The Pre-Spanish Period Historical Background Long before the Spaniards and other foreigners landed or set foot on Philippine shores, our forefathers already had their own literature stamped in the history of our race. Our ancient literature shows our customs and traditions in everyday life as traced in our folk stories, old plays and short stories. Our ancestors also had their own alphabet which was different from that brought by the Spaniards. The first alphabet used by our ancestor was similar to that of the Malayo-Polynesian alphabet.
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Why certain things existed in their physical environment must have intrigued the ancient Filipinos as it did other early peoples. In their effort to define their world, to account for the realities in it, and to explain their feelings, beliefs, and judgments, they made up interesting narratives. These have come down to us in the form of origin myths, legends, fables, tales of the supernatural, and humorous accounts about some trickster, like Pusong or Pilandok, or some bungling character who got by in spite of or because of his lack of wit. And there were also metrical accounts of native Filipino gods and their deeds.
Songs and verses filled early religious practices: to express devotion, to atone for sins, to minister to the sick, and to bury the dead. Verses were composed also to pray for abundance and happiness: in the home, on the farm, on the sea, and elsewhere. In like manner, verses aired love for and loyalty to the barangay and its rulers. These were supplemented by accounts of battle (kudanag), songs of victory (tagumpay, talindad), songs of hanging a captured enemy (sambotan, tagulaylay), and songs expressive of manliness. From the people’s social life evolved.
But whatever records our ancestors left were either burned by the Spanish friars in the belief that they were works of the devil or were written on materials that easily perished, like the barks of trees, dried leaves and bamboo cylinders which could not have remained undestroyed even if efforts were made to preserve them. Other records that remained showed folk songs that proved the existence of a native culture truly our own. Some of these were passed on by word of mouth until they reached the hands of some publishers or printers who took interest in printing the manuscripts of the ancient Filipinos.
Although attempts have been made to compile these folk narratives by such collectors as Fr. Jose Ma. Pavon (Las antiguas leyendas de la isla de Negros) during the Spanish period Fay-Cooper Cole (Traditions of the Tinguian, 1915), Mable Cook Cole (Philippine Folk Tales, 1916), and Dean S. Fansler (Filipino Popular Tales, 1921) during the early part of the American regime, and some Filipino and American antropologists and folklorists in more recent times, many of the theme still remain in the memory of the folk, uncollected and unwritten. INTRODUCTION TO MYTHOLOGY
Mythology is an interwoven series of myths told by a given race. The word also means the study of myths in general. Classifications of Mythology: 1) Myth: an account of the deeds of a god or of a supernatural being; a kind of imaginative precursor of scientific investigation. – are permanent, they deal with the greatest of all problems – the problems which do not change because men and women do not change. They deal with love (the romantic element), war, sin, tyranny, courage, and faith; all in the same way in relation to man. 2) Legend: a widely-accepted but unverified story of the origin of things, persons or places.
Myths and legends deal largely with gods, their deeds, adventures, dealing with supernatural beings and culture heroes with origins and explanation of things and phenomena in the surrounding world. 3) Folktale: Pure fiction that seems to have no other origin than a desire to amuse and interest. – bring knowledge and understanding of men’s motives and tolerance that recognizes faith where ignorance would only see superstition. It is especially necessary to have this knowledge now when modern science and invention have brought the world into a closer community of nations. widely disseminated through all places in the world might bring to reality what we all bring about our world. – The folktales are shaped by the thoughts and the actions, the aspirations and fears of a people. Often the outline of a story and sometimes even the characters are common to several characters (epic and folklore). Why Myths are Studied We study myths for at least 5 reasons: 1) They have had such a deep influence on all great literatures. 2) The great writers in the English language have been fascinated by the stories that these ancient people told. ) We can hardly understand Shakespeare or Milton or Keats or Lowell without being familiar with the myths of Greece and Rome. 4) They also provide modern drama with themes and spectacles. 5) Mythology is an important link to the past. Philosophical Bases of Mythology 1) Scriptural Theory, according to which , all stories of myths and legends are derived from the Scriptures, though the real facts and names have been disguised and altered. (e. g. Deucalion is Noah, Hercules is Samson, Arion is Jonah, etc. ) ) Historical Theory, according to which, all the persons mentioned in mythology were once real human beings, and the legends and fabulous traditions relating to them are merely the additions and embellishments of later times. (e. g. Aeolus, king of the Winds, was ruler of some islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea; Cadmus, who sowed the earth w/ dragons’ teeth) 3) Allegorical Theory, supposes that the ancient Greek myths were allegorical and symbolical, and contained some moral, religious, or philosophical truth or historical fact, under the form of an allegory, but came in the process f time to be understood literally. (e. g. Saturn or Cronus—Time; Io is the moon and Argus is the starry sky) 4) Physical Theory, according to which the elements of air, fire, and water were originally the objects of religious adoration and the principal deities were personifications of the powers of nature. The transition was easy from a personification of the elements to the notion of supernatural beings presiding over and governing the different objects of nature. PHILIPPINE FOLKLORE From all over the world there is a demand today for unity and understanding.
