Deities of Philippine mythology

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Deities of Philippine Mythology

The deities of Philippine mythology are the gods, goddesses and diwatas worshiped by ancient Filipinos before the Christianization of the natives after the Spanish conquest of the Philippines. While not as widely known as its European and Asian counterparts, they have similar elements and characteristics when compared to other mythologies, especially in Asia and Oceania.

List of Gods and Goddesses[edit]

Ancient Philippine mythology varies among the many indigenous tribes of the Philippines. During the pre-Spanish era, some tribes believed in a single supreme being who created the world and everything in it, along with lesser deities. Others chose to worship a multitude of trees as an act of animism. Below are some of the gods and goddesses of the various ancient Philippine tribes:

Ancient Tagalog Deities[edit]

This section includes the deities of the Ancient Tagalogs from a certain pantheon story. The first part as shown below were the residents of Kaluwalhatian (the Ancient Tagalog counterpart of Christian's Heaven).[1]

Name God(dess) of... Generation
Bathala 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 in order to assist the daily lives of every human. When most of the natives were converted to Christianity during the Spanish Era, he was referred to the Christian God.[2] First[A]
Amanikable Originally this god was worshipped as the god of Hunters. In more modern stories he has become associated as the ill-tempered god of the sea, replacing Aman Sinaya among of the first generation gods (aside from Bathala), he was never married after his love was spurned by a beautiful mortal maiden, Maganda. In frustration, he swore vengeance against the humans by sending turbulent waves and horrible tempests in order to wreck boats and to drown men.[3] First[B]
Idiyanale The goddess of labor and good deeds. Natives used to call for her guidance in order to make their works successful. She married Dimangan and had two offspring.[4] First[C][D]
Dimangan The god of good harvest. He was married to Idiyanale and had two offspring.[3] First
Lakapati The goddess of fertility and the most understanding and kind of all the deities. She was a hermaphrodite, having both female and male genitalia. Also known as Ikapati, she was the giver of food and prosperity. Her best gift to mankind was agriculture (cultivated fields). Through this, she was respected and loved by the people. Later, she was married to Mapulon and had a daughter. During early Spanish rule, she was depicted as the Holy Spirit.[4] First[E]
Mapulon The god of seasons, good health and medicine. He fell in love with Lakapati due to Lakapati's kindness and and understanding to the people. They were married and had a daughter.[3] First
Mayari The goddess of the moon, war, revolution and among many others. She is one of the three daughters of Bathala by a mortal woman. She was the most charming of all the goddesses. She had two sisters, Tala and Hanan.[5] 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.[5] Second[H]
Hanan The goddess of morning; sister of Mayari and Tala and one of the three daughters of Bathala by a mortal woman.[5] Second
Dumakulem The strong, agile guardian of mountains and the son of Idiyanale and Dimangan. His sister was Anitun Tabu. He later married Anagolay.[3] Second
Anitun Tabu The fickle-minded goddess of wind and rain. She was the daughter of Idiyanale and Dimangan and the sister of Dumakulem.[3] Second
Anagolay The goddess of lost things and the only offspring of Lakapati and Mapulon. She was married to Dumakulem.[3] Second
Apolaki The god of sun, wisdom and strategy and the chief patron of warriors. He was the son of Anagolay and Dumakulem.[5] Third (or Second)[I]
Diyan Masalanta The goddess of love, conception and childbirth and the protector of lovers. She was the daughter of Anagolay and Dumakulem and youngest of all the deities. Third

Other definitions

  • A^ In some sources, Bathala is the father of Apolaki, aside from Mayari and Tala hence excluding Hanan.[6]
  • B^ In some sources, Amanikable is referred as a sea deity of the Manobo tribe.[7]
  • C^ In some sources, Idiyanale is identified as the goddess of agriculture.[8]
  • 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 myth, Mayari is the sister of Apolaki.[9]
  • G^ In some sources, Mayari is identified as a one-eyed goddess.[6]
  • H^ In some creation myth, Tala is the sister of Mayari and Apolaki and the daughter of Bathala.[6]
  • I^ In some creation myth, Apolaki is the brother of Mayari and the son of Bathala.[10]

The list includes the god/goddess-like, residents of Kasamaan (Ancient Tagalog counterpart of Hell). They were the evil entities all opposed to Bathala and the rest of his deities.

Name Definition
Sitan The guardian of Kasamaan and the keeper of all souls therein, the counterpart of Satan. He had four agents whose task was to lead man to sin and destruction.[3]
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 magic wand.[11]
Manisilat The second agent of Sitan, she was tasked to destroy and break every happy and united family that she could find.[3]
Mangkukulam The only male agent of Sitan, he was to emit fire at night and when there was bad weather. 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. His name remains today as witch.[3]
Hukluban The last agent of Sitan could change herself into any form she desired. She could kill someone by simply raising her hand and could heal without any difficulty as she wished. Her name literally means "crone" or "hag."[12]

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.

