Return to the PHILIPPINES Archive
Forward to the Current PHILIPPINES Discussion Dawnlorraine
Monday 17th of July 2006 08:16:05 AMPhilippine Legends:
By Gaudencio V. Aquino
The many regions of the Philippines are rich sources of Philippine folklore. They abound with myths, legends, and other folk material. Originally told and retold by our forefathers of long ago, these stories have been handed down to the present through the lips of story tellers and xhave become an essential part of our cultural heritage. The purpose of these posts is to preserve these folk stories and for the the reading enjoyment of everyone interested in this forum.
Much has been said about nationalism and love of country. There is no better way to practice nationalism and love of country than to read, and enjoy reading, the stories such as legends, myths, and folk tales as told by, and for, our own people anf those interested the the Philippine culture. In these stories we discover the vigor and charm o our raditions, the beauty of our customs, the uniqueness of our mores, as well as the pitfalls of our own weaknesses and idiosyncracies. In short, we have a rich cultural heritage of which we can be proud and which, by all means, we ought to preserve for prosperity and make use of in constructive ways.
This is therefore a series of stories of Philippine folkore, myths and legends.
Monday 17th of July 2006 08:50:34 AMTHE LEGEND OF THE SAMPALOC LAKE
San Pablo, a picturesque and progressive city in Southeastern Luzon, is sometimes know as the city of seven lakes. All the seven lakes are rich with tales about their respective origin. A favorite story is that of Sampaloc Lake - the largest and most beautiful of the seven lakes.
Picture of Sampaloc Lake in San Pablo, Laguna.
Once upon a time there lives in the northern side of San pablo a well-to-do but childless couple. They has a large garden of tamarind (sampaloc in Tagalog) trees which bore the sweetest fruits in all the land. many people from far and wide heard of the tamarind trees. And many of them wanted to taste the sweet tamarind fruits.
The couple felt very proud of their rich possession. They built a fence around their yard so that no strangers would pic any of the tamarond fruits. Just to make sure no one could enter their yard, they placed a big watchdog to guard it.
God wanted to test the hospotality of the couple. And so, one day a fairy, disguised as an old beggar bent and wrinkled by age, approached the couple's garden and begged for some fruit.
"Please give me some tamarind fruit. I am hungry!" The old woman pleaded.
The couple did not even look at the old woman.
"Begone! We don't want to give any of our tamarind fruit away!" replied the couple angrily.
"Please, I am so hungry, and a fruit or two will satisfy me," the old beggar insisted. "I know your tamarind trees are laden with most delicious fruits."
Then, without further ado, the old woman came near one of the large trees. She stretched out her wrinkled, skinny hand to pluck a curly thick pod hanging from one of the lower branches.
Upon seeing what the old beggar had done, the couple grew angry. They became so angry that they hurried back to their house, let their dog loose, and set it on the poor woman. Alas, the poor old woman was badly bitten.
Patiently, the old woman bore her pain. But before turning away from the inhospitable spot, she touched the tamarind tree and, looking at the couple, said, "You shall be punished for your selfishness." Then she went slowly on her way.
Even before the woman was out of sight, the sky became overcast. In a short while a terrible storm broke out, and heavy rain fell through the night.
The following morning all was peaceful. The man and his wife went out for the daily round as usual. They had hardly taken a few steps when, to their surprise, instead of the tall green tamarind trees, there stretched before their unbelieving eyes a vast expanse of water shining in the morning sun.
Still unconvinced about what had happened, the couple went forward up to the bank of what now appeared to be a natural lake. And wonder of wonders, they saw through the transparent water the dark amass o tamarind trees still rooted to the sunken ground!
From that day on, the place became know as "Sampaloc Lake" - sampaloc
being the Tagalog word for tamarind. Nowadays Sampaloc Lake is a tourist spot to which many lovers of nature, bith young and old, go in order to admire the splendor and beauty that it offers.
More stories to come...Dawnlorraine
Monday 17th of July 2006 11:53:58 AMTHe Makahiya
Once there lived a rich couple, Mang Dondong and Aling Iska. They had a twelve-year-old daughter whose name was Maria. They loved their daughter so dearly.
Maria was a dutiful and obedient daughter. Industrious and kind, she made herself endeared to everybody.
But shyness was also one of maria's distinct characteristics. She was also shy that talking to people posed a great burden to her. In order to avoid encountering people, she usually locked herself in the room.
Maria had a flower garden. The flowers were beautiful and known all over the town. She took care of the plants patiently and tenderly. For the flower plants were her source of enjoyment and happiness.
One day a group of bandits raided a nearby village. The bandits killed every man they found at took the money of the residents.
The next day the bandits came to the village where Mang Dondong and Aling Iska and their daughter Maria lived. Mang Dondong noticed at once the arrival of the bandits Fearing for Maria's safety, he decided to hide Maria in the garden, which he did.
