhood, she married Dumakulem, son of Idianale and Dumangan, by whom she had two children, Apolake, who became god of the sun and patron of warriors, and Dian Masalanta, who became goddess of lovers.[7] Ikapati may have been a variant of Lakapati as such variation of deities is common in pre-colonial beliefs, but regardless, their functions are not affected[8] First
Lakapati Lakapati is identified as the most important fertility deity in the Tagalog pantheon. A record entry from 1613 noted that during sacrifices made in a new field, farmers would hold up a child and say, "Lakapati, pakanin mo yaring alipin mo; huwag mong gutumin (Lakapati, feed this thy slave; let him not hunger)". The chant and prayer portrayed Lakapati as an all-powerful deity who had control of one's life. Her prowess on fertility covers not only human and divine fertility, but also the fertility of all other things such as wildlife, crops, trees, and plants. She is also the goddess of cultivated land. Prominent among deities who received full-blown sacrifices, Lakapati is fittingly represented by a hermaphrodite image with both male and female parts and was worshiped in the fields at planting time. Her bodily expression is notably feminine. The ancient Tagalogs may have believed that the hermaphrodite image of Lakapati depicted the balance of everything. During early Spanish rule, Lakapati was depicted as the Holy Spirit, as the people continued to revere her despite Spanish threats. Lakapati's gift to man was agriculture, thus she is also associated as an agriculture deity. As the benevolent giver of food and prosperity, she was respected and loved by the people. From her came fertility of fields and health of flocks and herds. Modern interpretations have stated that Lakapati was transgender, although in a historical context, Lakapati was known as a hermaphrodite or intersex. Ikapati, is noted as a possible variant of Lakapati[8] First[E]
Mapulon The god of seasons. He is also sometimes associated as a deity of good health and medicine. Mapulon is known as one of the kindest deities to the Tagalogs. He gave good seasons and health to mankind, and whenever a person is ill, medicinal herbs grow due to his prowess of commanding the seasons, providing men with something to heal themselves with. He fell in love with Ikapati due to Ikapati's kindness and understanding towards the people despite the mistakes made by mankind. Oral stories state that at first, Ikapati was not interested with Mapulon, but eventually, Ikapati fell in love with him due to his tireless actions of love and they got married. Their story exemplifies why pre-colonial Tagalog men would court the person they love tirelessly for years, sometimes up to a decade, awaiting their loved one to fall in love with them as well through sheer determination. He had a daughter named Anagolay. In Tagalog polytheism, prized indigenous medicinal herbs were Mapulon's emblems.[7] First
Mayari The goddess of the moon, war, revolution, and right to equal rule. She is also associated with healing and lunar emotions. She is one of the three daughters of Bathala by a mortal woman. She was the most charming of all the goddesses, until one of her eyes were taken off by Apolaki in a battle. She has no hatred towards Apolaki, however, as the god did everything he could to make amends, though Mayari's eye was never healed. She had two sisters, Tala and Hanan, who she has very good ties with. In some stories, she became the ruler of the earth every night when her father Bathala was in a deep slumber, in contrast, Apolaki rules every day when Bathala was in deep slumber. Mayari is also known for defending against the serpent-dragon, Sawa, everytime the monster tries to consume the moon. In contrast, Apolaki defends the sun. In Tagalog polytheism, the moon was Mayari's emblem.[9] Second[F][G]
Tala The goddess of the stars; sister of Mayari and Hanan and one of the three daughters of Bathala by a mortal woman. People looked up to her for direction during nighttime. Her light at night is said to guide men to safety, along with the extended aura of Anagolay. She is known to have supported the creation of the Tagalog constellations, where majority of names have been forgotten due to the influx of Western names and depictions on constellations. Tala used divine light spheres or orbs to ferry men to safety at night, however, when the Spaniards came, they demonized the light orbs and falsely called it santelmos. The natives eventually regarded the santelmos as deadly beings that kill humans or get humans to lose their way. This 15th–₤⅝16th century misinformation campaign along with torture and slavery committed by the Spanish caused many Tagalogs to convert to Roman Catholicism. In Tagalog animism, the stars were Tala's emblems.[9] Second[H]
Hanan The goddess of morning; sister of Mayari and Tala and one of the three daughters of Bathala by a mortal woman. The first prayer of the day is given to Bathala, Apolaki, and her as a sign of a new day. She is specially important during the entrance of a new age or a new phase in a person's life. People offer her bountiful harvests and prayers during the birth of a child, the womanhood or manhood of a child, the death of a person, entrance of the planting season, beginning of the harvest season, and start of a new annual cycle. These prayers are only conducted at the break of dawn. In Tagalog animism, the morning dew, the rooster, and the dawning sun were Hanan's emblems.[9] Second
Dumakulem The strong, agile guardian of mountains and the son of Idiyanale and Dimangan. He is also known as a sky god. He aids people who get lost in the mountains. He hates people who destroys the mountain's forests and wildlife, however, he never intentionally strays people in mountains as he is a kind god, but he does not help those who destroy the mountains and excessively hunt wildlife. It is said that he creates mountains to shield the people from the terrible storms caused by his sister, Anitun Tabu. Because of this, sometimes earthquakes occur, signaling the creation of mountains. He is always in good terms with his sister as both love the good side of men. Dumakulem is known to be very close with the god of grasslands and forests, Uwinan Sana. Despite reservations, Uwinan Sana attended Dumakulem's wedding with Anagolay, who Dumakulem courted for years. In Tagalog polytheism, the mountain was Dumakulem's emblem.[7] Second
Anitun Tabu The fickle-minded goddess of wind and rain. Every time it rains lightly (ambon), it is said that the happy Anitun Tabu is nearby. If a storm is present, the angry Anitun Tabu is nearby. Due to the association of the ambon as a presence of the happy Anitun Tabu, the event eventually became a good time for marriages, until eventually, the better time for marriage was changed to sunny showers. This belief on marriage every sunny shower has been diverted in the Spanish era as a marriage between supernatural beings, and thus, ceased to be practiced by the common Tagalog due to demonic campaigns committed by the Spanish friars and colonialists against indigenous religions. In later stories, Anitun Tabu was also known to be a mediator between warring supernatural beings, as she was associated with sunny showers, a traditional sacred peace pact for supernatural beings. She was the daughter of Idiyanale and Dimangan and the sister of Dumakulem. To the neighboring pre-colonial Sambal people in west Luzon, Anitun Tabu (or Aniton Tauo to them) is male, conflicting with the beliefs of pre-colonial Tagalogs. According to Sambal mythology, Aniton Tauo was the most revered deity for the Sambals, however, he eventually became full of himself, leading to Malayari (male Zambal counterpart of Mayari) to punish and oust him from supremacy. Afterwards, he became one of the deities that assisted Malayari in his tasks. The pinipig (pounded young rice grains) is offered to the Tagalog Anitun Tabu. The ritual offering to her is called mamiarag. In Tagalog polytheism, the sunny shower was Anitun Tabu's emblem.[7] Second
Anagolay The goddess of lost things and the only offspring of Ikapati and Mapulon. Pre-Hispanized Tagalogs sought Anagolay's guidance whenever something or someone is lost. It is said that Anagolay's aura is present in the very fabric of everything, the very reason why she can find things and persons that are lost, even the whereabouts of the hermit crow god, Meylupa. However, she had both traits of her parents, just and fairness. Due to this, she has never used her power to take advantage of anyone. She was secretly in love with Dumakulem prior to their marriage. Anitun Tabu, sister of Dumakulem, offered her aid in pursuing Dumakulem as the rain goddess approved of Anagolay. However, Anagolay humbly rejected the offer as she does not honor forced love. Later on, Dumakulem fell in love with Anagolay's care for mankind and courted her for years until they got married. In Tagalog polytheism, a hole of light was Anagolay's emblem.[7] Second
Apolaki The god of sun, wisdom and strategy and the chief patron of warriors. He is also sometimes called as Araw (literally means sun).[10] Spanish accounts say he was "ill-tempered", however, the Spanish used the image of the Greek god of war, Ares. In actual pre-colonial mythologies, Apolaki was a peaceful god who would fight for what he thought was right and if he was wrong in the end, he would do his best to fix his wrong. This trait was exhibited during his battle with Mayari, where he apologized, after he put out one of Mayari's eyes, and agreed to Mayari's proposal for equal rights in ruling the earth. He was the son of Anagolay and Dumakulem. The neighboring pre-colonial Kapampangan people in central Luzon regarded Apolaki not a god of the sun as they already had one, but a goddess of the moon, conflicting with the pre-colonial Tagalog beliefs. The northern Tagalogs and the Kapampangans believed that female water beings (modernly referred as sirena or mermaids) worshiped Apolaki.[11] During the Spanish occupation, reports surfaced where Apolaki came down from Kaluwalhatian and scolded some Tagalog folks for "welcoming men with white teeth". The reports were passed on by the townsfolk to the parish priest, thus documenting the said event. During pre-colonial Tagalog times, having black-pigmented teeth was the aesthetics, while having white teeth was seen as disgusting and unbearable. Apolaki is also known for defending against the serpent-dragon, Sawa, everytime the monster tries to consume the sun. In contrast, Mayari defends the moon. In Tagalog polytheism, the sun was Apolaki's emblem.[9] Third (or Second)[I]
Diyan Masalanta The goddess of love, conception and childbirth and the protector of lovers. She was in good relations with Lakapati, who presided over the fertility of mankind, the second stage to be determined after love and before conception. Sacrifices were offered to her so that conception is assured. She was the daughter of Anagolay and Dumakulem and youngest of all the deities. Spanish accounts imaged her like the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, but in actual pre-colonial mythologies, she was of more motherly nature and had a high standard in family values. She is wise and has waged battles against evil spirits to protect the family from breaking apart. Her mortal enemy is Manisilat, the breaker of families. She viewed the family as a web of interlaced families and communities, which is exhibited in the Tagalog tradition of extended families. In Tagalog animism, the actual human heart and the child were Diyan Masalanta's emblems. Third

