Philippine Folk Tales
by Mabel Cook Cole
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Philippine Folk Tales

Compiled and Annotated by

Mabel Cook Cole



From time to time since the American occupation of the Islands, Philippine folk-tales have appeared in scientific publications, but never, so far as the writer is aware, has there been an attempt to offer to the general public a comprehensive popular collection of this material. It is my earnest hope that this collection of tales will give those who are interested opportunity to learn something of the magic, superstitions, and weird customs of the Filipinos, and to feel the charm of their wonder-world as it is pictured by these dark-skinned inhabitants of our Island possessions.

In company with my husband, who was engaged in ethnological work for the Field Museum of Natural History, it was my good fortune to spend four years among the wild tribes of the Philippines, During this time we frequently heard these stories, either related by the people in their homes and around the camp fires or chanted by the pagan priests in communion with the spirits. The tales are now published in this little volume, with the addition of a few folk-legends that have appeared in the Journal of American Folk-Lore and in scientific publications, here retold with some additions made by native story-tellers.

I have endeavored to select typical tales from tribes widely separated and varying in culture from savagery to a rather high degree of development. The stories are therefore divided into five groups, as follows: Tinguian, Igorot, the Wild Tribes of Mindanao, Moro, and Christian,

The first two groups, Tinguian and Igorot, are from natives who inhabit the rugged mountain region of northwestern Luzon. From time immemorial they have been zealous head-hunters, and the stories teem with references to customs and superstitions connected with their savage practices. By far the largest number belong to the Tinguian group. In order to appreciate these tales to the fullest extent, we must understand the point of view of the Tinguian. To him they embody all the known traditions of "the first times"—of the people who inhabited the earth before the present race appeared, of the ancient heroes and their powers and achievements. In them he finds an explanation of and reason for many of his present laws and customs.

A careful study of the whole body of Tinguian mythology points to the conclusion that the chief characters of these tales are not celestial beings but typical, generalized heroes of former ages, whose deeds have been magnified in the telling by many generations of their descendants. These people of "the first times" practiced magic. They talked with jars, created human beings out of betel-nuts, raised the dead, and had the power of changing themselves into other forms. This, however, does not seem strange or impossible to the Tinguian of today, for even now they talk with jars, perform certain rites to bring sickness and death to their foes, and are warned by omens received through the medium of birds, thunder and lightning, or the condition of the liver of a slaughtered animal. They still converse freely with certain spirits who during religious ceremonies are believed to use the bodies of men or women as mediums for the purpose of advising and instructing the people.

Several of the characters appear in story after story. Sometimes they go under different names, but in the minds of the story-tellers their personality and relationships are definitely established. Thus Ini-init of the first tale becomes Kadayadawan in the second, Aponitolau in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth, and Ligi in the seventh. Kanag, the son of Aponitolau and Aponibolinayen, in the fifth tale is called Dumalawi.

These heroes had most unusual relations with the heavenly bodies, all of which seem to have been regarded as animate beings. In the fourth tale Aponitolau marries Gaygayoma, the star maiden who is the daughter of the big star and the moon. In the first story the same character under the name of Ini-init seems to be a sun-god: we are told that he is "the sun," and again "a round stone which rolls." Thereupon we might conclude that he is a true solar being; yet in the other tales of this collection and in many more known to the Tinguian he reveals no celestial qualities. Even in the first story he abandons his place in the sky and goes to live on earth.

In the first eight stories we read of many customs of "the first times" which differ radically from those of the present. But a careful analysis of all the known lore of this people points to the belief that many of these accounts depict a period when similar customs did exist among the people, or else were practiced by emigrants who generations ago became amalgamated with the Tinguian and whose strange customs finally became attributed to the people of the tales. The stories numbered nine to sixteen are of a somewhat different type, and in them the Tinguian finds an explanation of many things, such as, how the people learned to plant, and to cure diseases, where they secured the valuable jars and beads, and why the moon has spots on its face. All these stories are fully believed, the beads and jars are considered precious, and the places mentioned are definitely known. While the accounts seem to be of fairly recent origin they conflict neither with the fundamental ideas and traditions of "the first times" nor with the beliefs of today.

Stories seventeen to twenty-three are regarded as fables and are told to amuse the children or to while away the midday hours when the people seek shaded spots to lounge or stop on the trail to rest. Most of them are known to the Christianized tribes throughout the Islands and show great similarity to the tales found in the islands to the south and, in some cases, in Europe. In many of them the chief incidents are identical with those found elsewhere, but the story-tellers, by introducing old customs and beliefs, have moulded and colored them until they reflect the common ideas of the Tinguian.

The third group includes stories from several wild tribes who dwell in the large island of Mindanao. Here are people who work in brass and steel, build good dwellings, and wear hemp clothing elaborately decorated with beads, shell disks, and embroidery, but who still practice many savage customs, including slavery and human sacrifice.

The fourth division gives two tales from the Moro (hardy Malayan warriors whose ancestors early became converts to the faith of Mohammed). Their teachers were the Arabian traders who, about 1400, succeeded in converting many of the Malay Islanders to the faith of the prophet.

The last group contains the stories of the Christianized natives—those who accepted the rule of Spain and with it the Catholic religion. Their tales, while full of local color, nevertheless show the influence of the European tutors. They furnish an excellent opportunity to contrast the literature of the savage head-hunters with that of the Moro and Christian tribes and to observe how various recent influences have modified the beliefs of people who not many centuries ago were doubtless of a uniform grade of culture. It is interesting, too, to note that European tales brought into the Islands by Mohammedan and Christian rulers and traders have been worked over until, at first glance, they now appear indigenous.

Owing to local coloring, these tales have various forms. Still we find many incidents which are held in common by all the tribes of the Archipelago and even by the people of Borneo, Java, Sumatra, and India. Some of these similarities and parallelisms are indicated in the foot-notes throughout the book.


Group I: Tinguian

Aponibolinayen and the Sun Aponibolinayen Gawigawen of Adasen The Story of Gaygayoma Who Lives up Above The Story of Dumalawi The Story of Kanag The Story of Tikgi The Story of Sayen The Sun and the Moon How the Tinguian Learned to Plant Magsawi The Tree with the Agate Beads The Striped Blanket The Alan and the Hunters The Man and the Alan Sogsogot The Mistaken Gifts The Boy Who Became a Stone The Turtle and the Lizard The Man with the Cocoanuts The Carabao and the Shell The Alligator's Fruit Dogedog

Group II: Igorot

The Creation The Flood Story Lumawig on Earth How the First Head Was Taken The Serpent Eagle The Tattooed Men Tilin, the Rice Bird

Group III: The Wild Tribes of Mindanao


How the Moon and Stars Came to Be The Flood Story Magbangal How Children Became Monkeys Bulanawan and Aguio


Origin Lumabet


The Story of the Creation In the Beginning


The Children of the Limokon The Sun and the Moon


The Widow's Son

Group IV: Moro

Mythology of Mindanao The Story of Bantugan

Group V: The Christianized Tribes


The Monkey and the Turtle The Poor Fisherman and His Wife The Presidente Who Had Horns The Story of a Monkey The White Squash


The Creation Story The Story of Benito The Adventures of Juan Juan Gathers Guavas


The Sun and the Moon The First Monkey The Virtue of the Cocoanut Mansumandig Why Dogs Wag Their Tails The Hawk and the Hen The Spider and the Fly The Battle of the Crabs

Pronunciation of Philippine Names



The dim light of stars filtered through the leafy canopy above us, and the shadowy form of our guide once more appeared at my horse's head. It was only for an instant, however, and then we were plunged again into the inky darkness of a tropical jungle.

We had planned to reach the distant Tinguian village in the late afternoon, but had failed to reckon with the deliberateness of native carriers. It was only by urging our horses that we were able to ford the broad Abra ere the last rays of the sun dropped behind the mountains. And then, in this land of no twilights, night had settled quickly over us.

We had made our way up the mountain-side, through the thick jungle, only to find that the trail, long imperceptible to us, had escaped even the keen eyes of our guide. For several hours we wandered about, lost in the darkness.

On and on we went, through narrow paths, steep in places, and made rough and dangerous by sharp rocks as well as by those long creepers of the jungle whose thorny fingers are ever ready to seize horse or rider. Occasionally we came out of the forest, only to cross rocky mountain streams; or perhaps it was the same stream that we crossed many times. Our horses, becoming weary and uncertain of foot, grew more and more reluctant to plunge into the dark, swiftly flowing water. And our patience was nearly exhausted when we at last caught sight of dim lights in the valley below. Half an hour later we rode into Manabo.

I shall never forget that first picture. It was a weird spectacle. Coming out of the darkness, we were almost convinced that we had entered a new world. Against the blackness of the night, grass-roofed houses stood outlined in the dim light of a bonfire; and squatting around that fire, unclad save for gay blankets wrapped about their shoulders, were brown-skinned men smoking long pipes, while women bedecked with bright beads were spinning cotton. As they worked in the flickering light, they stretched their distaffs at arm's length into the air like witches waving their wands; and with that the elfland picture was complete.