A knowledge of a nation’s folklore is a knowledge of the creative workings of the mind of its folk; it is a key to a nation’s values, a path that leads into the heart of its people. Folklore – oral literature of the people usually found among the masses. It includes traditions, customs, fairytales, ballads, songs, accounts of ancient festivals, games, superstitions, beliefs, proverbs, popular sayings, nicknames (e. g. , Juan Tamad), nursery rhymes, riddles, and jingles of every sort. Literature is expressed in many forms, and are preserved in the memory of local bards and old folks and handed down by word of mouth.
Oral or written literature is one of the means through which people express the inner quality and strength of their culture. Nevertheless, both types of creative endeavors (the oral and written) embody the fullness and grandeur of the culture which nurtures them. In other words, the relationship between literature and society is far from indirect and subtle. Every society produces its own literature because it is through this medium that its heritage is preserved and its ideals and aspirations given form and meaning. Thus when (any form of) literature is studied it can provide a penetrating picture of group life.
This is further substantiated by the fact that literary expression in whatever form it exists draws materials from the experience of its creators. PHILIPPINE MYTHOLOGY and FOLKLORE Pre-Spanish Literature is characterized by: A. Legends B. Folk tales C. Epics D. Folk songs E. Epigrams, riddles, chants F. Proverbs and Sayings A. LEGENDS Its aim is to entertain. Here is an example of a legend: B. MYTHS Contents 1. How the World Was Made. 2. The Creation (Igorot). 3. How the Moon and the Stars Came to Be (Bukidnon). 4. Origin (Bagobo). 5. The Story of the Creation (Bilaan). 6. In the Beginning (Bilaan). 7. The Children of the Limokon (Mandaya). . The Creation Story (Tagalog). ________________________________________ How the World Was Made This is the ancient Filipino account of the creation. Thousands of years ago there was no land nor sun nor moon nor stars, and the world was only a great sea of water, above which stretched the sky. The water was the kingdom of the god Maguayan, and the sky was ruled by the great god Captan. Maguayan had a daughter called Lidagat, the sea, and Captan had a son known as Lihangin, the wind. The gods agreed to the marriage of their children, so the sea became the bride of the wind. Three sons and a daughter were born to them.
The sons were called Licalibutan, Liadlao, and Libulan; and the daughter received the name of Lisuga. Licalibutan had a body of rock and was strong and brave; Liadlao was formed of gold and was always happy; Libulan was made of copper and was weak and timid; and the beautiful Lisuga had a body of pure silver and was sweet and gentle. Their parents were very fond of them, and nothing was wanting to make them happy. After a time Lihangin died and left the control of the winds to his eldest son Licalibutan. The faithful wife Lidagat soon followed her husband, and the children, now grown up, were left without father or mother.
However, their grandfathers, Captan and Maguayan, took care of them and guarded them from all evil. After a time, Licalibutan, proud of his power over the winds, resolved to gain more power, and asked his brothers to join him in an attack on Captan in the sky above. At first they refused; but when Licalibutan became angry with them, the amiable Liadlao, not wishing to offend his brother, agreed to help. Then together they induced the timid Libulan to join in the plan. When all was ready the three brothers rushed at the sky, but they could not beat down the gates of steel that guarded the entrance.
Then Licalibutan let loose the strongest winds and blew the bars in every direction. The brothers rushed into the opening, but were met by the angry god Captan. So terrible did he look that they turned and ran in terror; but Captan, furious at the destruction of his gates, sent three bolts of lightning after them. The first struck the copper Libulan and melted him into a ball. The second struck the golden Liadlao, and he too was melted. The third bolt struck Licalibutan, and his rocky body broke into many pieces and fell into the sea. So huge was he that parts of his body stuck out above the water and became what is known as land.
In the meantime the gentle Lisuga had missed her brothers and started to look for them. She went toward the sky, but as she approached the broken gates, Captan, blind with anger, struck her too with lightning, and her silver body broke into thousands of pieces. Captan then came down from the sky and tore the sea apart, calling on Maguayan to come to him and accusing him of ordering the attack on the sky. Soon Maguayan appeared and answered that he knew nothing of the plot as he had been asleep far down in the sea. After a time he succeeded in calming the angry Captan.
