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“Pahagunong” of Suguidanon launched

Pahagunong, the fourth title and the fifth installment in the Suguidanon (Epics) of Panay was launched by University of the Philippine Press on November 25, 2016 at the Balay Kalinaw, UP Diliman Quezon City.

Dr. Alicia Magos, Chief Researcher and Senior Translator of the book; Anna Razel Limoso Ramirez, Associate Researcher and Overall Coordinator for Publications; and Eliodora L. Dimzon – Co-Coordinator for Publications, received the launching copy from the UP Press.

Pahagunong was chanted by Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan Federico Caballero of the Panay Bukidnon Indigenous Group. It was a part of a research project done more than 20 years ago by UP Visayasemeritus professor and anthropologist, Dr. Alicia P. Magos with her Associate Researcher Anna Razel L. Ramirez in the hinterlands of Central Panay. They translation and eventual publication of the book is a collaborative effort of a team from UPV composed of Elidodora Dimzon, Teresita Quezon, Analina Salvador, Milagros Cañalete, Prof Joji B. Tan, and Agnes Espano. The cover design was done by Liby Limoso while photographs were supplied by Ramon Ramirez. The publication was made possible through a memorandum of agreement between UP and the Panay Bukidnon Communities of Garangan, Agcalaga and Masaroy in Calinog, Iloilo.

The story tells about Pahagunong, deity from the upper world, who gazes down the pagtung-an (middle world) to the wide open sea. There he sees Matan-ayon, an irresistible ravishing long-haired beauty bathing by the sea coast. But he has to contend with the brave Paubari, the maiden’s guardian watching nearby. A long single fight ensues until Laonsina, a deity-arbiter from the skyworld, devises a scheme to end it.

Suguidanon is a long narrative delivered in the form of chants and tells stories about romances and battles in a maritime setting. In his opening message, Dr. J. Neil Garcia Director of the UP Press emphasized the significance of this oral history not only to the Panaynon Bukidnons but for the oral heritage of the country. 

("One of the titles we are launching here today is our fifth installment of the complete epic corpus of the Panay Bukidnon people. A colossal accomplishment of the team of UP Visayas researchers and translators admirably headed by Professor Emeritus Alicia P. Magos, the thirteen-volume Sugidanon and its publication represent a signal event in the history of Philippine academic publishing. It’s certainly one of the UP Press projects that I’m happiest and proudest about. In fact, I consider it my own great fortune that this series commenced during my watch as its Director. ……..Because these different epics tell the adventures and genealogies of related and allied folk heroes and gods, we can consider them as components not of multiple but rather of one singular and masterful Epic—a breathtakingly majestic story that, all told, matches the sweep and depth of the other great epics of the world.")

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