Bathala  

Posted by Stella Clark

Bathala Cover
Bathalang Maykapal, or Bathala, was the Supreme God of the ancient Tagalog and King of the Diwatas. Derived from the Javanese Batara Guru, an alternate name for the Hindu god Shiva, the concept of Bathala, as with many beliefs in pre-Hispanic Philippines, owe a huge debt to the Hinduism of the Srivijayan Javanese. All of these beliefs were soon changed after the Spaniards set foot on the islands. Spanish missionaries used Bathala as a way for them to convert the Tagalogs into Christianity by associating him with the Christian God. They also did this to the other deities by replacing them with saints. Since then, the name "Bathala" was used to refer to the Christian God and is still used by Filipinos today, and God is even addressed as "Poong (Panginoon, meaning "Lord") Maykapal". Bathala has counterparts in other parts of the Philippines. In Northern Luzon, Kabunian and Lumawig; in Southern Luzon, Gugurang and Mangindusa; and in the Visayas, Abba, Kan-Laon, and Kaptan.

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