|Title||Bathala (as shown at the top of the
The King of the Diwatas
The Supreme God
According to Philippine mythology, Bathalang Maykapal, or Bathala, was the Supreme God of the ancient Tagalog and King of the Diwatas. Derived from the Sanskrit term Bathara Guru (for the same deity), the concept of Bathala, as with many beliefs in pre-Hispanic Philippines, owe a huge debt to the Hinduism of the Srivijayan Javanese. All of these beliefs were soon changed after the Spaniards set foot on the islands. Spanish missionaries used Bathala as a way for them to convert the Tagalogs into Christianity by associating him with the Christian God. They also did this to the other deities by replacing them with saints. Since then, the name "Bathala" was used to refer to the Christian God and is still used by Filipinos today, and God is even addressed as "Poong (Panginoon, meaning "Lord") Maykapal".
Many years had passed and the three younglings grew up to become mighty demigods. The time has finally come for them to take their rightful place in Kalualhatian. There was a big feast in the Sky World and both gods and humans were celebrating. After the feast was done, the ceremony of initiation began. Bathala came out of the crowd and summoned his children to stand in front of him. He then appointed them with a task.
Apolaki was appointed "God of War" and "Guardian of the Sun". Mayari was appointed to be "Goddess of the Moon". Tala was appointed "Goddess of the Stars".
The three offspring of Bathala soon became known to be among the greatest of gods and goddesses.
The Story of Bathala
In the beginning of time there were three powerful gods who lived in the universe. Bathala was the caretaker of the earth, Ulilang Kaluluwa, a huge serpent who lived in the clouds, and Galang Kaluluwa, the winged god who loves to wander. These three gods did not know each other. Bathala often dreamt of creating mortals but the empty earth stops him from doing so. Ulilang Kaluluwa who was equally lonely as Bathala, liked to visit places and the earth was his favorite. One day the two gods met. Ulilang Kaluluwa was not pleased. He challenged Bathala to a fight to decide who would be the ruler of the universe. After three days and three nights, Ulilang Kaluluwa was slain by Bathala. Instead of giving him a proper burial, Bathala burned the snake's remains. A few years later the third god, Galang Kaluluwa, wandered into Bathala's home. He welcomed the winged god with much kindness and even invited him to live in his kingdom. They became true friends and were very happy for many years.
Galang Kaluluwa became very ill. Before he died he instructed Bathala to bury him on the spot where Ulilang Kaluluwa’s body was burned. Bathala did exactly as he was told. Out of the grave of the two dead gods grew a tall tree with a big round nut, which is the coconut tree. Bathala took the nut and husked it. He noticed that the inner skin was hard. The nut itself reminded him of Galang Kaluluwa’s head. It had two eyes, a flat nose, and a round mouth. Its leaves looked so much like the wings of his dear winged friend. But the trunk was hard and ugly, like the body of his enemy, the snake Ulilang Kaluluwa.
Bathala realized that he was ready to create the creatures he wanted with him on earth. He created the vegetation, animals, and the first man and woman. Bathala built a house for them out of the trunk and leaves of the coconut trees. For food, they drank the coconut juice and ate its delicious white meat. Its leaves, they discovered, were great for making mats, hats, and brooms. Its fiber could be used for rope and many other things.
Invocation to Bathala
An ancient Visayan invocation translated by Pacita C. Inocencio-Nievera of the book Philippine Literature: From Ancient Times to the Present by Teofilo del Castillo Y Tuazon and Buenaventura S. Medina Jr.
1. Bathala, origin of the first creatures, Lives in the high mountains; In your two hands Resides the generator- Maniliw, who is a witch. Tall like the trunk Of the coconut; Solid like rock; Voracious like fire; Fierce, more than the mad perverse dog. From your breast The generator Lulid Went forth.
It is he Who does what he likes; Who darkens More than the night- Like the stalk of the Palay; And Sometimes As if by means of rays of light, Shoots the witches like an arrow. Your living among the pygmies. Destroy, oh, those bad characters Of the generator Kamakala.
2. Bathala, thou art, oh, little bird, Adarna! Oh thou, who art nestled in that encumbered home- The abode of hawks and eagles, Descend, we pray thee, to earth, With all thy multicolored feathers And thy silken, feathery tail- Descend! Descend!-to earth. Oh, thou bright-winged, little bird! Celestial gift arth thou, prepared for the earth- Our life’s source, our mother devoted. Verily, thou hast suffered pains in those confines Of mountains craggy and precipitous- Searching for lakes of emerald, now vanished. Ferocious animals Art thine, mother Oh, venerable Mount Kanlaon- The ruler of the people of the mountain.
Original version with Tagalog translation, from Panitikan ng Pilipinas; Binagong Edisyon by Jose Villa Panganiban, Consuelo T. Panganiban, Genovera E. Manalute, Corazon E. Kabigting.
Bathala, pinunuan sang mga una nga mga inanak, Dito mag estar sa mga layog Sa anang alima na tagsa Si amay Maniliw nga tamaw nga, Malayog anay sang puno ka niug, Mabakod angay sa bantiling, Kag masupong angay sa kalayo, Mabangis labi a madal nga Bany-aga nga ayam. Sa amang kilid lumsit. Si ama Lulid Amo; Siya ang mag sumunod Kon tunay sa boot niya, Nga mag bulit labing Kagab-ihon mapilong…
Bathalang pinagmulan ng mga unang nilikha, Nakatira ka sa mga bundok Sa kamay mo nakalagay Si Maniliw, na mangkukulam Matayog kang parang puno ng niyog; Matigas na parang bato, Masiklab na parang apoy, Mabangis na higit sa Asong nahihibang. Sa dibdib mo lumabas Ang manlilikhang Lulid Amo; Siya ang nakagagawa At nagbibigay dilim Na higit sa gabi…
The Filipino philosophical expression "Bahala na!" is usually interpreted as a fatalist remark, comparable to "Whatever will be, will be". According to Paraluman S. Aspillera, a writer from the Philippines, the expression and its meaning might have been altered throughout the ages. It might have originally been "Bathala na!" ("As God wills it!"), but was changed at one point in time. It might also be uttered when the Filipino has exhausted all possible ways to get out of a difficult situation. A modern fuller version of the phrase is "Bahala na ang Diyos!"
Also, the Tagalog word pamahalaan (government) can be traced from the word Bathala. According to linguistic studies, the word is a result of the full assimilation of the prefix pang- with bathala and the suffix -an. So, the Tagalog term for government actually means "to Lord over" or "to be God's vicar."
In the Philippine television series in GMA Kapuso Network's Mulawin, Bathala was mentioned but never appeared. He is the one who puts Aguiluz and Alwina, the main protagonist of the series, into test. In Encantadia, a spin-off TV series of Mulawin, Bathala, named as Emré in Enchanta (a language in Encantadia), actually appeared in his anthropomorphic form.