Balanakon: Sugidanon (Epics) of Panay, Book 7

Imagine a breathtaking fight between two brave men by the river mouth—Sarandihon who guards the Bangga-an gibwangan (river mouth) and Balanakon who is intent on passing through that river route. The intruder, Balanakon, wants to snatch away the beauteous Matan-ayon from Labaw Donggon. From the land-fight, both fighters armed with long-bladed knives soar to the sky, engaging in an aerial display of prowess. But Balanakon’s eyes are drawn toward the long-haired maiden, Kamaging, whom he spies among the fair maidens witnessing the fight; he becomes smitten with her. He decides to woo Kamaging by asking her for a quid (betel nut preparation). Who will win the fight once Balanakon has fallen in love and gotten distracted?

Federico “Tuohan” Caballero, the chanter, comes from a long family line of epic chanters.

Alicia P. Magos is Professor Emeritus of UP Visayas

Anna Razel Limoso Ramirez is project coordinator for the publication of the ten epics of Panay.