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The sarimanok is a fictional, legendary bird believed by the Maranao people to be a cock with bright, multicolored feathers and is said to give good luck. Images of the sarimanok are common in households all over the Philippines, most specially in Mindanao, where it is depicted in flight or standing atop a fence.



Various versions of the legend of the sarimanok were recorded.

One legend tells of the daughter of the sultan of Lanao, named Sari. Sari was loved by her father and people because of her beauty and kindness. On her eighteenth birthday, a feast was set to celebrate the occasion. A cock (manok in Filipino) with bright, glowing feathers flew into the middle of the feast, shocking all the people there. To everyone's amazement, the cock transformed into a handsome prince.

The prince stated that he has been watching over and protecting Sari since she was born, and that it was time that he took her to be with him. With this he transformed back into a cock and took Sari, flying away into the sun. Both he and the princess were never seen again.

The loss of his daughter brought grief to the sultan and he had the best craftsman in his lands to carve an image of the magical cock that took her daughter.

Another version is about the romantic relationship between Raja Indarapatra and the Maranao moon goddess, who comes down to earth every Friday. Raja Indarapatra eventually joined the goddess to her realm forever by riding the sarimanok.

Popular culture

“Sarimanok”, a musical play, was produced in 1981. It tells of the sarimanok and how it went against tradition.

The sarimanok was used by the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation as its station mascot in the mid-'90s.<ref>[1]</ref> Meanwhile, the Far Eastern University Cheering Squad used the sarimanok as its theme to top the 2009 University Athletic Association of the Philippines Cheerdance Competition. <ref>[2]</ref>


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