The Myth about Spiders or “Gagamba”

Spiders are known for their dexterity in spinning and weaving their webs everywhere. Spiders are even known to climb heights, release a long line of web into the air and glide on the floating web for a “flying” journey. They cover miles through this mode of travel. But how did spiders begin to learn spinning and weaving webs? This Philippine myth tells us.

A long time ago, the myth says, there was a young woman named Gamba. She was so good at spinning threads to turn into cloth and weaving them into dresses. The myths says Gamba would finish contracts for dress-making immediately and with amazing quality. People could not figure out how woven products so beautiful could be done in a few days. Gamba really was one of a kind, the myth maintains.

The myth continues that Gamba was a “weavaholic,” never stopping until her projects were ready for delivery. She stayed up late countless nights. According to the myth, her mother started worrying when she observed how Gamba had been too absorbed with her weaving tools and devices. The myth says she almost worshipped her trade.

One day, the myth continues, while Gamba was away buying new lines of imported threads, her mother noticed a tear on their curtain. She realized that it had been the damage she had long requested Gamba to repair. She felt a little irritated, thinking that Gamba had totally neglected their home and her requests. So she took it upon herself to sew the tear. The myth goes that the mother unmindfully took a needle and thread from Gamba’s “sacred” things to repair the torn curtain with. When Gamba returned and found out what her mother had done, the myth says she became very furious. She confronted her mother about it and in the process had showed no respect for her, whatsoever.

Feeling that Gamba had over-reacted way below the belt, the mother, according to the myth, cursed Gamba in a fit of anger. She said, “If weaving is all that mattered to you—to the extent of preferring it over your own mother—then a perpetual weaving it will be! Be damned with an endless weaving all your life!” Immediately she turned into a weaving insect. In her memory, the insect was called a spider or “gagamba” in the vernacular.

The myth teaches that profits are good, but character is still what matters most. Good character is real success.

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