Other definitions

  • A^ In some sources, Bathala is the father of Apolaki, aside from Mayari and Tala hence excluding Hanan.[12]
  • B^ In some sources, Amanikable is referred as a sea deity of the Manobo tribe.[13]
  • C^ In some sources, Idiyanale is identified as the goddess of agriculture.[13]
  • D^ In some sources, aside from being a goddess of agriculture, Idiyanale is also identified as the goddess of animal husbandry.
  • E^ In some sources, Lakapati is identified as a hermaphrodite.
  • F^ In some creation myths, Mayari is the sister of Apolaki.[14]
  • G^ In some sources, Mayari is identified as a one-eyed goddess.[12]
  • H^ In some creation myths, Tala is the sister of Mayari and Apolaki and the daughter of Bathala.[12]
  • I^ In some creation myths, Apolaki is the brother of Mayari and the son of Bathala.[14]

The list includes the god/goddess-like, residents of Kasamaan (Ancient Tagalog counterpart of Hell), which is known as a 'village of grief and afflication'. They were the evil entities all opposed to Bathala and the rest of his deities. Kasamaan, also known as Kasanaan, is also the place where the spirits of evil humans are sent. In contrast, the spirits of good humans are sent to Maca. But whether a person died evil or good, he or she is still given the pabaon ritual, where the dead is given gifts that he or she may use in his or her journey to Maca or Kasamaan.[15]

Name Definition
Sitan The guardian of Kasamaan and the keeper of all souls therein. He was depicted by the Spanish as the counterpart of Christianity's Satan. His real name has been lost in time. It is said that he came forth from nothing due to the evils of men, a story that symbolized the need of men to stay away from vices to not wake up the essence of Sitan. However, Sitan is not purely evil as he had aided mankind before, away from total annihilation, as he knows that a world without mankind is a world without his existence, and therefore, the destruction of Kasamaan, one of the dwellings of Tagalog anitos (ancestral spirits). He had four agents whose task was to lead man to sin and destruction, but also to aid those who are worthy of Sitan's help. In a 1589 record, Sitan and Bathala is said to have once waged a war with each other to determine who should rule the realms intended for ancestral souls. The war took a heavy toll on both sides, and in the end, to avoid further damage on the fabric of the universe, they agreed that Sitan would rule Kasanaan (underworld for evil souls), while Maca (underworld for good souls) will be jointly ruled by Sitan and Bathala, as Bathala already rules over Kaluwalhatian (sky realms).[16] According to another research, Sitan's name may have been derived from Saitan or Shaitan, the Arabic word for the Devil. This data concluded that during the Islamic era of the Tagalog domains, the original name of Sitan was replaced by the Islamic name already, making it impossible to determine the true indigenous name of Sitan. In Tagalog animism, the pitch dark was Sitan's emblem.[7]
Manggagaway She was the first agent of Sitan and was primarily blamed as the cause of diseases. Sometimes, she would change herself into a human form, appearing as a false healer. If she wished to kill someone, she employed a sacred stick, veiled with the prowess of diseases. She can also prolong one's death for weeks or months by binding a snake, with a personally-concocted potion inside it, around the dying person's waist. She can be sent back to Kasamaan through the guidance of Bathala and the other gods of Kaluwalhatian or through the order of Sitan. Manggagaway's emblem was her sacred stick.[17]
Manisilat Also known as Mansisilat. The second agent of Sitan, she was tasked to destroy and break every happy and united family that she could find. She does this by transforming herself into a beggar or healer going inside the house of couples. Once inside, she infuses magic inside the home until the couples magically get agitated with the presence of one another, uwhich eventually leads to separation. She was the mortal enemy of Diyan Masalanta, who prioritized the protection of the family and its extensions. She can be sent back to Kasamaan through the guidance of Bathala and the other gods of Kaluwalhatian or through the order of Sitan. Manisilat's emblem is a broken home.[7]
Mangkukulam The only male agent of Sitan, he was to emit fire at night and when there was bad weather, hence he is referred to as a fire god. Fires caused during bad weather are associated with him or Kidlat, as Anitun Tabu only causes wind and rain, not fire from lightning. The lightning god, Kidlat, a close friend of Mangkukulam, is noted for his fondness of the fire god. Like his fellow agents, he could change his form to that of a healer and then induce fire at his victim's house. If the fire were extinguished immediately, the victim would eventually die. To extinguish the fire, prayers to Anitun Tabu is made so that it will rain and extinguish Mangkukulam's fire. His name literally means witch. He can be sent back to Kasamaan through the guidance of Bathala and the other gods of Kaluwalhatian or through the order of Sitan. Mangkukulam's emblem is the fire.[7]
Hukluban The last agent of Sitan could change herself into any form she desired. She can kill or make people unconscious simply by greeting them. She could also kill someone by simply raising her hand and could heal without any difficulty as she wished. Because of this, frustrated men have consulted her to heal various diseases, however, she never lets her have the smaller part of the bargain. Although, she can also give healing to men without a huge exchange if she deems the person as worthy of Sitan's aid. She taught some medicinal practices to mankind for no apparent reason. Her name literally means "crone" or "hag." She can also make things happen by uttering sorcery. She can be sent back to Kasamaan through the guidance of Bathala and the other gods of Kaluwalhatian or through the order of Sitan. Hukluban's emblem is a death-inducing vile.[18]

Other Tagalog deities[edit]

The list includes the gods and goddesses who don't have a unified pantheon within the Tagalog deities mentioned in Table #1. Many of following deities live with mankind in the middle world, except for the children of Bathala.[6]