Aling Iska hid herself in the house. She trembled with fear when she heard the bandits forcing their way to the gate. Then she prayed, preparing for whatever would happen.
"Oh my God!" prayed Aling Iska. "Save my daughter."
Suddenly the door opened. The bandits enered the house and hit Mang Dondong on the head. Mang Dondong lost consciousness and fell on the floor. Aling Iska tried to escape but was also hit in the head.
The bandits ransacked every place in the house. After taking the money and jewelry, they searched for Maria. But Maria was nowehere to be found. So the bandits left th house to plunder another village.
When Mang Dondong and Aling Iska regained consciousness, the bandits had left already. THey quickly ran to the garden to look for Maria. But maria was not there. Again and again, they searched every corner in the garden but poor Maria could not be found.
"My poor daughter! They took my poor daughter!" wept Aling Iska.
All of a sudden felt something that pricked his feet. To his surprise, he saw a tiny plant quickly closing its leaves. It was the first time he saw that kind of plant. He knelt on his knees and took a close look at the plant. Aling Iska did the same. After looking at the plant for a long time, the couple came to the belief that the plant was Maria. For indeed Maria has been transformed by God into a plant to save her from the bandits.
Aling Iska wept uncontrollably and to Mang Dondong's amazement, every tear was transformed into a small and rosy flower of the new plant they found in the garden.
Since then Mang Dondong and Aling Iska tended the plant with utmost care. They knew what the plant was, in reality, their child Maria. And, like their child, the plant was very shy. So they called the plant "makahiya" because it showed it showed an important characteristic of Maria -shyness - which in Tagalog means "makahiya".
Thursday 20th of July 2006 09:40:42 AMThe Monkey and the Turtle
Once upon a time there were two friends, the monkey and the turtle.
One day the turtle dropped in at the monkey's house and said, "Friend Monkey, if you're not busy, why don't we go out and take a stroll together?"
Since the monkey was not doing nothing at the time, he readily accepted his friend's suggestion. The two friends had barely walked a short distance when they found a young banana plant lying along the road.
"What shall we do with this banana plant?" the turyle asked. Let's divide it between the two of us," replied the monkey." We shall cut it into two equal parts. I will get the upper half, and you will get the lower half."
"Agreed," said the turtle.
So the two friends cut the banana plant into two parts. The turtle got the lower half, and the monkey got the upper half. Then each went on his way home. Upon arriving home, the monkey planted his part of the banana plant in his garden. The turtle did the dame as soon as he reached home.
After a few days the monkey's banana plant died. The monkey felt sad, knowing that he will not be able to eat the sweet ripe bananas he always thought of about, and even dreamed about sometimes.
The turtle's banana plant, on the other hand, grew stout and fast. In a few weeks it bore fruit which soon ripened, ready to be eaten.
"I wonder what has happened to the monkey's banana plant," said the turtle one morning. "I will visit my friend and find out."
Away the turtle went to see his friend.
When the trutle arrived at the monkey's place, he saw his friend looking very sad. The turtle said, "Friend Monkey, why are you looking very said this bright morning? You look as the end of the world has come!"
"My banana plant died," replied the monkey, pointing to the dead plant in the garden. "What about your bvanana plant my friend?"
"It is now bearing fruit and the fruit has already ripened," the turtle said.
"Is that so? Will you let me see it?" said the monkey.
Being the unselfish type, the turtle said yes. Off they went to see the ripe bananas.
Upon reaching the turtle's place, the monkey saw with his own eyes the banana plant and its ripe fruits.
"Who will gather the ripe bananas?" asked the monkey.
"My grandfather of course!" said the turtle.
"But your grandfather is lame!" the monkey pointed out.
"Then my brother will do it," replied the turtle.
"But your brother is blind!" replied the monkey.
After a while, the monkey said,"Friend Turtle, suppose you allow me to climb the banana plant and gather the ripe fruit. Agreed?"
"Agreed," the turtle answered.
So the monkey climbed the banana plant. In two seconds flat he reached the top. Without a moment's delay he picked one ripe banana, peeled it, and ate the fruit. He picked another banana and did the same. In a few minutes, one half of the ripe bananas had been eaten by the monkey.
The turtle got disgusted with what his friend was doing. THe turtle said, "Friend Monkey, what about me? Please give me some bananas too."
The monkey just laughed, then threw a couple of banana peelings at the turtle.
"I'll teach him a lesson," the turtle said to himself.
The turtle then left and went to a nearby thicket where he found a lot of thorns. He gathered two big armfuls of the thorns and put them around the trunk of the banana plant.
Then the turtle looked up and said, "Friend Monkey, it's not healthy to stay up there all day. I have a piece of good advice for you. When you hear the xbarking of the dog, that's the signal for you to come down." And he left.
