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.

Continue reading Subanon Folktales