Philippine Folk-Tales eBook

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

The minokawa-bird is as large as the Island of Negros or Bohol.  He has a beak of steel, and his claws too are of steel.  His eyes are mirrors, and each single feather is a sharp sword.  He lives outside the sky, at the eastern horizon, ready to seize the moon when she reaches there from her journey under the earth.

The moon makes eight holes in the eastern horizon to come out of, and eight holes in the western horizon to go into, because every day the big bird tries to catch her, and she is afraid.  The exact moment he tries to swallow her is just when she is about to come in through one of the holes in the east to shine on us again.  If the minokawa should swallow the moon, and swallow the sun too, he would then come down to earth and gulp down men also.  But when the moon is in the belly of the big bird, and the sky is dark, then all the Bagobo scream and cry, and beat agongs, [42] because they fear they will all “get dead.”  Soon this racket makes the minokawa-bird look down and “open his mouth to hear the sound.”  Then the moon jumps out of the bird’s mouth and runs away.

All the old men know about the minokawa-bird in the ulit stories.

CHAPTER II

The “Ulit:”  Adventures of Mythical Bagobo at the Dawn of Tradition

Lumabat and Mebu’yan

Long ago Lumabat [43] and his sister (tube’ [44]) had a quarrel because Lumabat had said, “You shall go with me up into heaven.”  And his sister had replied, “No, I don’t like to do that.”

Then they began to fight each other.  Soon the woman sat down on the big rice mortar, [45] and said to Lumabat, “Now I am going down below the earth, down to Gimokudan. [46] Down there I shall begin to shake the lemon-tree.  Whenever I shake it, somebody up on the earth will die.  If the fruit shaken down be ripe, then an old person will die on the earth; but if the fruit fall green, the one to die will be young.”

Then she took a bowl filled with pounded rice, and poured the rice into the mortar for a sign that the people should die and go down to Gimokudan.  Presently the mortar began to turn round and round while the woman was sitting upon it.  All the while, as the mortar was revolving, it was slowly sinking into the earth.  But just as it began to settle in the ground, the woman dropped handfuls of the pounded rice upon the earth, with the words:  “See!  I let fall this rice.  This makes many people die, dropping down just like grains of rice.  Thus hundreds of people go down; but none go up into heaven.”

Straightway the mortar kept on turning round, and kept on going lower down, until it disappeared in the earth, with Lumabat’s sister still sitting on it.  After this, she came to be known as Mebu’yan.  Before she went down below the earth, she was known only as Tube’ ka Lumabat ("sister of Lumabat").

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