Burigadang Pada Sinaklang Bulawan

I don’t usually engage with indigenous gods unless I really have to. There’s a certain ‘eerie’ feel to them that’s not quite Olympian in nature. I’m not quite used to it, to be honest. There’s also the unfortunate fact of not having a lot of pre-colonial information about them (except maybe for bigger deities), which is reason enough to be cautious.

If anything, I think they’re rather akin to the daimonai and nymphai than any of the theoi (there’s Dionysos for sure, but that’s stretching it a bit). In fact, it’s often hard to draw the line between god and landwight!

One stark difference, perhaps, is whilst they’re old and powerful like the Olympian gods, the majority of diwatàwhich is how they are collectively known to most Filipinos–do not seem to be ‘deathless’. There are many stories where they are portrayed as slaying or being slain by other divine beings, not unlike many gods of the Norse. They also don’t seem to govern more ‘cosmic’ matters. They feel very local.

Strange enough, there’s been one diwatà who I was bold(?) enough to approach beyond casual pleasantries. To our cousins in the South, she’s known as Burigadang Pada Sinaklang Bulawan.

She is one of the “Three Great Beauties”, a triad of sister-goddesses who descended from Maklium sa T’wan. She is portrayed in the stories, as a goddess who rose from the earth with beautiful golden skin, a seductive body clothed in rich golden fabrics and precious gems, with a face of perfection. It was said that her aura was also “golden”, that no man could resist her and her charms.

As a goddess of both [material] wealth and greed, her province is mostly alien to me. I don’t usually approach any of the gods I already worship for either of these reasons, so I don’t know why I felt that I needed to approach her. Perhaps she called me, who knows? Nevertheless, I praised her with these words*–first, in one of the languages of her ancient worshippers (Hiligaynon), and second, in my native Tagalog:

Maghimayà ka,
bulawanon nga diwatà,
Burigadang Pada Sinakláng Bulawan,
bugayan mo ang nagakinahanglan,
kag gaba-an mo ang mga dalók.

Abá, ginintuáng diwatà,
Burigadang Pada Sinakláng Bulawan,
basbasán mo ang mga nangángailángan,
at parusahan mo ang mga ganid.

Of course, I did this in the most polite way possible: with an introduction and an offering. I’ve found it wise to always approach the divine with the same hospitality one would give an honoured guest (perhaps even more so).

Burigadang Pada Sinaklang Bulawan as portrayed by Katrina Halili on GMA Network's INDIO, 2013 Photo Credit: Joanne Loya

Burigadang Pada Sinaklang Bulawan as portrayed by Katrina Halili on GMA Network’s INDIO, 2013
Photo Credit: Joanne Loya

Art by squeegool (squeegool.deviantart.com)

Art by squeegool (squeegool.deviantart.com)

*The prayer roughly translates to, “Hail thou, golden goddess, Burigadang Pada Sinaklang Bulawan, bless the needy, and punish the greedy”.


2 thoughts on “Burigadang Pada Sinaklang Bulawan

  1. yeah, i don’t look for any gods outside of the hellenic pantheon, and the norse gods of my ancestry. but i agree with you that it’s both wise and interesting to be OPEN to others who may be interested for some reason. i hope the courtesy of your approach was well-received.


  2. Pingback: Baby Jesus and Not So Baby Dionysos | Under Two Trees

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