Manobo Folktales

Folklore by | April 17, 2016

Editor’s Note: Continuing this month’s series on Mindanao folklore,‭ ‬we present this week‭ “‬Manobo Folktales‭” compiled by‭ ‬Cebella T.‭ ‬Guintaos and published in Tambara Vol.‭ ‬XVII in December‭ ‬2000.‭ ‬This article was retrieved and encoded as part of a document digitization project of Ateneo de Davao University.

Serpents‭ ‬/‭ ‬Ka Uled‭

There was an old couple who had no children.‭ ‬They possessed the power of foretelling the future,‭ ‬so their followers believed them.‭ ‬That time there was a famine.‭ ‬All of them experienced starvation and many of them died.‭ ‬The famine became so severe with the burning of forests.‭ ‬All people and animals suffered from hunger.‭ ‬Many also suffered from different kinds of illness.

While the famine intensified,‭ ‬the spirit entered into the old woman.

The spirit through this woman said that something fearful was about to come.‭ ‬It would look frightening but this would help them in many ways.‭ ‬That time really came as told by the old woman,‭ ‬and the people were shaken when they heard a sound.

The old woman saw them,‭ ‬and so she warned them to stop and not to go away.‭ ‬Then that frightful thing approached them.

The old man also looked at it and he saw a big animal with horns and ears.‭ ‬It looked as though it was panting and wet.

The old man touched the old woman,‭ ‬and he pointed to that frightful thing.‭ ‬The old woman also looked at it,‭ ‬and she said that they would just wait for it.

Then she told the people that they should just watch it for God was with them.

When that big frightful thing finally arrived,‭ ‬it was seen as a big serpent.

That was what the old folks called before as‭ “‬Tendayag.‭” ‬It looked fearful but it could help the people.

When it got near them,‭ ‬they saw the different types of fish jumping alive around the scales of the serpent’s body.

The old woman said,‭ “‬You get near it,‭ ‬and you pick up some fish.‭”

They picked up plenty because their baskets were filled.‭ ‬The serpent continued crawling until it reached the place of Kituved.

Some people followed the serpent.‭ ‬When it reached Kituved,‭ ‬it raised its head to find out if somebody would answer if it would shout.

The people projected that the answer might come somewhere from the Merepangi waterfall,‭ ‬and the serpent went there.‭ ‬It lowered its body,‭ ‬and it really showed how big it was because the earth eroded.‭ ‬That is why that mountain is called‭ “‬Kimenembag‭” ‬or eroded.

It left the area and moved towards Merepengi.

When it arrived,‭ ‬it crawled under the waterfall.‭ ‬The foaming bubbles made it obvious that the two had finally met.‭ ‬Blood and rotten leaves of trees floated in the water.

Not long after,‭ ‬one came out and then the other one followed.‭ ‬They came out and talked to each other as serpents.

“We will take off our serpent’s cloak because we are both humans.‭” “‬Yes,‭” ‬said the other one.

And they turned into human beings.‭ ‬Now,‭ ‬they faced each other and each held a weapon.‭ ‬As they faced each other,‭ ‬they stared at each.

One said,‭ “‬Are you Menelism‭?”

“Why,‭ ‬are you Bete-ey‭?”

They both answered,‭ “‬Yes‭!”

“Since you are Menelism,‭ ‬you go back to heaven‭; ‬while I will stay here on earth,‭” ‬said Bete-ey who was his brother,‭ “‬for I will help and teach righteousness to the people.‭”
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Subanon Folktales

Folklore by | April 10, 2016

Editor’s Note: These folk tales are reprinted, with permission, from the article “Subanun Folklore” written by Dr. Gaudiosa M. Ochotorena and published in Tambara Vol. XVII in December 2000. The Subanun are an ethnic group based in Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte. They are descendants of the first wave of Eurasian immigrants from what is now Indonesia. This article was retrieved and encoded as part of a document digitization project of Ateneo de Davao University.

Legend of the First Crocodile / Ag Teriponan Neg Mona Buwaya

Many years ago in the village of Gayan, Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte, there lived a widow. She was a weaver named Logoloqan. She had only one son.

One day, Logoloqan took a bath in the river. After her bath, she was surprised to see a fish scale on her feet. She continued taking a bath everyday since she always felt very warm. She was surprised to note that every time she took a bath, another fish scale grew on her body.

Finally, when she had so many scales all over, she told her son that she could no longer stay in their house. She requested her son to build a fence by the bank of the river where she could live. With tears in his eyes and sadness in his heart, the poor boy obeyed his mother. So by the river bank Logoloqan lived by herself.

