Susing salita: Philosophy
Epic is ordinarily thought as a literary genre that extols the deeds of heroes. It is written in verse ostensibly to entertain and inform the reader about the past. However, an insightful reading of an epic will disclose certain philosophic ideas; this is to say there is something beyond the superficiality of entertainment in epics. The Ibalon epic portrays the heroic deeds of Baltog, Handyong and Baltong in freeing the Bicol Peninsula of beasts and monsters. They implemented developments in agriculture, technology and laws. A close reading of the sixty stanzas (the ones recorded and preserved) will reveal ethical and political philosophies of the early Bicolanos. However, the application of historical hermeneutics on the Ibalon epic may disclose philosophical implications such as the Nietzschean concept of master morality (ethical) and colonialism (political). The interpretation of the epic can also be in the perspective of optimism.