In the stillness of the night a single voice could be heard reciting some tale in a singsong tone, which was interrupted only when peals of laughter burst forth from the listeners, or when a scrawny dog rose to bark at an imaginary noise until the shouts of the men quieted him and he returned to his bed in the warm ashes. Later we learned that these were the regular social gatherings of the Tinguian, and every night during the dry season one or more of these bonfires were to be seen in the village.

After we had attained to the footing of welcome guests in these circles, we found that a good story-teller was always present, and, while the men smoked, the women spun, and the dogs slept, he entertained us with tales of heroes who knew the magic of the betel-nut, or with stories of spirits and their power over the lives of men.

The following are some of the tales heard first around the camp fire of the distant mountain village.

Aponibolinayen and the Sun


One day Aponibolinayen and her sister-in-law went out to gather greens. They walked to the woods to the place where the siksiklat grew, for the tender leaves of this vine are very good to eat. Suddenly while searching about in the underbrush, Aponibolinayen cried out with joy, for she had found the vine, and she started to pick the leaves. Pull as hard as she would, however, the leaves did not come loose, and all at once the vine wound itself around her body and began carrying her upward. [1]

Far up through the air she went until she reached the sky, and there the vine set her down under a tree. Aponibolinayen was so surprised to find herself in the sky that for some time she just sat and looked around, and then, hearing a rooster crow, she arose to see if she could find it. Not far from where she had sat was a beautiful spring surrounded by tall betel-nut trees whose tops were pure gold. Rare beads were the sands of the spring, and the place where the women set their jars when they came to dip water was a large golden plate. As Aponibolinayen stood admiring the beauties of this spring, she beheld a small house nearby, and she was filled with fear lest the owner should find her there. She looked about for some means of escape and finally climbed to the top of a betel-nut tree and hid.

Now the owner of this house was Ini-init, [2] the Sun, but he was never at home in the daylight, for it was his duty to shine in the sky and give light to all the world. At the close of the day when the Big Star took his place in the sky to shine through the night, Ini-init returned to his house, but early the next morning he was always off again.

From her place in the top of the betel-nut tree, Aponibolinayen saw the Sun when he came home at evening time, and again the next morning she saw him leave. When she was sure that he was out of sight she climbed down and entered his dwelling, for she was very hungry. She cooked rice, and into a pot of boiling water she dropped a stick which immediately became fish, [3] so that she had all she wished to eat. When she was no longer hungry, she lay down on the bed to sleep.

Now late in the afternoon Ini-init returned from his work and went to fish in the river near his house, and he caught a big fish. While he sat on the bank cleaning his catch, he happened to look up toward his house and was startled to see that it appeared to be on fire. [4] He hurried home, but when he reached the house he saw that it was not burning at all, and he entered. On his bed he beheld what looked like a flame of fire, but upon going closer he found that it was a beautiful woman fast asleep.

Ini-init stood for some time wondering what he should do, and then he decided to cook some food and invite this lovely creature to eat with him. He put rice over the fire to boil and cut into pieces the fish he had caught. The noise of this awakened Aponibolinayen, and she slipped out of the house and back to the top of the betel-nut tree. The Sun did not see her leave, and when the food was prepared he called her, but the bed was empty and he had to eat alone. That night Ini-init could not sleep well, for all the time he wondered who the beautiful woman could be. The next morning, however, he rose as usual and set forth to shine in the sky, for that was his work.

That day Aponibolinayen stole again to the house of the Sun and cooked food, and when she returned to the betel-nut tree she left rice and fish ready for the Sun when he came home. Late in the afternoon Ini-init went into his home, and when he found pots of hot rice and fish over the fire he was greatly troubled. After he had eaten he walked a long time in the fresh air. "Perhaps it is done by the lovely woman who looks like a flame of fire," he said. "If she comes again I will try to catch her."

The next day the Sun shone in the sky as before, and when the afternoon grew late he called to the Big Star to hurry to take his place, for he was impatient to reach home. As he drew near the house he saw that it again looked as if it was on fire. He crept quietly up the ladder, and when he had reached the top he sprang in and shut the door behind him.

Aponibolinayen, who was cooking rice over the fire, was surprised and angry that she had been caught; but the Sun gave her betel-nut [5] which was covered with gold, and they chewed together and told each other their names. Then Aponibolinayen took up the rice and fish, and as they ate they talked together and became acquainted.

After some time Aponibolinayen and the Sun were married, and every morning the Sun went to shine in the sky, and upon his return at night he found his supper ready for him. He began to be troubled, however, to know where the food came from, for though he brought home a fine fish every night, Aponibolinayen always refused to cook it.

One night he watched her prepare their meal, and he saw that, instead of using the nice fish he had brought, she only dropped a stick into the pot of boiling water.

"Why do you try to cook a stick?" asked Ini-init in surprise.

"So that we can have fish to eat," answered his wife.

"If you cook that stick for a month, it will not be soft," said Ini-init. "Take this fish that I caught in the net, for it will be good."

But Aponibolinayen only laughed at him, and when they were ready to eat she took the cover off the pot and there was plenty of nice soft fish. The next night and the next, Aponibolinayen cooked the stick, and Ini-init became greatly troubled for he saw that though the stick always supplied them with fish, it never grew smaller.

Finally he asked Aponibolinayen again why it was that she cooked the stick instead of the fish he brought, and she said:

"Do you not know of the woman on earth who has magical power and can change things?"

"Yes," answered the Sun, "and now I know that you have great power."

"Well, then," said his wife, "do not ask again why I cook the stick."

And they ate their supper of rice and the fish which the stick made.

One night not long after this Aponibolinayen told her husband that she wanted to go with him the next day when he made light in the sky.

"Oh, no, you cannot," said the Sun, "for it is very hot up there, [6] and you cannot stand the heat."

"We will take many blankets and pillows," said the woman, "and when the heat becomes very great, I will hide under them."

Again and again Ini-init begged her not to go, but as often she insisted on accompanying him, and early in the morning they set out, carrying with them many blankets and pillows.

First, they went to the East, and as soon as they arrived the Sun began to shine, and Aponibolinayen was with him. They traveled toward the West, but when morning had passed into noontime and they had reached the middle of the sky Aponibolinayen was so hot that she melted and became oil. Then Ini-init put her into a bottle and wrapped her in the blankets and pillows and dropped her down to earth.

Now one of the women of Aponibolinayen's town was at the spring dipping water when she heard something fall near her. Turning to look, she beheld a bundle of beautiful blankets and pillows which she began to unroll, and inside she found the most beautiful woman she had ever seen. Frightened at her discovery, the woman ran as fast as she could to the town, where she called the people together and told them to come at once to the spring. They all hastened to the spot and there they found Aponibolinayen for whom they had been searching everywhere.

"Where have you been?" asked her father; "we have searched all over the world and we could not find you.'

"I have come from Pindayan," answered Aponibolinayen. "Enemies of our people kept me there till I made my escape while they were asleep at night"

All were filled with joy that the lost one had returned, and they decided that at the next moon [7] they would perform a ceremony for the spirits [8] and invite all the relatives who were mourning for Aponibolinayen.

So they began to prepare for the ceremony, and while they were pounding rice, Aponibolinayen asked her mother to prick her little finger where it itched, and as she did so a beautiful baby boy popped out. The people were very much surprised at this, and they noticed that every time he was bathed the baby grew very fast so that, in a short time, he was able to walk. Then they were anxious to know who was the husband of Aponibolinayen, but she would not tell them, and they decided to invite everyone in the world to the ceremony that they might not overlook him.

They sent for the betel-nuts that were covered with gold, [9] and when they had oiled them they commanded them to go to all the towns and compel the people to come to the ceremony.

"If anyone refuses to come, grow on his knee," said the people, and the betel-nuts departed to do as they were bidden.

As the guests began to arrive, the people watched carefully for one who might be the husband of Aponibolinayen, but none appeared and they were greatly troubled. Finally they went to the old woman, Alokotan, who was able to talk with the spirits, and begged her to find what town had not been visited by the betel-nuts which had been sent to invite the people. After she had consulted the spirits the old woman said:

"You have invited all the people except Ini-init who lives up above. Now you must send a betel-nut to summon him. It may be that he is the husband of Aponibolinayen, for the siksiklat vine carried her up when she went to gather greens."

So a betel-nut was called and bidden to summon Ini-init.

The betel-nut went up to the Sun, who was in his house, and said:

"Good morning, Sun. I have come to summon you to a ceremony which the father and mother of Aponibolinayen are making for the spirits. If you do not want to go, I will grow on your head." [10]

"Grow on my head," said the Sun. "I do not wish to go."

So the betel-nut jumped upon his head and grew until it became so tall that the Sun was not able to carry it, and he was in great pain.

"Oh, grow on my pig," begged the Sun. So the betel-nut jumped upon the pig's head and grew, but it was so heavy that the pig could not carry it and squealed all the time. At last the Sun saw that he would have to obey the summons, and he said to the betel-nut:

"Get off my pig and I will go."

So Ini-init came to the ceremony, and as soon as Aponibolinayen and the baby saw him, they were very happy and ran to meet him. Then the people knew that this was the husband of Aponibolinayen, and they waited eagerly for him to come up to them. As he drew near, however, they saw that he did not walk, for he was round; and then they perceived that he was not a man but a large stone. All her relatives were very angry to find that Aponibolinayen had married a stone; and they compelled her to take off her beads [11] and her good clothes, for, they said, she must now dress in old clothes and go again to live with the stone.

