Philippine Literature / Philippine History: Story summary and English translation of the lyric poem or narrative poem by Philippines’ writer Huseng Sisiw – Ibong Adarna (The Adarna Bird).
Ibong Adarna (The Adarna Bird) Story Summary
The kingdom of Berbanya was headed by King Fernando. He is famous even beyond the kingdom, and he is well loved by his subjects. He was a very understanding and just king. Half of his heart belongs to Queen Valeriana, who, besides beautiful, is also kind hearted.
Early on, the king taught his sons the things that the royal bloodlines should know about. He was achieving the dreams and joys of his life and there was nothing more that he could ask. But one day..
There was turmoil in the entire kingdom, because a terrible sickness befell the king, due to a terrible nightmare. The only cure for the king’s illness was the song of the bird called Adarna.. This bird lived in the mountain of Tabor, nesting on the tree of Piedras Platas. It was said that only in the night-times that the Adarna bird could be spotted there.
When the king found out about the cure, he assigned Don Pedro the task. So Don Pedro brought everything he needed to fulfill his mission for his father. He reached the Tabor mountain, but failed as he was turned into a livingstone!
And the kingdom was disheartened, and worried when Don Pedro didn’t return to the palace. So next the king ordered his second son Don Diego, but Don Diego also suffered the same fate as Don Pedro.
And because the king loved so much his youngest son Don Juan, he hesitated. Nonetheless Don Juan loved his father so much so he went towards Tabor Mountain, without even a horse but with just five loaves of bread and his unfailing faith to the Lord Almighty.
Four months Don Juan traveled. And when he reached the top of Tabor Mountain, he met an old leprosy man who was very hungry. Don Juan pitied him and gave the old man his last piece of bread. The old man was so happy, he almost kissed Don Juan and he gave him thanks. And not only that, because of his gratitude, the old man gave Don Juan the directions to the Hermit’s house – the Hermit who could help Don Juan capture the Adarna bird.
It didn’t take long for Don Juan to find the house of the Hermit. And when the mysterious Hermit recognized Don Juan, he gave Don Juan everything he needed to capture the Adarna bird. The Hermit also instructed Don Juan that for every song of the Adarna bird, Don Juan must wound his palm with a knife and drop some lime juice on the wound so that the pain wouldn’t let him sleep, and he wouldn’t turn into a stone, just like his brothers, who received the droppings of the magical bird while they were sleeping.
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