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Ibong Adarna Summary in English

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Read on to find an English summary of the Ibong Adarna, the classic Philippine folktale.

Read on to find an English summary of the Ibong Adarna, the classic Philippine folktale.

This article contains summaries of the English and Tagalog versions of the Ibong Adarna, a famous epic from the Philippine literature.

What Is the Ibong Adarna?

The Ibong Adarna is a mythical story comprised of narrative song and poetry called corrido and is considered a large part of Philippine literature. It is usually studied in the country as part of secondary school curriculum.

The author of this fantastic story still remains unknown and uncertain. Some said that the author was Spanish because it was written when the Spaniards ruled the Philippines.

During those times, the Ibong Adarna was known as Corrido at Buhay na Pinagdaanan nang Tatlong Principeng Magcacapatid na Anac nang Haring Fernando at nang Reina Valeriana sa Cahariang Berbania. Other critics have specualted that it was written by José de la Cruz, a great Philippine poet who is also known as Huseng Sisiw.

This amazing piece of folklore is about love, sacrifice and fantasy. The Ibong Adarna literally means "Adarna Bird." The story centers around catching a mythical bird that possesses magical powers. The Adarna bird was incredibly beautiful and could change into many stunning forms.

The bird is very difficult to catch. It knows a total of seven songs that could either enchant a person to sleep, turn into someone to stone or heal a deadly sickness. This is why the dying King Fernando of Berbania tasked his three sons with catching the magical bird. That’s where the epic tale begins.

Ibong Adarna Characters

  • King Fernando
  • Queen Valeriana
  • Don Pedro
  • Don Diego
  • Don Juan
  • Donya Juana
  • Donya Leonora
  • Donya Maria Blanca
  • King Salermo
Ibong Adarna, oil on linen, 27x32in 2021, painting by Nat Lamina (2022)

Ibong Adarna, oil on linen, 27x32in 2021, painting by Nat Lamina (2022)

Ibong Adarna Summary in English

Once upon a time, there was a kingdom named Berbania. It was ruled by King Fernando and Queen Valeriana who had three sons: Don Pedro (firstborn), Don Diego (second) and Don Juan (the youngest).

One night, King Fernando had a bad dream. He saw that his youngest (and favorite) Prince, Don Juan, was thrown away in a deep, creepy well. The King started to get weak for unknown reasons. It seemed that nothing could bring back his prior high level of health. His medical advisors told him that the only cure for his unexplained malady was a lullaby sung by the Adarna bird.

So, King Fernando tasked his three sons to hunt the magical bird. Don Pedro went first but was unsuccessful. He may have reached Mount Tabor and the tree of Piedras Platas where the Adarna bird nested, but the prince fell asleep after hearing the bird’s song. What's worse is that he turned into a stone when the lovely bird pooped on him. The second prince, Don Diego went hunting next. Unfortunately, he had the same bitter end as his older brother. The kingdom was counting on Don Juan, who went next.

The youngest prince climbed through Mount Tabor. He met a very sick old man who gave him tips about the magical tree of Piedras Platas and catching the Adarna bird. Don Juan successfully caught the bird and helped his two brothers become human again. Because of envy and greed for power, the two older brothers joined forces to beat Don Juan to death and throw him into a deep well. The two then returned home with the Adarna. However, the king’s illness grew worse because the bird never sang a single song.

Luckily, Don Juan’s strength returned. He was healed by the poor old man who helped him in the mountain. He finally returned to the Kingdom of Berbania. King Fernando knew the truth when the bird started singing after seeing Don Juan. The King grew healthy again and became stronger than ever.

He wanted to punish his two sons but Don Juan asked his father to forgive them. The King granted his request and asked the three princes to guard the Adarna bird. Because of Don Pedro, the bird flew away and escaped. Don Juan went away from the kingdom so the king wouldn't punish his brother.

King Fernando asked the two princes to look for Don Juan. They found him in the kingdom of Armenia. They decided to live there. One day they found an interesting well. Only Don Juan went down inside successfully. He found two lovely princesses, Donya Juana and Donya Leonora, who were kept captive by a giant serpent.

Because of his skills in fighting, the mighty prince killed the serpent and saved the two princesses. Don Pedro envied the young prince. He cut the rope when the prince went down inside the well to get the ring Donya Leonora had forgotten. What's more, it was easy for Don Diego to make Donya Juana fall in love with him. So when they came back to Berbania, they married. On the other hand, Don Pedro did everything to pursue Donya Leonora but he failed.

An enchanted fox helped Don Juan and he was quickly healed. The Adarna bird appeared suddenly and told him about the princess of Reyno delos Cristales, his predestined love. He immediately searched for the princess and found out about the cruel King Salermo.

In spite of the obstacles the cruel king put before him, he faced them all and succeeded with the help of Maria Blanca, the daughter of King Salermo. Because of the selfish king, the two tried to escape. Maria Blanca was cursed to crawl like a snail and be forgotten by the prince Don Juan.

