SARIMANOK: Legendary Bird in Philippine Folklore

SARIMANOK – Here are some important facts about this legendary bird in the Philippine mythology that you should know.

The Sarimanok is a legendary bird in Filipino mythology and folklore, particularly among the Maranao people of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. It is often described as a colorful rooster-like bird with colorful feathers and a fish-like tail.

The Sarimanok is believed to be a symbol of good fortune, prosperity, and protection. It is often described in various art forms, including wood carvings, textiles, and jewelry. It is also used as a motif in traditional ceremonies, such as weddings and festivals, to symbolize blessings and good luck.


Another Maranao legend, tells of Prophet Muhammad’s journey through the seven heavens. In the first heaven, he encountered a rooster whose size reached the second heaven.

It is said that whenever the rooster crows, it awakens all beings except humans. They believe that Judgment Day will come when the rooster ceases to crow.

However, another legend expects the arrival of Islam in their region. According to the Maranao, the Sarimanok is their totem bird, named Itotoro, with its twin, Inikadowa. When Rajah Indaparata married a nymph, they had two children: the seen and the unseen.


The seen child became the ancestor of today’s Maranao, while the unseen child represents the spirits to whom offerings are given during rituals. The siblings agreed to protect each other from malevolent spirits, choosing the Sarimanok as their totem.

With the help of its twin Inikadowa, the Sarimanok became the bridge between the seen and unseen worlds. The fish held in the Sarimanok’s beak symbolizes the food offered by the Maranao to the spirit world.

This mythological creature is not only a cultural symbol but also holds spiritual importance for the Maranao people. It is believed to be a messenger between the mortal world and the spirit world, carrying messages from the gods to the people.

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