Carla Kern Bayliss, Berton L. Maxfield, W. H. Millington,
Part 1 out of 4
This etext contains four articles that appeared in the "Journal of
American Folk-Lore" (JAFL), all related to folklore in the Philippines.
1. "Philippine Folk-Tales," Carla Kern Bayliss, JAFL 15 : 46-53.
2. "Visayan Folk-Tales," Berton L. Maxfield and W. H. Millington,
JAFL 19 : 97-112; JAFL 20 : 89-103; JAFL 20 : 311-318.
3. "Tagalog Folk-Tales," Fletcher Gardner, JAFL 20 : 104-120;
20 : 300-310.
(including two shorter articles, 4. "A Filipino (Tagalog) Version
of Aladdin" and 5. "Some Games of Filipino Children" by the same
6. "Bagobo Myths," Laura Watson Benedict, JAFL 26 : 13-63.
All are in the public domain.
The multipart articles are joined together.
This etext has been produced by Jeroen Hellingman
The Monkey and the Turtle.
How the Farmer Deceived the Demon.
Benito, the Faithful Servant.
How Jackyo Became Rich.
Truth and Falsehood.
Camanla and Parotpot.
Juan, the Student.
The Two Wives and the Witch.
The Living Head.
The Enchanted Ring.
The Enchanted Shell.
The Three Brothers.
The Datto Somacuel.
Why Dogs Wag Their Tails.
The Eagle and the Hen.
The Spider and the Fly.
The Battle of the Crabs.
The Meeting of the Plants.
Who Brings the Cholera?
Masoy and the Ape.
Arnomongo and Iput-Iput.
The Snail and the Deer.
Story of Ca Matsin and Ca Boo-Ug.
Juan Gathers Guavas.
Juan Makes Gulay of his own Child.
Juan Wins a Wager for the Governor.
Juan Hides the Salt.
The Man in the Shroud.
The Adventures of Juan.
The Aderna Bird.
The Story of Juan and the Monkey.
Juan the Drunkard who Visited Heaven.
The Juan who Visited Heaven.
The Sad Story of Juan and Maria.
The Fifty-one Thieves.
The Covetous King and the Three Children.
The Silent Lover.
The Priest, the Servant Boy, and the Child Jesus.
The Story of Juan del Mundo de Austria and the Princess Maria.
The Artificial Earthquake.
The Queen and the Aeta Woman.
The Child Saint.
Tagalog Babes in the Woods.
The King, the Princess, and the Poor Boy.
The Battle of the Enchanters.
A Filipino (Tagalog) Version of Aladdin.
Some Games of Filipino Children.
Myths Associated with Natural Phenomena
In the Days of the Mona
Why the Sky Went Up
Why the Sky Went Up
The Sun and the Moon
Origin of the Stars
The Fate of the Moon's Baby
The Black Men at the Door of the Sun
Story of the Eclipse
The "Ulit:" Adventures of Mythical Bagobo at the Dawn of Tradition
Lumabat and Mebu'yan
Story of Lumabat and Wari
How Man Turned into a Monkey
The Tuglibung and the Tuglay
Adventures of the Tuglay
The Tuglay and the Bia
The Malaki's Sister and the Basolo
Folk-Lore of the Buso
How to See the Buso
Buso and the Woman
The Buso's Basket
How the Moon Tricks the Buso
The Buso and the Cat
How a Dog Scared the Buso
Story of Duling and the Tagamaling
How Iro Met the S'iring
Animal Stories: Metamorphosis, Explanatory Tales, Etc.
The Kingfisher and the Malaki
The Woman and the Squirrel
Why the Bagobo Likes the Cat
How the Lizards got their Markings
The Monkey and the Tortoise
The Crow and the Golden Trees
An Ata Story
Alelu'k and Alebu'tud
Philippine Folk-Tales. 
By Clara Kern Bayliss.
The Monkey and the Turtle. 
One day a Monkey met a Turtle on the road, and asked, "Where are
"I am going to find something to eat, for I have had no food for
three whole days," said the Turtle.
"I too am hungry," said the Monkey; "and since we are both hungry,
let us go together and hunt food for our stomachs' sake."
They soon became good friends and chatted along the way, so that the
time passed quickly. Before they had gone far, the Monkey saw a large
bunch of yellow bananas on a tree at a distance.
"Oh, what a good sight that is!" cried he. "Don't you see the bananas
hanging on that banana-tree? [pointing with his first finger toward
the tree]. They are fine! I can taste them already."
But the Turtle was short-sighted and could not see them. By and by
they came near the tree, and then he saw them. The two friends were
very glad. The mere sight of the ripe, yellow fruit seemed to assuage
But the Turtle could not climb the tree, so he agreed that the Monkey
should go up alone and should throw some of the fruit down to him. The
Monkey was up in a flash; and, seating himself comfortably, he began
to eat the finest of the fruit, and forgot to drop any down to the
Turtle waiting below. The Turtle called for some, but the Monkey
pretended not to hear. He ate even the peelings, and refused to drop
a bit to his friend, who was patiently begging under the tree.
At last the Turtle became angry, very angry indeed: "so he thought
he would revenge" (as my informant puts it). While the Monkey was
having a good time, and filling his stomach, the Turtle gathered
sharp, broken pieces of glass, and stuck them, one by one, all around
the banana-tree. Then he hid himself under a cocoanut-shell not far
away. This shell had a hole in the top to allow the air to enter. That
was why the Turtle chose it for his hiding-place.
The Monkey could not eat all the bananas, for there were enough to
last a good-sized family several days; "but he ate all what he can,"
and by and by came down the tree with great difficulty, for the glass
was so sharp that it cut even the tough hand of the Monkey. He had a
hard time, and his hands were cut in many places. The Turtle thought
he had his revenge, and was not so angry as before.
But the Monkey was now very angry at the trick that had been played
upon him, and began looking for the Turtle, intending to kill him. For
some time he could not find his foe, and, being very tired, he sat
down on the cocoanut-shell near by. His weariness increased his anger
at the Turtle very much.
He sat on the shell for a long time, suffering from his wounds, and
wondering where to find the Turtle,--his former friend, but now his
enemy. Because of the disturbance of the shell, the Turtle inside could
not help making a noise. This the Monkey heard; and he was surprised,
for he could not determine whence the sound came. At last he lifted
his stool, and there found his foe the Turtle.
"Ha! Here you are!" he cried. "Pray now, for it is the end of your
He picked up the Turtle by the neck and carried him near the riverbank,
where he meant to kill him. He took a mortar and pestle, and built a
big fire, intending to pound him to powder or burn him to death. When
everything was ready, he told the Turtle to choose whether he should
die in the fire or be "grounded" in the mortar. The Turtle begged for
his life; but when he found it was in vain, he prayed to be thrown
into the fire or ground in the mortar,--anything except be thrown
into the water. On hearing this, the Monkey picked the Turtle up
in his bleeding fingers, and with all his might threw him into the
middle of the stream.
Then the Turtle was very glad. He chuckled at his own wit, and laughed
at the foolishness of the Monkey. He came up to the surface of the
water and mocked at the Monkey, saying, "This is my home. The water
is my home."
This made the Monkey so angry that he lost his self-possession
entirely. He jumped into the middle of the river after the Turtle,
and was drowned.
Since that day monkeys and turtles have been bitter enemies.
How the Farmer Deceived the Demon. 
Very many years ago, in a far-away land where the trees never changed
their green leaves and where the birds always sang, there lived
on an island a farmer with a large family. Though all alone on the
island and knowing nothing of people in the outer world, they were
always happy,--as happy as the laughing rills that rippled past their
home. They had no great wealth, depending from year to year on the
crops which the father raised. They needed no money, for they lacked
nothing; and they never sold their produce, for no people were near
One day in the middle of the year, after the crops were well started,
a loud, unusual roar was heard. Suddenly a stiff gale blew up from
the southwest, and with it came clouds which quickly hid the entire
sky. The day turned to night. The birds ceased to sing and went to
their nests. The wild beasts ran to their caves. The family sought
shelter in the house from a heavy downpour of rain which continued
for many days and nights. So long did it last that they became very
anxious about the condition of things around them.
On the eighth day the birds again began to sing, and the sun was,
as usual, bright. The farmer arose early and went out to look at his
fields, but, lo! his crop was all destroyed. He went back to the house
and told the family that the water-god was angry and had washed away
all that he had hoped to have for the coming year.
What were they to do? The supply in the house was getting low and it
was too late to raise another crop. The father worried night and day,
for he did not know how he could keep his children from starvation.
One day he made a long journey and came into a place that was strange
to him. He had never before seen the like of it. But in the midst of
a broad meadow he saw a tree with spreading branches like an elm,
and as his legs and back were stiff from walking, he went over and
sat down under it. Presently, looking up, he discovered that on the
tree were large red fruits. He climbed up and brought some down,
and after satisfying his hunger he fell asleep.