Together they wept at the loss of their grandchildren, especially the gentle and beautiful Lisuga; but with all their power they could not restore the dead to life. However, they gave to each body a beautiful light that will shine forever. And so it was that golden Liadlao became the sun, and copper Libulan the moon, while the thousands of pieces of silver Lisuga shine as the stars of heaven. To wicked Licalibutan the gods gave no light, but resolved to make his body support a new race of people. So Captan gave Maguayan a seed, and he planted it on the land, which, as you will remember, was part of Licalibutan’s huge body.
Soon a bamboo tree grew up, and from the hollow of one of its branches a man and a woman came out. The man’s name was Sicalac, and the woman was called Sicabay. They were the parents of the human race. Their first child was a son whom they called Libo; afterwards they had a daughter who was known as Saman. Pandaguan was a younger son and he had a son called Arion. Pandaguan was very clever and invented a trap to catch fish. The very first thing he caught was a huge shark. When he brought it to land, it looked so great and fierce that he thought it was surely a god, and he at once ordered his people to worship it.
Soon all gathered around and began to sing and pray to the shark. Suddenly the sky and sea opened, and the gods came out and ordered Pandaguan to throw the shark back into the sea and to worship none but them. All were afraid except Pandaguan. He grew very bold and answered that the shark was as big as the gods, and that since he had been able to overpower it he would also be able to conquer the gods. Then Captan, hearing this, struck Pandaguan with a small thunderbolt, for he did not wish to kill him but merely to teach him a lesson.
Then he and Maguayan decided to punish these people by scattering them over the earth, so they carried some to one land and some to another. Many children were afterwards born, and thus the earth became inhabited in all parts. Pandaguan did not die. After lying on the ground for thirty days he regained his strength, but his body was blackened from the lightning, and all his descendants ever since that day have been black. His first son, Arion, was taken north, but as he had been born before his father’s punishment he did not lose his color, and all his people therefore are white.
Libo and Saman were carried south, where the hot sun scorched their bodies and caused all their descendants to be of a brown color. A son of Saman and a daughter of Sicalac were carried east, where the land at first was so lacking in food that they were compelled to eat clay. On this account their children and their children’s children have always been yellow in color. And so the world came to be made and peopled. The sun and moon shine in the sky, and the beautiful stars light up the night. All over the land, on the body of the envious Licalibutan, the children of’ Sicalac and Sicabay have grown great in numbers.
May they live forever in peace and brotherly love! ________________________________________ • Source: John Maurice Miller, Philippine Folklore Stories (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1904), pp. 57-64. • Preface by John Maurice Miller (or his editor): As these stories are only legends that have been handed down from remote times, the teacher must impress upon the minds of the children that they are myths and are not to be given credence; otherwise the imaginative minds of the native children would accept them as truth, and trouble would be caused that might be hard to remedy.
Explain then the fiction and show the children the folly of belief in such fanciful tales. (page 5) ________________________________________ The Creation Igorot In the beginning there were no people on the earth. Lumawig, the Great Spirit, came down from the sky and cut many reeds. He divided these into pairs which he placed in different parts of the world, and then he said to them, “You must speak. ” Immediately the reeds became people, and in each place was a man and a woman who could talk, but the language of each couple differed from that of the others. Then Lumawig commanded each man and woman to marry, which they did.
By and by there were many children, all speaking the same language as their parents. These, in turn, married and had many children. In this way there came to be many people on the earth. Now Lumawig saw that there were several things which the people on the earth needed to use, so he set to work to supply them. He created salt, and told the inhabitants of one place to boil it down and sell it to their neighbors. But these people could not understand the directions of the Great Spirit, and the next time he visited them, they had not touched the salt. Then he took it away from them and gave it to the people of a place called Mayinit.
These did as he directed, and because of this he told them that they should always be owners of the salt, and that the other peoples must buy of them. Then Lumawig went to the people of Bontoc and told them to get clay and make pots. They got the clay, but they did not understand the molding, and the jars were not well shaped. Because of their failure, Lumawig told them that they would always have to buy their jars, and he removed the pottery to Samoki. When he told the people there what to do, they did just as he said, and their jars were well shaped and beautiful.
Then the Great Spirit saw that they were fit owners of the pottery, and he told them that they should always make many jars to sell. In this way Lumawig taught the people and brought to them all the things which they now have. ________________________________________ • Source: Mabel Cook Cole, Philippine Folk Tales (Chicago: A. C. McClurg and Company, 1916), pp. 99-101. • Notes by Mabel Cook Cole: 1. Lumawig is the greatest of all spirits and now lives in the sky, though for a time his home was in the Igorot village of Bontoc. He married a Bontoc girl, and the stones of their house are still to be seen in the village.
