Ibong Adarna (1941) Full Movie

Pinoy kids raised on afternoon television in the 70s and 80s would remember watching a singing mystical bird whose gorgeous voice is said to have the power to heal. But only if you catch it first; otherwise the singing will lull you to sleep and will turn you into stone.

Forward to 12:02 minutes if you can't wait to hear the bird to sing.

Ibong Adarna is one of the oldest films in the ABS-CBN archives, and one of the rare pre-war Filipino films with a known copy. “Anything made before WWII is significant, because there are so few of them,” says Juan Martin Magsanoc, a collector of Filipino film mementos and advocate of film archiving, when asked why the film is significant. “Second, it’s from a literary classic…And it was the only Pinoy nitrate film that was in existence for a long time.”

Ibong Adarna was produced by Narcisa “Doña Sisang” de Leon of LVN Pictures, and was directed by Salumbides under the technical supervision of Manuel Conde, who would become one of our National Artists. It stars Mila del Sol, Fred Cortes, and Ester Magalona.

More about the film:

Ibong Adarna is a 16th-century Filipino epic poem about an eponymous magical bird. The title's longer form during the Spanish Era was "korido at Buhay na Pinagdaanan n͠g Tatlong Principeng Magcacapatid na anac n͠g Haring Fernando at n͠g Reina Valeriana sa Cahariang Berbania" (English for "Corrido and Life Lived by the Three Princes, children of King Fernando and Queen Valeriana in the Kingdom of Berbania").

The story revolved around the life of King Fernando, Queen Valeriana and their three sons, Princes Pedro, Diego and Juan. The three princes are vying for the throne and kingship, and were trained for sword fight and combat. The most courageous will inherit the throne.

The story is commonly attributed to the Tagalog poet José de la Cruz or "Huseng Sisiw", but until now its exact authorship is disputed. Another legend claims that the story was written in Spain during the mid-16th century by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, and brought to the Philippines in 1565.

The poem forms part of the curriculum for Junior High School Students as well as those in Grade 7 in the Philippines.

Sources: ABS-CBN, Manila | Adriane Balmaceda Acar

Related era film:
King Kong (1933)

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