Hinilawod recounts the story of the exploits of three Sulodnon demigod brothers, Labaw Donggon, Humadapnon and Dumalapdap of ancient Panay. It would take about three days to perform the epic in its original form. Thus, making it as one of the longest epics in the world. Kaptan, the king of the Gods, decreed that the beautiful Alunsina (also called Laun Sina, The Unmarried One) marry upon reaching her maidenhood. Though all the unmarried gods from every corner of the universe tried to win her hand in marriage, she chose to marry a mortal, Datu Paubari, ruler of the Halawod. Angered by Alunsina’s decision, her suitors conspired to harm the newlywed couple. Maklium-sa-t’wan, the god of the plains, called a council meeting of the Gods. The council decided to destroy the couple’s home, Halawod, by flood. Fortunately for Alunsina and her husband, her sister Suklang Malayon (Goddess and Guardian of Happy Homes) discovered the evil plot and warned them of it. Before the flood, the new couple sought refuge on a higher ground and escaped the gods’ wrath undetected. They returned to the plains and settled near the mouth of the Halawod River after the flood has subsided and lived in secrecy. After several months, Alunsina became pregnant with triplets. The couple was ecstatic and Datu Paubari prepared the things needed for childbirth including the siklot. When the triplets were born, the couple called them Labaw Dongon, Humadapnon and Dumalapdap. Immediately after giving birth, Alunsina summoned the high priest Bungot-Banwa to perform the rites of the gods of the Mount Madya-as to ensure that the triplets will have good health. During the ritual, Bungot-Banwa burned some alanghiran fronds and a pinch of kamangyan in an altar that he made himself. He opened the windows of the north side of the room after the ceremony and in came a cold wind that transformed the infants into strong, handsome young men. When he reached adulthood, Labaw Donggon, the eldest of the triplets, decided to go on a quest to find himself a wife.
He heard of the beauty of Angoy Ginbitinan of Handug and wanted her for a wife. He asked his mother to prepare the things he will need for the journey—a magic cape, hat and belt, and kampilan (sword). The journey to Handug took several days. Labaw Donggon had to pass by plains, valleys and mountains to get there. When he finally arrived, he asked for an audience with Angoy Ginbitinan’s father and asked for her hand in marriage. The father agreed in one condition: Labaw Donggon must kill the monster Manalintad as part of his dowry. Labaw Donggon agreed and went away to confront the monster. With the help of his magic belt, he was able to kill the Manalintad. He cut off the tail of the monster and brought it back to Handug as a proof of his victory. Angoy Gibintinan’s father was satisfied with the proof and allowed Labaw Donggon to marry his daughter. After the wedding, Labaw Donggon and his new bride started their journey back to his home. Along the way, they met a group of young men who were on their way to Tarambang Burok to win the hand of Abyang Durunuun, sister of Sumpoy, the lord of the underworld. According to these young men, Abyang Durunuun has beauty that equals no other. Labaw Donggon and Angoy Gibintinan continued on their journey. Upon reaching home, Labaw Donggon asked his mother to take care of his new wife and told her that he will be going on another quest. This time he will be going to Tarambang Burok and vie for the hand of the beautiful Abyang Durunuun. On his way to Tarambang Burok, Labaw Donggon had an encounter with the giant Sikay Padalogdog.
This giant had a hundred arms and he won’t let the young demi god pass without a fight. And fight they did. In the end, the hundred-armed giant admitted defeat and allowed the Labaw Donggon to pass the ridge. Labaw Donggon won the hand of the legendary Abyang Durunuun and also took her home to his mother. Thereafter, the demi god went on third quest to Gadlum. This time the object of his desire is Malitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata, the young bride of the lord of darkness, Saragnayan. Aboard his biday nga inagta (black boat), Labaw Donggon sailed across many seas on his way Gadlum. He also traveled across the region of the clouds and the land of stones before he found himself at the shores of Tulogmatian, the seaside fortress of Saragnayan. Upon setting foot on the shore, Saragnayan asked who he was and his business. When Labaw Donggon expressed his desire to have Saragnayan’s young wife, the lord of darkness just laughed and told him it’s impossible. The young demi god then challenged the Saragnayan to a duel for the hand of the beautiful Malitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata. The duel lasted for years. Labaw Donggon held Saragnayan’s head underwater for seven years but the lord of the darkness still lived. With the help of his pamlang (amulet), Saragnayan defeated Labaw Donggon and imprisoned him beneath his house. Meanwhile, Labaw Donggon’s two wives gave birth to a son each. Angoy Ginbitinan called her child Aso Mangga while Abyang Durunuun called her son Abyang Baranugon.
Both sons went in search of their father a few days after they were born. They arrived in Tulogmatian and asked Saragnayan to free their father. Saragnayan told Abyang Baranugon to go home to his mother when he noticed that the young lad still has an umbilical cord. The young lad took offense and challenged the lord of the darkness to a duel. Saragnayan accepted the challenge and fought with Abyang Baranugon. The lord of darkness was no match for the strength of Abyang Baranugon and was defeated in the process. Abyang Baranugon earned the freedom of his father and took him home. Meanwhile, the defeat of Labaw Donggon in the hands of Saragnayan and his subsequent imprisonment angered his brothers Humadapnon and Dumalapdap. Humadapnon swore to the gods of Madya-as and vowed that he would seek revenge on all of Saragnayan’s kinsmen and followers. He then embarked on a journey to Saragnayan’s. He took with him a man known for his exceptional swordsmanship, Buyong Matanayon of Mount Matiula. Together they traveled the same path that Labaw Donggon took. The duo ended up at a place called Tarambang Buriraw. Here lives a seductive sorceress called Piganun. The sorceress changed herself into a very beautiful maiden and captured the heart of Humadapnon. No matter what Buyong Matanayon did, Humadapnon would not leave Tarambang Buriraw. After seven months of staying in Tarambang Buriraw, Buyong Matanayon remembered that they brought some ginger with them. He thought of a plan to break Piganun’s spell over his friend. One evening, at dinner, Buyong Matanayon threw seven slices of ginger into the fire.