He had not slept long when he was awakened by a loud noise. The owner
of the place was coming. He was fearful to look upon. His body was like
that of a person, but he was of enormous size; and he had a long tail,
and two horns growing out of his head. The farmer was frightened and
did not know what to do. He stood motionless till the master came up
and began to talk to him. Then he explained that he had come there
in search of food to keep his family alive. The monster was delighted
to hear this, for he saw that he had the man and the man's family in
his power. He told the traveller that in return for a certain promise
he would help him out of his troubles.
The demon, as he was called by some travellers to that land, showed
the farmer a smooth, round stone, which, he said, gave its possessor
the power of a magician. He offered to lend this to the farmer for
five years, if at the expiration of that time the farmer and family
would become his slaves. The farmer consented.
Then the demon was glad. He said to the farmer, "You must squeeze
the stone when you wish to become invisible; and must put it in your
mouth when you wish to return to human form."
The man tried the power of the magic stone. He squeezed it, and
instantly became invisible to the demon; but he bade him farewell,
and promised to meet him in the same place at the appointed time.
In this invisible form the man crossed the water that washed the shore
of the island on which he lived. There he found a people who lived in
communities. He wanted something to eat, so he went into the shops;
but he found that a restaurant owned by a Chinaman was the one to
which most people of the city went. He put the stone in his mouth,
thus appearing in visible form, and, entering the restaurant, ordered
the best food he could find. He finished his meal quickly and went
out. The waiter, perceiving that he did not pay, followed him. The man
had no money; so he squeezed the stone and shot up into the air without
being seen. The Chinaman, alarmed by the cry of the waiter, came out
and ran in all directions, trying to find and catch the man. No one
could find him; and the people thought he must indeed be a fast runner
to escape so quickly, for they did not know of the gift of the demon.
Not far from that place he saw groups of men and women going in and out
of a large building. It was a bank. The farmer went in to see what he
could find. There he saw bags of money, gold and silver. He chuckled
with joy at this opportunity. In order to use his hands freely, he put
the stone in his mouth; but before he could fill all his pockets with
money, he was discovered by the two guards, who began to pound him on
the head. He struggled to save his life, and finally took the stone
out of his mouth and squeezed it. Instantly he vanished from their
sight; but he was vexed at the beating he had received, so he carried
off all the gold they had in the bank. The people inside as well as
outside the building became crazy. They ran about in all directions,
not knowing why. Some called the firemen, thinking the bank was on
fire; but nothing had happened, except that the farmer was gone and
the two guards were "half dead frightened." They danced up and down
the streets in great excitement, but could not utter a word.
Straight home went the farmer, not stopping by the way. His wife and
children were awaiting him. He gave them the money, and told them
all about the fortune which he had gotten from the man on their own
island,--told all his secrets. Prosperous they became, and with the
money which he had brought they purchased all they needed from the
city just opposite them.
The time passed so pleasantly that the man was surprised to discover
that his promise would be due in two more days. He made preparations
to go back to the land of his master. Arrived there, he met the same
monster under the same tree. The demon was displeased to see the
old man alone, without the family which also had been promised. He
told the man that he would shut him in a cave and then would go and
capture those left at home.
But the farmer would not go to the cave. The demon tried to pull him
into a deep hole. Both struggled; and at last the farmer squeezed
the magic stone and disappeared. He took a green branch of the tree
and beat the demon. The demon surrendered. He begged for mercy.
The farmer went home, and from that day thought no more of the
demon. He knew that while he held the stone the monster would never
come to trouble him. And the family lived on in peace and happiness,
as they had done before the water-god became angry with them.
Benito, the Faithful Servant. 
On a time there lived in a village a poor man and his wife, who had
a son named Benito. The one ambition of the lad from his earliest
youth was that he might be a help to the family in their struggle
for a living.
But the years went by, and he saw no opportunity until one day, as
they sat at dinner, his father fell to talking about the young King
who lived at a distance from the village, in a beautiful palace kept
by a retinue of servants. The boy was glad to hear this, and asked
his parents to let him become one of the servants of this great
ruler. The mother protested, fearing that her son could not please
his Royal Majesty; but the boy was so eager to try his fortune that
at last he was permitted to do so.
The next day his mother prepared food for him to eat on the journey,
and be started for the palace. The journey was tiresome; and when he
reached the palace he had difficulty in obtaining an audience with
the King. But when he succeeded and made known his wish, the monarch
detected a charming personality hidden within the ragged clothes,
and, believing the lad would make a willing servant, he accepted him.
The servants of his Majesty had many duties. Theirs was not a life of
ease, but of hard work. The very next day the King called Benito, and
said, "I want you to bring me a certain beautiful princess who lives in
a land across the sea; and if you fail to do it, you will be punished."
Benito did not know how he was to do it; but he asked no questions,
and unhesitatingly answered, "I will, my lord."
That same day he provided himself with everything he needed for the
journey and set off. He travelled a long distance until he came to the
heart of a thick forest, where he saw a large bird which said to him,
"Oh, my friend! please take away these strings that are wrapped all
about me. If you will, I will help you whenever you call upon me."
Benito released the bird and asked it its name. It replied,
"Sparrow-hawk," and flew away. Benito continued his journey until he
came to the seashore. There he could see no way of getting across, and,
remembering what the King had said if he failed, he stood looking out
over the sea, feeling very sad. The huge King of the Fishes saw him,
and swam toward him. "Why are you so sad?" asked the Fish.
"I wish to cross the sea to find the beautiful Princess," replied
"Get on my back and I will take you across," said the King of the
Benito rode on the back of the Fish and crossed the sea. As soon as he
reached the other side, a fairy in the form of a woman appeared to him,
and became a great aid to him in his adventure. She knew exactly what
he wanted; so she told him that the Princess was shut up in a castle
guarded by giants, and that he would have to fight the giants before
he could reach her. For this purpose she gave him a magic sword,
which would kill on the instant anything it touched.
Benito now felt sure he could take the Princess from her cruel
guardsmen. He went to the castle, and there he saw many giants round
about it. When the giants saw him coming, they went out to meet him,
thinking to take him captive. They were so sure that they could easily
do it, that they went forth unarmed. As they came near, he touched
the foremost ones with his sword, and one after another they fell
down dead. The other giants, seeing so many of their number slain,
became terrified, and fled, leaving the castle unguarded.
The young man went to the Princess and told her that his master had
sent him to bring her to his palace. The young Princess was only
too glad to leave the land of the giants, where she had been held
captive. So the two set out together for the King's palace.
When they came to the sea they rode across it on the back of the
same fish that had carried Benito. They went through the forest,
and at last came to the palace. Here they were received with the
After a short time the King asked the Princess to become his wife. "I
will, O King!" she replied, "if you will get the ring I lost in the
sea as I was crossing it."
The monarch called Benito, and ordered him to find the ring which
had been lost on their journey from the land of the giants.
Obedient to his master, Benito started, and travelled on and on till
he came to the shore of the sea. There he stood, gazing sadly out
over the waters, not knowing how he was to search for what lay at
the bottom of the deep ocean.
Again the King of the Fishes came to him, asking the cause of his
sadness. Benito replied, "The Princess lost her ring while we were
crossing the sea, and I have been sent to find it."
The King-Fish summoned all the fishes to come to him. When they had
assembled, he noticed that one was missing. He commanded the others
to search for this one, and bring it to him. They found it under
a stone, and it said, "I am so full! I have eaten so much that I
cannot swim." So the larger ones took it by the tail and dragged it
to their King.
"Why did you not come when summoned?" asked the King-Fish. "I was so
full I could not swim," replied the Fish.
The King-Fish, suspecting that it had swallowed the ring, ordered it
to be cut in two. The others cut it open, and, behold I there was the
lost ornament. Benito thanked the King of the Fishes, took the ring,
and brought it to the monarch.
When the great ruler got the ring, he said to the Princess, "Now that
I have your ring, will you become my wife?"
"I will be your wife," replied the Princess, "if you will find the
earring I lost in the forest as I was journeying with Benito."
Instantly Benito was called, and was ordered to find the lost jewel. He
was very weary from his former journey; but, mindful of his duty,
he started for the forest, reaching it before the day was over. He
searched for the earring faithfully, following the road which he and
the Princess had taken; but all in vain. He was much discouraged, and
sat down under a tree to rest. To his surprise a mouse of monstrous
size appeared before him. It was the King of the Mice.
"Why are you so sad?" asked the Mouse.
"I am searching for an earring which the Princess lost as we passed
through the forest, but am unable to find it."
"I will find it for you," said the King-Mouse.
Benito's face brightened at hearing this. The King-Mouse called all
his followers, and all but one little mouse responded. Then the King
of the Mice ordered some of his subjects to find the absent one. They
found him in a small hole among the bamboo-trees. He said he could not
go because he was so satisfied (sated). So the others pulled him along
to their master; and he, finding that there was something hard within
the little mouse, ordered him to be cut open. It was done; and there
was the very earring for which the tired servant was looking. Benito
took it, thanked the King of the Mice, and brought the earring to
his own King.
When the monarch received it, he immediately restored it to its owner
and asked, "Will you now become my wife?"
