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The Center for Southeast Asian Studies > Projects > Ub-ufok Ad Fiallig Overview > Teaching Modules > Module 6. Maanam-am: Nurturing the Earth, Nurturing Ourselves

Module 6. Maanam-am: Nurturing the Earth, Nurturing Ourselves


This story, derived from the narrative of Pedro Padyangan, is about the young, arrogant and mischievous hunters of Maanam-am who suffered the wrath of Bathala after disrespecting him with their careless behavior.

Tagalog Version | English Version


Bathala – the god of the Ifiallig people.

Bathala is also the Supreme Being who created the universe among other indigenous cultures in the Philippine such as the Tagalog and Visayan. One theory suggests that the term “Bathala” is derived from sanskrit and the indigenous term for the Supreme Being is Maykapal or Dakilang Manlilikha (Tagalog) or Creator. Other scholars point out that the syllables “ba” and “la” are taken from “babae” (woman) and “lalaki” (man). “Tha” means “light.” So bathala means “woman and man joined by light,” expressing both feminine and masculine forms of divinity. In Ifiallig culture, it is possible that there is a more ancient term for divine power.

Payyiw – rice field

Guide Questions

1. Discuss the story with the students.

What was their first impression of the story?

What is the central conflict in the story?

What is the significance of the skulls?

How did the community react to the boy’s actions?

What is there belief surrounding nature? What is their relationship with nature (i.e. Ocean, Mountain, Streams, Sky, etc.) Discuss the mythical elements (i.e. talking water) in the story.

Why do you think the gods were angered?

2. Film Showing: Disney’s Moana.

Ask students if they have similar stories in their culture? Do they have a pantheon of gods and goddesses that see everything?

3. Have the students read the following excerpt from the story.

The bathala witnessed this insolence towards nature. So, they laid a curse on the people of Maanam-am. The caves collapsed and the earth tumbled down the mountain in a mighty crash. The people of Maanam-am were completely engulfed by the rushing soil, and few survived the calamity. The survivors of the catastrophe that befell Maanam-am relocated to Tabra and settled there. In time, they were joined there by the people from Masiki.

4. Discuss the relationship of this folktale to their history of settlements. Relate this to the experiences of immigrants or refugees today. What events would lead people to leave their homes?

Reflection: Caring for our Environment

Human beings have an intricate relationship with nature. For instance, the photos below show Jeff Cablog, an Ifiallig, summoning cicadas by using two sticks. Students discuss similar practices in their culture or home. Have them do a research study on the intimate relationship between people and nature, and why this is important.

Jeff Cablog summoning cicadas.
Cicadas started to land on Jeff’s hands. Soon he was covered with cicadas.


Students collect creation stories (i.e. How land and ocean was formed) from their culture or home. Students can choose to interview their elders or family members. They can also conduct library research on the story of their homes. Students reflect on their relationship with nature. Have them share there stories and reflection with the class. Students can also choose to tell their stories and reflection using media (video, audio) or with the use of colors such as paintings or sketches.