Just then a neighbor's dog barked. THe monkey heard the sound. By this time he was so full of ripe bananas that he could hardly move. But mindful of his friend's advice, he started to climb down. All of a sudden he lost his grip and fell heavily on the thorns which surrounded the trunk of the banana plant. The thorns pricked his body, his legs, and his arms. With a mighty effort, he managed to leave the place and return home.
The next day the monkey woke up early. "I'll make that foolish turtle pay for what he did to me yesterday," he said.
Off he went, looking for the turtle.
Soon he came to a clearing in a farm. Feeling tired, he sat on a coconut shell. It so happened that his tail went through the hole in the shell. He did not know that inside the shell was his friend, the turtle.
Immediately after the monkey had sat down, the turtle pulled the former's tail. Quickly, the monkey jumped. THen he kicked the coconut shell. THe shell turned over, revealing the turtle.
"So it's you!" cried the monkey. I've been looking for you all morning, do you know that?
The monkey picked the turtle up and saud, "Now I'm going to punish you."
"What will you do with me?" asked the turtle.
"I will roast you over live charcoals!" said the monkey.
"If you do that my friend, I will become red," said the turtle. "Red happens to be my favorite color."
"Then I will chop you to pieces!" said the monkey.
"If you do that my friend, there will be a great number of turtles crawling around," said the turtle.
"Then I will throw you into the river!" the monkey shouted in glee.
Of course this is what the turtle has been waiting for all the time, for he liked nothing in the world better than to be in the river where he could swim sto his heart's content.
But the turtle pretended that he did not like being thrown into the river.
"Please, Friend Monkey, don't do that," the turtle said in a pleading voice. "I will surely drown. Have puty on me!"
"Have pity on you?" cried the monkey. "After what you did to me, you expect me to have pity on you? You must be out of your mind. I'm sorry, Friend Turtle, but I will throw you into the river - now!"
"Wait a minute! Listen, Friend Monkey!" cried the turtle. "It will be better if you roast mr over live charcoals. Or, if you wish, you can chop me to pieces. But, please don't throw me into the river!"
But the monkey did not listen to the turtle's pleas. With a big heave, he threw the turtle into the river.
The turtle went down, down into the river for awhile. And then he came up the surface, his front legs holding a big fish.
"Friend Monkey, look! I've caught a big fish!" the turtle shouted.
The monkey was taken aback for sometime.
"Will you give it to me, Friend Turtle?" he managed to say at last.
"Why don't you jump into the river and catch one for yourself?" said the turtle. I didn't know you're that lazy."
The monkey did not like being called lazy. Right away he jumped into the river and, because he did not know how to swim, he drowned.
And the turtle laughed all day long.
Friday 21st of July 2006 06:18:26 AMLovely Stories:
I have several books I have bought on Filipino ledgends, and two of these stories were not in them. I love telling these to my children at night before bed. Their father was full pinoy and I am half pinay... I live so far away from family, that they have not picked up the language as I had hoped. And after my husband passed away I didn't use the language at all. I should have spoke nothing to them but Tagalog, but mine was not that well. These stories I hope stay with them and they tell them to their children. Thank you for posting them.Dawnlorraine
Friday 21st of July 2006 06:32:33 AM
Hi Makalani! I'm glad you like them, and I am so sorry for your loss, hugs!Dawnlorraine
Sunday 23rd of July 2006 09:36:35 AMThe Legend of Sapang Bato
Many many years have passed but the beautiful story of Sapang Bato is still unknown to most people. The time has come for everyone to know the story and the secret of Sapang Bato.
There once lived in a place called Sapang Bato a beautiful maiden named Claudia. She had many suitors, but she liked Badillo most of all. Badillo was a farmer. He was kind, thoughtful, and industrious.
The love of the two for each other knew no bounds. They were faithful to each other, and they vowed that they would love each other till the end of time.
Unfortunately, Claudia's father, Mang Borong, did not look with favor on Badillo's courtship. For he had another suitor of Claudia in mind as the better son-in-law. Anselmo was the name of the suitor who, by the way, Claudia did not like, much less love.
One day before sunrise, Badillo, as usual, went to the farm to work. Before leaving, he left word with his younger brother to take his breakfast to the place of work. Badillo worked for sometime.
Later that morning, Badillo's brother came carrying Badillo's meal. After eating, Badillo noticed his brother crying.
"Why are you crying?" asked Badillo.
The brother hesitated at first, but Badillo prodded him on and soon the former wass relating what he had discovered which was the reason why he was crying.
"This morning, Anselmo's parents went to see Claudia's parents," the brother began. "They asked for Claudia's hands in marriage to their son Anselmo."
"How did you come to know about this?" Badillo asked.
