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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
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,
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
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 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
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
The Tree with the Agate Beads
The Striped Blanket
The Alan and the Hunters
The Man and the Alan
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
Group II: Igorot
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
How Children Became Monkeys
Bulanawan and Aguio
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
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
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
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,  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,  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. 
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 
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
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
"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,
 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
All were filled with joy that the lost one had returned, and they
decided that at the next moon  they would perform a ceremony for
the spirits  and invite all the relatives who were mourning for
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,  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." 
"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  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  for you."
This pleased Aponibolinayen very much, and they used magic so that
they had many neighbors who came to pound rice  for them and to
build a large spirit house. 
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. 
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. 
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  in a large jar, and Dinawagen,
counting the notches in the rim,  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. 
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. 
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.  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.  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. 
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." 
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  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  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  for the spirits, so
they called the magic betel-nuts  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.  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  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. 
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
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,  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.  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  which he planted by the stove,
 and told his wife that if the leaves wilted she would know that
he was dead. Then he took his spear and head-ax  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
"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
"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),  who also
"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,  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 
for him to eat, and he said:
"If you cannot eat all the carabao, you cannot have the oranges for
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
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
"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
"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
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,  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,  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
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, 
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  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
"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.  "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,  and
"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 . 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
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. 
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
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,
"Now, Son, you throw them at me, so that we can see which is the
"No, Father," answered Dumalawi. "You throw first, if you want to
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
"Come, Dumalawi, we will go to our little house in the field 
and repair it, so that it will be a protection when the rainy season
The father and son went together to the field, and when they reached
the little house, Aponitolau, pointing to a certain spot in the
"Dig there, and you will find a jar of basi  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
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,  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  by fires in their yards, and he visited
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  for
the spirits. So Dapilisan sent for the betel-nuts which were covered
with gold,  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
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,
"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  and Dapilisan passed basi in
a little jar that looked like a fist,  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
"Now we are going to pay the marriage price  according to our
custom. We shall fill the spirit house  nine times with different
kinds of jars."
Then she called, "You spirits  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
Then Dalonagan called a pet spider and said:
"You big spider, go all around the town, and as you go spin a thread
 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  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  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  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
"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
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
"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,  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
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  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
Ligi  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
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
"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.  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
"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  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  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 
In the depths of a dark forest where people seldom went, lived a
wizened old Alan.  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.  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,  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,  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
"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 
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. 
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
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 
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
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,  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. 
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  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. 
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
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.  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
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