The Bisayan creation story has been recorded down through various Spanish written accounts, each with it’s own local variants of the same myth. In the myth it tells the story of the creation of the islands, the first man and woman, the beginning of the social classes, the creator of war, the reason for death, why people steal, why there is concubinage in the world, and the creation of the laws that were passed down through the generations by the demi-goddess, Lupluban.

At the very beginning there was nothing in the world except for the sea and sky and nothing in between. Within the world there was only the sky God, Kaptan, and the sea Goddess, Magwayen. Where these two deities came from nobody knew. They fought each other intensely and violently, Magwayen throwing her strong typhoon waves up toward the sky and Kaptan throwing large rocks and lighting back down. This long, bitter feud between the two deities lasted for many moons and many suns, until they drew the sea and sky closer together and created the islands. One day the two deities ceased their fighting, coming and joining together as friends and eventually lovers. The sea and sky deities married and Kaptan planted a seed in the sea where it soon grew to become a bamboo reed. A hawk flew in the sky trying to find a place to rest and soon spotted the reed floating in the sea. Finding a place to stop and rest the hawk flew down and landed on the reed. As it landed the hawk heard voices speaking out. “Oh let us out! Let us out!” The hawk listened to the voices and heard them come from the reed. It pecked the reed open and out came a man and woman with beautiful brown skin, dark brown eyes, and shining black hair. They were named Si Kalak (male) and Si Kabay (female) and they became the original ancestors of the Bisayans. Soon Si Kalak asked Si Kabay to marry him as there was no other people in the world besides themselves. She refused at first because they were brother and sister, born from the same reed. They both then sought out the advice from the tuna fish of the sea, the doves from the sky, and then finally Linog, the earthquake, who approved of their marriage saying that it was necessary so they can populate the world. Si Kalak and Si Kabay listened the advices of the animals of the sea and sky and of Linog and married.

They had three children, the first son, they named Sibo, their second son, Pandaguan, and their only daughter, Samar. Sibo and Samar married and both had a daughter name Lupluban who would later be the one who issued and left the laws of the people from laws followed for mourning the dead, weaving, dealing with crime, debt, etc. along with her grandson, Panas. Lupluban then married her uncle, Pandaguan, who became the inventor of the fishing net. They soon had a son whom they named, Anoranor, whose own son, Panas would become the inventor of war after declaring war on Mangaran, on account of an inheritance. This became the first war and Panas became the first man to use weapons in fighting.

Pandaguan used his fishing net they had made and his first catch was that of a shark. He brought it to shore thinking the shark would not die, however it did and as Pandaguan saw this he mourned over the loss and cried out to the diwata, Kaptan and Magwayen. He yelled and complained to them demanding why they let the shark die when no one has died before. Upon hearing his cries Kaptan first sent the flies to find out who the dead one was. The flies dare not go so Kaptan then sent the weevil who agreed to investigate the death and brought the news of the sharks death to the sky god. Kaptan became displeased at all the fuss over a fish and anger directed toward the diwata from Pandaguan. With the help of Magwayen they created a thunderbolt and struck Pandaguan as punishment. He remained in Sulad for 30 days until the god and goddess took pity over him and brought him back to life and returned him to the world.

During the 30 days Lupluban, after thinking her husband was dead, became a mistress to a man name Marakoyrun. This becomes the time of when concubinage began in the world. When Pandaguan was brought back to life, he came back and did not find his wife home for she was invited by her friend to feast on a pig that was stolen. This then becomes the first theft in the world. Pandaguan sent his son Anoranor to find his mother and tell her to return home. However Lupluban refused, saying that the dead do not return back to world of the living. Angry, Pandaguan returned back to Sulad and remained. This becomes the reason why all those who die, do not return back to life.


About The Author

Executive Editor & Founder

Ligaya is the Executive Editor & Writer at She lives in NYC with her two dogs and spends her time reading, writing, collecting and buying books online and in safe haven, Strand Bookstore, watching her guilty tv show pleasure Vikings, and overdosing herself in coffee as a certified caffeine addict. Her book, Diwatahan: A Look Into the Precolonial Beliefs, Practices, Myths, & Folklore of the Philippines, is currently in progress and is scheduled to be published in Summer of 2017.

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