"Happened to be passing by Anselmo's house," the boy replied. "I heard everything because they talked very loud. I even heard Claudia's voice - alas, sge was crying."
"Did Claudia refuse?" asked Badillo this time.
"Yes, she refused," the boy said. "But what could she do? You know how cruel her father is. Her pleas were all in vain. In short, she had to follow Mang Borong's wish, whether she liked it or not."
"And what was Mang Borong's wish?"
"To have Claudia get married to Anselmo tomorrow morning, at 6 o'clock," the boy answered.
The preparations of the wedding were elaborate and quite expensive. Many of Claudia's friends came to help to decorate the house and do many things. In order to be sure that Claudia's wedding gown would turn out to be more elegant, the town's four best dressmakers joined hands in preparing it.
Amidst the busy preparations, Claudia managed somehow to be left alone in her room. Then from her trunkk she took a small box.
It was late in the evening when it was discovered that Claudia was nowhere to be found. She could not be found in her room. She could not be found elsewhere in the house. Everybody became jittery. Even Claudia's father collapsed when he learned of his missing daughter. He had to be given first aid treatment.
Afterwards, a young maiden, one of Claudia's close friends, came upon a letter under Claudia's pillow. She gave the letter at one to Mang Berong. The letter reads as follows:
"Father, it is sweeter to die than to marry a man I don't love. Maybe in death, I shall find happiness. I will wait for my one and only love, Badillo, in heaven. Goodbye and forgive me. Claudia."
Without any further delay, Mang Berong left the house to look for her daughter. Just a little beyond the house, he saw Anselmo coming. He was riding in a cart.
"Where are you going, Mang Berong?" asked Anselmo.
"To look for Claudia," replied Mang Berong.
Anselmo turned pale. Turning to some of the men, he asked them to join him in the search for Claudia. They immediately followed Mang Berong who had already left. Other search parties were organized. The search went on in the dark of night.
It was Anselmo's group which found the dead bodies of Claudia and Badillo. With a sad and heavy heart, he ordered the men to take the bodies to Claudia's home. It was a night of sorrow and tears.
The next morning on the spot where the bodies of Claudia and Badillo were found, there was discovered a rock bearing the form of a man and that of a woman. THe people could not help uttering the names of Claudia and Badillo.
Later on, barrio folks started to build their homes near the spot. The place soon grew into a village and the residents also grew in number. This place is now called Sapang Bato.
Monday 24th of July 2006 03:58:45 PM
lol i remember as a young girl my cousins used to tell me horror stories about the mananangal and aswang. can anybody remember the exact story.Dawnlorraine
Tuesday 25th of July 2006 05:57:09 AMThe Upo Plant
Picture of an upo, a common vegetable in the Philippines
Once upon a time a wild specie of the upo plant grew in the garden of Tandang Teban. When the old man saw the growing plant, he carefully entwined the stem around a small bamboo post to make a trellis for the plant.
The plant did not like the idea of the old man. It wanted to grow freely like any other plant. So the plant talked to the wind.
"My friend, look at me," the plant preaded. "I am a mere slave of mang Teban. I need your help. I want to frow freely like the grasses and the plants around me. Look at the banana, the rose, the sampaguita, and the other plants in this yard. They are free. So my friend, I beg you to blow hard and loosen the tie around my body till it breaks."
"Your request is not just," replied the wind, "but if that is what you like, I will do what you please." So the wind blew hard. It blew hard some more, thus breaking the knot around the body of the upo.
"Thank you," said the upo gratefully. The vine then crawled freely on the ground.
Just then a dog that was looking for a piece of bone came along. The dog stepped heavily on the small vines and was able to find the bone. In taking the bone away, the dog also carried a part of the vine to a far distance. The poor plant not only became short; every part of it was damaged.
When Tandang Teban visited his upo plant next morning, he saw the poor state of the plant. At once he tied the plant to a thin bamboo post. The plant drew a deep sigh of relief.
After a few days, Mang Teban arranged a trellis for the upo to sling its vines on. The plant blossomed. The leaves gave shade while the flowers and fruits gave joy to those who saw them.
One time the wind blew hard and played with the leaves of the upo. The plant requested the wind to blow softly so that the plant would not fall down.
"When you were still a small plant, you asked me to set you free from the bamboo post so you may crawl freely on the ground," the wind replied. "Now you request me to spare you. YOu sound funny indeed."
"I had an unforgettable experience," said the upo. "I know now that all creatures have their own ways of living on earth. Experience is the best teacher."
Friday 11th of August 2006 07:32:06 AMThe Legend of Waling-Waling
by: by Brian Dexter M. Medija
"Picture of a Waling-Waling"
[On the banks of the upper Daba-daba, whose waters meander from the northwest bukids, a people headed by brawny Datu Musukul have set up village, called Dayaw. Musukul's wife, Waling, gave brightness and beauty to the village.