It was Lumawig who created the Igorot, and ever since he has taken a great interest in them, teaching them how to overcome the forces of nature, how to plant, to reap and, in fact, everything that they know. Once each month a ceremony is held in his honor in a sacred grove, whose trees are believed to have sprung from the graves of his children. Here prayers are offered for health, good crops, and success in battle. A close resemblance exists between Lumawig of the Igorot and Kaboniyan of the Tinguian, the former being sometimes called Kambun’yan. 2.
The Bukidnon of Mindanao have the following story: During a great drought Mampolompon could grow nothing on his clearing except one bamboo, and during a high wind this was broken. From this bamboo came a dog and a woman, who were the ancestors of the Moro. 3. At the north end of the village of Mayinit are a number of brackish hot springs, and from these the people secure the salt which has made the spot famous for miles around. Stones are placed in the shallow streams flowing from these springs, and when they have become encrusted with salt (about nce a month) they are washed and the water is evaporated by boiling. The salt, which is then a thick paste, is formed into cakes and baked near the fire for about half an hour, when it is ready for use. It is the only salt in this section, and is in great demand. Even hostile tribes come to a hill overlooking the town and call down, then deposit whatever they have for trade and withdraw, while the Igorot take up the salt and leave it in place of the trade articles. 4. The women of Samoki are known as excellent potters, and their ware is used over a wide area.
From a pit on a hillside to the north of the village they dig a reddish-brown clay, which they mix with a bluish mineral gathered on another hillside. When thoroughly mixed, this clay is placed on a board on the ground, and the potter, kneeling before it, begins her molding. Great patience and skill are required to bring the vessel to the desired shape. When it is completed it is set in the sun to dry for two or three days, after which it is ready for the baking. The new pots are piled tier above tier on the ground and blanketed with grass tied into bundles.
Then pine bark is burned beneath and around the pile for about an hour, when the ware is sufficiently fired. It is then glazed with resin and is ready to market. ________________________________________ ________________________________________ How the Moon and the Stars Came to Be Bukidnon (Mindanao) One day in the times when the sky was close to the ground a spinster went out to pound rice. Before she began her work, she took off the beads from around her neck and the comb from her hair, and hung them on the sky, which at that time looked like coral rock.
Then she began working, and each time that she raised her pestle into the air it struck the sky. For some time she pounded the rice, and then she raised the pestle so high that it struck the sky very hard. Immediately the sky began to rise, and it went up so far that she lost her ornaments. Never did they come down, for the comb became the moon and the beads are the stars that are scattered about. ________________________________________ • Source: Mabel Cook Cole, Philippine Folk Tales (Chicago: A. C. McClurg and Company, 1916), p. 124. • Notes by Mabel Cook Cole: 1.
The common way to pound rice is to place a bundle of the grain on the ground on a dried carabao hide and pound it with a pestle to loosen the heads from the straw. When they are free they are poured into a mortar and again pounded with the pestle until the grain is separated from the chaff, after which it is winnowed. 2. According to the Klemantin myth (Borneo), the sky was raised when a giant named Usai accidentally struck it with his mallet while pounding rice. See Hose and McDougall, Pagan Tribes of Borneo, p. 142. ________________________________________ ________________________________________ Origin
Bagobo (Mindanao) In the beginning there lived one man and one woman, Toglai and Toglibon. Their first children were a boy and a girl. When they were old enough, the boy and the girl went far away across the waters seeking a good place to live in. Nothing more was heard of them until their children, the Spaniards and Americans, came back. After the first boy and girl left, other children were born to the couple; but they all remained at Cibolan on Mount Apo with their parents, until Toglai and Toglibon died and became spirits. Soon after that there came a great drought which lasted for three years.
All the waters dried up, so that there were no rivers, and no plants could live. “Surely,” said the people, “Manama is punishing us, and we must go elsewhere to find food and a place to dwell in. ” So they started out. Two went in the direction of the sunset, carrying with them stones from Cibolan River. After a long journey they reached a place where were broad fields of cogon grass and an abundance of water, and there they made their home. Their children still live in that place and are called Magindanau, because of the stones which the couple carried when they left Cibolan.
Two children of Toglai and Toglibon went to the south, seeking a home, and they carried with them women’s baskets (baraan). When they found a good spot, they settled down. Their descendants, still dwelling at that place, are called Baraan or Bilaan, because of the women’s baskets. So two by two the children of the first couple left the land of their birth. In the place where each settled a new people developed, and thus it came about that all the tribes in the world received their names from things that the people carried out of Cibolan, or from the places where they settled.
