Philippine Folk-Tales eBook

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

Why the Sky Went Up

In the beginning, when the world was made, the sky lay low down over the earth.  At this time the poor families called “Mona” were living in the world.  The sky hung so low, that, when they wanted to pound their rice, they had to kneel down on the ground to get a play for the arm.  Then the poor woman called Tuglibung said to the sky, “Go up higher!  Don’t you see that I cannot pound my rice well?”

So the sky began to move upwards.  When it had gone up about five fathoms, the woman said again, “Go up still more!”

This made the sun angry at the woman, and he rushed up very high.

In the old days, when the sun as well as the sky was low down, the Mona had a deep hole in the ground, as large as a house, into which they would creep to keep themselves from the fierce heat of the sun.

The Mona were all very old; but after the sun went up very high, they began to get babies. [35]

Why the Sky Went Up

In the beginning, the sky hung so low over the earth, that the people could not stand upright, could not do their work.

For this reason, the man in the sky said to the sky, “Come up!” Then the sky went up to its present place.

The Sun and the Moon

Long ago the Sun had to leave the Moon to go to another town.  He knew that his wife, the Moon, was expecting the birth of a child; and, before going away, he said to her, “When your baby is born, if it is a boy, keep it; if a girl, kill it.”

A long time passed before the Sun could come back to the Moon, and while he was gone, the Moon gave birth to her baby.  It was a girl.  A beautiful child it was, with curly hair like binubbud, [36] with burnished nails that looked like gold, and having the white spots called pamoti [37] on its body.  The mother felt very sad to think of killing it, and so she hid it in the big box (kaban [38]) where they kept their clothes.

As soon as the Sun returned, he asked the Moon, “How about our baby?”

At once the Moon replied, “It was a girl:  I killed it yesterday.”  The Sun had only a week to stay at home with the Moon.  One night he dreamed that a boy with white hair came to him from heaven.  The boy stood close to him, and spoke these words:—­

“Your wife got a baby, but it was a girl; and she hid it away from you in the box.”

When the Sun wakened from sleep, he was very angry at the Moon, and the two fell to quarrelling about the baby.  The Moon wanted the child saved.

“You ought to keep it with you,” she urged.

“No, no!” protested the Sun.  “I cannot keep it, because my body is so hot it would make your baby sick.”

“And I cannot keep it,” complained the Moon, “for my body is very dark; and that would surely make the child sick.”

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