Philippine Folk-Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 222 pages of information about Philippine Folk-Tales.

The man (Alelu’k) symbolizes a big black ant that makes its nest in a hollow tree.  The woman (Alebu’tud) is a little worm that lives in the palma brava tree.  The fish is another man who carried off Alelu’k’s wife.

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[1] In these legends, in a few instances, the exact phrases of the narrators have been retained for the sake of their quaintness.

[2] Obtained from Jose Teodoro, Bay, Laguna, P.I.

[3] Obtained from Fabian de la Paz, San Fernando, Pompanga, P. I., who says it was “handed down from old time.”

[4] Obtained from Camilo Osias, Balayan, Luzon, P. I.

[5] The word here translated “king” is hardly satisfactory, but perhaps nothing better can be substituted.  Of course the idea “king” has crept in since the Spanish conquest.  “Datto” or “chief” might be more satisfactory.  What is really meant, however, is nothing exactly imaged by these words, but rather a sort of “head-man,” a man more prominent and powerful than others.

[6] See “Tar-Baby” in Uncle Remus, his Songs and Sayings, p. 7.  Also “Puss in Boots” in Lang’s Cinderella, p. 36.

[7] See “Uncle Remus” on “Tortoise and the Rabbit,” p. 87.  Also AEsop’s Fables, p. 162.

[8] The incident of Ca Boo-Ug pretending that he did not wish to be thrown into the water is similar to an incident in the “Tar Baby” story (see Uncle Remus, his Songs and Sayings, p. 16).

[9] Juan Puson, or “Jack Paunch,” as he would be called in English, is a favorite character in Tagalog folk-lore.  His adventures are considered to be the height of humor, and a recital of these never fails to be repaid with peals of appreciative laughter.  The character is merely a conventional one, to which all sorts of stories, no matter how inconsistent with each of the others, may be attached.  Some of the accounts, which deal with the death of Juan and various members of his family by burning, the writer has suppressed as too coarse for Western ideas.

[10] Anac, child.

[11] Anac hang gabi, young root of the caladium plant.  It also means “child of the night.”

[12] Any kind of relish to be eaten with rice, meat especially.

[13] Tuba, fermented juice of cocoa, buri, or nipa palms.

[14] “Lightning blast the stick!”

[15] The Tagalog word is literally “hash.”

[16] This story is probably derived from a Spanish version of “The Forty Thieves,” but like all the stories of this collection, it is from an oral version of the Tagalog tale.

[17] Filipinos do not kiss like Occidental peoples, but touch the tip of the nose, with sometimes the lips, and inhale the fragrance of the face or hair.

[18] Native houses of the poorer classes are very slightly built, of four or six uprights, with bamboo floors and thatched roof and sides, the whole tied together with rattan.  They are very safe in earthquakes.

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Philippine Folk-Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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