"Oh, dear King!" responded the Princess, "I have only one more thing
to ask of you; and if you will grant it, I will be your wife forever."
The King, pleased with his former successes, said, "Tell me what it
is, and it shall be granted."
"If you will get some water from heaven," said the Princess, "and
some water from the nether-world, I will become your wife. That is
my last wish."
The King called Benito, and commanded him to get water from these two
places. "I will, my King," said Benito; and he took some provisions
and started. He came to the forest; but there he became confused,
for he did not know in which direction to go to reach either of the
places. Suddenly he recalled the promise of the bird he had helped
the first time he entered the wood. He called the bird, and it soon
appeared. He told it what he wanted, and it said, "I will get it
He made two cups of bamboo, and tied one to each of the bird's
legs. They were very light, and did not hinder the bearer at all. Away
the bird flew, going very fast. Before the day was ended, it came
back with each cup full of water, and told Benito that the one tied
to its right leg contained water from heaven, and the one tied to
its left leg contained water from the nether-world.
Benito untied the cups, taking great care of them. He was about to
leave, when the bird asked him to tarry long enough to bury it, as
the places to which it had been were so far away that it was weary
Benito did not like to bury the bird, but he soon saw that it really
was dying, so he waited; and when it was dead, he buried it, feeling
very sorry over the loss of so helpful a friend.
He went back to the palace and delivered the two kinds of water to his
master. The Princess then asked the King to cut her in two and pour
the water from heaven upon her. The King was not willing to do it,
so she did it herself, asking the King to pour the water. This he did,
and, lo! the Princess turned into the most beautiful woman that ever
the sun shone on.
Then the King was desirous of becoming handsome; so he asked
the Princess to pour the other cup of water over him after he cut
himself. He cut himself, and she poured over his body the water from
the nether-world; but from him there arose a spirit more ugly and
ill-favored than imagination could picture. Fortunately, it soon
vanished from sight.
The Princess then turned to Benito, and said, "You have been faithful
in your duties to your master, kind to me in restoring the jewels I
lost, and brave in delivering me from the cruel giants. You are the
man I choose for my husband."
Benito could not refuse so lovely a lady. They were married amid
great festivities, and became the king and queen of that broad and
Benito gave his parents one of the finest portions of his kingdom,
and furnished them with everything they could desire. From that time
on they were all very happy,--so happy that the story of their bliss
has come down through the centuries to us.
These stories are intended to bring before the American public a
few of the tales related by Visayan parents to their children, or by
the public story-teller in the market, as the people gather to buy
the material for the evening meal. It was only toward the close of a
three years' stay in the Islands, in one province, and in neighboring
places, and after a fair acquaintance with Spanish and a little
knowledge of the native dialect had enabled us to obtain a closer
insight into the home life of our pupils than would otherwise have
been possible, that we ventured upon the collection of these tales,
hoping that they might prove of interest to people at home. Many of
the stories were written by our boys and girls as part of their work
in English composition. Others were prepared by the native teachers,
some of whom had been well educated by the Spaniards and had already
learned to write very fair English. Indeed, a few were able, at about
the time that these stories were written, to pass the civil service
examination for appointment as insular teachers. The articles on the
superstitious beliefs of the people were prepared by one of these
teachers, so that they might be as nearly correct as possible.
As might be expected, the stories are often very crude and simple,
presenting no difficult situations nor intricate plots. Sometimes
they resemble well-known tales from other lands, although great care
has been taken to collect only those from original sources.
The tales here presented were collected during the spring of 1904, in
the island of Panay, belonging to the Visayan group of the Philippine
Islands, and were obtained in our own class rooms, from native teachers
and pupils. Mr. Maxfield was stationed at Iloilo, and Mr. Millington
at Mandurriao, places five miles apart. We daily came in contact with
about one thousand pupils. The tales were gathered in both places,
and were found to be substantially alike, the differences being
only in petty details. After collecting one version, we endeavored
to ascertain whether the same narrative was current among natives
in other localities of the island. We were surprised to discover
that they seemed to be known wherever we became acquainted with the
people and had obtained their confidence sufficiently to induce them
to talk freely. There were often variations, but the framework was
always the same. If any stories were obtained from native teachers
who knew Spanish, we have always verified them by getting children
or natives from other places, who knew no Spanish, to relate them,
in order to assure ourselves that the narrative could not be a mere
translation of a Spanish tale.
We who have collected these stories can claim little credit for any
more than the mere arrangement of them, as, so far as possible, even
the wording of the original manuscripts has been retained. Doubtless,
much of the interest we have felt in the work is due to our personal
acquaintance with the writers who put on paper for us these simple
tales, yet we hope that they will not be wholly unattractive to those
for whose sake they have been collected.
B. L. M.
W. H. M.
How Jackyo Became Rich.
A long time ago there was a young man whose name was Jackyo. He was
very poor, and by his daily labor could earn barely enough for his
food and nothing at all for his clothes. He had a little farm at some
distance from the village in which he lived, and on it raised a few
One pleasant afternoon Jackyo started off to visit his farm. It was
late when he reached it, and after he had finished inspecting his
crops, he turned back homewards. But the bright day had gone and the
sun had set. Night came on quickly, and the way was dark and lonely.
At last he could no longer see the road. Not a star was to be seen,
and the only sounds he heard were the sad twitterings of the birds
and soft rustling of the leaves as they were moved by the wind.
At last he entered a thick forest where the trees were very big. "What
if I should meet some wild beast," thought Jackyo; but he added half
aloud, "I must learn to be brave and face every danger."
It was not long before he was very sure that he could hear a deep
roar. His heart beat fast, but he walked steadily forward, and soon
the roar was repeated, this time nearer and more distinctly, and he
saw in the dim light a great wild ox coming towards him.
He found a large hole in the trunk of a huge tree. "I will pass the
night here in this tree," he said to himself.
In a little while an old man appeared. His body was covered with coarse
hair and he was very ugly. He looked fiercely at Jackyo from head to
foot and said: "What are you thinking of to come in here? Do you not
know that this is the royal castle of the king of evil spirits?"
Jackyo became more frightened than before and for a long time he
could not speak, but at last he stammered: "Excuse me, sir, but I
cannot go home on account of the dark night. I pray you to let me
rest here for a short time."
"I cannot let you stay here, because our king is not willing to help
any one who does not belong to his kingdom. If he did so, his kingdom
would be lost. But what is your name? Do you know how to sing?" said
the old man.
"My name is Jackyo, and I know a little bit about singing," replied
"Well," said the old man, "if you know any song, sing for me." Now
Jackyo knew but one song, and that was about the names of the days of
the week except Sunday. He did not like to sing it, but the old man
urged him, saying: "If you do not sing, I will cut your head off." So
Jackyo began to sing.
It happened that the king  of the evil spirits, whose name was
Mensaya, heard Jackyo's song and was very much interested in it. He
called a servant, named Macquil, and said: "Macquil, go downstairs and
see who is singing down there, and when you find him, bring him to me."
Jackyo went before the king, bowed to the floor, touching the carpet
with his forehead, and stood humbly before the king.
"Let me hear your song," said the king. So Jackyo, with great respect,
sang the only song he knew. Here it is:
Mon-day, Tues-day, Wednesday, Thurs-day, Fri-day, Sat-ur-day.
While he was singing, all the evil spirits in the cave gathered around
him to hear his song, and Mensaya asked him to sing it over and over
again. They were all so pleased with it that Mensaya ordered Macquil
to give Jackyo a large quantity of gold and silver as a reward for
his beautiful song.
When the morning came Jackyo returned home, full of joy, and became
known as the richest man in the village.
Truth and Falsehood.
One day Truth started for the city to find some work. On his
way he overtook Falsehood, who was going to the city for the same
purpose. Falsehood asked permission to ride on the horse with Truth,
and his request was granted.
On the way they questioned each other as to the sort of work they
wanted. Truth stated that he intended to be a secretary, so that he
might always be clean and white. Falsehood declared that he would be
a cook, because then he would always have plenty of fine things to eat.
As they were riding along, they met a man carrying a corpse to the
cemetery. He had no one to help him, and Truth, in his great pity for
the man, jumped off his horse and helped him. After the corpse was
buried, Truth asked: "Did you pray for the repose of the soul of the
dead?" "No," was the reply, "I do not know how to pray, and I have
no money to pay the priest for candles." Then Truth gave the man all
the money he had, that he might have prayers said for the dead man,
and went back to his companion.
When dinner time came, Falsehood was very angry at finding out that
Truth had given all his money away, but finally proposed that they
should go to the river and catch some fish for dinner. When they
arrived at the river, they found some fish which had been caught
in a shallow pool near the bank, and caught all they wanted. But
Truth was very sorry for the fish, and threw his half back into the
river. Falsehood murmured at him and said: "It would have been better
for you to give them to me. If I had known that you would throw them
into the river, I would not have given you any of them." Then they
rode on. As they were going through a thick wood in the heart of the
mountain they heard a noise as of crying, far away. Truth went forward
to find what it was, but Falsehood, trembling with fear, hid himself
close behind his comrade. At last they saw seven little eagles in a
nest high in a tree. They were crying with hunger, and their mother was
nowhere to be seen. Truth was sorry for them, and killed his horse,
giving some of the meat to the young eagles, and spreading the rest
on the ground beneath the tree, so that the mother-bird might find it.