So Aponibolinayen put on the rags that they brought her and at once set out with the stone for his home. No sooner had they arrived there, however, than he became a handsome man, and they were very happy.

"In one moon," said the Sun, "we will make a ceremony for the spirits, and I will pay your father and mother the marriage price [12] for you."

This pleased Aponibolinayen very much, and they used magic so that they had many neighbors who came to pound rice [13] for them and to build a large spirit house. [14]

Then they sent oiled betel-nuts to summon their relatives to the ceremony. The father of Aponibolinayen did not want to go, but the betel-nut threatened to grow on his knee if he did not. So he commanded all the people in the town to wash their hair and their clothes, and when all was ready they set out.

When they reached the town they were greatly surprised to find that the stone had become a man, and they chewed the magic betel-nuts to see who he might be. It was discovered that he was the son of a couple in Aponibolinayen's own town, and the people all rejoiced that this couple had found the son whom they had thought lost. They named him Aponitolau, and his parents paid the marriage price for his wife—the spirit house nine times full of valuable jars. [15]

After that all danced and made merry for one moon, and when the people departed for their homes Ini-init and his wife went with them to live on the earth.



The most beautiful girl in all the world was Aponibolinayen of Nalpangan. Many young men had come to her brother, Aponibalagen, to ask for her hand in marriage, but he had refused them all, for he awaited one who possessed great power. Then it happened that the fame of her beauty spread over all the world till it reached even to Adasen; and in that place there lived a man of great power named Gawigawen.

Now Gawigawen, who was a handsome man, had sought among all the pretty girls but never, until he heard of the great beauty of Aponibolinayen, had he found one whom he wished to wed. Then he determined that she should be his wife; and he begged his mother to help him win her. So Dinawagen, the mother of Gawigawen, took her hat which looked like a sunbeam and set out at once for Nalpangan; and when she arrived there she was greeted by Ebang, the mother of the lovely maiden, who presently began to prepare food for them. [16]

She put the pot over the fire, and when the water boiled she broke up a stick and threw the pieces into the pot, and immediately they became fish. Then she brought basi [17] in a large jar, and Dinawagen, counting the notches in the rim, [18] perceived that the jar had been handed down through nine generations. They ate and drank together, and after they had finished the meal, Dinawagen told Aponibalagen of her son's wishes, and asked if he was willing that his sister should marry Gawigawen. Aponibalagen, who had heard of the power of the suitor, at once gave his consent. And Dinawagen departed for home, leaving a gold cup as an engagement present. [19]

Gawigawen was watching at the door of his house for his mother's return, and when she told him of her success, he was so happy that he asked all the people in the town to go with him the next day to Nalpangan to arrange the amount he must pay for his bride. [20]

Now the people of Nalpangan wanted a great price for this girl who was so beautiful, and the men of the two towns debated for a long time before they could come to an agreement. Finally, however, it was decided that Gawigawen should fill the spirit house eighteen times with valuable things; and when he had done this, they were all satisfied and went to the yard where they danced and beat on the copper gongs. [21] All the pretty girls danced their best, and one who wore big jars about her neck made more noise than the others as she danced, and the jars sang "Kitol, kitol, kanitol; inka, inka, inkatol."

But when Aponibolinayen, the bride of Gawigawen, came down out of the house to dance, the sunshine vanished, so beautiful was she; and as she moved about, the river came up into the town, and striped fish bit at her heels.

For three months the people remained here feasting and dancing, and then early one morning they took Aponibolinayen to her new home in Adasen. The trail that led from one town to the other had become very beautiful in the meantime: the grass and trees glistened with bright lights, and the waters of the tiny streams dazzled the eyes with their brightness as Aponibolinayen waded across. When they reached the spring of Gawigawen, they found that it, too, was more beautiful than ever before. Each grain of sand had become a bead, and the place where the women set their jars when they came to dip water had become a big dish.

Then said Aponibalagen to his people, "Go tell Gawigawen to bring an old man, for I want to make a spring for Aponibolinayen."

So an old man was brought and Aponibalagen cut off his head and put it in the ground, and sparkling water bubbled up. [22] The body he made into a tree to shade his sister when she came to dip water, and the drops of blood as they touched the ground were changed into valuable beads. Even the path from the spring to the house was covered with big plates, and everything was made beautiful for Aponibolinayen.

Now during all this time Aponibolinayen had kept her face covered so that she had never seen her husband, for although he was a handsome man, one of the pretty girls who was jealous of the bride had told her that he had three noses, and she was afraid to look at him.

After her people had all returned to their homes, she grew very unhappy, and when her mother-in-law commanded her to cook she had to feel her way around, for she would not uncover her face. Finally she became so sad that she determined to run away. One night when all were asleep, she used magical power and changed herself into oil. [23] Then she slid through the bamboo floor and made her escape without anyone seeing her.

On and on she went until she came to the middle of the jungle, and then she met a wild rooster who asked her where she was going.

"I am running away from my husband," replied Aponibolinayen, "for he has three noses and I do not want to live with him."

"Oh," said the rooster, "some crazy person must have told you that. Do not believe it. Gawigawen is a handsome man, for I have often seen him when he comes here to snare chickens." [24]

But Aponibolinayen paid no heed to the rooster, and she went on until she reached a big tree where perched a monkey, and he also asked where she was going.

"I am running away from my husband," answered the girl, "for he has three noses and I do not want to live with him."

"Oh, do not believe that," said the monkey. "Someone who told you that must have wanted to marry him herself, for he is a handsome man."

Still Aponibolinayen went on until she came to the ocean, and then, as she could go no farther, she sat down to rest. As she sat there pondering what she should do, a carabao [25] came along, and thinking that she would ride a while she climbed up on its back. No sooner had she done so than the animal plunged into the water and swam with her until they reached the other side of the great ocean.

There they came to a large orange tree, and the carabao told her to eat some of the luscious fruit while he fed on the grass nearby. As soon as he had left her, however, he ran straight to his master, Kadayadawan, and told him of the beautiful girl.

Kadayadawan was very much interested and quickly combed his hair and oiled it, put on his striped coat [26] and belt, and went with the carabao to the orange tree. Aponibolinayen, looking down from her place in the tree, was surprised to see a man coming with her friend, the carabao, but as they drew near, she began talking with him, and soon they became acquainted. Before long, Kadayadawan had persuaded the girl to become his wife, and he took her to his home. From that time every night his house looked as if it was on fire, because of the beauty of his bride.

After they had been married for some time, Kadayadawan and Aponibolinayen decided to make a ceremony [27] for the spirits, so they called the magic betel-nuts [28] and oiled them and said to them,

"Go to all the towns and invite our relatives to come to the ceremony which we shall make. If they do not want to come, then grow on their knees until they are willing to attend."

So the betel-nuts started in different directions and one went to Aponibalagen in Nalpangan and said,

"Kadayadawan is making a ceremony for the spirits, and I have come to summon you to attend."

"We cannot go," said Aponibalagen, "for we are searching for my sister who is lost"

"You must come," replied the betel-nut, "or I shall grow on your knee,"

"Grow on my pig," answered Aponibalagen; so the betel-nut went on to the pig's back and grew into a tall tree, and it became so heavy that the pig could not carry it, but squealed all the time.

Then Aponibalagen, seeing that he must obey, said to the betel-nut,

"Get off my pig, and we will go."

The betel-nut got off the pig's back, and the people started for the ceremony. When they reached the river, Gawigawen was there waiting to cross, for the magic nuts had forced him to go also. Then Kadayadawan, seeing them, sent more betel-nuts to the river, and the people were carried across by the nuts.

As soon as they reached the town the dancing began, and while Gawigawen was dancing with Aponibolinayen he seized her and put her in his belt. [29] Kadayadawan, who saw this, was so angry that he threw his spear and killed Gawigawen. Then Aponibolinayen escaped and ran into the house, and her husband brought his victim back to life, and asked him why he had seized the wife of his host. Gawigawen explained that she was his wife who had been lost, and the people were very much surprised, for they had not recognized her at first.

Then all the people discussed what should be done to bring peace between the two men, and it was finally decided that Kadayadawan must pay both Aponibalagen and Gawigawen the price that was first demanded for the beautiful girl.

After this was done all were happy; and the guardian spirit of Kadayadawan gave them a golden house in which to live.

Gawigawen of Adasen


Aponibolinayen was sick with a headache, and she lay on a mat alone in her house. Suddenly she remembered some fruit that she had heard of but had never seen, and she said to herself, "Oh, I wish I had some of the oranges of Gawigawen of Adasen."

Now Aponibolinayen did not realize that she had spoken aloud, but Aponitolau, her husband, lying in the spirit house [30] outside, heard her talking and asked what it was she said. Fearing to tell him the truth lest he should risk his life in trying to get the oranges for her, she said: "I wish I had some biw" (a fruit).

Aponitolau at once got up, and, taking a sack, went out to find some of the fruit for his wife. When he returned with the sack full, she said:

"Put it on the bamboo hanger above the fire, and when my head is better I will eat it."

