Tales of the Supernatural
Tales of Laughter
Tales of Heroism

Hudhud hi Aliguyon
( Ifugao )

In the mountainous regions of Northern Luzon, a hudhud is a long tale sung during special occasions. This particular long tale is sung during harvest. A favorite topic of the hudhud is a folk hero named Aliguyon, a brave warrior.

Once upon a time, in a village called Hannanga, a boy was born to the couple named Amtalao and Dumulao. He was called Aliguyon. He was an intelligent, eager young man who wanted to learn many things, and indeed, he learned many useful things, from the stories and teachings of his father. He learned how to fight well and chant a few magic spells. Even as a child, he was a leader, for the other children of his village looked up to him with awe.

Upon leaving childhood, Aliguyon betook himself to gather forces to fight against his father’s enemy, who was Pangaiwan of the village of Daligdigan. But his challenge was not answered personally by Pangaiwan. Instead, he faced Pangaiwan’s fierce son, Pumbakhayon. Pumbakhayon was just as skilled in the arts of war and magic as Aliguyon. The two of them battled each other for three years, and neither of them showed signs of defeat.

Their battle was a tedious one, and it has been said that they both used only one spear! Aliguyon had thrown a spear to his opponent at the start of their match, but the fair Pumbakhayon had caught it deftly with one hand. And then Pumbakhayon threw the spear back to Aliguyon, who picked it just as neatly from the air.

At length Aliguyon and Pumbakhayon came to respect each other, and then eventually they came to admire each other’s talents. Their fighting stopped suddenly. Between the two of them they drafted a peace treaty between Hannanga and Daligdigan, which their peoples readily agreed to. It was fine to behold two majestic warriors finally side by side.

Aliguyon and Pumbakhayon became good friends, as peace between their villages flourished. When the time came for Aliguyon to choose a mate, he chose Pumbakhayon’s youngest sister, Bugan, who was little more than a baby. He took Bugan into his household and cared for her until she grew to be most beautiful. Pumbakhayon, in his turn, took for his wife Aliguyon’s younger sister, Aginaya. The two couples became wealthy and respected in all of Ifugao.