Name God(dess) of
Aman Sinaya The primordial deity of the ocean and protector of fishermen. The deity was one of the five original deities along with Bathala, Amihan, and the two first deities met by Bathala. The deity sent tempests into the heavens, to which Bathala responded by throwing boulders which would become the Tagalog people's islands. Amihan flew back and forth between them, making peace. Later, these islands will be large enough for men to thrive when Bathala's tigmamanukan (sacred bird) would fly over them and the sea. In later stores, the title of the deity of the sea was given to Haik, and later, Amanikable as well, however, the two gods had different approaches in ruling the waters. Aman Sinaya rested beneath his realms afterwards and continue to safeguard men at sea through his essence, which sometimes guide men through inner calls. People called upon the deity for a good harvest of fish or other river or marine animals and plants. Fisherfolks also call Aman Sinaya when first wetting a net or fishhook. Some accounts depict Aman Sinaya as a male deity, while some a female deity. There was no conflict in this gender fluidity in precolonial times as a god and a goddess may be referred simply as anito. Aman Sinaya had a son named Sinaya. The deity's emblems are the ocean, its pearls, and the conch.
Amihan A genderless deity who was the friend of both Bathala and Aman Sinaya. In some accounts, they are depicted as a bird, in others, they are depicted as a god who can transform into a bird similar to the tigmamanukan. They were the god of the space between the sea and the sky during the time that land and men were not yet created. When Bathala and Aman Sinaya waged a war, Amihan intervened and forged a pact of peace between the two. Because of this, Amihan is regarded as the deity of peace. Amihan continued to live at the space between the sea and the sky, even after the creation of land and humans and the ascension of some deities to Kaluwalhatian. Amihan was offered a place in Kaluwalhatian but they rejected Bathala's offer calmly, knowing that accepting the offer would stir negative sentiments from Aman Sinaya. Amihan's emblem is a small common bird.
Ulilang Kaluluwa (Orphaned Spirit) The serpent god present in some creation myths. During the start of time, both Bathala and Ulilang Kaluluwa thought they were the only beings in the world. One day, they encountered each other by accident, surprised in finding out that they were not the only beings in the world. Eventually, they learned that both of them wanted the world for themselves. In anger, Ulilang Kaluluwa challenged Bathala over the title of ruler of everything. By the end of the battle, Ulilang Kaluluwa was killed by Bathala and then burned into ashes. Ulilang Kaluluwa's emblem is the snake, which Bathala also uses as his emblem.[19]
Galang Kaluluwa (Wandering Spirit) The winged god present in some creation myths who loves to travel. Initially, Galang Kaluluwa thought that he was the only being in the world, until he met Bathala, During that time, Bathala has already defeated Ulilang Kaluluwa. Unlike Ulilang Kaluluwa, Galang Kaluluwa became good friends with Bathala, to the point that Bathala welcomed Galang Kaluluwa into his home on the very first day they met. Unfortunetely, after many years of being together, Galang Kaluluwa died from a terrible disease even Bathala did not manage to cure. Before his death, he told Bathala to burn his lifeless body on top of the ashes of Ulilang Kaluluwa, which was the only mass on top of the sea during that time. Bathala did just that, and from the ashes of Ulilang Kaluluwa and Galang Kaluluwa, the coconut tree grew, becoming the first vegetation made. The coconut tree's leaves reminded Bathala of his friend, while the hard, unattractive trunk reminded him of his bitter enemy. When Bathala finally decided to create mankind from the bamboo as land had already been made years before during Bathala's battle with Aman Sinaya, he used the coconut tree to provide mankind's first home and the coconut as the first source of mankind's nutrients. Galang Kaluluwa's emblem is the tigmamanukan bird, which Bathala also uses as his emblem.[19]
Sinaya Sinaya is either the only child of Aman Sinaya, who he was named after, or is another form of Aman Sinaya. Sinaya is recorded in oral traditions as an extraordinary inventor. Despite inventing many things, his most praised invention was the fish gear which helped mankind catch more fish. Because of this, he is much revered by Tagalog fisherfolks and their families. The primary reason for the Tagalog peopele's love of his fish gear invention was because the majority of pre-colonial Tagalogs were fisherfolks or had lineage from fisherfolks. Sinaya is also regarded as a deity of craftsmanship. His emblem is the indigenous Tagalog fish gear.
Haik God of the sea who is called upon by seamen in a major ceremony dedicated to him, asking for fair weather and favorable winds. He clears troubled waters so that men will have a safe voyage. Due to this, he sometimes have confrontations with Amanikable, the purveyor of troubled waters. Haik, despite being a kind god, is not welcome in Kaluwalhatian because of his confrontations with Amanikable. He has contacts with Aman Sinaya. His emblem is the undisturbed water.
Lakambakod The protector of the growing crops and the god of protections.[7] He was invoked to keep animals out of swiddens. Pre-Hispanic images of him had gilded genitals "as long as a rice stalk". He was offered eels when fencing swiddens because natives believed that fences he blessed were the strongest of all fences. In later accounts, pre-colonial Tagalogs offered him bounties and prayers as well in the construction of palisades and anything related to defence. His guidance is also sought to strengthen defense tools such as charms (agimat or anting-anting). His association to the gilden genital depicted him as a deity of fertility and a deity of gold. His emblems are the fence, the eel, and the gilded genital.
Lakambini He is known as the "pure maiden" for his incomparable beauty, ironic that he is a male deity. He was originally known as the god of "kapurihan" (purity) and is also the god of food, and festivity. He is also associated as youthful fit deity, thus, a god of youth. Worshiped mainly by men, they pray to him to let them find a beautiful maiden to wed. Because of this, he has good relations with the goddess of love, Diyan Masalanta. Strangely, he had the power to cure "throat ailments". During the Spanish occupation, the friars - through a series of manipulations in a bid to destroy the indigenous Tagalog religion - told the Tagalogs that Lakambini was an "obscure" deity called "abogado dela garganta" (throat advocate) and was a god of gluttony as he wanted the Holy Spirit (depicted at the time as Diyan Masalanta) for himself. These negative notions crafted by the Spanish against Lakambini are historically incorrect and are regarded as mere Spanish fabrications. Tagalogs who continued to revere Lakambini were tortured by the Spanish to completely convert into Christianity and demonize Lakambini. Lakambini has another form named Lakandayton, the god of attachment.[20] Lakambini's traditional emblem is a strong, fit, and handsome youth.
Lingga A phallic and medicine god and the "partner" of the illness god, Bibit. Like Bibit, he used to cause illness if not recognized in daily activities. Later stories tell that for some reason, he had a change of heart. He then became the god who was responsible for curing diseases, hence a deity of medicines. Despite his change of heart, his partnership with Bitbit remained. He is also regarded as a minor fertility deity. His emblem is the male genital.
Bibit A phallic and illness god and the "partner" of the medicine god, Linga. Caused illness if not given recognition in the ordinary course of daily activities. When Lingga shifted into a god of medicine, he continued to cause illness to people who do not recognize his existence in every day life. He has no definite emblem. He is also regarded as a minor fertility deity. His emblem is the male genital.
Uwinan Sana The godly guardian of grasslands or forests and deity of all portals and borders.[21] He is acknowledged by the Tagalogs as overlord of grasslands and forests whenever entering them, to avoid being regarded as trespassers. The Tagalogs asked permission to Uwinan Sana by stating, "bari-bari apo" or "tabi-tabi po" followed by what the speaker wanted to do within the god's realm. When Christianity was introduced by the Spanish, this tradition of acknowledging supernatural beings as owners of grasslands and forests was inputted towards dwarf-like creatures called nuno and dwende. The Spanish manipulated the natives, stating that these dwarf-like creatures were dangerous like Uwinan Sana. The Spanish eventually succeeded and Uwinan Sana's role was replaced by Spanish culture-imported "dangerous dwarves". Uwinan Sana was said to be a good friend of Dumakulem, god of the mountains, who he is very fond of. When Dumakulem was married to Anagolay, Uwinan Sana decided to never marry. His emblem is varied, ranging from forests, grasslands, to wildlife such as deers, hawks, and eagles.
Posor Lupa God, protector, and personification of the earth's naval. Also called Pusod Lupa. His emblem is the human navel made of earth.[21]
Mankukutod The god and the protector of coconut palms, highly priced crops during pre-colonial times as it was the first vegetation made and the first tree used by Bathala to aid mankind in building shelter and gaining food. Mankukutod's role as god of the coconut palms was granted by Bathala, as he knew that Mangkukutod will safeguard the descendants of Galang Kaluluwa's essence and will keep still the essence of Bathala's enemy. He is given an offering by Tubâ (palm wine) tappers before climbing a tree, lest they fall from the trunk and hurt themselves. He is a good friend to the Idinayale and Ikapati. His emblems are the coconut palm, coconut nut, tuba (undistilled coconut wine), and lambanog (distilled coconut wine). He is also sometimes associated as a descendant of the essence of Galang Kaluluwa and Ulilang Kaluluwa, and grew from the very first coconut palm.
Meylupa A crow god who is the master of the earth, between the underworld and Kaluwalhatin, excluding the waters. He is the most powerful of the gods who reside in the middle world's earth realms, aside from Amihan, the only primordial deity who lives in the middle world. After he chose to become a hermit, no one has been able to know the location of his true residence, aside from Anagolay. Like Bathala, he also has birds that serve him but in the form of crows. His emblem is the crow (uwak).
Silagan The god of proper burial practices. His duty is to tempt people and to eat the liver of all those who wear white clothes during mourning and take their souls down to the depth of Kasanaan. This was the reason why the ancient Tagalogs usually wore vari-colored tapis or barrel skirts. He also punished people who improperly bury loved ones. When the Spanish arrived and forcefully converted the natives to Roman Catholicism, white and black clothes were imposed as the proper attires for burials and mourning, a colonial move which mocked olden traditions. His emblem is a multi-colored cloth.
Mananangal The goddess of fright and the sister of Silagan. She could be seen walking along dark trails and lonely paths without her head, hands or feet, because her work was to frighten people to death, especially those who have committed crimes. Due to her bodily configurations, her name was also chosen as the name of a race of creatures with similar body configurations. When the Spanish arrived, the term "mananangal" was used only to refer to similar bodily-strange beings, while the goddess Mananangal was sidelined and almost forgotten. Her emblem is a distorted human figure.
Lakang Balingasay The Spanish called Lakang Balingasay as the Tagalog's version of the "Western demon Beezlebub", pertaining to his affinities to insects, thus, a god of insects. Although Lakang Balingasay is completely different from the Catholicism's Beezlebub. It was noted that the deity lived in poisonous trees that the Tagalogs called balingasay, which were named after the god. His emblems are the balingasay tree and insects such as beetles, bees, and ants.[20]
Bighari The flower-loving daughter of Bathala who was the goddess of the rainbow and known for her tardiness (although her tardiness is not intentional). A story tells that she was cursed by her father to stay on earth forever because of her failure to attend a family council in Kaluwalhatian on time again. It is her arch of multicolored flowers that we see in the sky and call bahaghari ("Rainbow" in Tagalog). Due to her association with flowers, she is also known as a deity of flowers. Her emblems are the rainbow and a multi-colored flower.[6]
Liwayway Goddess and representation of dawn. Hanan, goddess of the morning, is sometimes associated as Liwayway's more known form. Very little is known about Liwayway, as her other personification, Hanan, is more worshiped during pre-colonial times. Her presence is important as she brings dawn to the land. Stories note that Liwayway is a shy goddess, often choosing to be at the background, unless needed. She was noted for her strict obedience to Bathala. Her emblem is the breaking dawn.[6]
Tag-ani A harvest deity and daughter of Bathala. Very little is known about her as there are other agricultural deities with larger followings in the Tagalog pantheon. She is known to have a close relationships with the other agriculture deities. Her presence aids in the successful harvest of the people. She was noted for her strict obedience to Bathala. Her emblem is the sickle.[6]
Kidlat God of lightning and son of Bathala. As god of lightning, he played a role in the activities of Anitun Tabu during storms. Surprisingly, he also played a role in the fire affairs of Mangkukulam as his lightning spurs fire. He has close ties with the fire god Mangkukulam, despite their opposing obedience, as Mangkukulam is highly obedient to Sitan, while he is noted for his strict obedience to his father, Bathala. His emblem is the lightning.[6]
Hangin God of the wind and son of Bathala. He enjoys close ties with his brother Kidlat, joining his brother's activities with Anitun Tabu. He also has good relations with the primordial deity Amihan, who serves as a mentor. He does not have much of a following as Anitun Tabu, goddess of wind and rain, who is more worshiped in precolonial times. In Kapampangan mythology, he is known as Angin. The Tagalog Hangin was noted for his strict obedience to Bathala. His emblem is a small common bird, similar to Amihan's emblem.[6]