So Aponitolau put the fruit on the hanger and returned to the spirit house, but when Aponibolinayen tried to eat, the fruit made her sick and she threw it away.

"What is the matter?" called Aponitolau as he heard her drop the fruit.

"I merely dropped one," she replied, and returned to her mat.

After a while Aponibolinayen again said:

"Oh, I wish I had some of the oranges of Gawigawen of Adasen," and Aponitolau, who heard her from the spirit house, inquired:

"What is that you say?"

"I wish I had some fish eggs," answered his wife; for she did not want him to know the truth.

Then Aponitolau took his net and went to the river, determined to please his wife if possible. When he had caught a nice fish he opened it with his knife and took out the eggs. Then he spat on the place he had cut, and it was healed and the fish swam away. [31]

Pleased that he was able to gratify his wife's wishes, he hastened home with the eggs; and while his wife was roasting them over the fire, he returned to the spirit house. She tried to eat, but the eggs did not taste good to her, and she threw them down under the house to the dogs.

"What is the matter?" called Aponitolau. "Why are the dogs barking?"

"I dropped some of the eggs," replied his wife, and she went back to her mat.

By and by she again said:

"I wish I had some of the oranges of Gawigawen of Adasen."

But when her husband asked what she wished, she replied:

"I want a deer's liver to eat"

So Aponitolau took his dogs to the mountains, where they hunted until they caught a deer, and when he had cut out its liver he spat on the wound, and it was healed so that the deer ran away.

But Aponibolinayen could not eat the liver any more than she could the fruit or the fish eggs; and when Aponitolau heard the dogs barking, he knew that she had thrown it away. Then he grew suspicious and, changing himself into a centipede, [32] hid in a crack in the floor. And when his wife again wished for some of the oranges, he overheard her.

"Why did you not tell me the truth, Aponibolinayen?" he asked.

"Because," she replied, "no one Who has gone to Adasen has ever come back, and I did not want you to risk your life."

Nevertheless Aponitolau determined to go for the oranges, and he commanded his wife to bring him rice straw. After he had burned it he put the ashes in the water with which he washed his hair. [33] Then she brought cocoanut oil and rubbed his hair, and fetched a dark clout, a fancy belt, and a head-band, and she baked cakes for him to take on the journey. Aponitolau cut a vine [34] which he planted by the stove, [35] and told his wife that if the leaves wilted she would know that he was dead. Then he took his spear and head-ax [36] and started on the long journey.

When Aponitolau arrived at the well of a giantess, all the betel-nut trees bowed. Then the giantess shouted and all the world trembled. "How strange," thought Aponitolau, "that all the world shakes when that woman shouts." But he continued on his way without stopping.

As he passed the place of the old woman, Alokotan, she sent out her little dog and it bit his leg.

"Do not proceed," said the old woman, "for ill luck awaits you. If you go on, you will never return to your home."

But Aponitolau paid no attention to the old woman, and by and by he came to the home of the lightning.

"Where are you going?" asked the lightning.

"I am going to get some oranges of Gawigawen of Adasen," replied Aponitolau.

"Go stand on that high rock that I may see what your sign is," commanded the lightning.

So he stood on the high rock, but when the lightning flashed Aponitolau dodged.

"Do not go," said the lightning, "for you have a bad sign, and you will never come back."

Still Aponitolau did not heed.

Soon he arrived at the place of Silit (loud thunder), [37] who also asked him:

"Where are you going, Aponitolau?"

"I am going to get oranges of Gawigawen of Adasen," he replied.

Then the thunder commanded:

"Stand on that high stone so that I can see if you have a good sign."

He stood on the high stone, and when the thunder made a loud noise he jumped. Whereupon Silit also advised him not to go on.

In spite of all the warnings, Aponitolau continued his journey, and upon coming to the ocean he used magical power, so that when he stepped on his head-ax it sailed away, carrying him far across the sea to the other side. Then after a short walk he came to a spring where women were dipping water, and he asked what spring it was.

"This is the spring of Gawigawen of Adasen," replied the women. "And who are you that you dare come here?"

Without replying he went on toward the town, but he found that he could not go inside, for it was surrounded by a bank which reached almost to the sky.

While he stood with bowed head pondering what he should do, the chief of the spiders came up and asked why he was so sorrowful.

"I am sad," answered Aponitolau, "because I cannot climb up this bank."

Then the spider went to the top and spun a thread, [38] and upon this Aponitolau climbed up into town.

Now Gawigawen was asleep in his spirit house, and when he awoke and saw Aponitolau sitting near, he was surprised and ran toward his house to get his spear and head-ax, but Aponitolau called to him, saying:

"Good morning, Cousin Gawigawen. Do not be angry; I only came to buy some of your oranges for my wife."

Then Gawigawen took him to the house and brought a whole carabao [39] for him to eat, and he said:

"If you cannot eat all the carabao, you cannot have the oranges for your wife."

Aponitolau grew very sorrowful, for he knew that he could not eat all the meat, but just at that moment the chief of the ants and flies came to him and inquired what was the trouble. As soon as he was told, the chief called all the ants and flies and they ate the whole carabao. Aponitolau, greatly relieved, went then to Gawigawen and said:

"I have finished eating the food which you gave me."

Gawigawen was greatly surprised at this, and, leading the way to the place where the oranges grew, he told Aponitolau to climb the tree and get all he wanted.

As he was about to ascend the tree Aponitolau noticed that the branches were sharp knives, so he went as carefully as he could. Nevertheless, when he had secured two oranges, he stepped on one of the knives and was cut. He quickly fastened the fruit to his spear, and immediately it flew away straight to his town and into his house.

Aponibolinayen was just going down the bamboo ladder out of the house, and hearing something drop on the floor she went back to look and found the oranges from Adasen. She eagerly ate the fruit, rejoicing that her husband had been able to reach the place where they grew. Then she thought to look at the vine, whose leaves were wilted, and she knew that her husband was dead.

Soon after this a son was born to Aponibolinayen, and she called his name Kanag. He grew rapidly, becoming a strong lad, and he was the bravest of all his companions. One day while Kanag was playing out in the yard, he spun his top and it struck the garbage pot of an old woman, who became very angry and cried:

"If you were a brave boy, you would get your father whom Gawigawen killed."

Kanag ran to the house crying, and asked his mother what the old woman meant, for he had never heard the story of his father's death. As soon as he learned what had happened, the boy determined to search for his father, and, try as she would, his mother could not dissuade him.

As he was departing through the gate of the town with his spear and head-ax, Kanag struck his shield and it sounded like a thousand warriors.

"How brave that boy is!" said the surprised people. "He is braver even than his father."

When he reached the spring of the giantess, he again struck his shield and shouted so that the whole world trembled. Then the giantess said:

"I believe that someone is going to fight, and he will have success."

As soon as Kanag reached the place where the old woman, Alokotan, lived, she sent her dog after him, but with one blow of his head-ax he cut off the dog's head. Then Alokotan asked where he was going, and when he had told her, she said:

"Your father is dead, but I believe that you will find him, for you have a good sign."

He hurried on and arrived at the place where lightning was, and it asked:

"Where are you going, little boy?"

"I am going to Adasen to get my father," answered Kanag.

"Go stand on that high rock that I may see what your sign is," said the lightning.

So he stood on the high rock, and when the bright flash came he did not move, and the lightning bade him hasten on, as he had a good sign.

The thunder, which saw him passing, also called to ask where he was going, and it commanded him to stand on the high rock. And when the thunder made a loud noise Kanag did not move, and it bade him go on, as his sign was good.

The women of Adasen were at the spring of Gawigawen dipping water, when suddenly they were startled by a great noise. They rose up, expecting to see a thousand warriors coming near; but though they looked all around they could see nothing but a young boy striking a shield.

"Good morning, women who are dipping water," said Kanag. "Tell Gawigawen that he must prepare, for I am coming to fight him."

So all the women ran up to the town and told Gawigawen that a strange boy was at the spring and he had come to fight.

"Go and tell him," said Gawigawen, "that if it is true that he is brave, he will come into the town, if he can."

When Kanag reached the high bank outside the town, he jumped like a flitting bird up the bank into the town and went straight to the spirit house of Gawigawen. He noticed that the roofs of both the dwelling and the spirit houses were of hair, and that around the town were many heads, [40] and he pondered:

"This is why my father did not return. Gawigawen is a brave man, but I will kill him."

As soon as Gawigawen saw him in the yard he said:

"How brave you are, little boy; why did you come here?"

"I came to get my father," answered Kanag; "for you kept him when he came to get oranges for my mother. If you do not give him to me, I will kill you."

Gawigawen laughed at this brave speech and said:

"Why, one of my fingers will fight you. You shall never go back to your town, but you shall stay here and be like your father."

"We shall see," said Kanag. "Bring your arms and let us fight here in the yard."

Gawigawen was beside himself with rage at this bold speech, and he brought his spear and his head-ax which was as big as half the sky. Kanag would not throw first, for he wanted to prove himself brave, so Gawigawen took aim and threw his head-ax at the boy. Now Kanag used magical power, so that he became an ant and was not hit by the weapon. Gawigawen laughed loudly when he looked around and could not see the boy, for he thought that he had been killed. Soon, however, Kanag reappeared, standing on the head-ax, and Gawigawen, more furious than ever, threw his spear. Again Kanag disappeared, and Gawigawen was filled with surprise.

