The shoes at the bottom of the stairs are my father’s magical boots. They are black and huge and made of leather. They have shoelaces that go all the way up to a few inches below his knee. Father’s boots belong at the bottom of the stairs and no one was allowed to touch them, move them or place anything beside them. He didn’t mind, though, when Mother placed her pink slippers beside them. Sometimes they sparkled, other times they looked gray. But we were never to touch father’s boots.
Father’s boots were special. Once, I heard Father from the room telling Mother: “Wife, I need my boots so we’ll have money to feed the children and send them to school.” Mother went out the room and told Father that the boots were under the stairs. When he came home we had bread and chicken for dinner, and pencils and notebooks for school. The boots had brought him money indeed!
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The Origin of the Dagmay Cloth, The Mariano-Muya clan version as retold by Amelia Muya Anong.
A long time ago, there was a community that was located far away from civilization. The people used the barks or leaves of trees for clothes. They lived in caves or built their houses in the trunks of trees. Their sources of living were hunting and fishing.
One day the Biya (Maiden) was taught by her friend Diwata how to weave bugti, a cloth with no color or design. She used it as her clothes. Then Biya taught other women to weave it for their clothes too. And so they did not use the barks or leaves of plants as their clothes anymore.
One day Tamisa , the brother of Biya, went hunting. While hunting, he found a beautiful piece of Cloth which was being dried under the sun. He stole it and ran home as fast as he could. Thunder, lightning and storm followed him until he reached home, half-dying.
Before he died, he gave the Cloth to his sister, Biya. Through the help of her friend Diwata, the storm, thunder, and lightning calmed down. Diwata told her that the owner of the Cloth was “Mapandig Tagamaling Magsainag ng Kilat” and the name of the beautiful cloth was DAGMAY. Biya wanted to return the Dagmay cloth but the spirit owner refused it because it was already paid for with the life of Tamisa and that it had already been touched by human hands. Thus, Biya got the Dagmay, and when she returned home, she copied the designs through the help of her friend Diwata.
Continue reading Dagmay Legends: Origins of the Dagmay Cloth