Falsehood hated his comrade for having killed the horse, because now
they were obliged to travel on foot. They went down the mountain,
and entering the city, presented themselves before the king, desiring
to be taken into his service, the one as secretary and the other as
cook. The king granted both requests.
When Falsehood saw that his former companion sat at the table with
the king and was always clean and dressed in good clothes, while he
himself was dirty and had to eat in the kitchen, he was very angry
and determined to do something to ruin the one whom now he hated
One day the king and queen went to sail on the sea. As they were far
from land, the queen dropped her ring overboard. When Falsehood heard
of the accident, he went to the king and said: "My Lord, the King,
my friend--your secretary--has told me that he was endowed with magic
powers and is able to find the queen's ring. He says if he does not
find it he is willing for you to hang him."
The king immediately sent for Truth, and said to him: "Find the queen's
ring without delay, or I will have you hanged early to-morrow morning."
Truth went down to the shore, but seeing how impossible it would be
to find the ring, began to weep. A fish came near, and floating on
top of the water, asked, "Why are you weeping?"
"I weep," Truth replied, "because the king will hang me early to-morrow
morning unless I find the queen's ring, which has fallen into the sea."
The fish swam out and got the ring and gave it to Truth. Then he said:
"I am one of the fishes which you found on the bank of the river and
threw back into the water. As you helped me when I was in trouble,
I am very glad that I have been able to help you now."
On another day, Falsehood went to the king and said: "My Lord King,
do you remember what I told you the other day?"
"Yes," replied the king, "and I believe you told me the truth, as
the ring has been found."
"Well," replied Falsehood, "my friend told me last night that he is
a great magician and that he is willing for you to hang him in the
sight of all the people, since it will not hurt him."
The king sent for Truth and told him: "I know what you have said to
your friend. To-morrow I will have you hanged in the sight of all
the people, and we will see whether you are the great magician you
claim to be."
That night Truth could not sleep. About midnight, as he was in great
distress, a spirit suddenly appeared to him and asked what was the
cause of his grief. Truth related his trouble, and the spirit said:
"Do not weep. To-morrow morning I will take your form and wear your
clothes, and let them hang me."
The next morning, just at dawn, the spirit put on Truth's clothes and
went out to be hanged. Many people came to see the hanging, and after
it was over, returned to their homes. What was the astonishment of
the king and those with him when, upon their return to the palace,
they found Truth there before them, alive and well!
That night the spirit appeared to Truth and said: "I am the spirit
of the dead man for whom you gave your money that prayers might be
said for the repose of his soul." Then it disappeared.
On another day Falsehood appeared before the king and said: "My Lord
the King, my friend the secretary told me last night that if you would
let him marry your daughter, in one night his wife should bring forth
three children." The king sent for Truth and said: "I will give you
my daughter to be your wife and if to-night she does not bear three
children, I will have you buried alive to-morrow morning."
So they were married. But at midnight, as Truth lay awake thinking
of the fate that was in store for him in the morning, an eagle
flew through the window, and asked the cause of his sorrow. Truth
related his tale, and the eagle said: "Do not worry; I will take
care of that." Then he flew away, but just before the break of day
three eagles came, each bearing a new-born babe. Truth awakened the
princess and said to her: "My dear wife, these are our children. We
must love them and take good care of them."
Then the king, who had been awakened by the noise of children crying,
sent to ask what it was all about. When he heard the news he came
into the tower where the princess was, and when he saw the children
he was overcome with joy; for he had no sons, and greatly desired to
have an heir to his throne. So the king made a great feast and gave
over his crown and sceptre to his son-in-law, to be king in his stead.
Thus we see that those who help others when in trouble shall themselves
be aided when they are in difficulty.
Camanla and Parotpot.
Camanla was a very poor but very busy man, and always praising his
own work. When he talked with other people he ended every third or
fourth word with "la," which was the last syllable of his name and
is a word of praise.
One day he made a boat, and when it was finished he began to talk
to it. These were his words: "My boat, la, you may go, la, to find
a pretty lady, la, for my wife, la, to make me happy, la." Then his
boat started to sail without anybody to manage it. When she reached a
large town she stopped in the river, near where the pretty daughters
of some rich men of the town were taking a walk. They were accustomed
to take any boat they might find and use it when they wished to cross
the river, returning in the same way.
As Camanla's boat was there and looked very fine, the young ladies
decided to cross the river in it. The youngest was the first to jump
into the boat. When the little boat felt that some one had come on
board, she ran away, carrying the lady.
When Camanla saw his boat coming, he began to praise it, saying:
"My boat, la, is coming, la, to bring me, la, my pretty lady, to marry
me, la." Very soon the boat anchored, and he went down to receive the
lady, whom he soon married. Then was Camanla happy, but one day he
had no food to give his wife, so he made a little taon, or fish trap,
and said to it: "My pretty taon, la, you may go, la, to the river,
la, to get me some fish, la." The taon then walked toward the river,
and soon came back, full of fish. Camanla was an object of envy to
all the world.
His happiness was soon heard of by his friend Parotpot, who became
very envious. At last he went to Camanla's house. When he met his
friend, he said to him: "You are very happy, my friend, and I envy
you." Camanla replied: "Yes, I am very fortunate. I have my little
boat that sails every day to get my food, and a little taon that goes
to the river and brings me fine fish."
Parotpot returned sadly home. He concluded to build a boat like his
friend's, but Parotpot, when he talked, ended every third or fourth
word with "pot," (pronounced po) the ending of his name: This word
has a scornful meaning. When the boat was finished, he began to talk
to it as follows: "My boat, pot, you may go, pot, to find me a wife,
pot, prettier than my friend's wife, pot." The boat sailed away,
and reached a large river, just as some men were looking for a boat
to take across the body of their grandmother, in order to bury it in
the cemetery of the town. When they saw the boat they were glad to
get across the river so easily, so they lifted the body and placed
it in the boat. When the boat felt that something was on board, she
sailed swiftly towards home, leaving the men behind. Parotpot was
watching, and when he saw the boat coming, he began to talk thus:
"My boat, pot, is coming, pot, to bring me, pot, a pretty lady, pot,
to marry me, pot." But, alas! a dead grandmother, instead of a pretty
lady! He was so angry that he seized his bolo and chopped the boat
to pieces, leaving the body to float away.
But Parotpot thought that he might succeed better with a fish-trap,
like his friend Camanla's. When he had finished it, he sent it to the
river, saying: "My taon, pot, go now to the river, pot, and catch many
fishes, pot, for my dinner, pot." The taon went. It was Sunday and the
people of the town were killing cattle for their Sunday dinner, and
throwing the waste into the river. All this filth floated into the taon
and filled it. Then it ran back home. While the taon had been gone,
Parotpot had been making preparations for a great dinner. He cooked
the rice and washed the dishes, and then invited his friends to come to
his house and share his excellent dinner. When he saw the taon coming,
he said: "My taon, pot, is coming now, pot, to bring me many fine fish,
pot, for my dinner, pot." When his neighbors saw what was in the taon,
they laughed, and Parotpot said: "I can never be as happy as my friend
Camanla." Then he took the taon and threw it into the fire.
Juan, the Student.
There was once a poor couple who lived happily in a quiet place. They
had one son, named Juan, whom at first they loved very much; but
afterwards, either because their extreme poverty made it difficult
for them to support him, or because of his wickedness and waywardness,
they began to hate him, and made plans to kill him.
In order to carry out this purpose, the father called his son to him
one evening, and said: "My son, to-morrow we will go to the mountain to
get some lumber with which to repair our house. I want you to prepare
our breakfast very early, so that we may set out before the sun rises."
On the next morning they arose very early and ate their breakfast. As
it consisted only of rice and a few small fishes, it was soon finished,
and they set out for the mountain. When they had arrived at a lonely
spot, the man seized his son and fastened him to a large tree. Then
he took his bolo and cut down the tree in such a way as to cause it
to fall on the boy and kill him. Then he returned home, thinking that
he should have no more trouble on account of his son.
Early the next morning, the man heard a noise as of some one
approaching the house. On opening a window he perceived his son,
whom he supposed he had killed on the previous day, coming towards
the house and bearing a heavy load of wood. When the boy had come
near he asked where he should put the wood. At first the father was
too much frightened to reply, but at last he told his son to put the
wood down near the house.
For a long time Juan lived at home, but his parents hated him
continually, and at last decided to give him poison. One day they sent
him on a long trip, giving him seven pieces of poisoned bread for his
food along the way. When he had become weary and hungry from walking,
he sat down under a tree and began to open the handkerchief to get from
it some of the bread to eat. Suddenly a number of crows flew down from
the tree, seized the bread, ate it, and almost immediately died. The
boy at once perceived the intention of his parents and returned
home. As soon as he arrived there, he declared to his father and
mother his intention of leaving them and going elsewhere to live. As
soon as they heard him, they were full of joy, and readily gave him
the desired permission.
