Bathalumans: Philippine Goddesses

Melchor Bernaldo was a marine who served under the Philippine 4th Battalion from Bulacan.  A self-taught artist whose passion for the arts ignited when he was invited to design the annual Christmas decorations for the company where he worked as a security guard and won. His skills earned him the admiration of the residents and encouraged him to pursue his talent further. Despite being inexperienced, he sought guidance from browsing through artbooks in bookstores, visiting galleries, and befriending other artists in his town and eventually developed his unique style. After years of hard work and practice, Melchor finally gained the confidence to sign his name on canvas and become an artist.

The Goddesses


A prominent goddess in the Suludnon people’s Pantheon of Gods, that brings in the light of the sun and cool winds during hot days of the dry season, she was also said to be a guardian against strong typhoons and of beauty and marriage also known as “Luon-Sina” and is considered as the ‘Virgin goddess of the eastern-skies’ . She is also called other names such as “Unmarried One”, “The One from Foreign skies” and “ One who is Foreign”



Known as the goddess or deity of the morning and evening star in the Philippine mythology, particularly the Tagalog mythology she is one of the three daughters of Bathala by a mortal woman. The meaning of her name is “Bright Star”, Tala supported the creation of Tagalog constellations. She also helps ferry men to be safe at night using her light spheres.


The Goddes of Secrets.

Was the deity of silence and secrets in the Visayan religion and also an embodiment of justice and trust. She is represented the unsaid story of the past associated with knowledge, wisdom, or intelligence and key of all mystery.


The tale of Bakunawa

Huge serpent-like dragon that coiled around the earth and ruled the oceans, the wished to have the seven moons/sisters that Bathala Created. Wishing to have them all.

Anitun Tabu

The goddess of wind and rain, During the pre colonial period they would blame the goddess for the drizzle or “ambon”. It was considered to be lucky to be married while it was raining; it meant that the goddess was happy.

Amihan, wind of Heroism
The goddess of Monsoon Weather

According to Tagalog folklore, Amihan is the first creature to inhabit the universe, along with the gods called Bathala and Aman Sinaya. Amihan is a personification of the Northeast Wind. She is often represented as a beautiful, long-haired woman who brings cool breezes and safety to fishermen and seafarers, as long as they please her with their good hearts.


Known as the goddess of lost things. She is the mother of the god of the sun, Apolaki. Anagolay is the only
offspring of Lakapati, the goddess of fertility and Mapulon, the god of the seasons.There are stories about the goddess helping the people who pray to her about their lost items.


Unintentionally known for her tardiness as she was cursed by her father to stay on earth forever because she failed to attend a family council on time again. The flower garden on earth became her home. The flowers bloomed all the more and gave forth beautiful colors never seen before. Everybody around was so delighted. The people who were living nearby saw that the garden grew lovelier everyday. the people wanted to build a bower so they can see the flowers from the other side. It was high and it arched over the entrance of the garden. Soon the arch was decked all over with blossoms of red, yellow, pink, orange, blue, and white. so each time Baghari goes on a journey we can see the lovely many-colored arch in the sky—the rainbow.

Princess Kaguya

Princess Kaguya became an inspiration, because during that time he thought that a deity should look perfect. The first attempt of Bernaldo’s Bathaluman paintings, He was trying to cover up Mayari as she had an imperfection as a goddess, one of her eyes has a scar. Princess Kaguya was a girl in Japanese Folklore that symbolized perfection, she was glowing when she was found inside a bamboo stem. When she grew up, suitors flock to ask for her hand, and even the emperor falls in love with her. But she is not truly of this world, and must soon leave it behind. Upon finishing the painting bernaldo realized that Philippine deities were beautiful because they have imperfections


Mayari is the goddess of the moon and is the daughter of the Supreme God, Bathala, and a mortal woman. She is also known as the most beautiful of all goddesses. In one of the Pampangan myths, Mayari and her brother Apolaki fought for the Earth’s right to rule. losing her eye during the battle, they both agreed to rule with her at night and during the day as his way of asking for her forgiveness, her light is dim it’s because of her eye injury.


The goddess of the morning or dawn, sister of Tala the goddess of stars and Mayari the goddess of the moon. The three daughters of Bathala by a mortal woman which make them a demigod. She is especially important during the entrance of a new age or a new phase in a person’s life. People offer her bountiful harvests and prayers and these prayers would often be conducted at the break of dawn.

Exhibition Photos