Name God(dess) of
Aman Sinaya She is the primordial goddess of the ocean and protector of fishermen. She was one of the three original deities along with Bathala and Amihan. She sent tempests into the heavens, to which Bathala responded by throwing boulders which would become the Philippine Islands. Amihan flew back and forth between them, making peace.
Galang Kaluluwa (Wandering Spirit) The winged god present in some creation myths who loves to travel. He is identified as a close friend of Bathala.[13]
Haik God of the sea.
Lakambakod The protector of the growing crops.[3]
Lakambini She is known as the "pure maiden" for his incomparable beauty, ironic that he is a male diwata. He was originally known as the god of "kapurihan"(purity) and is also the god of food, festivity and anti-gluttony. worshiped mainly by men: they pray to Lakambini to let them find a beautiful maiden to wed. An obscure deity called "abogado dela garganta" (throat advocate) by the Spaniards and was turned into the god of gluttony.
Lingga A phallic god.He was the god who was responsible for curing diseases, hence a deity of medicines.
Ulilang Kaluluwa (Orphaned Spirit) It is a serpent god present in some creation myths that was killed by Bathala after an ensuing rival.[14]

Ancient Bikolano Deities[edit]

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

Name God(dess) of
Gugurang The supreme god who dwells inside of Mount Mayon where he guards and protects the sacred fire in which Aswang, his brother was trying to steal. Whenever people disobey his orders, wishes and commit numerous sins, he would cause Mount Mayon to burst lava as a sign of warning for people to mend their crooked ways. Ancient Bikolanos had a rite performed for him called Atang.[15][16]
Asuang The evil god who always try to steal the sacred fire of Mount Mayon from his brother, Gugurang. Addressed sometimes as Aswang, he dwells mainly inside Mount Malinao. As an evil god, he would cause the people to suffer misfortunes and commit sins.[15][16] Enemy of Gugurang and a friend of Bulan the god of the moon
Haliya The masked goddess of the moonlight and the arch-enemy of Bakunawa and protector of Bulan. Her cult is composed primarily of women. There is also a ritual dance named after her as it is performed to be a counter-measure against Bakunawa.[17]
Bulan The god of the pale moon, he is depicted as a pubescent boy with uncommon comeliness that made savage beast and the vicious mermaids (Magindara) tame.
Magindang The god of the sea and all its creatures, pursued the lunar god Bulan and the reason is to why the waves rise to reach the moon
Okot God of forest and hunting
Bakunawa A gigantic sea serpent deity who is often considered as the cause of eclipses. As the devourer of the sun and the moon, this serpent became an adversary of Haliya.[18]

Ancient Visayan Deities[edit]

This section includes the deities of the Visayans from a certain pantheon story.[19]

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.[20] 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.[21] First
Lihangin The god of the wind and the son of Kaptan. He later married Lidagat and had four children.[22] Second
Lidagat The goddess of the sea, daughter of Maguayan. She later married Lihangin and had four children.[23] Second
Likabutan The god of the world and the eldest children of Lihangin and Lidagat.[24] Third
Liadlaw The god of the sun and the second children of Lihangin ang Lidagat.[25] Third
Libulan The god of the moon and the third children of Lihangin and Lidagat.[26] 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 skies.
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 greed and vengeance, and sister to Nagmalitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata.
Dalikamata The many-eyed goddess, cures eye illnesses.
Kan-Laon The supreme god worshiped by the Ancient Visayans who lived in the Negros Island that dwells in Mount Kanlaon. As well as Kaptan, he is the Ancient Visayans counterpart of Bathala). He is also revered as the god of time.[29]
Kasaraysarayan sa Silgan God of rivers.
Lalahon Goddess of fire, volcanoes and harvest.[30] 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.[31]
Lubay-Lubyok Hanginun si Mahuyokhuyokan Goddess of the 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.
Pahulangkug God of seasons.
Paiburong God of the middle world.
Pandaki God who rescues the deserving for a more pleasant fate.
Panlinugun Ruler of the underworld and of earthquakes.
Ribung Linti God of lightning and thunder.
Santonilyo God of graces.
Saraganka Bagyo God of storms.
Saragnayan God of darkness.
Sidapa The god of death who is said to reside on top Mt. Madja-as.
Siginarugan He is identified as the god of the underworld.[32]
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 God of the upper world, counterpart of Bathala.
Ynaguinid and Malanduc Gods of war and poisons.

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).[33]

  • Buni - God
  • Parsua - Creator
  • Apo Langit - Lord Heaven (Apo means "Lord")
  • Apo Angin - Lord Wind
  • Apo Init - Lord Sun
  • Apo Tudo - Lord Rain

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.
  • 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.
  • 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

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.

Bukidnon 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.

