Gods and goddesses of Benguet

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012


MOST of the popular gods and goddesses are from Greece like Zeus, Aphrodite, Venus, Poseidon, among others.

However, youths of today should realize we also have these great gods and goddesses in our region which are equivalent to those of the Greek gods.

Biano Loc–loc Baucas’ book titled “Traditional Beliefs and Cultural Practices in Benguet” states these gods and goddesses made great deeds in the lives of the natives of Benguet by the involvement of these deities to the different cultural practices before.

The book of Baucas is among the old books under the collection of the provincial library on the culture of Benguet.

One of the known gods is Kabunian, who is also called Adikaila by the Kankana–ey. However, Kabunian is termed by the Ibaloi as Apochios. He is believed as the supreme god described as Mengos–oschong, who looks over the world. During rituals, the mambunong or native priest asks first his intervention before seeking help from less powerful gods and spirits.

Kabunian is believed to have a son named Kabigat, the god of sky, underworld, lighting, thunder, morning and evening. He uses lightning, thunder and earthquakes to fight other gods and goddesses to get what he wants. Kabigat is also the life provider.

Meanwhile, Lumawig is the god of war, trades, hunting and healing. He is considered to be a multiple god and a warrior. He is believed to favor the Benguet people during war, assuring them their victory.

Other gods and goddesses are associated with resources and environment. One of these is Balitok, who is known to be the god of gold and mining. Balitok is believed to possess earth minerals like gold, copper, silver, and pearls, among others.

Mauchi, on the other hand, is the god of agriculture. He possesses a dipper which is able to cook rice that can feed a large number of people.

Moreover, Masiken is the god of rivers, brooks, creeks, and springs for the Ibaloi. He has a female version of the Kankana–ey called Angban. People ask for his assistance to produce water when these bodies of water dry up.

Bangan and Pe–ey are goddesses of pigs and springs, respectively. The mambunong would ask for Bangan’s healing powers for sick pigs while Pe–ey makes sure the tapey used in rituals is safe and tasty.

Ibaga is the goddesses of messengers. When messengers are sent to run some errands, she will always be present to guide them. She is also after the passengers’ welfare.

These gods and goddesses are part of the lives of our ancestors and until now, some cultural practices require them in the process.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 28, 2012.

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