Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Legend of the First FireFly

In the local dialect (Tagalog),fireflies are called "alitaptap". You can see a lot of them flickering their tail-lights in the suburbs of Los Banos, Laguna (A town soutn of Luzon, Philippines). Apart from us, human beings, they are about the only creatures that used fire. Let us learn about the legend of how fireflies came to use fire.

In the beginning, fireflies were just insects, small and ordinary. They do not have that special fire that kindles light at night. The first generation of fireflies come out only during the day. Like any other creatures, they rest under the leaves and flowers of plants that they come across as soon as the shade of darkness cover the land. So generally speaking, fireflies are scared of the night except for a full moon that brings out a gentle glow in the middle of darkness"

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Filipino Myths: Why do Hawks Eat up Little Chicks?

Big Hawk and Rooster were very good friends before. They trusted each other and even shared secrets. One day, the Rooster thought of borrowing the ring of Big Hawk. Big Hawk always wear the ring on his big tow.

"You have a pretty ring. Can I borrow it for one day? I want to show it to my wife."

Trusting the care of the ring to his friend, Big Hawk removed the ring from his big toe and handed it to his friend Rooster. Big Hawk then excused himself for he had to look for food for his brood. Quickly the Rooster placed the ring on his toe and went off to see his wife, the hen.

When the hen saw the ring on his toe, she too, wanted to wear it. She asked her husband if she could try it on. Rooster agreed and gave the ring to her. At once, the hen slipped it on her left toe, and began to admire how pretty it looked on her feet. Boastful as she was, the hen pleaded to her husband, saying, "Let me keep the ring for just a day. Please! I want to show it off to my friends."

Rooster could not refuse her for he didn't want to disappoint his pretty wife. Unfortunately, by some unexplained reasons, the ring got lost. Pretty hen looked everywhere for it but could not find it. When Rooster learned about it, he also looked everywhere but it seemed the ring was lost forever.

When Big Hawk returned the next day and learned that his ring was lost, he got very angry and reprimanded both of them. "How could you lose my ring? It's the only one I got. I am sorry but you have to go and look for my ring. If you don't find it, I'm going to catch and eat your little chicks."

Fearful for the lives of their chicks, Rooster and his pretty wife went everywhere looking for the ring once again. They scratched the ground but never found the ring.

Meanwhile, the angry hawk had his revenge. He swooped down on their chicks every time he was hungry and carried them away to eat them up.

Up to now, we see the rooster and the hen scratching everywhere on the ground still looking for the lost ring. Even the little chicks go scratching everywhere to help find the ring. They had little choice because their lives remained at stake for as long as the ring is not found and returned.

APA: Astorias, N.P. "Myths and Legends3: Take a journey back in time"

The Legend of Lanao Lake

In ancient Lanao, there once lived a giant called Umacaan. He was so enormous that when he spread his arms sideward, they spread as far as thirty kilometers apart. Almost anything was within easy reach, best of all, men whom he loved to eat. Men flee at the sight of him. No one dared come out to the mountains for fear of losing their lives at the hands of the man-eating giant.

In no time, news about Umacaan reached as far as the kingdom of Bumbaran and came to the knowledge of its brave princes, Rajah Indarapatra and Rajah Soliman. They swore to kill the monster. The next day, they both set out to slay the man-eater. However, they didn't leave at the same time. Rajah Soliman went ahead and reached Lanao to fight. Umacaan tricked Soliman into cutting him into several pieces, each piece becoming another giant Umacaan. The prince simply proved to be no match to the creature.

Some time later, Rajah Indarapatra reached Lanao. As soon as he arrived, he was informed by a spirit-queen of his brother's fate. Angrily, he swore to avenge his brother's death. Before he went on his way the spirit-queen gifted him with a magic sword to enable him to defeat the giant. Later that same day, the two combatants met near the shores of Lanao Lake.

When the fight began, Umacaan pulled several trees and hurled them at Rajah Indarapatra who was quick to dodge and got out safely. Next, the giant reached for some soft clay and formed big round balls out of it and threw them successively at the prince. Once more the quick Rajah Indarapatra made swift plunges to avoid getting hit by the round clay balls so that some of them fell into the lake while the others landed on the plains and turned into hills and mountains that surround the famous Lanao Lake. At any rate, when Rajah Indarapatra had his turn, he help up the magic sword that could wound any opponent by merely pointing at him. As he did, Umacaan yelled in pain until he fell down to his death.

Up to now, if one were to visit Lanao Lake, one will easily notice small floating islands all around the lake. Some of the islands are big enough to accomodate a number of families, while the others are too small for even a single nipa hut to stand on. These islands were believed to have formed out of the clay balls Umacaan threw at Rajah Indarapatra that fell into the lake, while the hills and mountains that surround the lake came from those clay balls that landed on the plains and dried over time, as the legend had it.

APA: Astorias, N.P. (no date published) " Myths and Legends 3: Take a journey back in time".