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 biga-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
  • Lumawig

List of Famous Diwatas[edit]

Main article: Diwata

Aside from the gods and goddesses, ancient Filipinos also worshiped numerous forest deities known as diwatas (Filipinos counterpart of nymphs/enchanter or enchantress). There are lot 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 [34]
Maria Sinukuan She was the resident and protector of Mount Arayat located in Arayat, Pampanga.[35]
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.[36]
Diwata ng Kagubatan (Enchantress of the Forest) Also known as Virgen Del Monte, she was worshiped by the ancient Cuyunon of Cuyo Island, Palawan. She is honored in a celebrated feast, periodically held atop of Mount Caimana in the mentioned island. When most of the natives were converted to Christianity during the Spanish Era, about 2/3 of the converted Cuyunon are still celebrating her feast that upset the Spanish authorities. The situation led the Spanish authorities to intensify their evangelization and governance efforts.[37]


  1. ^ Sonia M. Zaide, Gregorio F. Zaide, pp. 69
  2. ^ Leticia Ramos Shahani, Fe B. Mangahas, Jenny R. Llaguno, pp. 27, 28, 30
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j F. Landa Jocano
  4. ^ a b Leticia Ramos Shahani, Fe B. Mangahas, Jenny R. Llaguno, pp. 30
  5. ^ a b c d Sofronio G. Calderon
  6. ^ a b c Mabel Cook Cole, pp. 99–101, 124
  7. ^ Rebecca Ramilio Ongsotto, Reynaldo Castillo Ramilo
  8. ^ Rebecca Ramilio Ongsotto, Reynaldo Castillo Ramilo
  9. ^ Erlinda D. Lalic, Avelina J. Matic, pp. 33
  10. ^ Erlinda D. Lalic, Avelina J. Matic, pp. 33
  11. ^ Thelma B. Kintanar, Jose V. Abueva, pp. 75
  12. ^ Thelma B. Kintanar, Jose V. Abueva, pp. 79
  13. ^ Leticia Ramos Shahani, Fe B. Mangahas, Jenny R. Llaguno, pp. 27, 28
  14. ^ Leticia Ramos Shahani, Fe B. Mangahas, Jenny R. Llaguno, pp. 27, 28
  15. ^ a b "Asuang Steals Fire from Gugurang by Damiana L. Eugenio". Archived from the original on 2009-05-26. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  16. ^ a b Clark, Jordan (2011) The Aswang Phenomenon Animation
  17. ^ "Inquirer NewsInfo: Bicol Artist protest Natl. Artist awardees". Archived from the original on 2009-09-11. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  18. ^ "GMANews: Eclipse; Bakunawa eats the sun behind a curtain of clouds". Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  19. ^ Efren R. Abueg, Simplicio P. Bisa, Emerlinda G. Cruz, pp. 17–18
  20. ^ Efren R. Abueg, Simplicio P. Bisa, Emerlinda G. Cruz, pp. 17–18
  21. ^ Efren R. Abueg, Simplicio P. Bisa, Emerlinda G. Cruz, pp. 17–18
  22. ^ Efren R. Abueg, Simplicio P. Bisa, Emerlinda G. Cruz, pp. 17–18
  23. ^ Efren R. Abueg, Simplicio P. Bisa, Emerlinda G. Cruz, pp. 17–18
  24. ^ Efren R. Abueg, Simplicio P. Bisa, Emerlinda G. Cruz, pp. 17–18
  25. ^ Efren R. Abueg, Simplicio P. Bisa, Emerlinda G. Cruz, pp. 17–18
  26. ^ Efren R. Abueg, Simplicio P. Bisa, Emerlinda G. Cruz, pp. 17–18
  27. ^ Efren R. Abueg, Simplicio P. Bisa, Emerlinda G. Cruz, pp. 17–18
  28. ^ Rebecca R. Ongsotto, Reena R. Ongsotto, Rowena Maria Ongsotto, pp. 58
  29. ^ William Henry Scott, pp. 80
  30. ^ Rebecca R. Ongsotto, Reena R. Ongsotto, Rowena Maria Ongsotto, pp. 58
  31. ^ Lalahon - goddess of fire, volcanoes and harvest
  32. ^ Rebecca R. Ongsotto, Reena R. Ongsotto, Rowena Maria Ongsotto, pp. 58
  33. ^ Llamzon, Teodoro A. 1978. Handbook of Philippine language groups. Quezon City, Philippines: Ateneo de Manila University Press.
  34. ^ "The Legend of Maria Makiling retold by Gat Jose Rizal". Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  35. ^ "The Legend of Maria Sinukuan". Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  36. ^ Rene O. Villanueva
  37. ^ "Cuyunon Island by Lydia Mary De Leon". Retrieved 2010-04-03. 


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  • Rene O. Villanueva (2002), Maria Cacao: Ang Diwata ng Cebu, ISBN 971-518-029-9 
  • Rebecca Ramilio Ongsotto; Reynaldo Castillo Ramilo (1998), Analytical Skill Exercises in Philippine History, p. 35, ISBN 971-23-2196-7 
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  • William Henry Scott (1994), Barangay: sixteenth-century Philippine culture and society, Ateneo de Manila University Press, p. 79, ISBN 971-550-135-4 
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  • F. Landa Jocano (1969), Outline of Philippine Mythology, Centro Escolar University Research and Development Center 
  • Mabel Cook Cole (1916), Philippine Folk Tales, A. C. McClurg and Comopany, pp. 99–101, 124 
  • Sofronio G. Calderon (1947), Mga alamat ng Pilipinas : (Philippine mythology traditions and legends), M. Colcol & Corporation 
  • 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