He went to a distant town, and decided to study. He made such progress
that his teachers were charmed with his diligence. He was very fond
of debates with his schoolmates, and one day asked them the following
riddle: "Two tried to kill one, one killed seven, two were left, and
one went away." They searched through the books for the answer to the
riddle, but as they were unable to find it, they agreed that Juan was
the cleverest one among them, since they could not answer his riddle.
One day the student met a young lady to whom he gave the riddle. She
asked for a little time in which to study it, and this being granted,
went home, disguised herself as a young man and, returning, asked
Juan to tell the answer to the riddle. "For I know," she said,
"that many students have tried to find the solution of this riddle,
but have not been successful." Juan finally granted her request,
and told her the answer to the riddle, which was the story of his life.
Then the young lady returned home, put on her own clothes, and went
back to the student's house, to give him the answer to his riddle. When
Juan heard her answer, he thought her a very clever young woman,
since she had succeeded where so many young men had failed, so he
fell in love with the young lady and married her.
The Two Wives and the Witch.
There was once a man who had a wife that was not pretty. He became
tired of looking at her, and so went away and married another wife.
His first wife was in great sorrow, and wept every day. One day as she
was crying by the well, where she had gone for water, a woman asked
her: "Why are you weeping?" The wife answered: "Because my husband has
left me and gone to live with another wife." "Why?" said the witch,
for that is what the woman was.
"Because I have not a pretty face," answered the wife. While she
was talking the witch touched the wife's face, and then she said:
"I cannot stay here any longer," and went off.
When the wife reached home she looked in the glass and saw that her
face had been changed until it was the most beautiful in the town. Very
soon a rumor spread through the town that in such and such a house
there was living a very beautiful woman. Many young men went to see
the pretty woman, and all were pleased with her beauty.
The bad husband went also. He was astonished that his wife was not at
home, and that a pretty woman was living there alone. He bowed to the
lady and avowed his love. The lady at first refused to believe him,
and said: "If you will leave the woman who is now your wife and come
to live with me right along I will take you for my husband." The man
agreed, and went to live with the pretty woman.
The other woman was very angry when she heard the news, for it was
reported that the pretty woman was the man's first wife, who had
been changed by a witch. She determined to try what the witch could
do for her, and went to get water at the same well.
The witch appeared and asked: "Why are you weeping, my good woman?" The
woman told her that her husband had gone away to live with the pretty
woman. As she was speaking, the witch touched her face, and said:
"Go home, my good woman, and do not weep, for your husband will come
very soon to see you."
When she heard this she ran home as fast as she could. All the
people whom she met on the road were afraid of her, because she was
so ugly. Her nose was about two feet long, her ears looked like large
handkerchiefs, and her eyes were as big as saucers. Nobody recognized
her, not even her mother. All were afraid of such a creature. When
she saw in the glass how ugly she was, she refused to eat, and in a
few days she died.
The Living Head.
There once lived a man and his wife who had no children. They
earnestly desired to have a son, so they prayed to their God, Diva,
that he would give them a son, even if it were only a head.
Diva pitied them, and gave them a head for a son. Head, for that
was his name, grew up, and gradually his father and mother ceased to
think of his misfortune, and grew to love him very much.
One day Head saw the chief's daughter pass the house, and fell in love
with her. "Mother," he said, "I am in love with the chief's daughter
and wish to marry her. Go now, I pray you, to the chief and ask him to
give me his daughter to be my wife." "Dear Head," answered his mother,
"it is of no use to go on such an errand, the chief's daughter will
surely not be willing to marry only a head." But Head insisted, so,
in order to quiet him, his mother went to the chief and made known
her son's desire. Of course she met with a refusal, and returned home
and told Head the result of her errand.
Head went downstairs into the garden and began to sink into the ground.
"Head, come up," said his mother, "and let us eat."
"Sink! sink! sink!" cried Head.
"Head, come up and let us eat!" repeated his mother.
"Sink! sink! sink!" was Head's answer, and he continued to sink
until he could no longer be seen. His mother tried in vain to take
him out. After a while a tree sprang up just where Head had sunk,
and in a short time it bore large, round fruit, almost as large as
a child's head. This is the origin of the orange-tree.
The Visayans tell many stories which have as their hero Juan Pusong,
or Tricky John. As the name implies, he is represented as being
deceitful and dishonest, sometimes very cunning, and, in some of the
stories told of him, endowed with miraculous power. The stories are
very simple and of not very great excellence. The few which follow
will serve as samples of the narratives told of this popular hero.
I. Juan Pusong was a lazy boy. Neither punishment nor the offer of
a reward could induce him to go to school, but in school-time he was
always to be found on the plaza, playing with the other boys.
His mother, however, believed him to be in school, and each day
prepared some dainty for him to eat upon his return home. Juan was
not satisfied with deceiving his mother in this way, but used to play
tricks on her.
"Mother," he said, one day, "I have already learned to be a seer
and to discover what is hidden. This afternoon when I come home from
school I will foretell what you have prepared for me."
"Will you?" said his mother joyfully, for she believed all he said,
"I will try to prepare something new and you will not be able to
"I shall, mother, I shall, let it be whatever it may," answered
Juan. When it was time to go to school, Juan pretended to set out,
but instead he climbed a tree which stood near the kitchen, and hiding
himself among the leaves, watched through the window all that his
His mother baked a bibingca, or cake made of rice and sweet potato,
and hid it in a jar. "I will bet anything," she said, "that my son will
not guess what it is." Juan laughed at his mother's self-conceit. When
it was time for school to close he got down, and with a book in his
hand, as though he had really come from school, appeared before his
mother and said: "Mother, I know what you are keeping for me."
"What is it?" asked his mother.
"The prophecy that I have just learned at school says that there is
a bibingca hidden in the olla." The mother became motionless with
surprise. "Is it possible?" she asked herself, "my son is indeed a
seer. I am going to spread it abroad. My son is a seer."
The news was spread far and wide and many people came to make trial
of Pusong's powers. In these he was always successful, thanks to his
ability to cheat.
II. One day a ship was anchored in the harbor. She had come from a
distant island. Her captain had heard of Pusong's power and wished
to try him. The trial consisted in foretelling how many seeds the
oranges with which his vessel was loaded contained. He promised to
give Juan a great quantity of money if he could do this.
Pusong asked for a day's time. That night he swam out to the vessel,
and, hidden in the water under the ship's stern, listened to the
conversation of the crew. Luckily they were talking about this very
matter of the oranges, and one of them inquired of the captain what
kind of oranges he had.
"My friend," said the captain, "these oranges are different from any
in this country, for each contains but one seed."
Pusong had learned all that he needed to know, so he swam back to the
shore, and the next morning announced that he was ready for the trial.
Many people had assembled to hear the great seer. Pusong continued to
read in his book, as though it was the source of his information. The
hour agreed upon struck, and the captain of the vessel handed an
orange to Juan and said: "Mr. Pusong, you may tell us how many seeds
this orange contains."
Pusong took the orange and smelled it. Then he opened his book and
after a while said: "This orange you have presented me with contains
but one seed."
The orange was cut and but the one seed found in it, so Pusong was
paid the money. Of course he obtained a great reputation throughout
the country, and became very rich.
III. Juan Pusong's father drove his cows out one day to pasture. Juan
slipped secretly from the house, and going to the pasture, took the
cows into the forest and tied them there. When his father was going
for the cows he met Juan and asked: "Where did you come from?" The
boy replied: "I have just come from school. What are you looking for?"
"I am looking for our cows," said his father.
"Why did n't you tell me that before," asked Juan. "Wait a minute,"
and he took his little book from his pocket and, looking into it, said:
"Our cows are in such a place in the forest, tied together. Go and get
them." So his father went to the place where Juan said the cows were
and found them. Afterwards it was discovered that Juan could not read
even his own name, so his father beat him for the trick he had played.
IV. Pusong and Tabloc-laui. Pusong had transgressed the law, and was
for this reason put into a cage to be in a short time submerged with
it into the sea.
Tabloc-laui, a friend of Pusong's, passed by and saw him in the
cage. "What are you there for?" Tabloc-laui asked.
"Oh!" answered Pusong, "I am a prisoner here, as you see, because the
chief wants me to marry his daughter and I don't want to do it. I am
to stay here until I consent."
"What a fool you are!" said Tabloc-laui. "The chief's daughter is
pretty, and I am surprised that you are not willing to marry her."
"Hear me, Tabloc-laui!" said the prisoner. "If you want to marry
the chief's daughter, let me out and get in here in my place; for
tomorrow they will come and ask you if you will consent. Then you
will be married at once."
"I am willing!" exclaimed Tabloc-laui. "Get out and I will take
Next morning the chief ordered his soldiers to take the cage with
the prisoner to the sea and submerge it in the water.
Tabloc-laui, on seeing the soldiers coming toward him, thought they
would make inquiries of him as Pusong had said.
