SUGARY MUSINGS, Uncategorized


As Thor hits the theatres, we are once again inundated with questions about the background of the original Thor, the Norse god of thunder, not the hero that was Marvel-lized for commercial purposes.  We thought, though, that Thor is somewhat over-rated, especially when the Philippines have its share of superheroes whose lives are infinitely more interesting than the Norse god.

No, we’re not talking about Gagamboy or Lastikman.  We are talking about the literary heroes from different epics all around the country – and each of them can easily beat Thor with one hand.  Read on…

THOR | Out in theaters | Image from

4.  Saragnayan of Hinilawod

I feel for this guy, that’s why I refuse to call him a villain.  I mean if some friggin’ demigod punk comes knocking at your door demanding to shag your wife, what is the guy to do?

The epic of Hinilawod identifies Saragnayan as the Lord of Darkness whose wife, Nagmalitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata is famous for her beauty.  The hero of Hinilawod, Labaw Donggon had recently collected two wives but, not content, he sought out a third wife, Nagmalitong Yawa Sinag—you know, Saragnayan’s wife.   Anyway, Saragnayan and Labaw Donggon fought for the lady (don’t make me type the name, please.  My fingers are bleeding).

LABAW DONGGON | We have combed the Web for a picture of Saragnayan | Unfortunately, we have found none | Villains don't get to have their own sketches like this | Image from

In a duel that should not be tried at home, Labaw Donggon submerged Saragnayan underwater for seven years.   That should teach the man from trying to defend the family honor.  You would think that was the end of it, but no.  Saragnayan managed to survive the attempt to drown him, and proceeded to beat Labaw Donggon with a coconut tree.

Yup, you read it right.  Saragnayan vanquished the Hinilawod hero by thrashing him not with a police truncheon but with a coconut tree – and that was after having been submerged underwater for seven years.

MICHAEL PHELPS | Possibly a descendant of a Filipino hero | Image from

The man just don’t know when to quit.  In fact, years later, Saragnayan moved to the US and raped Michael Phelps mother [citation needed] , thereby transferring his ability to hold his breath underwater for an indeterminate period of time.  He also fathered a less successful progeny, Aquaman, who later on became the most useless member of the Justice League [citation needed]but that’s not what this article is all about.

And speaking of strong lungs, we go to the next hero…

3.  Humadapnon of Hinilawod

Humadapnon is a bad-ass, that is a given.  He would have handily defeated Thor and would have bitch-slapped the Thunder God to the next century.

Consider what he has done so far:

  • He almost single-handedly slew the family and kin of Saragnayan as revenge for what happened to big brother Labaw Donggon with the use of his kampilan.  Kind of like Bruce Lee, only with less kicks and more blood.  And guts hanging out.
  • Enraged after he discovered that his bride married another man a “mere” seven years after his absence — don’t ask me where they went because it’s really ridiculous —  he slew, also almost single-handedly, the entire entourage and the guests during the reception.  Kind of like Kill Bill with less automatic weapons.
  • He battled an eight-headed monster that guards the Underworld when he went after his wife.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH (Shouting while firing machine gun) "Tell hem etch John Rambo" | Rambo, pales in comparison to Humadapnon | Image from

But, some of you might say, that has been done by Rambo.  Rambo, however, does not have wives named Nagmalitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata and Burigadang Pada Sinaklang Bulawan.   The Civil Registrar at that time reportedly took one look at the name of the sisters and had a seizure.

Imagine what it was like to have a wife with that name.  What if you are Humadapnon and you had a long day?  You just waded through a sea of blood, battled a monster or was enchanted by a wily seductress – you know, the usual job hazards of being a demigod.  Now you wanted a massage – very badly.

JUST LAYK A NAYP | The sharp kampilan | Image from

You will have to scream the name of your wives, and pronto!  Quick, try saying Nagmalitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata or Burigadang Pada Sinaklang Bulawan in one breath and you will see what I mean.  Or say you were having sex with either one of your wives and in the middle of the act she suddenly says, “Say my name, bitch!”  That would be a real deal-breaker if you fail to say the name properly.

Humadapnon. Big arms, sharp kampilan.  And most importantly, strong lungs.

2.  Sulayman of Indarapatra and Sulayman

Sulayman was the brother of Haring Indarapatra from the Maranao epic Indarapatra at Sulayman.  Sulayman was sent by big brother Indarapatra to the lands that were ravaged by different kinds of monsters and he dispatched of them one by one as easily as Jason Bourne did with the other agents.

And how did he get to the places?  He didn’t ride a Porsche – he rode the wind, handily gaining the support of environmentalists and the cool dudes at the same time.  He first sought out Kurita, a creature with many limbs (either a product of a freak scientific experiment or a radiation leak – take your pick).


