The handle, being shaped like a jaw of an alligator gives this sword a very unique appearance. Nobody is really quite sure whether the serpent on these weapons represents an alligator, a crocodile, a dragon, or a snake. Bakunawa (a mythical creature known to eat the moon), or other mythical Naga (Baybayin word for a deity or class of entity, taking the form of a very great snake or serpent). The true history is confusing; the best weapons experts in the Philippines (and other countries) continually categorized the dragon-like hilt as a crocodile or an alligator as fact. In the past, strands of hair are attached to the pommel of the handle for a more appealing as well as a more intimidating look.
This is one dangerous sword in the hands of a skilled Kampilan wielder. Despite its size, like many Filipino swords, the skills come from the deceptive fighting methods found in the Philippines. Like all old style Filipino swords, the Kampilan is what makes that particular Philippine indigenous martial art style unique.
Speculation has it the Laring, and the Gayang may be spin-offs of the old style Kampilan going back to the days of Lapu Lapu. There is no accurate proof on that right now so we will not say one way or another. We have to admit, it sure looks like a spin-off. However, Ron Kosakowski is continuing to research to find out the true facts on this rumor along with any other rumors behind Filipino weapons.