Ant hills are distinct earth mounds on the ground where ant underground condos are hid. Right? Well, says a Philippine tale, they’re more than that. They’re actually mystical kingdoms disguised as earth heaps. So the Philippine myth warns anybody making fun of them or meaning them harm.
The Philippine myth started before the Spaniards came to the country, when Christianity was not heard of yet. Then, native tribes believed in mystic pagan gods ruling the physical realm from their invisible kingdoms. But some thought the kingdoms to be coexistent with the real world, moving with them in their daily activities. But both versions believed that for some reasons, the kingdoms could wish to surface and claim territory. If so, according to this Philippine myth, they appeared as mounds on the ground.
Up to this day, this Philippine myth is believed even by some Manila residents. They fear touching or even staring at earth mounds, especially those that pop up over days or overnight. These mounds are said to “grow” and the higher they grow the more power the have, or so this Philippine myth says.
Elves or dwarfs often figure in this tale. Ant hills often grow beside trees. Some are lonely ant hills amid fields or lots. Where ant hills abound, so are spiritual elfin creatures, says this Philippine myth. They are said to rule the area. And what can they do? According to this Philippine myth, these dwarfs can inflict lots of fearsome mischief on the offender. Some people swear to have been harmed by them, struck ill with mysterious diseases no physician could treat.
The Philippine myth adds that there are two ways to lick off the infliction: call quack-doctors or pacify the elfin spirits. With quacks the victim gets a chance to ward off inflictions through some eerie rituals. With pacifying spirits, the victim gets to offer little sacrifices like chicken’s blood, food offering, or merely apologizing. The Philippine myth avers that when favored by dwarfs, a person is said to be given gifts or powers by such elves, but with dire later consequences.
Yet, lots of people claim they nonchalantly trample such ant hills flat or shovel them away. And sure enough, they say, they find no mystical creature inside save armies of ants, termites, and tiny moths.
Philippine myth on ant hills can teach us either of two things: never mess up with anything you know nothing of or, the termite infested ceiling costing sums to repair is blamable to an ant hill somewhere in the yard.