All the children left Mount Apo save two (a boy and a girl), whom hunger and thirst had made too weak to travel. One day when they were about to die the boy crawled out to the field to see if there was one living thing, and to his surprise he found a stalk of sugarcane growing lustily. He eagerly cut it, and enough water came out to refresh him and his sister until the rains came. Because of this, their children are called Bagobo. ________________________________________ • Source: Mabel Cook Cole, Philippine Folk Tales (Chicago: A. C. McClurg and Company, 1916), pp. 33-134. • Note by Mabel Cook Cole: o This is a good example of the way in which people at a certain stage try to account for their surroundings. Nearly all consider themselves the original people. We find the Bagobo no exception to this. In this tale, which is evidently very old, they account for themselves and their neighbors, and then, to meet present needs, they adapt the story to include the white people whom they have known for not more than two hundred years. ________________________________________ ________________________________________
The Story of the Creation Bilaan (Mindanao) In the very beginning there lived a being so large that he cannot be compared with any known thing. His name was Melu, and when he sat on the clouds, which were his home, he occupied all the space above. His teeth were pure gold, and because he was very cleanly and continually rubbed himself with his hands, his skin became pure white. The dead skin which he rubbed off his body was placed on one side in a pile, and by and by this pile became so large that he was annoyed and set himself to consider what he could do with it.
Finally Melu decided to make the earth; so he worked very hard in putting the dead skin into shape, and when it was finished he was so pleased with it that he determined to make two beings like himself, though smaller, to live on it. Taking the remnants of the material left after making the earth he fashioned two men, but just as they were all finished except their noses, Tau Tana from below the earth appeared and wanted to help him. Melu did not wish any assistance, and a great argument ensued. Tau Tana finally won his point and made the noses which he placed on the people upside down.
When all was finished, Melu and Tau Tana whipped the forms until they moved. Then Melu went to his home above the clouds, and Tau Tana returned to his place below the earth. All went well until one day a great rain came, and the people on the earth nearly drowned from the water which ran off their heads into their noses. Melu, from his place on the clouds, saw their danger, and he came quickly to earth and saved their lives by turning their noses the other side up. The people were very grateful to him, and promised to do anything he should ask of them.
Before he left for the sky, they told him that they were very unhappy living on the great earth all alone, so he told them to save all the hair from their heads and the dry skin from their bodies and the next time he came he would make them some companions. And in this way there came to be a great many people on the earth. ________________________________________ • Source: Mabel Cook Cole, Philippine Folk Tales (Chicago: A. C. McClurg and Company, 1916), pp. 139-140. • Notes by Mabel Cook Cole: 1.
This story is well known among the Bilaan, who are one of the tribes least influenced by the Spaniards, and yet it bears so many incidents similar to biblical accounts that there is a strong suggestion of Christian influence. It is possible that these ideas came through the Mohammedan Moro. 2. Melu is the most powerful of the spirits and the one to whom the people resort in times of danger. 3. A similar story is found in British North Borneo. See Evans, Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute, 1913, p. 423. ________________________________________ ________________________________________ In the Beginning
Bilaan (Mindanao) In the beginning there were four beings (Melu, Fiuweigh, Diwata, and Saweigh), and they lived on an island no larger than a hat. On this island there were no trees or grass or any other living thing besides these four people and one bird (Buswit). One day they sent this bird out across the waters to see what he could find, and when he returned he brought some earth, a piece of rattan, and some fruit. Melu, the greatest of the four, took the soil and shaped it and beat it with a paddle in the same manner in which a woman shapes pots of clay, and when he finished he had made the earth.
Then he planted the seeds from the fruit, and they grew until there was much rattan and many trees bearing fruit. The four beings watched the growth for a long time and were well pleased with the work, but finally Melu said, “Of what use is this earth and all the rattan and fruit if there are no people? ” And the others replied, “Let us make some people out of wax. ” So they took some wax and worked long, fashioning it into forms, but when they brought them to the fire the wax melted, and they saw that men could not be made in that way.
Next they decided to try to use dirt in making people, and Melu and one of his companions began working on that. All went well till they were ready to make the noses. The companion, who was working on that part, put them on upside down. Melu told him that the people would drown if he left them that way, but he refused to change them. When his back was turned, however, Melu seized the noses, one by one, and turned them as they now are. But he was in such a hurry that he pressed his finger at the root, and it left a mark in the soft clay which you can still see on the faces of people. _______________________________________ • Source: Mabel Cook Cole, Philippine Folk Tales (Chicago: A. C. McClurg and Company, 1916), pp. 141-142. ________________________________________ ________________________________________ The Children of the Limokon Mandaya (Mindanao) In the very early days before there were any people on the earth, the limokon (a kind of dove ) were very powerful and could talk like men though they looked like birds. One limokon laid two eggs, one at the mouth of the Mayo River and one farther up its course.