The sun bled the Apo's swollen brow, ducking silently behind the old mountain. Little children chased each other while the women shared laughs under the trees. The village's men gathered for tuba to welcome the closing of another day of hardwork, having tied their kabaws or having brought home the day's catch. Joyful sounds filled the air in the peaceful balangay.
Then suddenly, like thunder to a sunny day, a man's loud shriek reechoed in the fields, and the laughs died into silence. A baffling scene greeted their eyes: a rushing horse driven by a man who went out hunting but brought with him not a baboy-halas or usa, but a man hanging limply on his horse.
A strange frenzy caught the village like a fever.
"Mighty Datu! Mighty Datu! A terrible thing has befallen on Ambungan!" cried the visibly shaken man, stumbling as he alighted from his horse. He knelt, breathing rapidly, his blooded hands staining the base of the ladder to the village chief's house. He had been Ambungan's mentor and hunting partner since the young man's childhood.
Staying calm, though arrested by the assistant's ominous words, the Datu came on his door to investigate. But before he could ask, he saw the man on the horse's back. Lifeless. Unmistakable sorrow filled the chieftain's face.
The dead man was his only brother.
"What is it, Hantik, what has happened to my brother?" His eyes stuck on the blood running down the horse's brown hidethe same blood that filled his veins. It is the blood of their forefathers. A generation lost upon every drop that fell on the dust. Anger filled him.
The chieftain eyed the assistant's blood-stained hands and chest and he clutched the golden necklace that Ambungan made and gave him for a present. Waling stood worried beside the Datu.
The assistant's words drowned in his grief. "We were hunting usa near the foot of the Apo when a man attacked Ambungan!" Gasping as if drowning in his own tears, "I had gone down the stream to drink water and I was so far away I was unable to chase after the man." Then, looking up at the Datu, whose eyes have gone red in grief and anger, he added, "but I saw clearly… he was wearing a red band around his head… he took the catch and went deep into the woods of the Apo… and he was wearing a red band!" as if to make up for not being able to save the Datu's only brother.
"Then, he is one of Makalisang's men!" exclaimed the ever-composed Datu, whose eyes were sobbing, yet his noble stance never wavering. The Queen gasped at the realization. Makalisang's men are known to wear bands doused in the blood of the people they have murdered.
"Makalisang, time and again you have betrayed me, you have repeatedly infringed into my territory, and now you have killed my only brother!" Musukul muttered to himself. He and Makalisang had agreed that the Apo be divided equally among them, the East side to Musukul and the West sidethe other side, to Makalisang. "I have been forgiving to you and your men, but this blow is too much to bear. I shall never allow you to go scot-free this time!"
His left clasp tightened on the golden necklace until it bled, as his right grabbed his shining sundang, and he swore, "Makalisang, you shall pay with your own blood the life of Ambungan!" A bead of blood kissed the bamboo floor.
The people gathered outside the Datu's balay were stirred. They had known of Makalisang's reputation as a bloodthirsty warrior who knew no mercy in killing men, women, even children and razing whole villages to the ground. Women embraced their husbands, brothers, or sonswhose lives they will risk in their quest for Musukul's vengeance. But they were not entirely against Musukul's plans as they had their own stories to say of the savageness of Makalisang and his men. Many of them have grieved the loss of relatives and family members to this greedy people, and they have lost horses, livestock and valuables, too. And they grieve for Ambungan, whom they admired as a good gentleman who would sometimes help them tend the kabaws and even to daro on the fields or feed the manok when he wasn't hunting or doing metalwork. The day had gone in grieving too, as the sun sank into the rugged horizon and darkness spilled all over the land.
Meanwhile, Ambungan had been lain on a wooden bed. Then, with a fiery torch, the chieftain lit the dead twigs packed under the bed. Not long after, fire licked the dead man's body, and dark smoke carried his soul to the heavens.
Moving back into his high abode, the mighty Datu called for Admanun, the village sage and his most trusted adviser, and ordered that a hundred of his men prepare for their attack.
But Admanun shook his head, "Datu, you cannot force yourself to attack Makalisang's camp, they can easily outnumber you, and you know how fierce they are to rival armies." Admanun, as with the others, silently recalled the news long ago of heads being cut and placed on spears around bonfires as Makalisang's tribe chanted all night long to their god, dipping cloth in a large tadyaw filled with the blood of their ill-fated enemies and wearing them around their heads.
Musukul answered, "Even I do not worry about my life. They have violated our pact and now killed my dear brother. I will make sure they pay with their lives for taking away my brother'sand I will do that even if I had to die!" The fire outside his window burned further, as though it was his fuming rage.
