To see is to believe. This is how a Philippine tale ought to be enjoyed. Get out there and try to find out things for oneself.
A Philippine tale may sound too predictable to pay any attention to, but it begins to come alive when one is right in the middle of it. The unique thing about Philippine tales or myths is that, even in modern days, one can still find many people even in cities who believe them. Thus, follow up research on them is still possible. One only has to go right where the action is said to have happened.
Most Filipinos are natural Philippine myth or tale lovers who are only too glad to help out in unveiling mysterious stories from olden days. There are so-called psychics around who would gladly “trace” mystical spirits in rumored places of mysticism. There are plenty of acclaimed spiritists and local shamans who are still greatly sought out for as far as Philippine tales are concerned.
The myth on Maria Makiling, for instance, is still alive along the foothill vicinities around Mount Makiling in Laguna. Lots of curious tourists, local and foreign, still stick their noses in nooks and crannies of the mountain top in hopes of seeing or hearing the popular nymph of Philippine tales sing or cry.
Tale researchers or “questers,” a term coined from today’s growing interest in tales and myths, also look into the many mystery stories behind Mount Banahaw bordering Quezon and Laguna in Southern Tagalog. This mountain, according to Philippine tales, is said to be a power source of dark mysticism, and curious “questers” personally go there to “find out for themselves.” Tale “questers” also probe the mythical “footprint of Jesus” on the mountain.
Tale “questers” also frequent the hills of Montalban in Rizal, just south of Metro Manila. A Philippine tale says Bernardo Carpio, the fabled local giant hero who kept two mountains separate, still walks around the place as the guardian of wildlife in the area. Tale “questers” still visit the place to somehow chance upon the giant peeking through or quietly roaming the mountain ranges.
Tale questing is easy. Just be equipped with details on a Philippine tale or myth, know about the place, know how to get to the place, and have someone from the locality as company in the tale questing.
Books seldom capture the excitement of a Philippine tale or myth. Nothing beats the thrill of personally checking out details on the spot as a Philippine tale or myth “quester.”