Don Juan returned to Berbania where he was welcomed by his mother, Queen Valeriana, as well as Princess Leonora. He forgot about Maria Blanca because of Princess Leonora. Don Juan and Princess Leonora were scheduled to wed. On the day of the wedding, Maria Blanca visited wearing the emperatris.

She tried to bring back all their memories and remind Don Juan about their love. Finally, Don Juan and Princess Maria Blanca got married while Princess Leonora married Don Pedro. In the end, Don Pedro became the new king of Berbania while Don Juan became the king of Reyno delos Cristales.

Trailer for the Ibong Adarna Movie

Sources and Further Reading

© 2011 twentyfive


Catapult on March 12, 2020:

Thanks for doing this, you guys should make more interesting and easier to understand Filipino stories to help people that speak English and curious about Filipino stories to help them cope up with these amazing stories. It was spectacular!

Bitna on March 05, 2020:

I thought there was the plant trigo... and the challenges of haring fernando...

But in the sunmary there is no challenges... why??

cute on February 19, 2020:

thanks po

TGUltimateEcho on January 28, 2020:

I read this for a summary, and hey Good Job

Could have wasted a lot of time translating this.

(I am Filipino but my main languages are Cebuano and English not Tagalog) Keep up the great work

sha pusho mu on January 27, 2020:

Donya Juana was held by a giant, Donya Leonora held by a Serpent

jinky on January 14, 2020:

i like it

bobo ka rin on December 12, 2019:

nice story because i dont have any project so i copy this story:)

meee on September 03, 2019:

what was the only cure for the king illness?

Kakkoiikun on August 11, 2019:

So first of all, there are some details missing. The details on the first and second part don't really matter but in the last part, how did Maria Blanca break the curse? They couldn't have their wedding while Maria Blanca was crawling.

lendyrosales on March 14, 2019:

i is so nice story

help on March 13, 2019:

whats an emperatriz

Bobo ka on March 09, 2019:

This is completely wrong. The story was very inaccurate the first time I saw it. This is a very unreliable source

Hatdog on February 24, 2019:

Like all the other coments, this helped a lot. on July 03, 2018:

It is very beautiful. I Love this so much

Ihateyoustupididiot tanga ka putang ina gago ka on March 18, 2018:

this story is incomplete and inaccurate it's ADARNA dont add bird its weird also you forget to tell about the ermitanio who was denied by don pedro and don diego for short wala kang utak

Joaquinnnnn!!!!!! on March 12, 2018:

Thanks for posting this. It was a big help.

Phillppe on February 26, 2018:

Thanks this is such a good help since i cant understand Filipino. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

joshua valdez on February 22, 2018:

Its really good

strikeslyn on January 12, 2018:

thanks for the link

francis earl on April 14, 2017:


Griel02 on March 07, 2017:

Where's the link?

Someone on January 05, 2017:

I can't seem to find the tagalog versions

haha on November 16, 2016:

Thanks for posting this! It helped me get through this semester! :D

black rose 16 on September 03, 2016:

**It somehow helped me on my report in school about Ibong Adarna**Thanks A Lot**:-)

Carenjoy on August 28, 2016:

Thanks for the summary, you really helped us a lot in our study of the Philippine literature.. More Power and God Bless!!

Pinoy Pride on March 14, 2016:

Maganda po yung storya Congrats po at thank you sa mga gumawa.


Nice Story Congrats and Thank You to the people who put effort to this.

sweety male on March 08, 2016:

it is great

chloie jane on January 11, 2016:

hey may report na ako

farah alaine galuno on January 09, 2016:

ibong adarna is one of my favorite books that i always read... ^^

AlmyAdiong on October 18, 2015:

Wowwwwwwwwwww!!!! Its nice...

achivers on August 25, 2015:

salamat dito nagkaroon ako ng assignment thanks to the author

Ryan Troy M. Jose on March 10, 2015:

this story is very nice.... I think the more see this is very happy.... hahahah...

hi on March 03, 2015:


may on January 18, 2015:

So good story

maria beauty camarievas on January 12, 2015:

thanks for this summary

fearless girl on January 06, 2015:


neña nica on November 23, 2014:

thanks for the SUMMARY ! :))

justanotherstudent on November 16, 2014:

Thanks for the summary of this korido. I suggest you put more details (the ones worth taking a note) for others to understand the story better.

sunako on September 02, 2014:

it was so nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i love it

rickinn on August 03, 2014:

ilove ...............this.................0000000

Austin on January 31, 2014:

I am a freshman and my teacher wants us to read this book. And once I am in the middle part, so exciting. And by the way, nice summary. But put some important notes too.

ewan ko on January 03, 2014:

what are you saying

ate budang on November 06, 2013:

hey twentyfive why won't you use twenty=two it's a nice story created by juan dela cruz

twentyfive (author) on September 24, 2013:

Contact me thru Facebook at My name is Fehl Dungo

blel on September 24, 2013:

hello po, pwede ko po ba gamitin ung summary for our game? Capstone Project po kasi namin at naisip namin gawan ng game ung Ibon adarna, san po ba pwedeng magpaalam. naLink naman na po namin ung website nyo. salamat

twentyfive (author) on February 17, 2013:

