A Visayan Genesis Tale

A love story turned sour. This folklore says the world started in romance but ended in fierce rebellion. Like many Philippine history events that started in the invader’s love for the islands and how the natives rebelled against it.

According to this tale, long before anything was created save sea and sky, two gods ruled: Maguayan and Kaptan. The first had a daughter, which was the sea, and the second a son, the wind. Maguayan’s daughter was Lidagat, Kaptan’s son was Lihangin. The gods agreed to their marriage.

Sea and Wind had 4 kids: Likalibutan, Liadlao, and Libulan were boys and Lisuga was a girl. The folklore says Likabutan, the eldest son’s body was of rock. He was brave and very strong. Liadlao’s body was of gold. He was a happy kid. Libulan’s was of copper—he was weak and timid. Lisuga, the girl, was of pure silver. She was a gentle, sweet girl.

The parents, Wind and Sea, died. So Likabutan, took charge of wind control. The tale says grandpas Maguayan and Kaptan reared the growing siblings.

Likabutan, turned power greedy and sought to challenge grandpa Kaptan, the sky god. He tried to enlist his brothers’ help, which they gave reluctantly. Soon the trio was storming the heavens.

But they couldn’t topple the steel gate that barred their way. Likabutan, summoned enough wind power and blew the thing down. The tale adds that this so infuriated grandpa Kaptan that he struck them with a bolt of lightning each.

Libulan the copper and Liadlao the gold both melted into balls, turning into “moon” and “sun” respectively. The folklore continues that Likabutan was demolished into huge pieces and fell in the sea. His shattered body became “land.” Lisuga, their sister, wasn’t spared either. A lightning bolt shattered her into tiny silver pieces which became “stars.”

Later, the tale adds, out of a bamboo tree a man and woman came out. Later they had offspring. Their youngest, Pandaguan, was fierce and adventurous. He caught a big shark, thought it was a god, and adored it. Later, it made him think he was a god-conqueror, so he turned on the two gods. Angry they sent him a low-voltage lightning–just enough to get him back to his right senses. The folklore says that burned him black. From his darkened body came Negritos.

This folklore certainly mirrors how Filipino folks saw life around them. This affected some of their values and character—a romantic and adventurous people. Even tales attest to that.

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