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In a peaceful kingdom named Berbanya, a king known as Don Fernando lived, together with his queen, Donya Valeriana. The king and queen had three sons. The eldest was Don Pedro, the second was Don Diego, and the youngest was Don Juan.
One night, while Don Fernando was sleeping, he had a terrible nightmare and got ill. The nightmare was about Don Juan being thrown into a deep well by two unknown men. The following morning, all the doctors in Berbanya were summoned to alleviate the king from his ailment. But no one among the physicians of Berbanya could determine the ailment, until a "ermitanyo"(hermit) diagnosed and proclaimed that the cure would be the song of the Ibong Adarna. The Ibong Adarna could only be found in the tree of Piedras Platas on Bundok Tabor (Mount Tabor).
Don Fernando sent his two older sons to search for the bird, one after the other. The two brothers were unsuccessful. They were turned into stone after falling asleep while listening to the Adarna bird's song.
Don Fernando hesitated on sending his youngest son, Don Juan, because of the fear that his nightmare might come true. Don Juan insisted on going and left to look for the magical bird. Along Don Juan's way, he met a leper(or also known as an old man and taong ketongin) begging for food. Don Juan, a kind prince, gave the beggar his piece of bread. Because of Juan's generosity, the leper helped Don Juan in finding the Ibong Adarna.The leper says that there was a little house near a mountain - where a hermit lives - that will give instructions to catch the bird. Don Juan comes and see the hermit and the hermit asked him to eat. And when the hermit showed him the food, Don Juan was shocked beacause the bread that he gave to the old man was with the hermit. Don Juan thought that the hermit and the old man was one. The hermit gave Don Juan a duhat(in some cases 'dayap'), a knife, gold "sintas"(laces) and holy water.
Don Juan succeeded in locating the mystical bird, and was also able to save his older brothers, reviving them back to life. But despite of this, Don Pedro envied Don Juan because he was the only person to catch the Ibong Adarna. Don Pedro told Don Diego about a plan to eliminate Don Juan. Don Diego agreed with Don Pedro's plan. They injured Juan and left him unconscious, taking with them the Ibong Adarna back to Berbanya. The old man who helped Don Juan catch the bird helped him again to cure all his wounds and made him stronger.
In the castle of Berbanya, the bird refused to sing, until Don Juan's return to the kingdom. In Don Juan's presence, the bird sang and transformed itself into seven different colors, while singing its mystic song. The king was healed.
Don Fernando wanted to punish his two other sons by imposing a death sentence upon them, for hurting Don Juan. The king later changed in his mind, and decided only to banish his two older sons from the kingdom. The king was cured and Berbanya was again at peace.
The king then instructed his sons to guard the magical bird. Three hours for each one of them. But then, Don Pedro again thought of another evil plan for Don Juan. The time he's about to guard the Ibong Adarna, he told Don Diego his plans. They woke up Don Juan and pleaded him to guard the bird for the two of them. Don Juan as a good brother, agreed. Accidentally, Don Juan fell asleep. Of course, who would not feel sleepy when you're awaken in the middle of the night? While he's asleep, his two elder brothers unlocked the cage and let the Ibong Adarna fly. The next morning, Don Juan was surprised to see the cage empty. He knew it was his brothers who did that, but because of his love for his brothers, he found a way for them not to be given death punishment by their father. Don Juan secretly ran away to their kingdom. He did this for them to think he stole the bird. When Don Fernando asked his two older sons regarding the whereabouts of Don Juan, they shrugged and answered in negation. Don Fernando felt something wrong about this. He then commanded Don Pedro and Don Diego to find their brother. The traitors followed for they want the entire kingdom of Berbanya to think that they're loyal. After a long period of seeking, they finally saw Don Juan on the mountain of Armenya. They had a gathering on Sundays. One day, they saw a well. Don Juan had a dream about a land located under the well. They went down and saw a beautiful golden palace. There, they met princesses. Each of them was guarded by a serpiyente (serpent) and a giant. They decided to live together so they went up back to Armenya. One of the princesses, Donya Leonora, forgot her diamond ring and asked if one of them would get it. Don Juan went to get it but Don Pedro had a mean plan again. They threw the merciful young prince into a deep well.