Dagmay Legends: Origins of the Dagmay Cloth

Fiction by , , , | July 13, 2008

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

The Accused

Fiction by | June 29, 2008

The heat was punishing. It was one of those days when the sun seemed especially merciless – the heat seeming to sear one’s skin to the bone and the humid air driving the strongest of men to weariness. In the cramped, cheerless room, the heat was even more intolerable. The sole fan attached to the ceiling provided no relief from the cruel heat; if possible, it seemed only to trap the dense air in the windowless box that served as the factory office.

Across the room, the woman sat stiffly on a padded bench. Her head was slightly bowed, her gaze fixed on an indistinct spot on the gray linoleum floor. The heat was almost suffocating, but she felt cold on the inside, her clammy hands gripping her knees tightly in an effort to steady her rioting nerves. Cold, sticky sweat was trickling down her spine in tiny rivulets and dark crescent stains had begun to form below her armpits. Beads of moisture, too, started to line her brows, and she had to swipe them off with her sleeve every so often to keep them from falling to her eyes.

Continue reading The Accused

The Sound of Water

Poetry by | September 9, 2007

I like the sound of water
crooning like nature’s song
from a mountain’s secret streams
I like its voice, like a lover’s
echoing whispers
within a pool in a cavern
sometimes subtle, like dew
on a yawning leaf,
it can whoosh as if in a rush
and slap against daring rocks and ridges—
at times oddly thoughtful,
it putters and plops
and trickles on a window sill;
or merry, it blends
with the shrieks and splashes
of running naked limbs—
forbidding, it roars
with the force of an angry ocean;
hurt, it whimpers—the sound
muffled by a confining bottle
or glass—

quiet, it lies gagged and imprisoned,
locked by a trembling eyelid.