Overall, everything in nature is considered as sacred in Tagalog mythology, from caves, rivers, seas, lakes, mountains, trees, wind, sky, and so on. Other sacred sites also include Tagalog places of death (ancient cemeteries), and temples (usually in the form of forts or enlarged huts with palisades). Usually, these sites are areas where the deities frequent, and thus serve as both a place of worship and a place for recharging the body and a person's amulet, known as anting-anting. The sites are also usually home to certain anitos (not diwatas, as research has concluded[citation needed] that the term diwata was used by the pre-colonial Visayans and Ibalons, not the pre-colonial Tagalogs) or the ancestral spirits and spirits sent by Bathala to aid mankind. The following are traditionally considered as the most sacred, and still are, among the sites:

  • Taal Lake
  • Mount Cristobal - Sacred as a place for evil spirits, which should also be respected.
  • Mount Banahaw - Sacred as a place for good spirits, notably the helpers of Bathala.
  • Mount Makiling - Sacred as a place for good spirits, notably the anito, Maria Makiling.
  • Southern Sierra Madre - Sacred as it is "near the sky", and thus near to Kaluwalhatian.
  • Laguna de Bay - The largest lake in the Philippines, and the main lake of the Tagalog people.
  • Pasig River - The pathway of the ancient Tagalogs from freshwater into sea.
  • Mount Arayat - A mountain in northeast Pampanga, which is also sacred to the Kapampangan people.
  • Marinduque - The mountains of Marinduque and the caves of Bathala.
  • Several ancient ruins - Several ancient ruins are sacred to the Tagalog people such as the Limestone tombs of Kamhantik at Mulanay, Quezon and the ruins at Santa Ana, Manila.
  • Several cave sites

Ancient Bikolano deities[edit]

The list includes the deities of ancient Bikolanos living in Ibalon (present Bicol Region).

Name God(dess) of...
Gugurang The Bicolano supreme deity who defeated Cagurangan and declared Asuang to be his inferior. He commanded light and fire. Depicted as tall,muscular with silver hair, He once resided in Kamurayan or heavens but left to reside in Mt. Mayon, in his place he placed Bulan in the heavens with the wind people. He is the symbol of the good (an mga marhay) ready to punish the bad (an mga maraot). When the people saw fire (calayo) flowing out of the crater of Mayon, they would grow afraid. They would then offer a sacrifice (atang) to him to appease his wrath. The Baliana, priestess, officiated in the ceremony. Always when they committed wrong, there would be loud moaning of the earth followed by an eruption of fire and lava.[1] Ancient Bikolanos had a rite performed for him called Atang.[22][23]
Asuang He was Gugurang's equal until Gugurang proved he is superior to all. He tried to steal Gugurangs sacred fire but failed.[24] He was also from the heavens but descended to Mt. Malinao. Asuang is the father of Oryol was the most beautiful and powerful female in the land of Ibalon before Magayon and her sisters came.
Magindang The powerful god of the sea and ruler of all its creatures. Venerated by fishermen and sea voyagers. He gives bountiful catch and safe passage to all who call to him. He was tricked by Oryol who commanded the Magindara (vicious mermaids) to kill the beautiful maiden Malinao.[25]
Okot The god of the forest and of hunting, protector of flora and fauna. Tall, muscular with brown skin and is said that he has a belt of vines. He whistles to imitate the call of birds and human. He is prayed upon in times of hunting.[1]
Bakunawa A gigantic sea serpent deity of the deep and the underworld who is often considered as the cause of eclipses. She saw Bulan when he descended to swim with the magindara and had fallen in love with him. Unnoticed by the boy moon, she swore to eat the him instead. She transformed into a huge eel-like dragon (some say dragon with gills with the mouth the size of a lake). As the devourer of the sun and the moon, she became an adversary of Haliya as Bakunawa's main aim is to swallow Bulan, who Haliya swore to protect for all of eternity. During eclipses (where bakunawa tries to swallow Bulan), the people would light torches to make notice to invoke Bakunawa's rival Haliya. Haliya, is portrayed to always hear the people's voices in those times, and comes to always rescue Bulan successfully.[26][1]
Languiton The primal Bicolano god representing the sky. Sovereign of all the flying creatures in the skies. The four children of Paros and Dagat rebelled against him, albeit two of the siblings had doubt. Languiton ultimately won, striking the four deities with his prowess, ehich led to the creation of the son, moon, stars, and earth. Of the four, only the moon, Bulan, was revived by Gugurang.[1]
Tubigan The god of water and the celestial ocean, ruled over all the swimming beast.[1]
Dagat The divine embodiment of the seas and ocean and daughter of Tubigan who took Paros the winds to be her husband and equal, they ruled over the skies and the seas. Love is one thing stronger than the gods for it killed her and Paros, other belief that they have found contentment and had simply slept, the sky and the sea. When she died/slept from the waters the god Magindang was born.[1]
Paros The divine embodiment of the winds, ever changing, arrogant and polygamous until he was bested by Dagat,he fell in love with her and changed his old ways, they ruled over all the skies and seas. He and Dagat had four powerful children (Daga,Adlao,Bulan and Bituoon). When he died his energy gave birth to the Taong Lipod or the wind people and the trinity of the most powerful gods of Bicol (Cagurangan,Gugurang,Asuang), and to lesser gods such as Onos and Batala[1]
Daga Enormous as he is strong, his body is made of rocks. Arrogant that he had inherited most of his father's powers of the wind in addition to his strength. Daga persuaded his brothers to attack Languiton to steal his power but failed. He was struck down and his body became the earth[1]
Adlao Noticeably happy and optimistic. Known as he golden man, he was reluctant of his brothers' plans but loved Daga too much to go against him. He became the sun after being struck by Languiton.
Bituoon Lovely and bright and the only daughter of Paros and Dagat. She was made of silver. She was accidentally killed by Languiton thus became the stars.
Cagurangan Former supreme to Gugurang and Asuang, until Gugurang proved to be far more powerful and superior. Cagurangan had control over the winds and all the flying beast.[1]
Batala He is a lesser god, kind and helpful. Batala commands the "anito" or all ancestral spirits of men. He is invoked in times of need and trouble. He comes in a form of a bird and is believed to be a middle aged man with a robust physic.[1]
Onos God of storms, deluge and flood waters. He is muscular and tall with white tattoos all over his body. He sends storms to villages and farmlands when people forget their "atang" (offerings or prayers). He is the guardian of Takay, a lesser god. Takay fell in love with Kanaway, so Onos tried to separate the two. He shot Kanaway with his lightning but Kanaway only turned to stone. Angry, Onos attacked Mount Asog with numerous lightning bolts, thus making it sink and turn into Lake Buhi.[1]
Oryol A demi-goddess in Bicolano myths, she is mentioned in the Ibalong Epic. Believed to be the daughter of the deity Asuang. Oryol possesses inhuman beauty and prowess when it comes to seduction. Aside from being beautiful in stories, it is told that she has a beautiful voice that could lure anyone (both men and women, even animals). Half of her body is a serpent. It is believed that the Naga and the Magindara obeys her every command for she is a demigoddess.[1]
Anitos The name of millions of ancestral spirits venerated in communities and households, little wooden idols depict them. Believed to guide their living descendants and bring graces and good fortune.[1]