"I am ready now," he said, "I am ready to be the princess's husband."
"Is this crazy fellow raving?" asked the soldiers. "We are ordered
to take you and submerge you in the sea."
"But," objected Tabloc-laui, "I am ready now to marry the chief's
He was carried to the sea and plunged into the water, in spite of
his crying, "I am not Pusong! I am Tabloc-laui!"
The next week the chief was in his boat, going from one fish-trap to
another, to inspect them. Pusong swam out to the boat.
The chief, on seeing him, wondered, for he believed that Pusong was
dead. "How is this?" he asked. "Did you not drown last week?"
"By no means. I sank to the bottom, but I found that there was no water
there. There is another world where the dead live again. I saw your
father and he charged me to bid you go to him, and afterwards you will
be able to come back here, if you wish to do so." "Is that really true,
Pusong?" asked the chief. "Yes, it is really true," was the reply.
"Well, I will go there. I will have a cage made and go through the
way you did."
So the next morning the chief was submerged in the water, with the hope
of coming back. When a considerable time had elapsed without seeing
his return, his servants searched for Pusong, in order to punish him,
but he had escaped to the mountains.
V. The Enchanted Prince. There was once a king who had three young
and beautiful daughters named Isabel, Catalina, and Maria.
In the capital city of the kingdom lived a young man known by the
name of Juan Pusong. He had as friends an ape, named Amo-Mongo, and
a wildcat, whose name was Singalong. The three friends were passing
one day in front of the palace, and, seeing the three young ladies,
were greatly charmed by their beauty.
Pusong, who posed as a young aristocrat of considerable learning,
determined to go before the king and declare his love for the Princess
Isabel. The king received him favorably, and offered him a seat;
but Juan refused to sit down until he should know the result of
The king was astonished at his manner, and asked him what he
wanted. Juan replied that he had presumptuously allowed himself to be
charmed by the beauty of the Princess Isabel, and humbly requested the
king's consent to their marriage. The king had the princess summoned
before him, and in the presence of Pusong asked her if she would accept
this man as her husband. She dutifully expressed her willingness to do
whatever her father wished, so the king granted the request of Pusong,
who was immediately married to Isabel.
When Amo-Mongo saw how successful Pusong had been, he presented himself
before the king, as his friend had done, and requested the hand of the
Princess Catalina. The king, somewhat unwillingly, gave his consent,
and these two were also married.
When Singalong saw to what high positions his friends had attained,
he became desirous of like fortune, so he went to the king and obtained
his consent to his marriage with the Princess Maria.
All three of the king's sons-in-law lived with their wives at the
palace, at the king's expense. The latter seeing that his daughters'
husbands were lazy fellows, determined to make them useful, so he sent
Pusong and Amo-Mongo out to take charge of his estates in the country,
while to Singalong he gave the oversight of the servants who worked
in the kitchen of the palace.
Pusong and Amo-Mongo went out to the hacienda with the intention
of doing something, but when they arrived there, they found so much
to do that they concluded that it would be impossible to attend to
everything and so decided to do nothing.
The latter, after merely looking over the estate, entered the forest,
in order to visit his relatives there. His fellow monkeys, who knew of
his marriage with the princess, believed him to be of some importance,
and begged him to save them from the famine which was devastating the
forest. This Amo-Mongo, with much boasting of his wealth, promised to
do, declaring that at the time of harvest he would give them plenty
When Pusong and his companion returned to the palace they were asked by
the king how many acres they had cleared. They replied that they had
cleared and planted about one thousand acres. The king was satisfied
with their answer, and, at Amo-Mongo's request, gave orders for a
large quantity of rice to be carried from the storehouse to the spot
in the forest where his son-in-law had promised the monkeys that they
should find it.
On the other hand, Singalong during the day did nothing, and as the
king never saw him at work he disliked his third son-in-law very
much. Yet every morning there were great piles of fish and vegetables
in the palace kitchen. Amo-Mongo, knowing that his brother-in-law
usually went out at night in order to bring something home, contrived
to get up early and see what there was in the kitchen, so as to present
it to the king as the result of his own labors. In this way, Amo-Mongo
became each day dearer and dearer to the king, while Singalong became
more and more disliked. Maria knew that her husband procured their
food in some way, for every morning he said to her: "All that you
see here I have brought." However, the king knew nothing of all this.
When the early harvest time came, the king commanded Amo-Mongo to
bring rice to make pilipig. (Rice pounded into flakes and toasted,
a dish of which Filipinos are very fond.) Amo-Mongo did not know
where he could find it, but set out in the direction from which he
had seen Singalong coming each morning, and soon came to an extensive
rice-field bearing an abundant crop. He took a goodly portion of it
and, returning to the palace, had the pilipig prepared and set before
the king and his household. Every one ate of it, except Singalong,
who was the real owner, and his wife, who had been secretly notified
by him of the truth of the matter.
Maria was greatly perplexed by what her husband had told her, so she
determined one night to watch him. She discovered that, as soon as
the other people were asleep, her husband became transformed into
a handsome prince and left the palace, leaving behind him his cat's
dress. As soon as he had gone, Maria took the cast-off clothing of
her husband and cast it into the fire. Singalong smelt it burning and
returned to the palace, where he found his wife and begged her to
return to him his cat's dress. This she was unable to do, since it
was entirely consumed. As a result, Singalong was obliged to retain
the form of a prince, but he was afraid to appear before the king in
this guise, and so hid himself.
In the morning, Maria went to the king and told him the truth about
her husband. Her father, however, thought that she was crazy, and
when she insisted, invited her to accompany him to Amo-Mongo's farm,
in order to convince her of her error. Many people went with them,
and Amo-Mongo led them to the farm, which was really Singalong's,
but told them that it belonged to himself. Besides other things,
Singalong had planted many fruits, among them atimon and candol.
Amo-Mongo, seeing the diversity of fruits, began to eat all he could,
until he became unable to move a step. Whenever his wife urged him
to come away, he would take an atimon under his arm and a candol or
so in his hands, until at last his wife, angry at his greediness,
gave him a push which caused him to fall headlong, striking his head
against a stone and being instantly killed.
Then Singalong, who had secretly followed the crowd from the palace,
showed himself to the king in his proper form. After making suitable
explanations, he led them to a fine palace in the middle of the
hacienda. There they all lived together, but Pusong and his wife,
who in former times had treated Singalong very harshly, giving him
only the bones and scraps from the table, were now obliged to act as
servants in the kitchen of the king's new palace.
The Enchanted Ring.
There was once a king who had suffered for a long time with a painful
disease, in spite of all the efforts of the doctors to cure it. At
last he caused a proclamation to be made that whoever could cure him
should marry his daughter as a reward.
One day a snake appeared before the king and asked permission to cure
him. The king at first refused, but the snake said that his body
contained some gall whose power to cure was wonderful, so the king
consented to try it, and was soon cured.
The snake was really a prince who had been changed into this form
by enchantment. Every night he took on his proper form and went for
a walk around the city. His wife once saw him do this, so she asked
him to tell her the truth. The snake told her his secret, but forbade
her to tell any one, on pain of his leaving her.
One day the other daughters of the king consulted as to how they
should find out the truth about their sister's husband. They took
their sister into the garden and asked her many questions, but Maria
kept silent about the snake's secret. So her sisters fastened her
to a tree at the bottom of which was an ant's nest. Maria could not
long endure the pain of the bites of the ants and told her sisters the
truth. They let her go back home, but she could not find her husband
anywhere, and set out to look for him. She asked the birds she met
if they had seen him, but they answered that they had flown over all
the country around, for hundreds of miles, without seeing him. She
was very sorrowful, and at last, worn out with grief and weariness,
lay down to sleep under a tree which was barren of leaves, except
for three large ones at the very top.
Maria dreamed that her husband was in a house not far away and was
dangerously ill. She dreamed, also, that the leaves on the top
of the tree under which she was sleeping were the only cure for
his sickness. As soon as she awoke, she climbed the tree and got
the leaves and took them with her to the house, where she found her
husband, just as she had dreamed.
When she came to the door of the house she met a black woman whom she
asked about Don Juan, which was the prince's name. The black woman
told her that he was sick, and asked her why she had come. Maria
replied that she had learned of his sickness and had come to cure him
with some leaves. As soon as the negress learned about the leaves,
she took them and gave them to the prince, who immediately recovered
from his sickness.
The prince had promised to marry any woman who could cure him,
and as the black woman had cured him he married her. The negress,
seeing that she was ugly, tried to make Maria so also, so she took
her as a servant and painted her black; but Maria had an enchanted
ring which gave her the power of changing her form. Every night in
her room Maria made use of her ring, obtaining by means of it her
maids of honor, fine dresses, and a band which played sweet music.
It chanced one night that Don Juan was awakened by the sound of
music. He traced it to a certain room, and looking through the keyhole,
saw all that was going on in Maria's room. He was greatly astonished
and stood watching for a long time. Suddenly he saw Maria take from
her ring a pair of scissors. These at a sign suspended themselves in
the air, ready, when Maria should give the signal, to fall and pierce
her heart. Don Juan rushed into the room and caught the scissors just
as they were falling.
