Wednesday, September 16, 2015

BIOLOGY in the Epic Biag ni Lam-ang Part 1

Dr Abe V Rotor 
Statue of Lam-ang at the La Union Botanical Garden, Barangay Cadaclan, San Fernando LU. The garden is a project of the local government headed by then San Fernando mayor Mary Jane Ortega, and managed by Dr Romualdo M del Rosario, from the garden's conceptualization to its elevation into a world class botanical garden.  

The epic Biag ni Lam-ang is rich in biology, the study of living things, more so on the uses of plants and animals in the world of the legendary hero.  How do we compare the epic's biology with ours today?  Let's look into each stanza and examine the organisms mentioned in their local and scientific names, including some basic data about them.

Nadumaduma a bungbungan
ti inna dita masarsaramsam:
salamagi a marabanban,
pias ken daligan.

A 900-year old tamarind tree; pods ready to harvest.
She ate a variety of fruits
like green tamarind,
pias  and daligan

[Tamarind or sampalok (Tamarindus indica, pias is Kamias (photo) (Averrhoa balimbi), daligan is starapple (Averrhoa carambola)]

Niog pay a lolocoten,
bayabas a pariggalsem,
sua ken lolokisen
ket dagitoy met ti inna sidaen:

Young coconut fruits, guavas
about to ripen, oranges, and 
lolokisen and for meals 
she ate these.
Fruits of bayabas or guava: in different stages of maturity..  Pariggaisem (about to ripem) is manibalang in Pilipino. 

[Young coconut or buko (Cocos nucifera), bayabas or guava (Psidium guajava). lolokisen or orange (Citrus nobilis)]

Newly harvested buko or young coconut is popular in any part of the country and in the tropical region, for its refreshing water and nutritious soft flesh.
Panapana ken maratangtang,
ar-arosip ken aragan,
tirem a tinoctocan,
pasayam a kinalapan;

Panapana and maritangtang 
ar-arosip and aragan, tirem 
and shrimps.

Spiked and spineless sea urchin

[Panapana or spiked sea urchin, maritangtang (spinless sea urchin);  ar-arosip is Caulerpha or lato (Tag) grape-like green seaweed; aragan is a brown seaweed dominant in tropical regions]

  (7) edible marine shellfish pictures
 Pingpinggan ken im-immoco,
loslosi ken pocpoclo,
leddangan pay ken soso
ta isu dagitoy ti inna cagusto.

Pingpinggan and im-immoco,
loslosi and pocpoclo
leddangan and soso - these
she liked much to eat.
These are some edible species of shellfish which come in different dialects. Tinoktokan is likely oyster because you have to pound it open usually with stone.

 [Pingpingan, im-immoco and loslosi are edible bivalve seashells; soso is a pointed seashell.  Shellfish are usually gathered at low tide and in shallow waters in the coral reefs.  Pocpoclo is a green seaweed, Codium edule]. (photo)

"Inca cuma imatangan ti 
immulata a cawayan
idiay bantay capareian
ket inca cuma pucanan. 

"Go and see the bamboos 
we planted on Mount Caparian 
and cut down some.

[Bamboo is most likely of the species kawayan kiling (Bambusa spinosus) plant by means of cuttings.  NOTE: Bamboo planting is thought to be a recent technology and horticultural practice.]

Ket kinona ni babain Namongan, 
"Ay, asawac a Don Juan,
dayta man tongo ti agdalagan 
a sagat ken gasatan.

And Namogan said, "My
husband Don Juan, I need
firewood such as molave and 
gasatan for my lying-in,

[Molave  (Vitex parviflora)  is a hardwood used as house posts; gasatan is another species of hardwood]

"Dangla ken bayabas nga inukisan,
ket inca met cuma gumatang
itay dongdong ken dalican
ta isu ti pagdalangan.

"And also dangla and guava 
stripped of its bark.  Also 
you go and buy a jar and a 
stove on which to warm myself.

 [Dangla is lagundi (Vitex lagundi) a medicinal plant, guava here is used as medicinal plant.] (photo)

Acknowledgement" Internet photos

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