Philippine Folk Literature Series: The Epics, Vol: VIII
Philippine Folk Literature: The Epics presents twenty-three folk epics collected from some fourteen ethnolinguistic groups in the country. This is the eighth volume being added to the original seven-volume Philippine Folk Literature Series.
Folk epics are long heroic narratives in verse which recount the adventures of tribal heroes and in the process express the customs, beliefs, and ideals of the people who sing them.
The introductory essay, "The Philippine Folk Epic," gives a detailed discussion of the features and characteristics of Philippine folk epics ––their geographic distribution; epic singing and singers; the epic hero, his adventures, and his outstanding qualities; epic conventions; dominant motifs; and the customs, beliefs, and values expressed in them.
The epics are arranged in geographic order from north to south starting with Lam-ang (Northern Luzon), then to Labaw Dongon (Visayas), and on to Mindanao, where the greatest number of our folk epics come from (Tuwaang, Agyu, Bantugan, etc).
A distinctive feature of Philippine epic literature is that while other countries have one national epic hero, e.g. England's Beowulf, Spain's El Cid, etc, the Philippines has no national epic hero but more than a dozen tribal epic heroes.
This volume thus gives the reader an opportunity to get acquainted with these folk epic heroes and the values and ideals they stand for.
As in the other volumes in the Philippine Folk Literature Series, the selections are given in English translation, but a sampling of the text in the original language is given at the beginning of each selection.