There she again requested her son to tell the Timuway and his followers not to throw any dead animal into the river. At this, the Timuway got angry and asked one of his slaves to throw a dead fowl over her fence instead. Logoloqan caught the dead animal in her mouth and broke out of her fence. She bade good-bye to her son and swam away into the river. There she wandered and became the first crocodile.

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The Blind and the Cripple

Folklore by , | September 30, 2012

There was a pregnant woman whose husband died. She lived in their small house alone. When she gave birth, she was shocked because she gave birth to seven baby boys. Days passed and the woman realized that all of the babies were blind, so she did everything to raise them well.

When the children were old enough, the woman told her children she would teach them how to look for food so that when she died, they would be able to know which fruits were safe to eat. The seven boys held each other’s hands as they followed their mother.

She let her children touch and get familiar with corn, sweet potato, sugar cane, banana, and other crops. Then finally, she introduced them to the coconut plant. “At the top of the tree are round hard fruits. When you open the fruit, you can drink the water and eat the flesh,” said the woman.

They went back to their hut. The woman rested because she was having a severe headache. When the children touched their mother, they realized that she had died. Since they were blind, they decided to leave their hut because they wouldn’t be able to bury the body.

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Folklore by , , , , , | May 29, 2011

An Obo Manobo folk tale in Bisaya, with English translation

Kani si Tuwaang, tao jod na siya. Ang lugar nga gipuy-an niya dri sa Arakan Valley. May abyan na siya nga gitawag nga anito. Kani iyang anito, gamhanan kaysa uban nga anito. Ug siya gitawag nga bahani. Kanang manggugubat gani, daghan ni siyag napatay. Ug wa gyoy makalabaw sa iya.

Unya sa kadugayan nga panahon, gusto sa iyang abyan nga anito, nga pasakaon na siya paingon sa langit. Daghan siyag mga kauban. Pamilya niya, mga igsoon, mga bayaw niya. Pero kinahanglan na kanang iyang batasan sinsero jod kaayo nga walay bisan unsa pa nga hunahunaon. Pati sa mga panginabuhi nga kalibotanon kay dili makapahinunob sa gingharian sa langit. Mao na iyang mensahe.

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Yang Agta / The Giant

Folklore by | October 7, 2007

Narrated by Patrocinio Lemente , 48 years old, Bangaga, Davao Oriental

Awon adlaw na ako yakadto sang suba dapit sang kawakatan. Yamunit ako ng daro-daro mga alas dos ng dum da. Pagpamunit ko ng daro-daro sang isa isa ka oras yatinga ako yawa ing kanak mga timaan. Doon tungod ng kyahuna-hunaan ing Ginoo. Yanguros ako tapos kalit ko kit-an ing agta. Mga siete ing kataas, mahaba ing buhok, bagas na mapuwa ing mata, tapos yagahinukot. Pagtanaw ko sang awog iyan ing baroto, yusakay dayon ako wa da ako lingi, yudiretso lang ako pagtabok sang awog. Gikan sidto di da ako mag-kadto sang suba.

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Yang Itlog / The Egg

Folklore by | October 7, 2007

Narrated in Mandaya by Lucia Minglana, 83 years old, Baganga, Davao Oriental

Awon mag-asawa na yaminyo ng diyes ka tuig way anak. Pagkuan yangayo silan ng anak sang ginoo. Pagkautaw ing yautaw kay itlog. Ibutang nilan sang lundan ing itlog kay yasawaing silan nangasa itlog ing ihatag. Duon yutogpa yang agila gikan sang mataasay na butay. Ida naan yang itlog sang bukid. Pag- alindu doon yahimo na otaw yang itlog. Gwapahay na bubay.

Duon awon anak ng hari yaniro ng langgam pagkatimprano. Yakaabot yaan nganidto na lugar. Ihangad ng prisipe yang bubay doon kyagustohan man naan. Doon laong ng hari, ‘Tuntuni ako ng buhok mo’ kay ibaton man ng agia yang bubay ngadto taas. Doon yukadto silan ngadto taas apil ing agila. “Daha ing ama mo na hari para pag-istoryahan ta yag kamayo kasal” laong ng agila. Ikadtuhan dayon ng prinsipe yang hari. Iistoryahan naan yang ama naan. Yukadto dayon silan ng kanaan ama. Ipyag-istoryahan dayon nilan ing kasal.

Pagkasal yang agila yutambong. Iimbitar tanan. Duon yagtiyab da ing hari. Iistorya naan yang kaagi ng ya0asawa ng anak naan. Doun pagkadungog sidtong mag-asawa yagdumdom silan kay silan da sa ing awon anak na itlog. Yaghankupan yang mag-asawa. Kita da sa laong ing yanganak ng itlog. Pagkasayod ng hari ipatibo dayon silan sang kanaan palasyo. Idto da agaw silan maghuya.

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