Ancient Visayan Deities[edit]

This section includes the deities of the Visayans from a certain pantheon story.[27]

Name God(dess) of Generation
Kaptan The supreme god who dwells in the sky. He is the Ancient Visayan counterpart of Bathala. Of all the supreme deities in the Visayas, he is the most worshiped by the natives. He had a son named Lihangin.[27] First
Maguayan/Magwayan The goddess of the sea and death. She had a daughter named Lidagat who died and after that, she ferried the souls of the dead to the underworld, Sulad.[27] First
Lihangin The god of the wind and the son of Kaptan. He later married Lidagat and had four children.[27] Second
Lidagat The goddess of the sea, daughter of Maguayan. She later married Lihangin and had four children.[27] Second
Likabutan The god of the world and the eldest children of Lihangin and Lidagat.[27] Third
Liadlaw The god of the sun and the second children of Lihangin ang Lidagat.[27] Third
Libulan The god of the moon and the third children of Lihangin and Lidagat.[27] Third
Lisuga The goddess of the stars. She was the youngest children of Lihangin and Lidagat. The deity in which Silalak and Sibabay came from.[27] Third

Other Visayan deities[edit]

The list includes the gods and goddesses who haven't have a unified pantheon within the Visayan deities mentioned in Table #5.

Name God(dess) of
Alunsina She was the virgin goddess of the eastern world.
Bangun Bangun God of time and cosmic movements.
Barangaw God of the rainbow.[28]
Bulalakaw Bird god, causer of illness.
Burigadang Pada Sinaklang Bulawan Goddess of wealth and materialism due to her power over precious metals and stone. Also known as the sister to twins Nagmalitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata and Sarawali.
Dalikamata The many-eyed goddess who cures eye illnesses. She is also known to be responsible for dreams as one of her forms of communication.
Kan-Laon The supreme goddess worshiped by the Ancient Visayans who lived in the Negros Island that dwells in Mount Kanlaon. As well as Kaptan, she is the Ancient Visayans counterpart of Bathala). She is also revered as the goddess of time.[29]
Kasaraysarayan sa Silgan God of rivers.
Lalahon Goddess of fire, volcanoes and harvest.[28] In ancient times, Ancient Visayans blamed her for sending armies of locusts to destroy their harvests. In response, natives will offer her gifts in order to please her and prevent her from doing that.[30]
Lubay-Lubyok Hanginun si Mahuyokhuyokan Goddess of the night and breeze.
Luyong Baybay Goddess of the tides.
Magdang Diriinin God of the lakes.
Maklium sa Tiwan God of the valleys and plains.
Maklium sa Tubig God of the sea.
Munsad Buralakaw God of politics and affairs of men.
Nagined, Arapayan, and Makbarubak Gods appealed to when concocting poisonous oil.
Nagmalitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata Goddess of empowerment, lust and seduction, and sister to Burigadang Pada Sinaklang Bulawan and twin sister of Sarawali.
Pahulangkug God of seasons.
Paiburong God of the middle world. (Purgatory)
Pandaki God who rescues the deserving for a more pleasant fate.
Panlinugun God of the Underworld and of Earth. He is responsible for Earthquakes.
Ribung Linti God of lightning and thunder.
Santonilyo God of graces.
Saraganka Bagyo God of storms.
Saragnayan God of darkness.
Sarawali The god of lust. The twin brother of Nagmalitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata and a lover of Lubay-Lubyok Hanginun si Mahuyokhuyokan. He is usually described as a handsome and muscular god with long hair and brown skin wearing a black sarong with a gold belt. He is responsible for adultery, polygamy and incest.
Sidapa The goddess of death, and wife of the Makaptan, the god of sickness.[31] Both Sidapa and Makaptan reside on Kamariitan, or the Earth in Ancient Bisayan World.
Siginarugan He is identified as the god of the underworld.[28]
Suimuran and Suiguinarugan Gods of hell, the final destination for all deceased souls.
Suklang Malayon Goddess of homeliness, sister of Alunsina.
Sumalongson God of the rivers and the sea.
Sumpoy God of the afterlife.
Tungkung Langit Supreme God of the Upper World alongside Kaptan and Kanlaon. His counterpart is Bathala and known as Alunsina's husband.
Ynaguinid and Malanduc Gods of war and poisons.
Pinganun-pinganun Guardian of enchanted places; lives in the underworld[32]
Sappia Goddess of mercy who was greatly worshiped in Bohol; a story tells that she emptied her breast milk onto weeds, which created white rice, however, when milk ran out, blood came out, thus creating red rice[33]
Magyan Ruler of the underworld called Kasakitan; originally carried souls of the dead using his boat called balanday; brother of Makaptan, one of the two rulers of the middleworld, and Sumpoy, who transfers the souls of the dead from Magyan's balanday into the sub-realm of Kanitu-nituhan[33][verification needed]
Makabosog Deity who provides food for the hungry and is highly believed to be a deified chieftain[33][verification needed]

Tboli deities[edit]

