December 1, 2011

Hari Ragat: the Kinalakian


If you’re done feasting your eyes on the hawtness that is Marian Rivera, let’s talk about making a character like this woman warrior in Hari Ragat.

Again taking from Filipino history and legend, my model for the woman warrior is from the tale of Princess Urduja, ruler of the kingdom of Tawalisi, supposedly located in what is now Pangasinan. Urduja herself was raised to hold the sword, and led to battle a corps of women warriors, the Kinalakian – which roughly translates as ‘the Manly Ones.’ These amazons were said to have been so well trained in the martial arts that they gained the stature and physiques of men, and Urduja herself had taken an oath not to marry any man save he who defeated her in combat.  (Pre-dating Red Sonja by some 600 years!)

In the Hari Ragat setting, the Kinalakian is a woman of the Orang Dakila caste raised to become a warrior.   She is tutored in the arts of fighting, hunting, and seamanship, and because she is a noble, she may also learn how to command other warriors.  She is legally considered a man, and by dedicating her chastity to the warrior’s way, swearing not to marry or take a lover save one who defeats her in combat, she gains more spiritual power.  

Kinalakian are uncommon enough to be remarkable, their choice and upbringing always the subjects of tales.  Orang Dakila women are usually raised to be Binokot, virgin princesses highly sought in marriage, or as Sidayin, chanters of the ancestral epics, or as Kinatiwala, who learn to manage estates and trade.  A family may raise a Kinalakian amazon for the purposes of vengeance, to fulfill an oath, to take the place of a male heir, or in answer to a prophecy.  Sometimes adult women, such as the widows of datus and rajahs, may take the amazon path as well – and usually with vengeance as the motive.


  1. Oooh! That gives me ideas. Now to figure out how to get these sibling Diwatas off my back.

  2. Hm, wonder what those ideas are? Will you get your character's cockatoo to perform the surgery needed to change Dimasalang's gender, then become a kinalakian? :-P

  3. Kinalakian of Pangasinan were trained in martial arts known as singgulo (martial combat) arnis/kali, short and long swords (barang and kampilan).

    Where did you get your source of kinalakian?


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