After some time these eggs hatched, and the one at the mouth of the river became a man, while the other became a woman. The man lived alone on the bank of the river for a long time, but he was very lonely and wished many times for a companion. One day when he was crossing the river something was swept against his legs with such force that it nearly caused him to drown. On examining it, he found that it was a hair, and he determined to go up the river and find whence it came. He traveled up the stream, looking on both banks, until finally he found the woman, and he was very happy to think that at last he could have a companion.
They were married and had many children, who are the Mandaya still living along the Mayo River. ________________________________________ • Source: Mabel Cook Cole, Philippine Folk Tales (Chicago: A. C. McClurg and Company, 1916), pp. 143-144. • Notes by Mabel Cook Cole: 1. This origin story is of a very different type from those of the Bukidnon and Bagobo. While the others show foreign influence, this appears to be typically primitive. 2. The limokon is the omen bird of the Mandaya. It is believed to be a messenger from the spirit world which, by its calls, warns the people of danger or promises them success.
If the coo of this bird comes from the right side, it is a good sign, but if it is on the left, in back, or in front, it is a bad sign, and the Mandaya knows that he must change his plans. ________________________________________ ________________________________________ The Creation Story Tagalog When the world first began there was no land, but only the sea and the sky, and between them was a kite (a bird something like a hawk). One day the bird which had nowhere to light grew tired of flying about, so she stirred up the sea until it threw its waters against the sky.
The sky, in order to restrain the sea, showered upon it many islands until it could no longer rise, but ran back and forth. Then the sky ordered the kite to light on one of the islands to build her nest, and to leave the sea and the sky in peace. Now at this time the land breeze and the sea breeze were married, and they had a child which was a bamboo. One day when this bamboo was floating about on the water, it struck the feet of the kite which was on the beach. The bird, angry that anything should strike it, pecked at the bamboo, and out of one section came a man and from the other a woman.
Then the earthquake called on all the birds and fish to see what should be done with these two, and it was decided that they should marry. Many children were born to the couple, and from them came all the different races of people. After a while the parents grew very tired of having so many idle and useless children around, and they wished to be rid of them, but they knew of no place to send them to. Time went on and the children became so numerous that the parents enjoyed no peace. One day, in desperation, the father seized a stick and began beating them on all sides.
This so frightened the children that they fled in different directions, seeking hidden rooms in the house — some concealed themselves in the walls, some ran outside, while others hid in the fireplace, and several fled to the sea. Now it happened that those who went into the hidden rooms of the house later became the chiefs of the islands; and those who concealed themselves in the walls became slaves. Those who ran outside were free men; and those who hid in the fireplace became negroes; while those who fled to the sea were gone many years, and when their children came back they were the white people.
A VISAYAN CREATION MYTH In the beginning there were two gods, Captan and Maguayan. They created the earth and all livinng things. Once, Captan planted a bamboo garden. The plant grew into a tall tree that swayed gracefully in the breeze. Then, one day, it broke into two sections, and out stepped a man and a woman. To the man the gods gave the name Sicalac, and that is why men have been called lalaki; the woman they called Sicavay, and henceforth women have been called babaye. After sometime, the man asked the woman to marry him, for there were no people in the world.
Sicavay was reluctant in accepting his proposal, however, saying that they were brother and sister, born of the same reed, with only one node between them. Eventually, they agreed to seek the advice of the tunas of the sea and the doves of the air. They also consulted the earthqauke, who told them that it was necessary for them to marry so that the world would be filled with people. And so they became husband and wife. Soon after, they had a son whom they called Sibu. A daughter who was born to them next was named Samar. Sibu and Samar married and had a daughter Luplupan.
She married Pandaguan, the second son of the first couple, Sicalac and Sicavay. They had a son whom they named Anoranor. Pagaduan was the first to invent the fishing net. The first time he used it, he caught a shark and brought it ashore, thinking that it would die. But the shark did not survive for long out of water. Great was Pagaduan’s grief. He cried out loudly to the gods, blaming them for letting his plaything die when no one had ever died before. It is said that the gold Captan, weary after his day’s work, sent the flies to find out why Pagaduan was making such a lound lamentation.
But the flies refused to obey him, saying that they were busy storing honey. For this disobedience, they were condemned to scavenge among filthy and rotten things from then on. Captan then sent the weavil, who brought back the news of the shark’s death. Pandaguan’s behavior greatly displead Captan. He and Maguayan made a thunderbolt with which they struck Pandaguan dead. The young man stayed in the infernal regions for thirty days, at the end of which time the gods took pity on him, brought him back to life, and returned him to the world.