Then Maria told him all that had happened to her. She was proclaimed
as the prince's true wife, and the black woman was put to death as
a punishment for her deception.
The Enchanted Shell.
In the olden time there lived a man and his wife who had no son. They
prayed that they might have a son, even if he were only like a little
shell. When their son was born, he was very small, and just like a
shell, so he was named Shell.
One day Shell asked permission of his mother to go and get some
food. His mother at first would not let him, as she was afraid he
would meet some animal which would kill him; but at last she consented,
and he set out.
He went to the river, where some women were catching fish and putting
them into baskets. One of them laid her basket on the grass near
the river and Shell crept into it. In a few minutes the woman picked
up her basket and started for home. All at once Shell began to cry
"Rain! Rain!" The woman was so frightened at hearing the fishes talk,
as she supposed, that she threw down her basket and ran away. Then
Shell took the basket full of fish to his mother.
The next day Shell went out again. He saw an old man walking along
the road and carrying the head of a cow, so he followed him. The old
man went into the house of a friend, leaving the cow's head hanging
on the fence. Shell climbed up the fence and got into the cow's ear,
keeping very quiet. When the old man came out of the house he took
the head and continued his walk. As he reached a desert place called
Cahana-an, the head began to say: "Ay! Ay!" The old man became so
frightened that he threw the head away, and Shell carried it home.
Days passed. Shell told his mother that he was in love with a beautiful
daughter of the chief and must have her for his wife. The poor mother
was amazed and did not want to present his request to the chief. "My
dear Shell," she said, "you are beside yourself." But he urged her
and urged her, until at last she went. She begged the chief's pardon
for her boldness and made known her errand. The chief was astonished,
but agreed to ask his daughter if she were willing to take Shell for
a husband. Much to his surprise and anger she stated that she was
willing to marry him. Her father was so enraged that he exclaimed:
"I consider you as being lower than my servants. If you marry this
Shell I will drive you out of the village." But Shell and the girl
were married, and escaped from the town to a little house in the
fields, where they lived in great sorrow for a week. But at the end
of that time, one night at midnight, the shell began to turn into a
good-looking man, for he had been enchanted at his birth by an evil
spirit. When his wife saw how handsome he was, she was very glad,
and afterwards the chief received them back into his favor.
The Three Brothers.
Once upon a time there was a great king who had three sons. The oldest
was named Pedro, the next Pablo, and the youngest Juan. One day their
father called them to him, and giving each one a small sum of money,
said: "Go and seek for yourselves wives, for I am getting old and
wish to see you settled down before I die. The one who gets the most
beautiful wife shall have the kingdom. In addition to the money I
have given you, you may each have a horse from my stables."
Pedro and Pablo rushed off and secured the best horses, so that when
Juan, who had stopped to thank his father, arrived at the stable,
he found only an old horse, scarcely able to walk. However, he
determined to set out; but after getting a mile or so from home, he
saw that it was impossible to go farther, so sat down on a well-curb
and wept bitterly. While he was weeping, a frog floated to the top of
the water and asked what the matter was, and Juan told him all about
his trouble. The frog said: "Never mind. Go to sleep for an hour and
I will look for a wife for you."
At the end of the hour the frog awoke Juan and said: "Go home now,
and tell your father that you have found a wife." Juan did so,
and found his brothers at home, each claiming to have found a
wife. Their father said: "I wish to test your wives. Here are three
handkerchiefs. Each of you must take one of them to his bride and
have it embroidered." They took the handkerchiefs and departed; but
Juan, when he had arrived at the well, sat down as before and wept,
because he thought that now he would surely be found out.
The frog floated again to the surface of the well and asked Juan
what the matter was. Juan replied, "I told my father that I had
found a wife, as you bade me, and now he wishes to test my wife,
to see if she is a suitable mate for me, and has sent me with this
handkerchief for her to embroider. I do not know what to do, for now
my father will surely find out that I have deceived him, and I shall be
disgraced." The frog said: "Do not worry. Give me your handkerchief and
go to sleep for an hour and I will have it embroidered for you." At
the end of the hour the frog brought to Juan the handkerchief, all
beautifully embroidered. When Juan arrived at home, he found his
brothers there, each with his handkerchief beautifully embroidered,
but Juan's handkerchief was embroidered the most beautifully of all.
Then their father said: "Your wives, evidently, can embroider well,
but I must see how they can cook. Here are three cows. Each of you
must take one of them and have your wife cook it." The brothers went
off with the cows, but Juan led his cow to the well in which the frog
lived, and, as before, sat down and began to weep. After a while the
frog came to the top of the water and asked: "Why are you weeping so
bitterly?" "Oh, my dear frog! Here is a cow which my father says my
wife must cook. What shall I do?" The frog replied: "Go to sleep for
an hour and I will cook the meat for you." Juan went to sleep, and at
the end of the hour the frog woke him, and showing him the cow cooked
whole, said: "Take this home and when you have carried it upstairs,
break off one horn and see what will happen." Juan took the roast cow
home, and when he arrived there found his brothers before him, with
their meat roasted. Juan carried his cow upstairs and each animal
was placed upon a table by itself. The king tasted Pedro's meat,
and found it too salt. Then he tried Pablo's, and found it not salt
enough. When he approached the table on which Juan's meat was laid,
Juan broke off one of the cow's horns, and immediately a beautiful
service of silver dishes, enough for twelve persons, rolled out, each
dish taking its proper place upon the table, with the roast cow in
the midst. Then the king and his councillors sat down to the feast,
and when they had tasted the meat, they found it just right.
On the next day the king ordered his sons to bring their wives to the
palace, so that he might decide which was the most beautiful. Juan was
in more trouble than ever, for now he was sure of being discovered;
so he went to the well again, weeping bitterly and calling aloud
for the frog. In a few minutes the frog appeared, and to him Juan
related his trouble. The frog said: "Under that tree is a hammock; go
to sleep in it for an hour, and three women will wake you by shaking
the hammock. Take the middle one and return home, for that one is to
be your wife." All happened as the frog had said. Juan took the woman
home with him, and as he approached the house, his father was looking
out of the window. When the king saw how beautiful Juan's wife was,
he was so overcome with joy that he fainted. When he had recovered,
he declared Juan's wife was the most beautiful woman he had ever
seen. So to Juan was given the kingdom. Pedro became the palace
coachman, and Pablo the cook.
Berton L. Maxfield, Ph. B.
Brooklyn, N. Y.
The Datto Somacuel.
Datto Somacuel was one of the seven chiefs who, coming from Borneo
many years before the Spaniards conquered these islands, settled the
Island of Panay. He lived in Sinaragan, a town near San Joaquin, in
the southern part of Iloilo Province. His wife's name was Capinangan.
Somacuel went every morning to the seashore to watch his slaves
fish with the sinchoro, or net. One day they caught many fishes,
and Somacuel commanded them:--
"Spread the fish to dry, and take care that the crows do not eat
A slave answered: "Sir, if your treasure inside the house is stolen by
the crows, how do you expect those out of doors to be kept safe?" This
was said with a certain intonation that made Somacuel conjecture that
there was a hidden meaning in it.
"What do you mean by that?" he asked.
"Sir, I have to inform you of something that I should have told you
long ago. Do not reprove me if I have been backward in telling you
of the injury done you by your wife. It was due to my desire to get
complete proofs of the truth of my statement."
"End at once your tedious narrative!" said the datto, "What did my
"Sir," answered the slave, "she deceives you shamefully. She loves
Gorong-Gorong, who is at this very moment in your house jesting at
"Alas!" said Somacuel, "if this be true he shall pay well for his
The chief hurried home, intending to surprise the offenders. He carried
a fish called ampahan in a bamboo tube full of water, going around by
a secret way, so as not to be seen. On reaching home he went up into
the attic to observe what was going on, and found that his informant
had told the truth.
Gorong-Gorong and Capinangan were engaged in an affectionate
dialogue. Involuntarily Somacuel spilled some of the water down, and,
fearing that he would be discovered, seized a spear that was hidden
in the attic and, dropping it down, dexterously ran Gorong-Gorong
through the body, killing him instantly.
"Oh, Diva!" exclaimed Capinangan, kneeling beside the inert corpse,
"How shall I be able to take it away without being discovered by
Somacuel, who had not been seen at all, stayed quietly above, watching
what Capinangan would do. Capinangan did not suspect that her husband
was there, as he usually did not come home before nightfall. She
tried to take the corpse out for burial, but could not carry the heavy
body of her unfortunate lover. She must conceal it in some way, and
it was dangerous for her to call for aid, lest she might be betrayed
to her husband. So she took a knife and cut the body into pieces so
that she could take them out and bury them under the house.
After this task was done she managed to wash the blood up. She
became tranquil for a moment, believing she would never be
discovered. Somacuel, however, had observed all, and he formed a
plan for punishing his wife as she deserved. When everything seemed
to be calm he crept down, doing his best not to be seen. At the door
he called his wife by name. Capinangan was afraid, but concealed her
fear with a smile. "Capinangan," said her husband, "cut this fish in
pieces and cook it for me."