"But it is too much of a risk, Datu. We haven't had wars for so long and we are ill-prepared for another… and…," glancing at the beauteous Queen who was silently sobbing, "and what about the Queen? And your children?" Admanun turned to Musukul, "will you be leaving them without the assurance of your return?"
The Queen embraced her husband, "Musukul, my love, I cannot bear to see you go and place your own life on the blades of death!" her beautiful eyes overflowed with tears.
"I have to fight for principles, Waling, I have to assert myself lest they continue to spread tragedy and gloom" Musukul said gently, embracing back the weeping Queen. "Besides, this is for the future, of our children and our people. If I must die, at least I have caused them enough injury to disable their army and thwart their evil scheme."
The Queen was speechless, tears still pouring from her eyes, but she is filled with admiration for her husband's heroic stance. Yet his loss continues to worry her. "You know Datu Makalisang is known for slaying whoever trespasses into their territory, and he does so without mercy! Please do not go, Musukul!" she begs.
"I know that. But they have repeatedly overstepped our borders, and stole our horses, our kabaws and manoks, they even killed Ambungan, along with many of our hunters and farmers. If I had been as fierce, they would have long been banished from the world of the buhi into the realm of kamatayun."
"Admanun, I entrust my wife and children to you, look after them while I am away," Musukul told the old man, the latter showing his assent. "Musukul!" Waling could only cry.
His eyes looked far into the darkness, unmoving, as the fiery embers cracked in his ears, "I am fighting back, Waling, and there is nothing that would stop me from upholding what is right. Just wait, my Queen, with Bathala's aid, I shall return. That is a promise." Musukul descended from the balay and joined the men, preparing for the journey to battle.
The moon had flown midway across the raven sky when Musukul and a hundred of his men marched into the thick forests on the way to the other side of the great mountain. The Queen sat by her window, watching tearfully as their torches faded gradually in the darkness, blending with the stars in the heavens. The trek to bloodshed would take five days.
But countless somber days have passed and no sign of victory or defeat has arrived in Dayaw. The Queen was intensely bothered and unable sleep as she had been since the Datu left. "At this time they should already have arrived from the battle," she said impatiently to Admanun.
"My Queen, lose not hope, the Datu and the rest shall return," he retorted, "let us wait a little bit more." The wise man showed no worries, but inside, he feared the fate of the brave chief and his men.
And so did Waling. "I should find Musukul myself no matter what! Right now! I am infinitely worried about him. He could be sick in the forest from days of battle, he would need food and clothing. He would need the dahun for his wounds." "Kugihana," she called her young servant, "prepare some clothes, food and dahun, we shall go into the forest to find our Datu."
"In honor of my promise to the Datu, I cannot allow you to leave, My Queen. You yourself have heard the words from the Datu's mouth that I should never leave you and your children until his return," Admanun defended his orders.
Waling acceded, and waited for her husband's return. But all had been in vain. Two moons have now passed and still no word from her husband. Worry heightened throughout the peaceful balangay of Dayaw as it had been so long since the battle and many a life had been risked in the mission.
The Queen was sewing fine horsehair into a headdress, like the ones her husband wore, when a coal-winged creature landed on the garment, attracted by its beads, colorful like the flowers outside. Her attention swept aside from the work to the perplexing spectacle, she accidentally stung herself with the needle. The garment fell on the floor and the ebony creature flapped its way out the window. Waling glanced at her hurting finger and blood oozed from the wound. She eyed the dark creature, the forests in the background, and then the sobbing sky. She had made an important decision.
One cold evening, the queen had put one of her children to sleep, and, while the aging Datu Admanun lay in deep slumber, she crept down the balay and woke Kugihana. They quickly packed some food, clothes and dahun in a huge cloth, along with other things they needed, and tiptoed into the edge of the village. Then, taking a torch, they crept into the thick underbrush of the forest.
They snaked through the forest for days but they could not see any traces of the Datu or the army. But the Queen persevered. She and her trusted servant went deeper into the moist, dark forest, stopping only to rest.
In the peace of the forest, Waling could feel her emotions bursting from inside her. Tears rained down from her eyes as she moved around the forest shouting "Musukul! My love, answer me, where are you!"
They came upon a wide section of the forest, almost like a clearing. A small stream flowed nearby, boulders covered with velvety green moss were scattered on its banks, and a tall white-stemmed tree with lianas spiraling on its trunk towered way above the canopy, as if to command a view of the forest below. She gazed up to the tree's body, and climbed it to have a better view of the forest, and hopefully to heighten the chances of finding her lost love. This terrified the young Kugihana, who could barely look as the Queen shakily clang to the giant vines embracing the tree. The top spread seemed to be a perfect place for viewing and so she nestled there where it was shady, moist and windy. She tied herself to the massive branches with ropes to keep her in place and to avoid falling. She sat there for a whole day, her eyes prowling through the lush canopy, her ears attentive for every rustle on the floor or among the trees. She was ever diligent in her mission to bring her husband back into her hands.