He killed the creature – but the epic poem was not clear on how he did it, but for sure he did it with style and a few flicks of his kampilan while reading a Koran in one hand.  Yes, he is THAT cool.

He next rode the wind (not a metaphor for anybody, I’m sure) and went to Mt Matutum and encountered a giant called Tarabusaw.  *Yawn* He sliced and diced the monster before it can even touch him.

He went to Mt Bita next where the giant bird Pah was residing.  He took one look at the bird Pah, then hit the bird with his sword.  That was either one wimpy avian monster or Sulayman is just an expert in carving birds.  Anyway, the bird was immediately killed, but as it fell, its wing clipped and crushed our hero knocking the wind (and his life) out of him.

But don’t grieve yet!  Indarapatra after all, is more than just a name in the title.  He learned about the death of Sulayman through a plant whose life force was somehow connected to the man (kind of like E.T.).

Indarapatra just simply gathered the bones of his brother, and poured water on them – and voila!  He’s ALIIIIIIIIIVE again.

Yeah… well, what do you expect.  These heroes are hardier than the X-Men.

Which brings us to Number 1…

1.  Lam-ang from Biag Ti Lam-ang

Lam-ang is perhaps the most iconic of all pre-colonial literary heroes – or maybe he just pays his publicist well.  Our hero, as soon as he was born, immediately told his mother to name him “Lam-ang”.  His mother of course did not question whether a child that can barely even lift its head can already speak and boss people around about his name, and immediately acceded to the little brat’s request.

SHOW THE BROTHER SOME RESPECT | Lam-ang, the meanest, toughest of them all | Image from

The little brat, as soon as he got his name, immediately drove her mother out of his home, became a wrestler and fell in love with a stripper.   Oh, wait, that was the gritty reboot of Lam-ang by Warner Bros.[citation needed].

Lam-ang, according to literary sources, learned through his mother that his father Don Juan was slain by a band of Igorots.  Naturally, Lam-ang went on a rampage and killed an entire band of Igorots single-handedly.  In fact, the grime and the filth that he got after gutting his enemies one by one covered his body so thickly, when he washed it off in a nearby river, all the fish in the area died (probably the first recorded fishkill ever).   Note, he was hardly a year old at that time (I smell a steroid user).

Lam-ang then fell in love with Ines Canoyan who, in stories like these, is as hot as a Victoria’s Secret model but showing less skin.

To impress Ines, Lam-ang brought with him his pet rooster and dog – a sort of demolitions-and-construction team – they alternately collapsed and rebuilt a nearby house (not sure if bones were found underneath the collapsed house – the epic does not concern itself with collateral damage).


About Hannah|JuliusMariveles

English instructor and broadcast journalist



  1. haha…this is so freakin hilarious… What a long entry… Anyways, Im looking forward to your next post… Visit my blog at…

    Posted by Ryan Adik Nga Lambay | May 2, 2011, 8:34 am
  2. One may say that epics like the one about Labaw-Donggon and Saragnayan are unbelievable or in our dialect, ‘bahol’, but I was thinking, shouldn’t our ancestors who wrote these kinds of epics be lauded for their creative imagination? Coz really, what foreign literary hero could actually live after being submerged under water for seven years? :]

    Posted by meCOLEE | May 2, 2011, 9:50 am
    • Most of these are metaphors, I think. Like, when our teacher pointed out that there are a lot of number seven in Hinilawod: Saragnayan was submerged under water for seven yrs, Humadapnon fought with a monster (I forgot) for seven years, or and another brother fought a bat-like monster for seven years. Daming seven!

      Posted by Hera Meister | May 2, 2011, 9:53 am
      • If it has seven heads, it might be medusa. Oh, wait. Wrong myth. And wrong creature. ROFL (>_<)

        Posted by Rommel John | May 2, 2011, 10:15 am
      • Thanks for the comment, Hera. Actually, Humadapnon fought against a stranger — later identified as Amarotha — who spirited away his wife. It was also Dumalapdap who fought a bat-like monster for seven years. The monster is called Uyutang, and it was through him that Negros Island was formed.

        The beauty of our myths is that it hews closely to and reflects our tradition. The Indo-Malayan influences are clear, especially the treatment of women, the cultural structure, even the repetitive mention of the number seven as a symbolically heavy number. You are right. Historians and literature experts think that most of the tall tales are metaphors, actually.

        Again, thanks!

        Posted by negrossugarbacolodspice | May 2, 2011, 1:02 pm
    • What a boring fight, no? No wonder they don’t make movies out of Filipino myths. How exciting is a fight where the villain’s head is submerged under the sea for seven years? I can just imagine…
      Hinilawod I: The two fought, and Labaw Donggon dunked Saragnayan’s head into the sea.
      Hinilawod II: 2nd year of the fight.
      Fast forward Hinilawod VII: LD finally got tired, and Sara was able to grab a tree by the beach to slap LD (second rate, trying hard, copycat).