  • Kadaw La Sambad - The sun god and supreme god. Married to Bulon La Mogoaw, they reside in the seventh heaven. They begot seven sons and daughters who end up marrying each other.
  • Bulon La Mogoaw – The moon goddess and supreme goddess, wife of Kadaw La Sambad.
  • Cumucul - The eldest son who was given a cohort of fire, a tok (sword), shield, and the magical horse, Kaunting, who can be as small as a mouse when not ridden and who can be kept in a box (This reflects the honor given by the Tboli to eldest sons and the value they accord horses). Cumucul is married to Boi Kabil.
  • Sfedat - The second son who married his sister, the second daughter, Bong Libun. This marriage produced no children, leading to Sfedat's despondency. One day, he asked his wife to kill him. His corpse became land from which sprouted all kinds of plants and trees.
  • Dwata - The third son who married two of his sisters, Sedek We and Hyu We. His request for one of the powers granted Cumucul is refused. Thus, he left the sky with his wives and seven children from Hyu We (Litik, Blanga, Teme Lus, Tdolok, Ginton, Lmugot Mangay, and Fun Bulol) and six from Sedek We. For a place to stay, he asked Bong Libun for the land that was once Sfedat's body. Bong Libun agreed on the condition that she married one of his sons. Dwata spread the land, and planted the trees and other vegetation; the result is earth. The first people were created after Dwata breathed life into the clay figurines made by Hyu We and Sedek We. However Dwata did not fulfill his side of the bargain with Bong Libun, because his sons will not have her as wife.
  • Litik - The god of thunder.
  • Blanga - The god of stones and rocks.
  • Teme Lus - The god of wild beasts.
  • Tdolok - The god of death.
  • Ginton - The god of metallurgy.
  • Lmugot Mangay - The god of life and of all growing things.
  • Fun Bulol - The god of the mountains.
  • Bong Libun – Married to her brother Sfedat, however their marriage did not produce any children that lead to Sfedat's despondency. Sfedat asked her to kill him, when she did as she was told, the corpse of Sfedat became land. Her other brother Dwata asked her for a piece of land that was once Sfedat's body for a place to stay. She agreed on the condition that she married one of his sons. Dwata spread the land, and planted trees and other vegetation; the result is earth. The first people were created after Dwata breathed life into the clay figurines made by Hyu we and Sedek We. However, Dwata does not fulfill his side of the bargain with Bong Libun, because his sons will not have her as wife. She married her youngest brother Datu Bnoling. With him she had seven sons, who became scourges of the earth: Fun Knkel, Fun Daskulo, Fun Lkef, Fun Kumuga, Fun Blekes, and Fun Lalang.
  • Fun Knkel - The god of fever.
  • Fun Daskulo - The god of head diseases.
  • Fun Lkef - The god of colds.
  • Fun Kumuga - The god of eye afflictions.
  • Fun Blekes - The god of skin diseases.
  • Fun Lalang - The god of baldness.
  • Loos Klagan and La Fun - The divine couple; to alleviate the damage done by the scourges (the sons of Bong Libun and Datu Bnoling) they assumed the role of healers.
  • Muhen – A bird who is one of the most influential figures in the Tboli pantheon who is considered the god of fate, whose song when heard is thought to presage misfortune. Any undertaking is immediately abandoned or postponed when one hears the Muhen sing.

Ilokano deities[edit]

The list of Ilokano deities below is from Llamzon (1978:38).[34]

  • Buni - God
  • Parsua - Creator
  • Apo Langit - Lord Heaven (Apo means "Lord")
  • Apo Angin - Lord Wind
  • Apo Init - Lord Sun
  • Apo Tudo - Lord Rain
  • Dal'lang - Goddess of beauty[35]

The Ilokanos also believed in the following anito (spirits).

  • Mangmankit - spirits who dwell in woodlands and trees
  • Kaibaan - dwarfs who dwell in anthills
  • Bagbagutot - spirits who swell in shrubs
  • Namagayak - the soul of the rice (pagay)

Other mythological creatures are:

  • Katataoan - giants
  • Ansisit - dwarfs the size of a finger
  • Kaibaan - dwarfs two to three feet tall
  • Pugot - spirits of ancestral aborigines (Aetas) who guard treasures
  • Kumao - spirits that sell and kidnap children
  • Aswang - half-bird half-animal
  • Kapre - A uranggutan like human, living in an ancestral trees smoking with a large pure Tobacco leaves (PINADIS)

Kapampangan deities[edit]

  • Mangechay or Mangacha - The great elder, is said the creator of the Heavens, it is said that she is the 'net weaver' with the sky as her weaved fabric and at night the stars that shine are the fabric holes. In some accounts, she is called Mangatia.
  • Aring Sinukûan – The Kapampangan sun god of war and death, taught the early inhabitants the industry of metallurgy, wood cutting, rice culture and even waging war.
  • Apûng Malyari – The moon god who lives in Mt. Pinatubo and ruler of the eight rivers.
  • Tálâ – The bright star, the one who introduced wet-rice culture.
  • Munag Sumalâ – One of the children of Aring Sinukuan who represent dawn. Also known as the golden serpent.
  • Lakandanup – Son of Aring Sinukuan, the god of gluttony and represents the sun at noon time.
  • Gatpanapun – Son of Aring Sinukuan, the noble who only knew pleasure, his name means 'afternoon' in Kapampangan language.
  • Mingan - Wife of Aring Sinukuan.
  • Sisilim – The child of Apûng Malyari, she represent dusk and greeted by the songs of the cicada upon her arrival, her name means dusk or early evening in Kapampangan language.
  • Galurâ - The winged assistant of Aring Sinukuan, he is represented by a giant eagle and believed to be the bringer of storms.
  • Nága - Are serpent deities known for their protective nature. Their presence in structures are talismans against fire.
  • Lakandanum - A variant of the Naga, known to rule the waters
  • Cargo-Cargo - Father of Aring Sinukuan who died in Mount Pinatubo.
  • Apung Iru - A gigantic crocodile deity that supports the earth on its back. A festival was held for him in Apalit before Spanish colonization.
  • Indung Tibuan - A mother earth goddess.
  • Lakanapi - A fire god who is a dragon serpent that flows through the veins of Indung Tibuan causing her to move thus causing earthquakes.
  • Angin - A wind god
  • Lakanbini - A rice goddess.

Sambal deities[edit]

  • Malayari - Deity of power and strength and of Mt. Pinatubo. He is also revered by the Kapampangan.
  • Damalog - god who preserved the sown fields from typhoons and winds. Also known as Damulag. One of the four brothers of strength.
  • Dumangan - god of harvest who made the grain grow abundantly. One of the four brothers of strength. He is also revered by the Tagalog.
  • Apo Laki - A sun and war god. Apolaki was also the patron of warriors and fighters. He is also revered by the Tagalog.
  • Kalasakas - God who hastened the ripening of rice stalks. One of the four brothers of strength.
  • Kalasokus - God who was responsible for turning the grains from green to yellow. One of the four brothers of strength.[36]

B'laan deities[edit]

  • Melu – The Supreme Being and creator. He has white skin and gold teeth. He is assisted by Fiuwe and Tasu Weh.
  • Sawe - Joined Melu to live in the world
  • Fiuwe – A spirit who lived in the sky.
  • Diwata - A spirit who joined Fiuwe to live in the sky
  • Tasu Weh – The evil spirit.
  • Fon Kayoo – The spirit of the trees.
  • Fon Eel – The spirit of water.
  • Fon Batoo – The spirit of rocks and stones.
  • Tau Dalom Tala - The spirit who lives in the underworld
  • Loos Klagan – The most feared deity, uttering his name is considered a curse.

Batak deities[edit]

  • Maguimba - Who in remotest times lived among the people, having been summoned by a powerful babaylan, and he supplied all the necessities of Batak life, as well as all the cures for illness. He even had the power to bring the dead back to life.
  • Diwata - Provided for the needs of men and women, and gives out rewards for good deeds. Sanbay is a ritual in honor of Diwata, who is asked by the people to bless them with generous harvests of palay (unhusked rice) and honey. This ritual takes place inside a forest, about 2–3 km from the beach. Two huts are constructed for the ritual. Palay is placed in one of the huts. A replica of a beehive, meanwhile, is situated in another small hut. Prayers are recited to Diwata by the babaylan, after which the people in attendance gather together in festive eating, drinking, and dancing.
  • Angoro - Lives in Basad, a place beyond this world where the souls of the dead go, and it is there where they come to know if they are to proceed to Lampanag (heaven)or be cast into depths of the Basad, where fire and boiling water await these hapless ones.

There are also lesser gods in the Batak pantheon, some of whom are Siabuanan, Bankakah, Paraen, Buengelen, and Baybayen. They are deities of great strength.

  • Batungbayanin - Spirit of the mountains.
  • Paglimusan - Spirit of the small stones.
  • Balungbunganin - Spirit of the almaciga trees.
  • Sulingbunganin - Spirit of the big rocks.