Then it was Kanag's turn and his spear went directly through the body of the giant. He ran quickly and cut off five of the heads, [41] but the sixth he spared until Gawigawen should have shown him his father.

As they went about the town together, Kanag found that the skin of his father had been used for a drum-head. His hair decorated the house, and his head was at the gate of the town, while his body was put beneath the house. After he had gathered all the parts of the body together, Kanag used magical power, and his father came to life.

"Who are you?" asked Aponitolau; "how long have I slept?"

"I am your son," said Kanag. "You were not asleep but dead, and here is Gawigawen who kept you. Take my head-ax and cut off his remaining head."

So Aponitolau took the head-ax, but when he struck Gawigawen it did not injure him.

"What is the matter, Father?" asked Kanag; and taking the weapon he cut off the sixth head of Gawigawen.

Then Kanag and his father used magic so that the spears and head-axes flew about, killing all the people in the town, and the heads and valuable things went to their home.

When Aponibolinayen saw all these come into her house, she ran to look at the vine by the stove, and it was green and looked like a jungle. Then she knew that her son was alive, and she was happy. And when the father and son returned, all the relatives came to their house for a great feast, and all were so happy that the whole world smiled.

The Story of Gaygayoma who Lives up Above


One day, while Aponitolau sat weaving a basket under his house, he began to feel very hungry and longed for something sweet to chew. Then he remembered that his field was still unplanted. He called to his wife who was in the room above, and said: "Come, Aponibolinayen, let us go to the field and plant some sugar-cane."

So Aponibolinayen came down out of the house with a bamboo tube, [42] and while she went to the spring to fill it with water, Aponitolau made some cuttings, and they went together to the field, which was some distance from the house.

Aponitolau loosened the earth with his long stick [43] and set out the cuttings he had brought, while his wife sprinkled them with water from the bamboo tube. And when they had filled the field, they returned home, happy to think of the splendid cane they should have.

After seven days Aponitolau went back to the field to see if the plants had lived, and he found that the leaves were already long and pointed. This delighted him, and while he stood looking at it he grew impatient and determined to use his magical power so that the cane would grow very fast. In five days he again visited the field and found that the stalks were tall and ready to chew. He hurried home to tell Aponibolinayen how fast their plants had grown, and she was proud of her powerful husband.

Now about this time Gaygayoma, who was the daughter of Bagbagak, a big star, and Sinag, the moon, looked down from her home in the sky, and when she saw the tall sugar-cane growing below, she was seized with a desire to chew it. She called to her father, Bagbagak, and said:

"Oh, Father, please send the stars down to the earth to get some of the sugar-cane that I see, for I must have it to chew."

So Bagbagak sent the stars down, and when they reached the bamboo fence that was around the field they sprang over it, and each broke a stalk of the cane and pulled some beans which Aponibolinayen had planted, and the stems of these beans were of gold. Gaygayoma was delighted with the things that the stars brought her. She cooked the beans with the golden stems and spent long hours chewing the sweet cane. When all that the stars brought was gone, however, she grew restless and called to her father, the big star:

"Come, Father, and go with me to the place where the sugar-cane grows, for I want to see it now."

Bagbagak called many stars to accompany him, and they all followed Gaygayoma down to the place where the sugar-cane grew. Some sat on the bamboo fence, while others went to the middle of the field, and all ate as much as they wished.

The day following this, Aponitolau said to his wife:

"Aponibolinayen, I am going to the field to see if the bamboo fence is strong, for the carabao will try to get in to eat our sugar-cane."

So he set out, and when he reached the field and began looking along the fence to see if it was strong, he kept finding the stalks that the stars had chewed, and he knew that someone had been there. He went into the middle of the field, and there on the ground was a piece of gold, and he said to himself:

"How strange this is! I believe some beautiful girl must have chewed my cane. I will watch tonight, and maybe she will return for more."

As darkness came on he had no thought of returning home, but he made his meal of the sugar-cane, and then hid in the tall grass near the field to wait. By and by dazzling lights blinded his eyes, and when he could see again he was startled to find many stars falling from the sky, and soon he heard someone breaking the cane. Suddenly a star so large that it looked like a flame of fire fell into the field, and then a beautiful object near the fence took off her dress which looked like a star, and she appeared like the half of the rainbow.

Never had Aponitolau seen such sights; and for a while he lay shaking with fear.

"What shall I do?" he said to himself. "If I do not frighten these companions of the beautiful girl, they may eat me."

With a great effort he jumped up and frightened the stars till they all flew up, and when the pretty girl came looking for her dress she found Aponitolau sitting on it. [44] "You must forgive us," she said, "for your sugar-cane is very sweet, and we wanted some to chew."

"You are welcome to the sugar-cane," answered Aponitolau. "But now we must tell our names according to our custom, for it is bad for us to talk until we know each other's names."

Then he gave her some betel-nut and they chewed together, [45] and he said:

"Now it is our custom to tell our names."

"Yes," said she; "but you tell first"

"My name is Aponitolau and I am the husband of Aponibolinayen."

"I am Gaygayoma, the daughter of Bagbagak and Sinag up in the air," said the girl. "And now, Aponitolau, even though you have a wife, I am going to take you up to the sky, for I wish to marry you. If you are not willing to go, I shall call my companion stars to eat you."

Aponitolau shook with fear, for he knew now that the woman was a spirit; and as he dared not refuse, he promised to go with her. Soon after that the stars dropped a basket that Gaygayoma had ordered them to make, and Aponitolau stepped in with the lovely star and was drawn quickly through the air up to the sky. They were met on their arrival by a giant star whom Gaygayoma introduced as her father, and he told Aponitolau that he had acted wisely in coming, for had he objected, the other stars would have eaten him.

After Aponitolau had lived with the stars for some time, Gaygayoma asked him to prick between her last two fingers, and as he did so a beautiful baby boy popped out. They named him Takyayen, and he grew very fast and was strong.

All this time Aponitolau had never forgotten Aponibolinayen who, he knew, was searching for him on the earth, but he had been afraid to mention her to the stars. When the boy was three months old, however, he ventured to tell Gaygayoma of his wish to return to the earth.

At first she would not listen to him, but he pleaded so hard that at last she consented to let him go for one moon [46]. If he did not return at the end of that time, she said, she would send the stars to eat him. Then she called for the basket again, and they were lowered to the earth. There Aponitolau got out, but Gaygayoma and the baby returned to the sky.

Aponibolinayen was filled with joy at the sight of her husband once more, for she had believed him dead, and she was very thin from not eating while he was away. Never did she tire of listening to his stories of his life among the stars, and so happy was she to have him again that when the time came for him to leave she refused to let him go.

That night many stars came to the house. Some stood in the windows, while others stayed outside by the walls; and they were so bright that the house appeared to be on fire.

Aponitolau was greatly frightened, and he cried out to his wife:

"You have done wrong to keep me when I should have gone. I feared that the stars would eat me if I did not obey their command, and now they have come. Hide me, or they will get me."

But before Aponibolinayen could answer, Bagbagak himself called out:

"Do not hide from us, Aponitolau, for we know that you are in the corner of the house. Come out or we shall eat you."

Trembling with fear, Aponitolau appeared, and when the stars asked him if he was willing to go with them he dared not refuse.

Now Gaygayoma had grown very fond of Aponitolau, and she had commanded the stars not to harm him if he was willing to return to her. So when he gave his consent, they put him in the basket and flew away with him, leaving Aponibolinayen very sad and lonely. After that Aponitolau made many trips to the earth, but at Gaygayoma's command he always returned to the sky to spend part of the time with her.

One day when Takyayen was a little boy, Aponitolau took him down to the earth to see his half-brother, Kanag. The world was full of wonders to the boy from the sky, and he wanted to stay there always. But after some time while he and Kanag were playing out in the yard, big drops of water began to fall on them. Kanag ran to his mother and cried:

"Oh, Mother, it is raining, and the sun is shining brightly!"

But Aponitolau, looking out, said, "No, they are the tears of Gaygayoma, for she sees her son down below, and she weeps for him."

Then he took Takyayen back to his mother in the sky, and she was happy again.

After that Takyayen was always glad when he was allowed to visit the earth, but each time when his mother's tears began to fall, he returned to her. When he was old enough, Aponitolau selected a wife for him, and after that Takyayen always lived on the earth, but Gaygayoma stayed in the sky.

The Story of Dumalawi


Aponitolau and Aponibolinayen had a son whose name was Dumalawi. [47] When the son had become a young man, his father one day was very angry with him, and tried to think of some way in which to destroy him. The next morning he said to Dumalawi:

"Son, sharpen your knife, and we will go to the forest to cut some bamboo."

So Dumalawi sharpened his knife and went with his father to the place where the bamboo grew, and they cut many sticks and sharpened them like spears at the end.

Dumalawi wondered why they made them thus, but when they had finished, Aponitolau said:

"Now, Son, you throw them at me, so that we can see which is the braver."

"No, Father," answered Dumalawi. "You throw first, if you want to kill me."