      Posted by Rommel John | May 2, 2011, 10:07 am
      • You do know that film and literature are entirely different media, right? It would take a really bad director to take the battle literally.

        Boring? As opposed to Thor’s drinking binges?

        Anyway, like one poster said, Dude, are you aware that the article was intended as a joke?

        Go ahead, be a Thor supporter, but please bring your kill joy attitude elsewhere.

        If you can’t enjoy a funny article without going all academic on us, then this page is not for you.

        Posted by Serena Labrador | May 2, 2011, 11:41 am
      • You’re the only one I know who thinks that the fight between Saragnayan and Labaw Donggon is boring.

        “No wonder they don’t make movies out of Filipino myths.”

        I don’t believe it has anything to do about the quality of Philippine myths. I suggest you read them — or at least their synopsis — before making an unfair blanket assessment of the state of our mythology.

        I think the lack of cinematic adaptations can be traced to our sad, condescending, and insulting attitude towards Philippine myths in general. Look at the Chinese: They keep on making QUALITY, epic-level films about their history, and their wu xia films are replete with references to their culture and tradition.

        Our history is replete with stories of brave men and women (both legendary and otherwise) — by our producers instead opt to rip off the Lord of the Rings.

        I guess it is just a matter of taking pride in our Malayan and Indonesian heritage, and doing away with the attitude that “If it’s from Europe, it must be good.”

        Anyway, thanks for dropping by! Good evening!

        Posted by negrossugarbacolodspice | May 2, 2011, 12:56 pm
  3. Ah, but have you heard the tales about the noble feats of the great deity, Thor?

    According to veritable sources (no less than Utgard-Loki himself, the mortal enemy of the Asgard deities; I mean, if a known enemy praises you, he’s telling the truth, right?), Thor took a drink of the sea, the result being the water level went down by considerable levels, and thus created the various deserts we now have. It also paved the way for modern human’s worldwide use of fossil fuel, and resulted in much talk about global warming… but I digress.

    He was also able eat almost as much as a wild fire, which so scared the Utgard giants, they started having Ragnarok nightmares (I can understand why; he’s gonna ’em out of a house and home).

    As you can see, such drinking and eating prowess has been unsurpassed for generations, which even the mighty heroes and demigods of the Pearl of the Orient Seas cannot much.

    Too bad he was killed by a venom of the gigantic snake, Jormungandr, which had been peacefully sleeping under the sea, its whole body snuggly wrapping the globe while it sleeps (proof that ancients knew the earth is NOT flat, until only a few centuries ago).

    Rumor has it that Jormungandr got pissed when Thor took a drink out of its domicile, although supporters of Thor claim that Jormungandr is simply eeevvvviiiiiillllll, and pointed out the fact that it is a snake as proof of its eeevvvviiiiiillllll ways.

    Jormungandr sympathizers believe that this seriously depressed the World Serpent, which then committed suicide by biting its own tongue. Thor supporters, however, argue that he was able to kill the eeevvvviiiiiillllll snake, and was able to take nine steps before he succumbed to the eeevvvviiiiiillllll venom, and pointed out that it is highly unlikely that such an [evil] creature can ever be depressed.

    Sorry, I just couldn’t help it. (>_<) ROFL.

    Posted by Rommel John | May 2, 2011, 9:56 am
    • Darn. much = match. Spell-checker failed to catch that.

      Posted by Rommel John | May 2, 2011, 9:58 am
    • I hope you get that this is supposed to be a joke, right? @-@

      Posted by Hera Meister | May 2, 2011, 10:14 am
    • Dude. Calm down. XD

      Posted by Jayrick | May 2, 2011, 10:18 am
      • Darn (@_@) I was so excited I messed my grammar up. (@_@) “… gonna EAT ’em out…”

        Nong Jay? Paki-edit na lang pls (>_<)

        Posted by Rommel John | May 2, 2011, 10:29 am
    • The point of this article is not to argue with any fan of Thor. If you notice, the tone was completely tongue-in-cheek (Did Saragnayan really rape Michael Phelps’ mother, for instance?).

      I wrote this for two specific purposes: (a) to entertain, (b) to revive an appreciation for local myths by using humor.

      I guess my purpose might have been lost on you, hence, the condescending high-and-mighty attitude you are adopting (I hope not deliberately) and using the disparaging words like “boring” which could be misconstrued as haughtiness.

      My wish is that before we start appreciating myths from other countries, why not start with our own? That was the point of this article.

      Still, I will not delete your post, because this is after all a free market of ideas. It just didn’t occur to me that this would be made as an avenue for you to start a heated defense of something that does not exist to begin with.