That noon, they have almost ran out of food and so Waling called from the treetop, "Kugihana, go and search for food. We cannot continue our search if we do not have food to keep us strong. Go to the bank of the Daba-daba, I like the mangoes there."
"But, my Queen, the Daba-daba is so far away it would take me long to come back here. I cannot leave you that long!" the servant worriedly complained.
"Speak no more. Go and do as I say. I have enough here to stay on until the morning. By then you should already be here," the beautiful Queen said.
And so the servant traced back the route to the river. She is baffled by the words of the Queen. There seems to be something strange going on, she thought. Why mangoes? Why that far? True, the Queen favors the mangoes grown on trees by the Daba-daba, in fact she eats them all the time. But she also eats other fruits like the bayabas or kapayas, even the lomboy and the pungent duryanand they are plentiful in the forest nearby.
But she could not defy her master. "The Queen has her reasons, she is a smart woman and everything she does bears a purpose," the servant told herself to dismiss the thought and walked on.
While the faithful servant was away, Waling prayed to Bathala like she had never prayed before. She closed her eyes, now blackened by her sorrow, as tears formed rivulets on her cheeks, and prayed. "Almighty Bathala, bring back my beloved Musukul. Guide his path into my arms so he will fulfill his promise and make my life complete again. I will never be at ease until I see him. On these branches I shall nestle, all my life if need beand beyond, until I see him trudge towards my arms. Let not my efforts be put to waste." She went on praying through the twilight.
Meanwhile, it was almost dark and Kugihana had gathered mangoes from the trees on the banks of the upper Daba-daba. But she had grown weary from the long trek downhill from the forest and sore after many a fall from the huge mango trees. Stumbling under one of the trees, and, lulled by the cool breeze, her own weariness conquered her and she succumbed to sleep.
At dawn, the Queen's mournful sorrow reverberated through the forests of the Apo while sooty clouds gathered overhead, as if to join the aggrieved woman. The sky turned gray, concealing the rising sun, the cold wind blew as thunderclaps crackled in the heavens scaring the raindrops from the clouds, as though they were Bathala's voice.
A lonely raindrop kissed Kugihana's eye, prompting her to awake. But when she opened her eyes, she saw that it was already dawnthe male fowls have intoned their matutinal chorus, as the leaves above her seemed to clap in rave. But it was no time to laze about, as she realized she had fallen asleep when she should have returned to where her master was. She quickly rose, gathering the golden fruits she had reaped the afternoon before, and braved the intensifying rain as she penetrated the forest's thick undergrowth.
"How foolish of me! How could I!" she scolded herself as she cut through the bamboo grove. "The Queen is short of food and there I was sleeping! Forgive me, Bathala. Forgive me, Queen Waling!"
The rain had grown furious, and the winds had gone harsh. The forest, proud and impenetrable, shuddered at the sudden wild weather. The heavens burst in thunderbolts, and lightning flashes overwhelmed the sun, already choked by the somber clouds.
"Now, even Bathala is mad at me," Kugihana whispered in fear, trembling under the leaking roof of the forest. "Oh Queen, scourge me, punish me. I deserve your blows. But cast me not away, I shall desire to be with you in your quest and to be of service to you, both as recompense and conviction" she muttered to herself.
The young servant did not realize the speed she went through the forest; neither did she sense exhaustion. It seemed her guilt caused her sinews to numb from weariness. Her speeding legs brought her to where the giant, white-stemmed emergent stood. Then suddenly, the storm ceased, the winds were silenced, the lightning vanished and the quaking canopy lay still. And the sun emerged from behind the clouds, casting rays through the canopy.
Kugihana sensed that she had reached the place and stopped at the very foot of the tree. It it was still cold and dark. A steady, cool current brushed against her face, and, as soon as she directed her eyes skyward, she could all but drop the cloth in which the fragrant fruits were placed. Speech refused to escape her mouth. It was for what she was beholding.
The Queen was not there but her eyes beheld something as lovely as the missing queena strange plant in full bloom.
"So beautiful… splendid," Kugihana was captivated by the strange plant. It had huge, radiant flowers clothed in the color of the Queen's garments, and it had dark lower corollas, like the Queen's mourning eyes. The blossoms were firm and sturdy, watchful and unwavering like the Queen. And it had roots that look like they had been tied to the tree trunk, much like the ropes of the missing queen. Kugihana was staring motionless for a long time. It was as if she was beholding the Queen herself.
The great bird's moan resonated through the cavernous section of the forest to awaken her from the trance. And, as soon as the creature perched beside the unusual blooms, talons bearing a struggling creature that a while ago nibbled on her mangoes, blood rushed into the lady's veins arousing her into frenzy.
