Sierra Madre Myth and an Eternal Promise

Spanning the length from Cagayan in the north to Quezon in Southern Luzon is the undulating Sierra Madre mountain ranges. This more than 200 miles of contiguous mountains touching each other and even reaching out to the Cordilleras is said to conceal many secrets, among them a myth on how this mountain ranges came to be.

Sierra was a dedicated mother of two kids, named Iloco and Tagalo. The myth says they lived near a lengthy coastline where Bugsong Hangin, king of the mighty easterly winds, often chose to set foot on the ground and roam around the vicinity. The myth says Bugsong Hangin often brought with him the whole mighty horde of his wind army to wreak havoc on the land where Sierra and her kids lived. Bugsong Hangin, according to the myth, had vowed to regularly demolish the place.

The myth says Bugsong Hangin used to court Sierra in their younger years, but Sierra was in love with Lusong, a valiant warrior who had always faced up to any intruder coming from the sea. But, the myth says, Bugsong Hangin and his cohorts had proven too much for Lusong’s capabilities and he later on succumbed to Bugsong Hangin’s fierce attacks. Lusong died while Sierra and their sons watched. The myth says, however, before Lusong had breathed his last, he had Sierra promise that she’d love and protect their two sons.

So one day, the myth says, Sierra decided to lay on her side, putting herself between her two sons, Iloco and Tagalo, and the sea. Her back faced the sea while her face was toward her sons as they did their daily activities. Each time Bugsong Hangin came, the myth says, the two sons ran towards their mother to seek refuge under her arms while her back took all the punishment of Bugsong Hangin and his brutish army.

The myth says the mother’s protective arms and love proved invulnerable to any of Bugsong Hangin’s fierce attacks. The surroundings were devastated, but Iloco and Tagalo were always kept secure as Bugsong Hangin’s army wasted away everything else. So from that time on until now, the myth says, Bugsong Hangin went far away for a while to muster enough strength and think of new attack strategies and later went back to try to topple Sierra’s defenses and destroy Iloco and Tagalo.

A mother’s love, like Mother Sierra’s, is kept almost eternal, as this myth shows.

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