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How The World Was Made

Source: Philippine Folklore Stories

This is the ancient Filipino account of the creation.

Thousands of years ago there was no land nor sun nor moon nor stars,
and the world was only a great sea of water, above which stretched
the sky. The water was the kingdom of the god Maguayan, and the sky
was ruled by the great god Captan.

Maguayan had a daughter called Lidagat, the sea, and Captan had a
son known as Lihangin, the wind. The gods agreed to the marriage of
their children, so the sea became the bride of the wind.

Three sons and a daughter were born to them. The sons were called
Licalibutan, Liadlao, and Libulan, and the daughter received the name
of Lisuga.

Licalibutan had a body of rock and was strong and brave; Liadlao
was formed of gold and was always happy; Libulan was made of copper
and was weak and timid; and the beautiful Lisuga had a body of pure
silver and was sweet and gentle. Their parents were very fond of them,
and nothing was wanting to make them happy.

After a time Lihangin died and left the control of the winds to his
eldest son Licalibutan. The faithful wife Lidagat soon followed her
husband, and the children, now grown up, were left without father or
mother. However, their grandfathers, Captan and Maguayan, took care
of them and guarded them from all evil.

After a time, Licalibutan, proud of his power over the winds, resolved
to gain more power, and asked his brothers to join him in an attack on
Captan in the sky above. At first they refused; but when Licalibutan
became angry with them, the amiable Liadlao, not wishing to offend
his brother, agreed to help. Then together they induced the timid
Libulan to join in the plan.

When all was ready the three brothers rushed at the sky, but they
could not beat down the gates of steel that guarded the entrance. Then
Licalibutan let loose the strongest winds and blew the bars in every
direction. The brothers rushed into the opening, but were met by
the angry god Captan. So terrible did he look that they turned and
ran in terror; but Captan, furious at the destruction of his gates,
sent three bolts of lightning after them.

The first struck the copper Libulan and melted him into a ball. The
second struck the golden Liadlao and he too was melted. The third
bolt struck Licalibutan and his rocky body broke into many pieces
and fell into the sea. So huge was he that parts of his body stuck
out above the water and became what is known as land.

In the meantime the gentle Lisuga had missed her brothers and started
to look for them. She went toward the sky, but as she approached the
broken gates, Captan, blind with anger, struck her too with lightning,
and her silver body broke into thousands of pieces.

Captan then came down from the sky and tore the sea apart, calling
on Maguayan to come to him and accusing him of ordering the attack on
the sky. Soon Maguayan appeared and answered that he knew nothing of
the plot as he had been asleep far down in the sea. After a time he
succeeded in calming the angry Captan. Together they wept at the loss
of their grandchildren, especially the gentle and beautiful Lisuga; but
with all their power they could not restore the dead to life. However,
they gave to each body a beautiful light that will shine forever.

And so it was that golden Liadlao became the sun and copper Libulan
the moon, while the thousands of pieces of silver Lisuga shine as
the stars of heaven. To wicked Licalibutan the gods gave no light,
but resolved to make his body support a new race of people. So Captan
gave Maguayan a seed and he planted it on the land, which, as you will
remember, was part of Licalibutan's huge body. Soon a bamboo tree grew
up, and from the hollow of one of its branches a man and a woman came
out. The man's name was Sicalac, and the woman was called Sicabay. They
were the parents of the human race. Their first child was a son whom
they called Libo; afterwards they had a daughter who was known as
Saman. Pandaguan was a younger son and he had a son called Arion.

Pandaguan was very clever and invented a trap to catch fish. The very
first thing he caught was a huge shark. When he brought it to land,
it looked so great and fierce that he thought it was surely a god,
and he at once ordered his people to worship it. Soon all gathered
around and began to sing and pray to the shark. Suddenly the sky and
sea opened, and the gods came out and ordered Pandaguan to throw the
shark back into the sea and to worship none but them.

All were afraid except Pandaguan. He grew very bold and answered that
the shark was as big as the gods, and that since he had been able to
overpower it he would also be able to conquer the gods. Then Captan,
hearing this, struck Pandaguan with a small thunderbolt, for he did not
wish to kill him but merely to teach him a lesson. Then he and Maguayan
decided to punish these people by scattering them over the earth,
so they carried some to one land and some to another. Many children
were afterwards born, and thus the earth became inhabited in all parts.

Pandaguan did not die. After lying on the ground for thirty days he
regained his strength, but his body was blackened from the lightning,
and all his descendants ever since that day have been black.

His first son, Arion, was taken north, but as he had been born before
his father's punishment he did not lose his color, and all his people
therefore are white.

Libo and Saman were carried south, where the hot sun scorched their
bodies and caused all their descendants to be of a brown color.

A son of Saman and a daughter of Sicalac were carried east, where the
land at first was so lacking in food that they were compelled to eat
clay. On this account their children and their children's children
have always been yellow in color.

And so the world came to be made and peopled. The sun and moon shine in
the sky and the beautiful stars light up the night. All over the land,
on the body of the envious Licalibutan, the children of Sicalac and
Sicabay have grown great in numbers. May they live forever in peace
and brotherly love!

Next: The Silver Shower

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