How The World Was Made

: 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. Th
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!