Palawan Deities[edit]

  • Ampu - The god who wove the world and created several kinds of humanity, hence he is also called "Nagsalad", the Weaver. He is the supreme deity in a system of religious thought that can be qualified as "theist" and "animist." He is a protective watching presence, always invisible to tawbanar or the real people. In the verticality of the universe, andunawan represents his abode. While people live on dunya or earth.
  • Diwata - A benevolent and protective deity stays in lalangaw, the median space, he is the mediator between humans and Ampu.
  • Ampu at Paray - The god of Rice.
  • Linamin at Barat - The goddess of the Monsoon Winds.
  • Linamin at Bulag - The goddess of the Dry Season.
  • Linamin at Bulan - The child god of the moon.
  • Upa Kuyaw - god of Thunder.

Higaonon Deities[edit]

  • Magbabaya (The Ruler of All) - The supreme god who has minor gods and goddesses beneath him to do specific jobs and take care of certain things, he is also the god of the west.
  • Domalondong – The god of the north.
  • Ongli – The god of the south.
  • Tagolambong – The god of the east.
  • Ibabasok - He watches over the crops and their growth in a simple ceremony at the center of the rice field.
  • Dagingon – They worship this deity in an elaborated celebration complete with songs and dances which will last for nine nights during planting and after harvest seasons.
  • Bulalakaw - The spirit who watches the rivers and takes care of the fishermen's catch.
  • Tumpaa Nanapiyaw or Intumbangol - Watches the base of the earth night and day lest it crumbles.

Isneg Deities[edit]

The spiritual world of the Isneg is populated by more than 300 anito (spirits) who assume various forms. There are actually no gods or hierarchical deities in the otherworld of the Isneg, only good or bad spirits.

  • Anlabban - The spirit who looks after the general welfare of the people and is recognized as the special protector of hunters.
  • Bago - The spirit of the forest.
  • Sirinan - The river spirit.
  • Landusan - Held responsible for some cases of extreme poverty. Those believed to be suffering from the machinations of this spirit are said to be malandusan (impoverished).

There are spirits who come to help the reapers in gathering the harvest. They are known as Abad, Aglalannawan, Anat, Binusilan, Dawiliyan, Dekat, Dumingiw, Imbanon, Gimbanona, Ginalinan, Sibo, and a group of sky dwellers collectively known as the Ilanit.

  • Alupundan - Causes the reapers' toes to get sore all over and swell.
  • Arurin - She sees to it that the harvest is bad, if the Isneg farmers fail to give her share.
  • Dagdagamiyan - A female spirit who causes sickness in children for playing in places where the harvest is being done.
  • Darupaypay - Devours the palay stored in the hut before it is transferred to the granary.
  • Ginuudan - Come to measure the containers of palay, and causes it to dwindle.
  • Sildado - Resembles a horse, and kills children who play noisily outside the house.
  • Inargay - Kills people during harvest time. When inapugan, a ritual plant is offered to Inargay, the following prayer is recited by the Isneg farmer: "Iapugko iyaw Inargay ta dinaami patpatay" (I offer this betel to you, Inargay, so that you may not kill us).
  • Alipugpug - A good harvest is portended by the rising of a little whirlwind from the burned field. This, it is said, is the spirit of Alipugpug.
  • Pilay - Rice pudding is offered to Pilay, the spirit of the rice, who resides on the paga, a shelf above the Isneg hearth. This is the pisi, the ritual offering of food to the spirits. The old woman who performs this utters the following prayer: "Ne uwamo ilay ta ubatbattugammo ya an-ana-a, umaammo ka mabtugda peyan" (Here, this is yours, Pilay, so that you feed my children fully, and make sure that they are always satisfied). Another ritual is performed right in the fields where the harvest is going on. The amulets inapugan, takkag (a kind of fern), and herbs are tied to a stalk of palay, which later will be place in the granary before the other palay. Again, these are reserved for Pilay. In case a new granary is built, and the contents of the old granary transferred, the spirit's special share is also transferred to the new place. It is never consumed.

Tiruray Deities[edit]

  • Minaden – The goddess who creates of the world, had a brother named Tulus, also called Meketefu and Sualla.
  • Tulus - Is the chief of all good spirits who bestow gifts and favors upon human beings. He goes around with a retinue of messengers called telaki. Tulus is said to have rectified some errors in the first creation of the world and of human beings.

Mangyan Deities[edit]

  • Mahal na Makaako – The Supreme Being who gave life to all human beings merely by gazing at them.
  • Binayi – Owner of a garden where all spirits rest.
  • Binayo - Is a sacred female spirit, caretaker of the rice spirits or the kalag paray. She is married to the spirit Bulungabon. The kalag paray must be appeased, to ensure a bountiful harvest. It is for this reason that specific rituals are conducted in every phase of rice cultivation. Some of these rituals include the panudlak, the rite of the first planting; the rite of rice planting itself; and the rites of harvesting which consist of the magbugkos or binding rice stalks, and the pamag-uhan, which follows the harvest.
  • Bulungabon – The spirit aided by 12 fierce dogs. Erring souls are chased by these dogs and eventually drowned in a cauldron of boiling water. He is Binayo's husband.

Tinguian Deities[edit]

  • Bagatulayan – The Supreme Being and Creator of the world. He lives and rules the celestial realm, directing its activities.
  • Apadel/Kalagang - A deity who is known to be the guardian and dweller of the spirit-stones called pinaing which play an important role in the spiritual world of the Tinguian. Of various sizes and shapes, the pinaing are usually found in sports marked out as hallowed ground, often under old trees, and are deemed to be the protectors of such places and of the creatures who live in the forests.
  • Kadaklan - Is a deity subordinate to Bagatulayan. He is a friendly spirit who teaches the Tinguian how to pray, harvest their crops, ward off evil spirits, and overcome bad omens and cure sicknesses.
  • Makaboteng (one who frightens) – A benevolent spirit who dwells in the natural surroundings, believed to be the guardian of the deer and the wild pigs.

Talaandig Deities[edit]

  • Magbabaya – The Supreme God.
  • Anilaw ha Sumagda – A house spirit, the guard of the door.
  • Dadagunan hu Suguy – A house spirit who guard of the lawn of the house.
  • Diwata ha Manilib – A house spirit who records the activity of people inside the house
  • Diwata Pinatanlay – A house spirit who guard the house at the ridge of the roof.
  • Sinyuda Kahibunan – A house spirit, the keeper of the hall.

Gaddang Deities[edit]

  • Nanolay - Is both creator of all things and a culture hero. In the latter role, he is a beneficent deity. Nanolay is described in myth as a fully benevolent deity, never inflicting pain or punishment on the people. He is responsible for the origin and development of the world.
  • Ofag - Nanolay's cousin.
  • Dasal - To whom the epic warriors Biwag and Malana prayed for strength and courage before going off to their final battle.
  • Bunag - The god of the earth.
  • Limat - The god of the sea.

Ifugao Deities[edit]

  • Mah-nongan - The chief god generally refer to as the honorary dead and creator of all things, even though Ifugaos do not consider any of their deities as supreme.
  • Ampual - Of the Fourth Skyworld, is the god who bestowed animals and plants on the people and who controls the transplanting of rice. He is one of those gods who expects gifts in return for his blessings.
  • Bumigi - In charge of worms, one of the eleven beings importuned to stamp out rice pests.
  • Liddum - Is regarded as the chief mediator between the people and the other gods.
  • Lumadab - Has the power to dry up the rice leaves, one of the eleven beings importuned to stamp out rice pests.
  • Mamiyo - Stretcher of skeins, one of the twenty-three different deities preside over the art of weaving.
  • Monlolot - The winder of thread on the spindle, one of the twenty-three different deities preside over the art of weaving.
  • Puwok - Controls the dread typhoons.
  • Wigan - Is the god of good harvest.
  • Yogyog and Alyog - Cause the earth to quake. They dwell in the underworld.
  • Kolyog - Is the god of earthquakes.[35]
  • Lloeksin – the god of rodents in Ifugao mythology mentioned in the creation of the first orange tree[33]
  • Namtogan – an agriculture god with paraplegia in Ifugao mythology who taught the ancestors of the Ifugao how to create bulul statues, which will serve as avatars of a variety of Ifugao rice deities[37]
  • Mapatar – sky god of the sun in charge of daylight in Ifugao mythology[38]
  • Gatui – a number of divinities in Ifugao mythology; deities of practical jokes who also have malevolent sides such as feasting on souls and causing miscarriages[33]