So Aponitolau threw the bamboo sticks one by one at his son, but he could not hit him. Then it was the son's turn to throw, but he said:

"No, I cannot. You are my father, and I do not want to kill you."

So they went home. But Dumalawi was very sorrowful, for he knew now that his father wanted to destroy him. When his mother called him to dinner he could not eat.

Although he had been unsuccessful in his first attempt, Aponitolau did not give up the idea of getting rid of his son, and the next day he said:

"Come, Dumalawi, we will go to our little house in the field [48] and repair it, so that it will be a protection when the rainy season sets in."

The father and son went together to the field, and when they reached the little house, Aponitolau, pointing to a certain spot in the ground, said:

"Dig there, and you will find a jar of basi [49] which I buried when I was a boy. It will be very good to drink now."

Dumalawi dug up the jar and they tasted the wine, and it was so pleasing to them that they drank three cocoanut shells full, and Dumalawi became drunk. While his son lay asleep on the ground, Aponitolau decided that this was a good time to destroy him, so he used his magical power and there arose a great storm which picked up Dumalawi in his sleep and carried him far away. And the father went home alone.

Now when Dumalawi awoke, he was in the middle of a field so wide that whichever way he looked, he could not see the end. There were neither trees nor houses in the field and no living thing except himself. And he felt a great loneliness.

By and by he used his magical power, and many betel-nuts grew in the field, and when they bore fruit it was covered with gold,

"This is good," said Dumalawi, "for I will scatter these betel-nuts and they shall become people, [50] who will be my neighbors."

So in the middle of the night he cut the gold-covered betel-nuts into many small pieces which he scattered in all directions. And in the early morning, when he awoke, he heard many people talking around the house, and many roosters crowed. Then Dumalawi knew that he had companions, and upon going out he walked about where the people were warming themselves [51] by fires in their yards, and he visited them all.

In one yard was a beautiful maiden, Dapilisan, and after Dumalawi had talked with her and her parents, he went on to the other yards, but she was ever in his thoughts. As soon as he had visited all the people, he returned to the house of Dapilisan and asked her parents if he might marry her. They were unwilling at first, for they feared that the parents of Dumalawi might not like it; but after he had explained that his father and mother did not want him, they gave their consent, and Dapilisan became his bride.

Soon after the marriage they decided to perform a ceremony [52] for the spirits. So Dapilisan sent for the betel-nuts which were covered with gold, [53] and when they were brought to her, she said:

"You betel-nuts that are covered with gold, come here and oil yourselves and go and invite all the people in the world to come to our ceremony."

So the betel-nuts oiled themselves and went to invite the people in the different towns.

Soon after this Aponibolinayen, the mother of Dumalawi, sat alone in her house, still mourning the loss of her son, when suddenly she was seized with a desire to chew betel-nut.

"What ails me?" she said to herself; "why do I want to chew? I had not intended to eat anything while Dumalawi was away."

So saying, she took down her basket that hung on the wall, and saw in it a betel-nut covered with gold, and when she was about to cut it, it said:

"Do not cut me, for I have come to invite you to the ceremony which Dumalawi and his wife are to make."

Aponibolinayen was very happy, for she knew now that her son still lived, and she told all the people to wash their hair and prepare to go to the rite. So they washed their clothes and their hair and started for the home of Dumalawi; and Aponitolau, the father of the boy, followed, but he looked like a crazy man. When the people reached the river near the town, Dumalawi sent alligators to take them across, but when Aponitolau got on the alligator's back it dived, and he was thrown back upon the bank of the river. All the others were carried safely over, and Aponitolau, who was left on the bank alone, shouted as if crazy until Dumalawi sent another alligator to carry him across.

Then Dumalawi had food brought [54] and Dapilisan passed basi in a little jar that looked like a fist, [55] and though each guest drank a cupful of the sweet wine the little jar was still a third full. After they had eaten and drunk, Aponibolinayen spoke, and, telling all the people that she was glad to have Dapilisan for a daughter-in-law, added:

"Now we are going to pay the marriage price [56] according to our custom. We shall fill the spirit house [57] nine times with different kinds of jars."

Then she called, "You spirits [58] who live in different springs, get the jars which Dumalawi must pay as a marriage price for Dapilisan,"

The spirits did as they were commanded, and when they brought the jars and had filled the spirit house nine times, Aponibolinayen said to the parents of Dapilisan:

"I think that now we have paid the price for your daughter."

But Dalonagan, the mother of Dapilisan, was not satisfied, and said:

"No, there is still more to pay."

"Very well," replied Aponibolinayen. "Tell us what it is and we will pay it."

Then Dalonagan called a pet spider and said:

"You big spider, go all around the town, and as you go spin a thread [59] on which Aponibolinayen must string golden beads." So the spider spun the thread and Aponibolinayen again called to the spirits of the springs, and they brought golden beads which they strung on the thread. Then Dalonagan hung on the thread, and when it did not break she declared that the debt was all paid.

After this the people feasted and made merry, and when at last they departed for home Dumalawi refused to go with his parents, but remained with his wife in the town he had created.

The Story of Kanag


When the rice [60] had grown tall and it was near the time for it to ripen, Aponitolau and Aponibolinayen grew fearful lest the wild pigs should break in and destroy all their crop, so they sent their son, Kanag, to the field to guard the grain. Kanag willingly went to the place, but when he found that the fences were all strong so that the pigs could not get in, and he was left with nothing to do, life in the little watch-house [61] grew lonely, and the boy became very unhappy.

Each day Aponitolau carried cooked rice and meat to his son in the field, but Kanag could not eat and always bade his father hang it in the watch-house until he should want it Each time Aponitolau found the food of the day before still untouched, and he began to suspect that the boy was unhappy at having to guard the grain. But he said nothing of his fears to Aponibolinayen.

One day after his father had returned home, Kanag was so lonely that he used his magical power and became a little bird and flew up into the top of a tree. The next day when Aponitolau came to the field he looked everywhere for his son, and when he could not find him he called, and from the top of a bamboo tree a little bird answered him. Realizing what had happened, the father was very sad and begged his son to come back and be a boy again, but Kanag only answered:

"I would rather be a bird [62] and carry the messages of the spirits to the people."

At last the father went home alone, and he and the boy's mother were filled with grief that they had lost their son.

Some time after this, Aponitolau prepared to go out to fight. He took his spear and shield and head-ax and started early one morning, but when he reached the gate of the town, Kanag flew over him, giving him a bad sign, so he turned back. The next morning he started again, and this time the little bird gave him a good sign, and knowing that nothing would injure him, he went on.

After a long journey he reached a hostile town where the people said they were glad to see him, and added that because he was the first of his people who had dared to enter their town they intended to keep him there.

"Oh," said Aponitolau, "if you say that I cannot return home, call all your people together and we will fight."

"You are very brave," answered his enemies, "if you wish to fight us all."

And when the people had gathered together they laughed at him and said, "Why, one of our fingers would fight you."

Nevertheless, Aponitolau prepared to fight, and when the bravest of the enemy threw his spear and head-ax at him he jumped and escaped. They noticed that he jumped very high, so they all ran at him, throwing their spears and trying to kill him.

But Aponitolau caught all their weapons, and then while they were unarmed he threw his own spear, and it flew about among them until it had killed them all. Then he sent his head-ax, and it cut off all the heads of the enemy; and he used magical power so that these heads went to his home in Kadalayapan.

After that Aponitolau sat down by the gate of the town to rest, and the little bird, flying over his head, called down:

"The sign that I gave you was good, Father, and you have killed all your enemies."

"Yes," said the man, and as he started on the home-ward journey the little bird always flew near him. When he reached home, he stuck the heads around the town, [63] and commanded the people to go out all over the world and invite everyone and especially the pretty girls to come to a party in celebration of his victory.

The people came from all parts of the world, and while they played on the gongs and danced, Aponitolau called to Kanag and said:

"Come down, my son; do not stay always in the tops of the trees. Come and see the pretty girls and see which one you want to marry. Get the golden cup and give them basi to drink."

But Kanag answered, "I would rather stay in the tops of the trees and give the signs when anyone goes to fight."

Then the father and mother pleaded with him to become a boy once more, begging his forgiveness and promising never again to send him to guard the rice. But he would not listen to them, and only flew away.

Finding that they could not win him that way, Aponitolau and Aponibolinayen called the spirit servants, and commanded them to follow Kanag wherever he went, and to find a girl whom he would want to marry. So the spirit servants went after him, and wherever he went they followed.

By and by they stopped near a well, and there the spirit servants used magic so that all the pretty girls nearby felt very hot; and in the early morning, they came to the well to bathe. One among them was so beautiful that she looked like a flame of fire [64] among the betel-nut blossoms, and when the servants saw her washing her hair they ran to Kanag and begged him to come and see her. At first he would not listen to them, but after a while he flew into the top of a betel-nut tree near by, and when he caught sight of her, he flew into the tree above her head.

"But," said he to the servants, "what can I do if I become a man now, for I have no clothes and no head-band?"

"Do not worry about that," said the spirit servants, "for we have everything here for you."

So Kanag became a man and put on the clothes and head-band, and he went to speak to the girl. He gave her betel-nut, and they chewed together, and he said:

"My name is Kanag and I am the son of Aponitolau and Aponibolinayen."