      Posted by negrossugarbacolodspice | May 2, 2011, 12:58 pm
      • My comment was supposed to be a comical “promotion” of Thor, not a debate. Observe the “ROFL.” (>_<) Thor is no favorite of mine, which is why I was hoping to put him in a not-so-good light with his feeding and drinking frenzy, but that failed I guess.

        Not to mention the joke about Jormungand's depression.

        My apologies for the misunderstanding. (T_T)

        Posted by Rommel John | May 3, 2011, 12:03 pm
      • Oh, and by the way, when I said “I just couldn’t help it,” I meant that I couldn’t help writing in the same “vein,” ie, funny, but still based on mythological facts, coz I enjoyed and was inspired by the post (>_<). Yes, it *was* meant to sound high-and-mighty, but it was also meant to make fun of Thor, e.g.:

        1. his enemies praising him (really, who could trust an enemy's praise? and anyway, he died rather quickly in Ragnarok, which made all these "feats" seem like a sick joke)

        2. unsurpassed drinking and eating as a serious feat? sounds more like a drunkard's challenge.

        3. and the exaggerated way the word "evil" was meant to show the narrow-minded way of looking at their "enemy."

        I intentionally left out some of the "real" feats, such as destroying an entire mountain (range?) by using his Mjolnir (the magick hammer) because that's no fun.

        Again, my deepest apologies for the misundertanding (T_T) It was really a fun post.

        Posted by Rommel John | May 3, 2011, 12:15 pm
  4. well.. this was a good read 🙂 quite entertaining. Fortunately, I was able to recognize each hero because I took English 4 just for the heck of it! XD

    Posted by Alyssa | May 2, 2011, 10:36 am
  5. This is terribly entertaining. Can’t help but laugh reading comments about who’s better than the other.

    Hate to say this but all of these super heroes and super villains that all of you guys are bragging about are not an inch stronger than Dragon Ball Z’s San Guko…

    Earth shakes just when he levels up his power called super saiyan. How much more when he throws a kami hami wave directly to earth? believe me, only dust will remain and that includes all your heroes. 🙂

    Posted by Ryan Adik Nga Lambay | May 2, 2011, 10:49 am
    • HAHAHAHA! San Guko rocks!

      Posted by Serena Labrador | May 2, 2011, 11:43 am
      • hahaha… San Guko is really strong. Imagine Superman Vs Guko, NO Match…haha… The same goes with the rest of the super heroes and villains… Apart from that, he is not dumb like superman who wears his undies outside his pants, and is not vulnerable to kryptonite. hmmm. What else. That’s all for now….haha

        Posted by Ryan Adik Nga Lambay | May 3, 2011, 10:11 am
  6. Thor ended up fixing their swords. And they lived happily ever after. Until the two ladies with difficult names became as difficult as their names.

    Posted by givemetravelfunds | May 2, 2011, 11:48 am
  7. San Gokou… not only is he super-powerful, he also made friends out of most of his enemies. Geez.

    Posted by Rommel John | May 2, 2011, 12:27 pm
  8. The minute I saw the title I knew that Lam-ang would own the top spot.

    Posted by iamksophia | May 3, 2011, 1:31 pm
  9. How i wish film makers wud one day be curious of our own legends and dey wud make it into a movie. hehehe… now im excited taking filipino literature ds semester:D… hehehe hope our teacher wud require us to make a play about one of those stories:D

    Posted by RPSmontecillo | May 3, 2011, 3:35 pm
    • Sus kadamo gid kita sang pwede nga materials! Hilig galing ang mainstream movie industry mag rip-off sang Hollywood movies eh. Too bad. Pero agree gid ko. With the right treatment, tahum2 gid nga movies ang ma produce with Filipino legends as basis!

      Posted by negrossugarbacolodspice | May 3, 2011, 3:44 pm
  10. Paging Hollywood! Oh, boy… Lam-ang whups everybody’s ass including Superman. Superman is over-rated, IMHO.

    Posted by Movie Lover | October 28, 2011, 4:02 am
  11. These filipino epics are really something… something that inspires

    Posted by polka dots | June 5, 2013, 1:23 am
  12. Thanks for using my image of Labaw Donggon. I do have one of Saragnayan, just not sure if i’ve made it public. If you do need it, let me know.

    Posted by Pat | April 21, 2014, 5:19 am
  13. What’s wrong with long names of the wives..youre putting much emphasis to the string length of their names. Fyi they’re nice prehispanic names that have beautiful meanings if you only know..until they’re changed by the spaniards and taught to the next generation because these mountain tribes people dont want to follow them. They may sound shitty now but theyre actually powerful names. Once, the word yawa was never even connected to evil.

    Posted by Ruffa Mae | September 28, 2014, 2:22 pm

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