Philippine Folk-Tales eBook

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

Although Bagobo songs are often designated as men’s songs and women’s songs, in the case of the stories I have found as yet no monopoly by either sex of any special type.  The ulit, however, is often told by a young woman just after she leaves the loom, when darkness drops.  She sits on the floor, or lies on her back with hands clasped behind her head, and pours out her story in an unbroken flow to the eager young men and girls who gather to listen.  Again, I have seen a girl of thirteen the sole auditor while a boy but little older than she rolled off an ulit that seemed interminable, with never a pause for breath.  The children did not glance at each other; but the face of each was all alight with joy at the tale.


Myths Associated with Natural Phenomena


In the beginning, Diwata [28] made the sea and the land, and planted trees of many kinds.  Then he took two lumps of earth, [29] and shaped them like human figures; then he spit on them, and they became man and woman.  The old man was called Tuglay, and the old woman, Tuglibung. [30] The two were married, and lived together.  The Tuglay made a great house, and planted seeds of different kinds that Diwata gave him.

Diwata made the sun, the moon, the stars, and the rivers.  First he made the great eel (kasili), a fish that is like a snake in the river, and wound [31] it all around the world.  Diwata then made the great crab (kayumang), and put it near the great eel, and let it go wherever it liked.  Now, when the great crab bites the great eel, the eel wriggles, and this produces an earthquake.

When the rain falls, it is Diwata throwing out water from the sky.  When Diwata spits, the showers fall.  The sun makes yellow clouds, and the yellow clouds make the colors of the rainbow.  But the white clouds are smoke from the fire of the gods.

In the Days of the Mona

Long ago the sun hung low over the earth.  And the old woman called Mona said to the sky, “You go up high, because I cannot pound my rice when you are in the way.”

Then the sky moved up higher.

Mona [32] was the first woman, and Tuglay [33] was the first man.  There were at that time only one man and one woman on the earth.  Their eldest son was named Malaki; their eldest daughter, Bia.  They lived at the centre of the earth.

Tuglay and Mona made all the things in the world; but the god made the woman and the man.  Mona was also called Tuglibung.  Tuglay and Tuglibung got rich, because they could see the god.

But the snake was there too, and he gave the fruit to the man and the woman, saying to them, “If you eat the fruit, it will open your eyes.”

Then they both ate the fruit.  This made the god angry.

After this, Tuglibung and Tuglay could not see the god any more. [34]

Project Gutenberg
Philippine Folk-Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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