Then the girl said: "My name is Dapilisan and I am the daughter of Bangan and Dalonagan."

When Dapilisan went home Kanag followed her, and he told her parents his name and how he had changed into a little bird. And when he had finished he asked if he might marry their daughter. Bangan and his wife were greatly pleased that Kanag wanted Dapilisan for his wife, but they were afraid that his parents might object, so they sent a messenger to invite Aponitolau and Aponibolinayen to come to visit them.

As soon as Kanag's parents heard that their son had become a man they were very happy and started at once to go to him, carrying many fine presents. Before arrangements for the wedding could be made, it was necessary to decide on the price to be paid for the girl. A long discussion took place. Bangan and Dalonagan finally said that the spirit house must be filled nine times with different kinds of jars.

When this was done Dalonagan raised her eyebrows, and half of the jars disappeared. Aponibolinayen used her magical power and the spirit house was filled again, and then Dalonagan said to her:

"Now the web of the spider shall be put around the town and you must put gold beads on it. If it does not break, Kanag may marry Dapilisan."

When Aponibolinayen had put the gold beads on the thread, Dalonagan hung on it to see if it would hold. As it did not break, she declared that the sign was good; and Kanag and Dapilisan were married.

Then the people played on the copper gongs, danced, and made merry for a long time, and when they returned to their homes Kanag and his bride went with Aponitolau and Aponibolinayen.

The Story of the Tikgi


"Tikgi, tikgi, tikgi, we will come to work for you. Let us cut your rice."

Ligi [65] had gone to the field to look at his growing rice, but when he heard this sound he looked up and was surprised to see some birds circling above and calling to him.

"Why, you cannot cut rice," said Ligi. "You are birds and know only how to fly."

But the birds insisted that they knew how to cut rice; so finally he told them to come again when the grain was ripe, and they flew away.

No sooner had the birds gone than Ligi was filled with a great desire to see them again. As he went home he wished over and over that his rice were ready to cut. As soon as Ligi left the field the tikgi birds began using magic so that the rice grew rapidly, and five days later when he returned he found the birds there ready to cut the ripened grain. Ligi showed them where to begin cutting, and then he left them.

When he was out of sight, the tikgi said to the rice cutters:

"Rice cutters, you cut the rice alone." And to the bands which were lying nearby they said: "Bands, you tie into bundles the rice which the cutters cut"

And the rice cutters and the bands worked alone, doing as they were told.

When Ligi went again to the field in the afternoon, the tikgi said:

"Come, Ligi, and see what we have done, for we want to go home now."

Ligi was amazed, for he saw five hundred bundles of rice cut. And he said:

"Oh, Tikgi, take all the rice you wish in payment, for I am very grateful to you."

Then the tikgi each took one head of rice, saying it was all they could carry, and they flew away.

The next morning when Ligi reached the field, he found the birds already there and he said:

"Now, Tikgi, cut the rice as fast as you can, for when it is finished I will make a ceremony for the spirits, and you must come."

"Yes," replied the tikgi, "and now we shall begin the work, but you do not need to stay here."

So Ligi went home and built a rice granary to hold his grain, and when he returned to the field the rice was all cut. Then the tikgi said: "We have cut all your rice, Ligi, so give us our pay, and when you go home the rice will all be in your granary."

Ligi wondered at this, and when he reached home and saw that his granary was full of rice, he doubted if the tikgi could be real birds.

Not long after this Ligi invited all his relatives from the different towns to help him make the ceremony for the spirits. [66] As soon as the people arrived, the tikgi came also; and they flew over the people's heads and made them drink basi until they were drunk. Then they said to Ligi:

"We are going home now; it is not good for us to stay here, for we cannot sit among the people."

When they started home Ligi followed them until they came to the bana-asi tree, and here he saw them take off their feathers and put them in the rice granary. Then suddenly they became one beautiful maiden.

"Are you not the tikgi who came to cut my rice?" asked Ligi. "You look to me like a beautiful maiden."

"Yes," she replied; "I became tikgi and cut rice for you, for otherwise you would not have found me." Ligi took her back to his house where the people were making the ceremony, and as soon as they saw her they began chewing the magic betel-nuts to find who she might be.

The quid [67] of Ebang and her husband and that of the tikgi went together, so they knew that she was their daughter who had disappeared from their house one day long ago while they were in the fields. In answer to their many questions, she told them that she had been in the bana-asi tree, where Kaboniyan [68] had carried her, until the day that she changed herself into the tikgi birds and went to the field of Ligi.

Ligi was very fond of the beautiful girl and he asked her parents if he might marry her. They were very willing and decided on a price he should pay. After the wedding all the people remained at his house, feasting and dancing for three months.

The Story of Sayen [69]


In the depths of a dark forest where people seldom went, lived a wizened old Alan. [70] The skin on her wrinkled face was as tough as a carabao hide, and her long arms with fingers pointing back from the wrist were horrible to look at. Now this frightful creature had a son whose name was Sayen, and he was as handsome as his mother was ugly. He was a brave man, also, and often went far away alone to fight.

On these journeys Sayen sometimes met beautiful girls, and though he wanted to marry, he could not decide upon one. Hearing that one Danepan was more beautiful than any other, he determined to go and ask her to be his wife.

Now Danepan was very shy, and when she heard that Sayen was coming to her house she hid behind the door and sent her servant, Laey, out to meet him. And so it happened that Sayen, not seeing Danepan, married Laey, thinking that she was her beautiful mistress. He took her away to a house he had built at the edge of the forest, for though he wished to be near his old home, he dared not allow his bride to set eyes on his ugly mother.

For some time they lived happily together here, and then one day when Sayen was making a plow under his house, he heard Laey singing softly to their baby in the room above, and this is what she sang:

"Sayen thinks I am Danepan, but Laey I am. Sayen thinks I am Danepan, but Laey I am."

When Sayen heard this he knew that he had been deceived, and he pondered long what he should do.

The next morning he went to the field to plow, for it was near the rice-planting time. Before he left the house he called to his wife:

"When the sun is straight above, you and the baby bring food to me, for I shall be busy in the field."

Before he began to plow, however, he cut the bamboo supports of the bridge which led to the field, so that when Laey and the baby came with his food, they had no sooner stepped on the bridge than it went down with them and they were drowned. Sayen was again free. He took his spear and his shield and head-ax and went at once to the town of Danepan, and there he began killing the people on all sides.

Terror spread through the town. No one could stop his terrible work of destruction until Danepan came down out of her house, and begged him to spare part of the people that she might have some from whom to borrow fire. [71] Her great beauty amazed him and he ceased killing, and asked her to prepare some betel-nut for him to chew, as he was very tired. She did so, and when he had chewed the nut he spat on the people he had killed and they came to life again. Then he married Danepan and took her to his home.

Now it happened about this time that the people of Magosang were in great trouble. At the end of a successful hunt, while they were dividing the meat among themselves, the Komow, [72] a murderous spirit that looks like a man, would come to them and ask how many they had caught. If they answered, "Two," then he would say that he had caught two also; and when they went home, they would find two people in the town dead. As often as they went to hunt the Komow did this, and many of the people of Magosang were dead and those living were in great fear. Finally they heard of the brave man, Sayen, and they begged him to help them. Sayen listened to all they told, and then said:

"I will go with you to hunt, and while you are dividing the meat, I will hide behind the trees. When the Komow comes to ask how many deer you have, he will smell me, but you must say that you do not know where I am,"

So the people went to hunt, and when they had killed two deer, they singed them over a fire and began to divide them. Just then the Komow arrived and said:

"How many have you?"

"We have two," replied the people.

"I have two also," said the Komow, "but I smell Sayen."

"We do not know where Sayen is," answered the people; and just then he sprang out and killed the Komow, and the people were greatly relieved.

Now when Kaboniyan, [73] a great spirit, heard what Sayen had done, he went to him and said:

"Sayen you are a brave man because you have killed the Komow, Tomorrow I will fight with you. You must remain on the low ground by the river, and I will go to the hill above."

So the following day Sayen went to the low ground by the river. He had not waited long before he heard a great sound like a storm, and he knew that Kaboniyan was coming. He looked up, and there stood the great warrior, poising his spear which was as large as a big tree.

"Are you brave, Sayen?" called he in a voice like thunder as he threw the weapon.

"Yes," answered Sayen, and he caught the spear.

This surprised Kaboniyan, and he threw his head-ax which was as large as the roof of a house, and Sayen caught that also. Then Kaboniyan saw that this was indeed a brave man, and he went down to Sayen and they fought face to face until both were tired, but neither could overcome the other.

When Kaboniyan saw that in Sayen he had found one as strong and brave even as himself, he proposed that they go together to fight the people of different towns. And they started out at once. Many people were killed by this strong pair, and why they themselves could never be captured was a great mystery. For it was not known that one was the spirit Kaboniyan, and the other the son of an Alan.

If he was surrounded in a river, Sayen would become a fish [74] and hide so that people could not find him. And if he was entrapped in a town, he would become a chicken and go under the house in a chicken-coop. In this way he escaped many times.