"Oh! The Queen!… I must find her!" Kugihana inched farther from the tree, but still glancing at the beauty perched on its highest spread. Looking away, she searched the bushes and rocks and trees, while shouting, "Waling, my Queen! Answer me, where are you!"
Kugihana searched for two days but she could not find her Queen. Her guilt fueled her aching muscles to search through the treacherous thickets and scurry around the littered floor. And in her search, she kept returning to the giant, liana-hugged tree and could not resist the temptation to look above at the glorious sight. Each time the resplendent blooms crossed her sight, her guilt would fade away and she is taken into a trance until that bird yells to awaken her.
One morning, shaken off anew by the great bird from the trance, she decided to seek help from the village.
With amazing speed she traveled through the dense rainforest reaching the village in two days in a trip that would normally take three or four. Stumbling upon the village entrance of Dayaw, Kugihana called wearily unto the village elder. "Datu Admanun! I have come to seek help! The Queen is missing, please help me find her."
Her anguished moan reverberated through the fields. Frenzy caught the village like a fever.
Distraught and laden with guilt, the servant kept blaming herself, "I am to blame for the queen's loss! I left her atop that tree, all alone and short of food!"
Medication pierced deep into her bleeding wounds, onto her swollen flesh, yet this pain pales to that which throve inside her heart. "This is all my fault!" These words kept gushing out of her lips like a prayer-chant, and the pain that was in her heart engulfed the entire village.
When she was better, the village sage, face wrinkled by age and sorrow, approached the pained maiden. "Kugihana, we have searched for many days in the forests around the village but we could not find you and the Queen. We are deficient in means and in strength, and I am burdened by age, so I ordered to stop the search." Only a few men were left in the village and these men were the weaker, older ones, since the ablest hundred have taken off with Musukul.
Shaking his head, he quipped in mourning, "Now, it seems, my wisdom fell off with my hair." Then tears begin to gather in his weary eyes. "Had I not ordered a halt, we might have found you, and saved the queen from loss." Tears spilled down the old man's crumpled cheeks. Infectious grief filled the room.
The frail servant says, "Datu Admanun, let us not lie here wailing. Let us seek out into the jungle, I remember the very spot where I had left the Queen. It is a white-barked tree, the tallest I have seen, and on its highest spray, on which the queen had been sitting, a strange bloom nestlesand it had the most beautiful flowers I have seen."
Nodding, while inching to prepare, the sage ordered all the able men of Dayaw to ready themselves for the search. Shortly after, they had begun the trek to Waling's nest, led by Kugihana.
A few days passed and they reached the place. Kugihana pointed at the unusually large tree hugged by sinewy vines, "That is the tree! The tree where the queen perced!"
And they all looked, awed by its sheer size, and, tracing the snaking vines skyward, they were awed the more. Something so strange yet so beautifu greeted their eyes. They beheld the flowers which Kugihana had seen the morning of Waling's loss.
Their faces brightened, as though they had seen the queen at last. But the great bird moaned at its mate and took off from among the trees, and the people's faces awakened to the reality. The queen was not there. And their eyes roamed to the neighboring trees. They were astonished.
On almost every tree was the same plant, abloom. It looked like some unseen hand had deliberately placed them on those steep branches. Eyes blackened by grief, their heads ever attentive, it seemed the flowers were looking for something.
This led Admanun to force words out of his stubborn mouth, "What spectacle! What beauty!" His wisdom returning, he added, "We will never find the queen. But these flowers remind us of her, aggrieved by the loss of her husband and searching untiringly for him."
"We shall name these flowers Waling-Waling, for they remind us of the queen."
And so it came to pass and nothing was heard again of Musukul and his troops, nor of Makalisang and his fabled savageness. And the flower, named after the queen, flourished in the forests, just as peace flourished in Dayaw.
baboy-halas - a wild boar
balangay - a baranggay or village
balay - a house, usually on stilts (or on trees) with walls and floor of bamboo and roof of cogon or palm.
Bathala - God, the Supreme Being
bayabas - guava
buhi - the living
bukid(s) - mountain(s)
dahun - leaf of a plant believed to have medicinal powers
daro - tilling the wet soil using wooden ploughs dragged by buffalo
duryan - a spiny pungent fruit whose seeds yield sweet pulp.
kabaw(s) - carabao, or native buffalo
kamatayun - death
kapayas - papaya
lomboy - duhat or…..
manok - a fowl, chicken
sundang - a knifelike metal weapon with handles made from buffalo horns
tadyaw - a huge earthen jar used as receptacle
tuba - a strong native beverage from fermented coconut sap
usa - deer
Return to the PHILIPPINES Archive
Forward to the Current PHILIPPINES Discussion