While Pandaguan was away, his wife Luplupan became the concubine of Maracoyrun. People say that the practice of concubinage then started with Luplupan. When Pandaguan returned home, he did not find his wife there. She had been invited by Maracoyrun to feat upon a pig which he had stolen. People say that this was the first theft committed in the world. Pandaguan then sent Anoranor to fetch his mother, but she only laughed at her son and refused to go home, saying that the dead never return to the world. At this answer, Pandaguan became angry an went back to the infernal regions, vowing never to return to the world.
The old folks say that had Luplupan obeyed Pandaguan’s summons, and had he not gone back to the infernal regions, all the dead would come back to life. Philippine mythology and folklore are gleanings from the traditions of our animistic forefathers (they worshipped the elements) and they reveal the strengths which they may have had in common with some of the world’s major religions. e. g. , strengths: 1) The early Tagalogs believed in the transmigration of the soul of man according to the way a person lived his life on earth. 2) The flood story (Malakas at Maganda) – reminiscent of the Greek origins. ) The Visayans believed in the Mangyan and Manobo spirit “Manuyapit,” both of whom ferried the souls of the dead to the underworld – very strong resemblance with the Greek boatman Charon. Some Philippine myths and folklore suggest conditions prevailing at that time. e. g. , 1) There is an extremely interesting reference to lending money at usurious interest in the Sambal legend (Zambales) of the shark possibly an indication that the story arose in the early phases of the introduction of money into a subsistence economy. Usurers > “loan sharks” ) The Panay epic of “Hinilawod” narrates the matrimonial exploits of some of its heroes Labaw Dongyon on his way home with a new bride, hears about another beautiful woman and promptly leaves his wife with his mother, proceeds to go to court and win a second wife (reference to the prevailing time). Perhaps these stories are meant to show that in mythological times men were men and they may also have to explain the marital behavior of their modern day descendants. e. g. , 1) The Visayan story “Hari sa Bukid” refers to the planting of tobacco on the slopes of Mount Kanlaon (Negros). ) The Ilocano legend of Lam-Ang while apparently pre-Hispanic in its framework makes preference to various introduced features. Myths are revolution of thought because mankind realized what he was and what kind of people started this – the Greeks were the first to realize what mankind was – before man realized what he was he considered himself inferior to the animals. THE GODS IN PHILIPPINE MYTHOLOGY The Tagalogs Bathala (or Abba), chief god of the ancient Tagalogs (but referred to by historians and writers as chief deity in the Philippines so that he had become accepted as the main god, the father-god in Philippine mythology). the expression “bahala na” is from “Bathala,” a phrase uttered in resignation to fate. • he appeared on earth after violent earthquales, a great conflagration, and a devastating flood; and declared his sovereignty over the universe; • dwells in the highest point of ethereal space called “Kaluwalhatian”; • created the earth w/ all that grows on it, the sea, the sky, and man; • just and merciful, a father to his people—sustained, nourished and protected them; • laid down moral laws—pleased w/ those who obeyed these laws and paid him homage with gifts and prayers; exacting and implacable w/ transgressors, hurling thunderbolts and striking them w/ lightning. Assisting Bathala as Superintendents: • AMANIKABLE: lord of the sea • ANITUN TABU: goddess of the wind and the rain Daughters of Bathala by a mortal: • MAYARI: goddess of the moon • HANAN: goddess of the morning • TALA: goddess of the stars Bathala took them up to the sky and made them divine after their mother died. Deities of lesser importance & w/ limited powers (children of the gods and goddesses): • DUMANGAN: god of good harvest IKAPATI: goddess of fertile fields • ANAGOLAY: (daughter of Ikapati) goddess of lost things • DIAN MASALANTA: (granddaughter of Ikapati) goddess of lovers ANITOS: ancestral spirits, sent down to earth w/ specific orders, such as to guard a brave man in war or to cure a sick person; gradually assumed the office of intercessor between men and gods. Sacrifices were made to the anito by the priest called a catalonan. Here are few folk narratives. The Fable A Fable is a short literary composition in prose or verse, conveying a universal cautionary or moral truth.
The moral is usually summed up at the end of the story, which generally tells of conflict among animals that are given the attributes of human beings. The fable differs from the parable, also a short narrative designed to convey a moral truth, in that the fable is concerned with the impossible and improbable, whereas the parable always deals with possible events. Both fables and parables are forms of allegory. One of the earliest and most notable collections of animal fables is that of Aesop, reputedly a freed Greek slave who lived in the 6th century BC.
Aesop circulated his fables orally, and they were transmitted in this same manner for a long period. Greek and Roman writers subsequently wrote down versions of Aesop’s fables in either prose or verse. The best-known fables of modern Europe have come from a Latin edition by the Byzantine monk Maximus Planudes. Another famous collection of beast fables is the Sanskrit collection Panchatantra, probably of the 3rd century AD. Attributed to a Brahman sage, Bidpai, the Panchatantra was subsequently translated into more than 50 languages; more than 200 versions of it are known.
