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The Philippine Myth about the Sun

The Philippine Myth about the Sun

According to a local myth, the sun was designed to be on earth. To begin with, it was supposed to light up the Earth. So, how come the sun ended up in the sky?

In the beginning, according to this myth, the Earth was so dark because there was nothing in the sky that could give light to it. Hence, there was no day. All throughout the day, 24 hours daily, there was only night time. So what the ancients did, says this myth, was to make bonfires to light up their surroundings, dry clothes on, and keep warm, aside from cook food, boil water, or burn debris. Sometimes, they had to build huge fires to light up whole surroundings on special occasions and community rituals. But they eventually realized, the myth adds, that bonfires, no matter how huge, were not enough to provide enough heat and light drive for all of them. Bonfires were not enough to sustain any kind of development.

So the people thought of ways to remedy the situation. The myth continues that they knew there had to be some kind of a continuous supply of heat and light from a permanent source that didn’t need human supervision. The supply had to be self-sustaining. So what did the people do? What they usually did. They resorted to what they discerned to be gods and goddesses that they believed controlled nature, the myth says.

After some worship rituals and offerings, finally the god of fire purportedly came down from above, according to the myth, and answered their supplication—a perpetual source of heat and light. The god was said to create a very big ball of fire. The myth says, the giant ball of fire was enough to warm and light up the whole surroundings—and even beyond. Miles upon miles of land was amply lighted up by this ball of fire. But it merely rested on the Earth. The myth continues, it was so big and hot that everybody had to stay inside caves to avoid being burned. Even the ground where it rested started to melt.

Seeing this, the god of fire threw the ball of fire to the sky. It was hurled away so strongly that it reached the sky and stayed there.

The local myth about the sun shows us that mere human efforts at life survival and progress is not enough. The sustaining power of nature and belief in a superior force or presence is needed.

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