The Bisdak Deities of the Old — Meet the Bisaya Pantheon of Gods

Our Bisaya ancestors also have their pantheon of gods!

Before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in Cebu to spread their Christian belief, our ancestors had already believed in gods.

Diwata and Encanto

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In the pre-colonial era, most of us just know that our Sugboanon ancestors pray and give worship towards the anitos and the nature around them. However, unbeknownst to the majority of Cebuanos, we had a pantheon of our own gods.

Ancient Cebuano people called their deities diwatas and encantos. Diwata is a given term for female deities, while Encanto was a title given to male gods. Furthermore, a deity with royal blood was given the title of Sang’re and was distinguished by the markings on their backs. The markings were revealed to be the Baybayin script nga. However, it was never revealed who were the gods who had royal blood. 

The Bisdak Deities

The pantheon of the Cebuano Gods were divided into three main generations starting from the first generation which consisted of Macaptan and Magwayen. The second generation consisted of Lihangin and Lidagat. Lastly, the third which consisted of Likabutan, Liadlaw, Libulan and Lisuga.


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Also better known as Kaptan is the supreme god that is the Cebuano equivalent of Bathala. He is considered by the natives as the supreme god of the skies. He has the powerful ability to manipulate the skies, and time. He was also identified as the supreme creator and a heaven deity. Moreover, he was also the husband of goddess Magwayen. Lastly, he was the most worshiped deity of all. 


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Aside from being the wife of the supreme god Kaptan, she was also labeled as the goddess of the sea and the deity of death. She was also bestowed total control over the underworld giving her the ability to absorb and manipulate souls at will. She also has the ability to control the seas and ocean due to her power to control primordial chaos.


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He was better known as the son of Kaptan and lord over the winds; an Air Deity. Lihangin was bestowed absolute control over the winds and air. He also has the ability to mimic air and air generation. 


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Being the daughter of Magwayen, she was given the birthright to become the deity of the seas and later married Lihangin and had four children. She was given the ability to totally control the ocean and the seas. 


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He was the eldest of the four children of Lihangin and Lidagat. He was also the God of the World and the Nature Deity. He was given the ability to manipulate nature, the lands and even the whole planet.


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He was the brother of Likabutan and the second child of Lihangin and Lidagat. He was the Sun Deity of the Bisaya. Liadlaw was given the ability to have infinite energy gained from the sun, and have solar and primordial fire manipulation.


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She was the third child of Lihangin and Lidagat and was called the Lunar goddess. Being the moon deity gave her the ability to totally control the moon, and was able to gather power from the moon.


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The youngest of the four siblings. She was, unfortunately, the victim of her grandfather’s wrath, after Likabutan tried to usurp Kaptan from his throne. Her body then shattered into a thousand pieces and became the stars. Hence, gaining the title of the Stellar Deity.

—Ultimately, there are countless Cebuano Gods out there, however, these gods were the deities who had a considerable amount of reputation and believers in ancient Cebu.

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