I'm glad thanks!

crisha on February 17, 2013:

wow..............this page help me a lot!!!!thanks..................................

love on January 23, 2013:

i love this story

twentyfive (author) on November 21, 2012:

Totally agree! Wanna read this story again this Thanksgiving

daphne on September 03, 2012:

Correct this is very nice story about the philipines

twentyfive (author) on August 29, 2012:

One of the best Filipino fairytales

alex on August 27, 2012:

it was so interesting legend

twentyfive (author) on August 06, 2012:

Glad you loved it. Ibong Adarna has always been interesting

spongebob on August 05, 2012:

i love it!!!!!

ok na kahit mataas ang story!!! :) lol XD XP

twentyfive (author) on August 01, 2012:

really enchanting and beautiful

eman on July 28, 2012:

it so beautiful story.

twentyfive (author) on March 26, 2012:

I love Ibong Adarna. :)

jorge on March 19, 2012:

ice story

Michelle Omac on March 14, 2012:


abigail on March 06, 2012:

nice story !

Denver jabat on February 28, 2012:

nice story........

thanks for rhis intresting story..........

thanks again..........

very nice story .it's one of my favorites

this is great the story is very nice the ibong adarn ang nagpalaki ng saya at makabuluhang kuwento na may matututunan o aral w/the end STORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

thanks for writing the summary so now i can do my project and we can use it as our story in the play were working on.

oldo on February 27, 2012:

nice story :D

usmanjin on February 24, 2012:

nice story........

thanks for rhis intresting story..........

thanks again..........

pilipinaako on February 23, 2012:

very nice story .it's one of my favorites

rodel molina on February 21, 2012:

i llyk dis story..fantastic

sheera sumatra on February 20, 2012:

wow...its nice story....

twentyfive (author) on February 19, 2012:

the Tagalog versions are posted in the article. I have included 2 for that.

ashley mae tangon on February 19, 2012:

its so mice but i want tagalog version thank


lovely rain enriquez on February 16, 2012:

sobrang ganda ng history na to,parang aqo,joke,ang masasabi ko lang ay sobrang supernatural...........

ladog on January 31, 2012:

ang ganda sobra

ChristopherMalonzo on January 25, 2012:

this is great the story is very nice the ibong adarn ang nagpalaki ng saya at makabuluhang kuwento na may matututunan o aral w/the end STORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

christophermalonzo on January 25, 2012:

this story is very nice

khin on January 24, 2012:

nakakainspire ang story ng ibong adarn!!!!!!!!!

rachelle on January 19, 2012:

i want ibong adarna so romantic!!!!!!!!!!!

so fantastic hehehehehe

way may lain

paulyn macaya on January 18, 2012:

anq saya-saya basahin noh

pranq totoo..

Moks on January 08, 2012:

it so bad no tagalog

erna on December 27, 2011:

i like to find guy like don juan ........

Joseph Emilsan B. Valleja on December 06, 2011:

I dont Like this It seems me boring

chay on November 28, 2011:

I like the story of the adarna bird......:)

? on November 27, 2011:

woww very very nice story.

joseph garde on November 20, 2011:

can someone answer, what feet is mount tabor????

i just forgot it... thanks

kikang apolinar on November 13, 2011:

so nice nakaka tanggal damdamin

grace danielle on November 12, 2011:

nice story....:)

anya :) on October 17, 2011:

this is really useful! thanks! :)

melody on October 13, 2011:

so beautiful story

dana jane on October 06, 2011:


twentyfive (author) on September 30, 2011:

@Andrei - read the article..the author of Ibong Adarna is still unknown..But the author of this translation is me. :)

@Jill -Enjoy the play..Good luck with your group. :)

jill@27 on September 29, 2011:

thanks for writing the summary so now i can do my project and we can use it as our story in the play were working on.

Andrei on September 29, 2011:

I have an assignment i didn't find who are the Author?

Alejandro :) on September 25, 2011:

how beautiful;; i very like this epic story

twentyfive (author) on September 14, 2011:

@Bea Duenas - It's a pleasure :) Bless ya!

@Marea - It's the summary. The whole epic is a book. It's the shortest in the web so far. I made the effort writing this. Thanks for the comment.

marea framcise reyes on September 12, 2011:

sabi nla,summary it's not summary it's already a long story

bea dueñas on September 11, 2011:

thamks a lot my dear author. you help me a lot... more power!

twentyfive (author) on September 01, 2011:

Yup like your song Firework lol

KATY PERY on September 01, 2011:

what a nice story hahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

twentyfive (author) on September 01, 2011:

thanks Katy Perry lol

sammuel sumande on August 25, 2011:

hi ADARNA BIRD is my favorite fable i like it ;)

carlo villar on August 01, 2011:

sana maraming maglike sa story na ito

ganda ksi eh:)hehe!

nesa on July 21, 2011:

thanks for sharing the story about "ibong adarna" from the philippines.

Emma from Houston TX on March 11, 2011:

Nice summary that is very very cool and i really enjoyed it.