Upon smelling the burning ginger, Piganun ran away from the room. Buyong Matanayon struck Humadapnon in the head, which rendered the latter unconscious. He then dragged his body away from the place and managed to escape. The duo continued with their trek and exacted revenge on all of Saragnayan’s family and friend. They eventually found themselves in a place called Piniling Tubig. There was a big gathering when they arrived in the village because the ruler of the land, Datu Umbaw Pinaumbaw, was giving away the hand of his daughter in marriage to anyone who can remove the huge boulder that rolled off the mountain to the center of the village. No one has succeeded. Humadapnon rose to the challenge and took off his magic cape. He then used it to lift the huge boulder off the center of the village and hurled it back to the mountain. Datu Umbaw Pinaumbaw honored his word and gave his daughter’s hand in marriage to Humadapnon. The two were married and a big feast was held. During the wedding feast, a guest minstrel sang and paid tribute to the beauty of Burigadang Pada Sinaklang Bulawan, the goddess of greed. Enchanted with the story, Humadapnon started on a quest to seek the goddess’ hand in marriage. He met Buyong Makabagting, son of the Datu Balahidyong of Paling Bukid, who was also hoping to win the hand of Burigadang Pada Sinaklang Bulawan. The two fought in a duel and Humadapnon emerged victorious.
The defeated Buyong Makabagting helped Humadapnon in his quest. Humadapnon eventually married the goddess of greed and brought her home to his mother. Shortly after Humadapnon left their home to seek revenge on Saragnayan’s family and followers, Dumalapdap embarked on a quest of his own. He decided go to Burutlakan-ka-adlaw and marry the maiden Lubay-Lubyok Hanginun si Mahuyokhuyokon. With him was Dumasig, the most powerful wrestler in Madya-as. After several months of traveling, the two warriors came face to face with a two headed monster called Balanakon. The monster guarded the ridge that led to the place where the maiden lived. They managed to kill the monster but were confronted with another kind of monster when they reached the gate of the palace where the maiden lived. Called Uyutang, the monster was similar to a bat with sharp, poisonous claws. Dumalapdap fought with the Uyutang for seven months. He was able to defeat the monster when he grabbed its ankle and broke it. Then he took his iwang daniwan (magic dagger) and struck Uyutang under the armpit. The monster howled in pain, causing an earthquake that broke the ridge they were fighting in into two. Half of the ridge became an island that is known today as Negros, while the other half became Panay. With the monster Uyutang dead, Lubay-Lubyok Hanginun si Mahuyokhuyokan was free to marry Dumalapdap. He brought her home and was reunited with his family. Datu Paubari celebrated the return of his three sons with a very big feast. His sons left for different parts of the world after the feast. Labaw Donggon ventured north, Humadapnon went south, and Dumalapdap embarked to the west. Datu Parubari was left to rule in the east.
Humdapnon was visited by his spirit friends Taghoy and Duwindi in his dream and told him of lovely maiden who lived in a village by the mouth of the Halawod River. The demigod left his dominion to look for the maiden named Nagmalitong Yawa. He brought with him a boatful of crew. Humadapnon and his men safely traversed through a sea the color of human blood with the help of his spirit friends. They landed on an island that was inhabited by beautiful women and headed by the sorceress Ginmayunan. For seven years, Humadapnon and his crew were imprisoned in the island until Nagmalitong Yawa helped them escape by disguising as a boy. Humadapnon and Nagmalitong Yawa were married soon after in Halawod. During the wedding feast, Humadapnon’s brother, Dumalapdap fell in love with Huyung Adlaw and asked his brother to help him talk to the parents of the maiden. Humadapnon left his new wife and accompanied his brother to the Upperworld where Huyung Adlaw lived. It took the brothers seven years to come back from their journey to the Upperworld. They arrived just in time for the ceremony that will have Nagmalitong Yawa married to Buyung Sumagulung, an island fortress ruler, in a ceremony.
The brothers were enraged and killed all the guests and the groom. Humadapnon also stabbed his wife because the treachery only to feel remorse later on. He asked his spirit friends and found out that his wife only agreed to marry Buyung Sumagulung because her mother, Matan-ayon, convinced her that Humadapnon is not coming back. Upon learning of this, Humadapnon asked his sister, Labing Anyag, to use her powers to bring Nagmalitong Yawa back to life. Seeing how remorseful he is, Labing Anyag agreed. However, Nagmalitong Yawa was so ashamed of agreeing to marry Buyung Sumagulung that she ran away to the underworld and sought the protection of her uncle Panlinugun, who is lord of the earthquake. Humadapnon had to kill an eight-headed snake in his pursuit of Nagmalitong Yawa. Then he had to duel with a young man who spirited his wife away. The duel ended when Alunsina intervened and revealed that the young man is also her son, Amarotha. This son died during childbirth and was brought back from the dead to keep Alunsina company. Alunsina decided that both Humadapnon and Amarotha deserved a piece of Nagmalitong Yawa so she cut the girl in half and gave a piece each to her sons. Each half turned into a whole live person. Humadapnon brought his wife back to Panay.