Ilongot Deities[edit]

  • Abal – He and his brother Cain are the creators and guardian lords of all things. They are benevolent and their particular care is that of the people who live on earth. They are invincible and live in the sky Taon, sometimes on the sun Elag, or the moon Dalan, or perchance some star Pandac. Their messengers are called Binangunan or Cabuligian. Cain and Abal travel from place to place. Their road is called Keat (lightning). Kidu (thunder) follows the road. In the beginning, Cain and Abal lived together in the sky; but they had a quarrel and separated, as Abal wanted to live on earth where he could herd his animals. He was the one who created the lowlanders, who have the use of his carabaos and other animals.
  • Cain - Created all the mountain people, including the Ilongots. He gave them their customs, which they have followed throughout the centuries. He was a killer and a head-hunter; so they are also. Abal is stronger and more powerful than Cain and so there are more lowlanders than mountain people.
  • Delan - The moon, usually he and Elag are congenial and take turns giving light; but sometimes they quarrel and Elag covers Delan more or less with a great, huge winnowing bila-o (basket). Thus we have the different phases of the moon.
  • Elag - The sun, they worship him (it) so as the moon and stars because they give life and growth. He has a great, magnificent house in Gacay. When he gets tired giving light and goes into his house, it is night.
  • Gemang - The guardian of wild beasts. When a party of men is starting on a hunt, they build a fire, take hold of the dogs and the weapons and pass them one by one through the smoke. The last dog to be passed through the smoke is the leader of the pack. After taking it out of the smoke, the owner spits on its face, and rubs the saliva down its back and sides. Meanwhile, he has been talking and shouting to Gemang, saying: "Do not let our dogs get sick. You must give us one of your animals. Do not take the form of a wild beast so that the dogs chase you by mistake. If you will let the dogs catch one beast, then we will give you to eat and drink and likewise your wife." Following this ceremony, the part starts out in a successful hunt.
  • Lampong - The dwarf shepherd of the wild animals.
  • Oden – The rain, they worship him (it) for its life-giving water.

Agta Deities[edit]

There are four manifestations of the "great creator" who rules the world: Tigbalog is the source of life and action; Lueve takes care of production and growth; Amas moves people to pity, love, unity, and peace of heart; while Binangewan is responsible for change, sickness, and death.

  • Gutugutumakkan – The Supreme Being.
  • Kedes - The god of the hunt.
  • Pawi - The god of the forest.
  • Sedsed - The god of the sea.

Other Igorot Deities[edit]

  • Kabunian is the sky god of the Igorot tribe in Mountain Province before Christianity came. According to Atok Indigenous Knowledge (NCIP Benguet), Kabunian represents the sun, moon, stars and other heavenly bodies. Igorot's worship to Kabunyan is highlighted during caniao festivals, planting and harvest seasons and other igorot rituals. During the headhunting years, it was strongly believed that heads were sacrificial offerings to Kabunyan. The Igorot believes that after head offering ritual, Kabunyan give strength to the hunter and makes the community's soil fertile, or Kabunyan envigorates the spiritual "energy" resided in the head to strengthen buildings, or to protect against attacks, and sometimes they used the head as a dowry. Igorot Folktales (Sep. 3, 2017) stated that this Kabunyan went down from the sky and married Bangan. They had three children and one of them was Lumawig.
  • Lumawig is Kabunyan's son, who became earth-bound to the people to teach the arts and skills for survival. In John Bagobe's Igorot Myths, he narrated that Lumawig married a mortal woman named Fugan in Bontoc. After a time, he decided to go back to the sky leaving Fugan whom he put in a small canoe and set afloat on a river towards Tenglayan.

Kalinga Deities[edit]

  • Kidul - The god of thunder.[35]

Tagbanwa Deities[edit]

  • Poko - The god of the sea.[35]

List of famous diwatas[edit]

Aside from the gods and goddesses, ancient Filipinos also worshipped numerous forest deities known as diwatas (Filipinos counterpart of nymphs/enchanter or enchantress). There is a multitude of diwatas in the Philippine mythology and folklore, but this section includes only the list of well-known.

Name Definition
Malina/Maria Makiling The most famous of all the enchantress in the Philippine mythology and folklore. She was the protector and guardian of Mount Makiling located in Los Baños, Laguna. Thus, modern sightings of her were even reported. Maria Makiling is a common subject among Filipino artists, ranging from painters and sculptors to graphic novelists. Prior to the conversion of the natives to Christianity, Maria Makiling was already known as Makiling, an anito sent by Bathala in Mount Makiling to aid mankind in their daily tasks. The 'Maria' was added by the Spanish in a bid to 'rebrand' her as Catholic and to further subjugate the natives into Spanish imperialism.[39]
Maria Sinukuan She was the resident and protector of Mount Arayat located in Arayat, Pampanga. Prior to Spanish colonization, Sinukuan was known as a powerful male Kapampangan god, named Aring Sinukûan, who was in par with the Kapampangan god of Pinatubo, Apûng Malyari. The two were the second most powerful deities in Kampampangan mythology, next only to Mangechay (sometimes called Mangacha), the great elder and creator goddess. Aring Sinukûan was the sun god of war and death, taught the early inhabitants the industry of metallurgy, wood cutting, rice culture and waging war. He had three children, namely, Munag Sumalâ, the golden serpent god who represent dawn, Lakandanup, the god of gluttony who represented the sun at noon time, and Gatpanapun, the noble god who only knew pleasure and represented the afternoon. He also had a winged assistant named Galurâ, a giant eagle deity believed to be the bringer of storms, and a wife named Mingan. However, when the Spanish arrived, they 'rebranded' Sinukuan as a woman, thinking that the people would not revere the deity if he was a female, not knowing that the great elder deity of the Kapampangan was a woman named Mangechay. Additionally, Sinukuan's wife, Mingan, was rebranded as 'male'. Despite this, the natives continued to revere Sinukuan. Furious, the Spanish added 'Maria' to Sinukuan's name to somewhat turn her into Catholic in a bid to further subjugate the natives and convert them into Roman Catholicism.[40][41]
Maria Cacao She dwells in Mount Lantoy, Argao, Cebu where she had cacao trees, hence a plantation outside her own cave. After harvest, rain comes that wash down the mountain, enabling her to float down to the towns below in her golden ship to sell her products. The original name of the Maria Cacao is unknown as it was not recorded before the Spanish subjugated her name in a bid to instill Roman Catholicisms to the natives. But it is widely assumed her name is not indigenous as 'Cacao' is an imported term that came from Latin America when the Spanish arrived. Additionally, the term 'Maria' was added by the Spanish to turn her into 'Catholic', in a bid to widen Spanish rule in southern Cebu.[42]
Diwata ng Kagubatan (Enchantress of the Forest) She was worshiped by the ancient Cuyunon people, an ethnic group that predominantly lives in the Cuyo Archipelago and nearby areas such as northern Palawan and Antique. As the most powerful of the supernatural Cuyonon beings, she is honored in a celebrated feast, periodically held atop of Mount Caimana in Cuyo Island. When most of the natives were converted to Christianity during the Spanish Era, about 2/3 of the converted Cuyunon were still celebrating her feast, angering the Spanish imperialists. The situation led the Spanish authorities to intensify their evangelization and governance efforts, which included the forced Roman Catholic conversion of the Cuyonon people, burning of houses of non-Catholic Cuyonons, and massive slavery. Later, the Spanish called Diwata ng Kagubatan as Virgen Del Monte, in another bid to rebrand the deity as 'Catholic'.[43]


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  • Leticia Ramos Shahani; Fe B. Mangahas; Jenny R. Llaguno, Centennial Crossings: Reading on Babaylan Feminism in the Philippines, C & E Publishing, Inc., pp. 27, 28, 30, ISBN 971-584-519-3
  • Sonia M. Zaide; Gregorio F. Zaide (1990), The Philippines: A Unique Nation (2nd ed.), All-Nations Publishing Co., Inc., p. 69, ISBN 971-642-071-4
  • Thelma B. Kintanar; Jose V. Abueva (2009), Cultural Dictionary For Filipinos (2nd ed.), University of the Philippines Press, pp. 75, 79, ISBN 978-971-27-2303-2