HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 36-37 no. 1-2 (1992)

Bikol History in Bikol Folklore: Documentary Evidences of Five Bikol Oral Traditions

Luis C. Dery

Discipline: History, Philippine History



information in their writing of Philippine history. Their hesitation was understandable. Such rigid rules of writing history like "No documents, no history" discouraged them from using oral accounts in writing about the past. Lately, however, oral accounts of folk stories have been recognized as rich sources of information which could substantially help students of history in writing and interpreting the past.


Folk stories or oral traditions are one of the sources of the traditional knowledge of the people. And the Bikol region is one area rich in folklore which, if scrutinized, is a mine of information showing many aspects about Bikol history and culture. This paper shall focus on five Bikol oral accounts- The Escandor Family's Story About Don Pedro Manook, The Legend of Doña Maria Uray, Tbe Lakandulas of Sorsogon, The Legend of the Giant, Man-eating Mampak Bird and The Historic Don Pedro Estevan, which are supported by available documentary evidence. It shall endeavor to substantiate the linkages between folklore and history- i.e-  that with the passage of time what was once a historical fact becomes folklore- existing largely in the memories of the people owing to the loss or destruction o f material evidence substantiating that such folk stories were once upon a time historical fact. Fortunately for these five Bikol lores, there is archival evidence available to support  the idea that they occurred and were historically true.

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