During the medieval period fables were written in monasteries, but few of any consequence have survived. The writing of fables was revived in France during the 12th century, and from that time on the fable literature of France was more voluminous than that of any other European country. The most important French fabulist of the 12th century was the poet Marie de France. Between the 12th and 14th centuries a popular collection of animal fables entitled Roman de Renart appeared in France, the principal character of which was a wily fox known as Reynard.
Many collections of fables were published in France from the 16th to the late 18th century. One of the greatest of all French fabulists was Jean de la Fontaine, whose verse fables were published between 1668 and 1694 and were extensively imitated by later writers in all countries. Throughout the medieval period a German version of the Reynard the Fox stories, Reinecke Fuchs, was popular. The important German fabulists of the 18th century, all influenced by La Fontaine, include Gotthold Ephraim Lessing.
The best-known early fable in English is the Nun’s Priest Tale in The Canterbury Tales by the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer. Another English writer of fables was John Gay, whose Fables (first series, 1727; second series, 1738) are written in sprightly verse and are characterized by great originality and wit. Other important modern European fabulists include the 18th-century Spanish poet Tomas de Iriarte y Oropesa, author of Fabulas literarias (Literary Fables, 1782); and the famous 19th-century Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, many of whose fairy tales are actually fables.
In the United States, beginning with Fables in Slang (1890) by George Ade, a contemporary form of fable developed, the chief exponents of which included Ambrose Bierce (Fantastic Fables, 1899), James Thurber (Fables for Our Time, 1940), and William Saroyan (Fables, 1941). Early Forms of Drama Drama as a literary form had not yet begun to evolve among the Filipinos when the Spanish conquest took place. From the evidence of anthropological and ethnological studies, it appears that Philippine theater at this stage consisted largely in its simplest form, of mimetic dances imitating natural cycles and work activities.
At its most sophisticated form, theater consisted of religious rituals presided over by a priest or priestess and participated in by the community. Examples of these rituals are the Ch’along, Pag-Huaga, Runsay and Pagdiwata. The Ch’along is part of an Ifugao wedding rite, involving the propitiation of evil spirits who might bring harm upon the couple. The rite centers around the goddess Bugan’s revenge for an insult to her family who were not served at a wedding feast. A boy plays Bugan and three men play the husband Wigan and the two sons.
Dancing to the rhythm of beaten shields, the four journey into the mountain where they build a hut for the spirits who need propitiating. Bugan’s revenge is accomplished by distributing among her enemies food on which a curse has been pronounced. The four “players” then return to the wedding feast and the purification rites are performed. The Pag-Huaga is also a propitiation rite, the most important part of a four-day Bagobo festival consisting of drinking, dancing, singing and chanting. The ritual is offered to the god of life and death, to the god of he streams and destroyer of sickness, and to the spirit of sacrifices. In a scheduled place, a human sacrifice is tied to a cross-like stake and around him the warriors, wielding their shields and spears, do a frenzied dance. The circle of warriors close in on the victim, making stabs at him. Then all those present rush toward the center to inflict wounds on the human sacrifice. The dead victim is then cut up into tiny pieces, and chanting begins. The pieces are buried in a hole, except for the hands and feet which are given to the children, who perform their own version of the rite.
The Runsay is an old Tagbanua propitiatory ritual meant to ask the spirits to keep sickness away. The Tagbanuas believe that illness is caused by the salakep, tiny creatures who sailed outriggered bancas blown by the northeast wind. These creatures would go on a rampage if they were not stopped by warrior sailors sent by Magindusa, the most powerful spirit. The rite, usually held in December, when the northeast wind begins to blow gustily, conists of setting sail a large craft laden with the food offerings of the Tagbanua families.
The leader first offers a bowl of rice to the spirits, takes a pinch of rice and tosses it in the air. This is done seven times. Then the men lift the loaded raft as far out into the sea as they can go. The people watch on the shore and hope that the waves would carry the raft afar, for it would be a bad omen if the vessel returns. The Pagdiwata is another Tagbanua ritual which is still done today. It is held to thank spirits for a good harvest or to plead for a cure for the sick.
It is an indoor ceremony presided over by the babaylan who prepares for it by placing the customary offering betel nut, rice, and fattened chickens on a table where a carved wooden turtle also rests. (The Tagbanuas believe that the turtle is the ferry of the spirits. ) The babaylan dances before the table to the rhythm of gongs and drums, with her eyes completely covered by a hood, and a kris tucked under her belt. The essential ingredient of drama present in these forms is mimesis, or imitation of real action.