Finally one night after he had killed many in one town, the people decided to watch him, and they saw him go to roost with the chickens. The next day they placed a fish trap under the house near the chicken-coop, and that night when Sayen went under the house he was caught in the trap and killed.

The Sun and the Moon


Once the Sun and the Moon quarreled with each other, and the Sun said:

"You are only the Moon and are not much good. If I did not give you light, you would be no good at all."

But the Moon answered:

"You are only the Sun, and you are very hot. The women like me better, for when I shine at night, they go out doors and spin."

These words of the Moon made the Sun so angry that he threw sand in her face, and you can still see the dark spots on the face of the Moon.

How the Tinguian Learned to Plant


In the very old times the Tinguian did not know how to plant and harvest as they now do. For food they had only the things that grew in the forests and fish from the streams. Neither did they know how to cure people who became ill or were injured by evil spirits, and many died who might otherwise have lived. [75]

Then Kadaklan, the Great Spirit who lives in the sky, saw that the people often were hungry and sick, and he sent one of his servants, Kaboniyan, to the earth to teach them many things. And it happened this way:

Dayapan, a woman who lived in Caalang, had been sick for seven years. One day when she went to the spring to bathe, there entered her body a spirit who had rice and sugar-cane with him, and he said to her:

"Dayapan, take these to your home and plant them in the ground, and after a while they will grow large enough to reap. Then when they are ripe, build a granary to put the rice in until you shall need it, and a sugar-press to crush the cane. And when these are finished, make the ceremony Sayung, and you will be well."

Dayapan was filled with wonder at these strange things, but she took the rice and the sugar-cane and went home as she was commanded. While she was trying to plant them in the ground the Spirit again entered her body and showed her just what to do. Since then the Tinguian have planted crops every year, and because they do as Kaboniyan [76] taught the woman they have plenty to eat.

When Dayapan had reaped the first rice and cane, she began to make the ceremony Sayung, and the Spirit came again and directed her. And when it was finished and she was cured, he told her to take a dog and a cock and go to bathe in the river as a sign that the ceremony was finished. So she went to the river and tied the dog and the cock near the water, but while she was bathing the dog ate the cock.

Dayapan wept bitterly at this and waited a long time for Kaboniyan, and when at last he came, he said:

"If the dog had not killed the cock, no person would die when you make this ceremony; but this is a sign, and now some will die and some will get well."

Dayapan called all the people together, and told them the things that the spirit had taught her; and they could see that she had been made well. After that, when people became ill they called Dayapan to treat them. And it was as the Spirit had said; some died and others were made well.



A great many years ago some Tinguian left their little village in the valley early one morning and made their way toward the mountains. They were off on a deer hunt, [77] and each carried his spear and head-ax, while one held in leash a string of lean dogs eager for the chase.

Part way up the mountainside the dogs were freed, and the men separated, going different ways in search of game. But ere long the sharp barking of a dog called all in his direction, for they believed that he had a deer at bay. As they approached the spot, however, the object did not look like a deer, and as they drew nearer they were surprised to find that it was a large jar. [78]

Filled with curiosity they pressed on, but the jar evaded them. Faster and faster they ran, but the object, disappearing at times and then coming into view again, always escaped them. On and on they went until at last, tired out, they sat down on a wooded hill to rest and to refresh themselves with betel-nut which they took from brass boxes attached to their belts.

As they slowly cut the nuts and wrapped them in the lime and leaf ready for chewing, they talked of nothing but the wonderful jar and the mysterious power it possessed. Then just as they were about to put the tempting morsels into their mouths they stopped, startled by a strange soft voice which seemed to be near them. They turned and listened, but could see no person.

"Find a pig which has no young," said the voice, "and take its blood, for then you will be able to catch the jar which your dog pursued."

The men knew then that the mysterious jar belonged to a spirit, so they hastened to do as the voice commanded, and when they had secured the blood the dog again brought the jar to bay. The hunters tried to seize it, but it entered a hole in the ground and disappeared. They followed, and found themselves in a dark cave [79] where it was easy to catch the jar, for there was no outlet save by the hole through which they had entered.

Though that was many years ago, the jar still lives, and its name is Magsawi. Even now it talks; but some years ago a crack appeared in its side, and since then its language has not been understood by the Tinguian. [80]

Sometimes Magsawi goes on long journeys alone when he visits his wife, a jar in Ilocos Norte, or his child, a small jar in San Quintin; but he always returns to Domayco on the hillside near the cave.

The Tree with the Agate Beads


More than a hundred seasons ago, a Tinguian went one day to the mountains to hunt. Accompanied by his faithful dog, he made his way steadily up the mountain side, only halting where it was necessary to cut a path through the jungle. And the dog ran here and there searching in the thick underbrush.

On and on he went without seeing any game, and then, when he was almost at the top of the highest peak, the dog gave a sharp yelp, and out of the brush leaped a fine deer. Zip! went the man's spear, and it pierced the animal's side. For an instant he waited, but the deer did not fall. On it ran with unslackened speed, and a moment later it plunged into a hole in the ground with the man and dog in close pursuit.

A short distance from the entrance the cave opened out into large, spacious rooms, and before he realized it the man was hopelessly lost In the distance he could hear the baying of the dog, and with no other guide he hurried on through the darkness.

Following the sound, he went for a long time from one unfamiliar room to another, stumbling in the darkness and striking against the stone walls, and then suddenly his outstretched hands grasped a small tree on which berries grew.

Astonished at finding anything growing in this dark place, he broke off a branch, and as he did so the shrub began to talk in a strange language. Terrified, the man ran in the direction he had last heard the dog, and a moment later he found himself in the open air on the banks of the Abra River, with the dead deer at his feet.

When he examined the twig which he still held in his hand, he saw to his great surprise that the berries were agate beads of great value. [81] And packing the deer on his back, he hastened home where he told his wonderful story.

The sight of the beautiful beads convinced the people that he told the truth, and a number of men at once returned with him to secure the tree.

Their quest, however, was unsuccessful, for ere they reached the spot the evil spirit had taken the tree away and on the walls of the cave it had made strange carvings which even to this day can be seen.

The Striped Blanket


Three Tinguian once went to the mountains to hunt deer. They took their blankets with them, for they expected to be gone several days, and the nights in the mountains are cold.

The blankets of two of the men were of the blue-and-white designs such as are commonly worn by the Tinguian, but that of the third was covered with red and yellow stripes like the back of a little wild pig.

At night the men rolled up in their blankets and lay down under a tree to sleep; but while the one in the striped blanket was still awake two spirits came near and saw him.

"Oh," he heard one spirit say to the other, "here we have something to eat, for here is a little wild pig."

Then the man quickly took the blanket off one of his sleeping companions and put his own in its place. Very soon the spirits came and ate the man under the striped blanket.

Since that time the Tinguian never sleep under that kind of a blanket if they are where the spirits can get them.

The Alan and the Hunters


Two men once went to hunt wild pig in the mountains, and after some time they speared and killed one, but they had no fire over which to singe it.

One man climbed a tree to see if there was a fire near by, and discovering smoke at some distance, he started toward it. When he reached the place, he found that the fire was in the house of an Alan, [82] and he was very much afraid; but creeping up into the house, he found that the Alan and her baby were fast asleep.

He stepped on tip-toe, but nevertheless the Alan was awakened and called out:

"Epogow, [83] what do you want?"

"I should like to get some fire," said the man, "for we have killed a wild pig."

The Alan gave him the fire, and then taking her basket she went with him to the place where the pig was.

After they had singed the animal, the Alan cut it up with her long nails and handed the liver to the man, telling him to take it to her house to feed the baby.

The man started, and on the way he ate the liver. When he reached the Alan's house he did not know what to do. For some time he looked around, and then seeing a large caldron of hot water on the fire, he threw the baby into it and went back.

"Did the baby eat well?" asked the Alan.

"Very well," said the man.

Then she put most of the meat into her basket and started home. As soon as she had gone, the man told his companion what he had done, and they were so frightened that they ran to hide.

When the Alan reached home and found the baby dead in the hot water, she was very angry and started back immediately to find the men, who, in the meantime, had climbed a high tree that stood near the water.

The Alan looked down into the water, and seeing the reflection of the men, she reached in her long hand with the fingers that pointed backward, but when she could not touch them, she looked up and saw them in the tall tree.

"How did you get up there?" she cried angrily.

"We climbed up feet first," called down the men.

The Alan, determined to get them, caught hold of a vine and started up the tree feet first, but before she quite reached them, they cut the vine and she fell to the ground and was killed. [84]

Then the men came down and went to the Alan's house, where they found a jar full of beads and another of gold, and these they brought with them when they returned home.

Man and the Alan


A Tinguian was once walking along a trail in the wood when he heard a strange sound in a large tree near him, and looking up he was startled to see that it was the home of the Alan—spirits who live in the wood.

He stopped and gazed for a moment at the horrible creatures, large as people, hanging from the limbs of the tree with their heads down like bats. They had wings to fly, and their toes were at the back of their feet, while their long fingers, which pointed backward, were fastened at the wrist.

"Surely," thought the man, "these terrible beings will eat me if they can catch me. I will run away as fast as I can while they are asleep." He tried to run but he was too frightened, and after a few steps he fell face down on the ground.

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