Capinangan was astonished at this command, because she had never before
been treated in this way. They had many slaves to perform such tasks.
"You know I cannot," she said.
"Why not?" asked her husband.
"Because I have never learned how to cut a fish in pieces nor to cook
it," she replied.
"I am astonished that you don't know how to cut, after seeing that
cutting is your favorite occupation," said Somacuel.
Capinangan then did not doubt that her husband knew what she had done,
so she did as he had bidden.
When dinner was ready the husband and wife ate it, but without speaking
to each other. After the meal, Somacuel told his wife that he had
seen all and should punish her severely. Capinangan said nothing. A
guilty person has no argument with which to defend himself. Somacuel
ordered his servants to throw Capinangan into the sea. At that time
the chief's will was law. Neither pleadings nor tears softened his
hard heart, and Capinangan was carried down to the sea and thrown in.
Time passed by; Somacuel each day grew sadder and gloomier. He would
have been willing now to forgive his wife, but it was too late.
He said to his slaves: "Prepare a banca for me, that I may sail from
place to place to amuse myself."
So one pleasant morning a banca sailed from Sinaragan, going
southward. Somacuel did not intend to go to any definite place,
but drifted at the mercy of wind and current. He amused himself by
singing during the voyage.
One day the crew descried land at a distance. "Sir," they said,
"that land is Cagayan. Let us go there to get oysters and crane's
eggs." To this their master agreed, and upon anchoring off the coast
he prepared to visit the place.
Oh, what astonishment he felt, as he saw, peeping out of the window of
a house, a woman whose appearance resembled in great measure that of
Capinangan! He would have run to embrace her, had he not remembered
that Capinangan was dead. He was informed that the woman was named
Aloyan. He began to pay court to her, and in a few weeks she became
Somacuel was happy, for his wife was very affectionate. Aloyan,
on her part, did not doubt that her husband loved her sincerely,
so she said to him:--
"My dear Somacuel, I will no longer deceive you. I am the very woman
whom you caused to be thrown into the sea. I am Capinangan. I clung
to a log in the water and was carried to this place, where I have
lived ever since."
"Oh," said Somacuel, "pardon me for the harshness with which I meant
to punish you."
"Let us forget what is passed," said Capinangan. "I deserved it,
So they returned to Sinaragan, where they lived together happily for
There was once a man named Magboloto who lived in the depths of the
mountains. One day on going down to a brook he saw three goddesses
bathing in the water. They had left their wings on the bank, and
Magboloto managed to slip down and steal one pair of them. When the
goddesses had finished bathing and looked for their wings, they could
not find those belonging to the youngest, Macaya. At last the two
goddesses put on their wings and flew up to heaven, leaving behind
them Macaya, who wept bitterly, since without her wings she could
not go home. Then Magboloto, feigning to have come from a distance,
met her and asked: "Why do you weep, lady?"
"Why do you ask, if you will not help me in my trouble?" answered
"I will do my best to help you," said Magboloto, "if you will tell
me about it."
So Macaya told him that she had lost her wings, and therefore could
not return to her home in heaven.
"I am sorry not to be able to help you out of your trouble," said
Magboloto, "but we terrestrial people do not use wings, nor know
where to get them. The only thing I can do for you is to offer you
a home with me." Macaya was obliged to accept his offer, since there
was nothing else for her to do.
About a year after Macaya became Magboloto's wife they had a child. One
day, as Magboloto was making rice soup on the hearth, Macaya was
swinging the child in a hammock. Accidentally, she noticed a bundle
stuck into one of the bamboo posts in the partition. She withdrew the
bundle, and upon unrolling it found, oh, joy! her long-lost wings,
which Magboloto had hidden in the hollow bamboo. She at once put
them on, and leaving her husband and child, flew up to join her
Magboloto, on missing his wife, began calling loudly for her. As he
could not find her, he looked for the wings, and seeing that they
were gone, knew at once what had happened. He began to weep bitterly,
especially as he did not know how to take care of the child. So leaving
it in the care of a relative, he set out to find the way to heaven. He
had walked a great distance when he met North Wind. "Magboloto,
Magboloto, why are you weeping?" asked North Wind.
"Ask me nothing, if you cannot help me in any way," answered Magboloto.
"Tell me your trouble and I will help you," said North Wind. "Well,"
replied Magboloto, "I have a wife who came from heaven. But now she
has flown away, leaving a little child for me to take care of, and
I am in great sorrow. Please show me the way that leads to her home."
"Magboloto," said North Wind, "I do not know the way, but my brother,
East Wind, can tell you. Good-by."
Magboloto went on his way, and after a while he met East
Wind. "Magboloto, Magboloto, why are you weeping?" asked East Wind.
"Ask me nothing, if you cannot help me in any way," said Magboloto.
"Tell me all your trouble and I will help you," answered East Wind.
Then Magboloto related all his sorrow, just as he had done to North
"Well," said East Wind, "I do not know the way, but my brother,
South Wind, may be able to show it to you. Good-by."
Magboloto went on, and at last met South Wind.
"Magboloto, Magboloto, why are you weeping?" asked South Wind.
"Ask me nothing, if you cannot help me in any way," said Magboloto.
"Tell me your trouble and I will help you," answered South Wind.
Then Magboloto told him his story, just as he had done to North Wind
and East Wind.
"Well," said South Wind, "I do not know the way to heaven, but
my brother, West Wind, can tell you the course to be taken to get
Magboloto went on and on, and at last met West Wind. "Magboloto,
Magboloto, why are you weeping?" asked West Wind.
"Ask me nothing, if you cannot help me in any way," answered Magboloto.
"Tell me your trouble and I will help you," answered West Wind,
and Magboloto did as he was bidden.
"Magboloto," said West Wind, "I don't know the way to heaven, but my
friend, Mr. Eagle, does. Good-by."
Magboloto went on until he met Mr. Eagle.
"Magboloto, Magboloto, why are you weeping?" asked Mr. Eagle.
"Ask me nothing, if you cannot help me in any way," answered Magboloto.
"Tell me your trouble and I will help you," replied Mr. Eagle. Then
Magboloto told Mr. Eagle his trouble.
"Magboloto," said Mr. Eagle, "get upon my back and I will carry you
to your wife's home."
Magboloto climbed upon Mr. Eagle's back and they flew up until they
reached Macaya's house. Then Magboloto requested Macaya's grandmother,
with whom she lived, to let her granddaughter return to earth with him.
"By no means," said the grandmother, "unless you will spread ten
jars of lunga (a certain very small grain) out to dry and gather them
again in the evening."
So Magboloto spread the jars of lunga on the sand, and at noon began
to gather them up; but sunset had come before he had gathered more
than five handfuls, so he sat down and began to cry like a little boy.
The king of the ants heard him, and wishing to help him,
asked:--"Magboloto, Magboloto, why are you weeping?"
"Ask me nothing, if you cannot help me."
"Tell me about it and I will help you."
So Magboloto told the king of the ants all his history, and the
condition imposed by the grandmother before he could have his wife,
and how impossible it was to fulfil it.
"Well, Magboloto, you shall be helped," said the king of the ants. Then
he blew his horn, and in a little while all his subjects came, and
began picking up the grain and putting it into the jars. In a few
moments all the grain was in the jars.
The next morning Magboloto went to get his wife, but the grandmother
stopped him, saying:--
"You shall not take my granddaughter away until you have first hulled
a hundred bushels of rice."
Magboloto was in despair, for he knew that to hull one hundred
bushels of rice would take him not less than one hundred days, and
the grandmother required him to do it in one day; so he cried like
a child at his misfortune. The king of the rats heard him crying,
and at once came to help him.
"Magboloto, Magboloto, why are you weeping?" asked King Rat.
"Ask me nothing, if you cannot help me."
"Relate the matter, and I will."
Magboloto told him his trouble. Then the king of the rats called his
subjects together and ordered them to gnaw the hulls from the rice. In
an instant the rice was all hulled.
The next morning Magboloto made ready to depart with his wife, but
the grandmother stopped him again, saying:--
"You may not go until you have chopped down all the trees you see on
that mountain over there."
There were more than a million trees, so Magboloto was in great
trouble, and as usual he began to weep.
The king of the wild boars heard him and came up, saying:--
"Magboloto, Magboloto, why are you weeping?"
"Ask me nothing, if you cannot help me."
"Relate the matter, and I will."
Magboloto related all that had happened to him. Then the king of
the wild boars called all his subjects together and set them at work
cutting down the trees with their tusks. In a few minutes the trees
were all down.
When the grandmother saw that Magboloto accomplished every task she
gave him to do she became tired of trying to think of things for
him to do; so she allowed him to depart with Macaya, and leaving the
celestial abode they descended to their home on the earth, where they
lived happily together for many years.
Why Dogs Wag Their Tails.
Once upon a time there lived in a certain pueblo a rich man who
had a dog and a cat. His only daughter, of whom he was very fond,
was studying in a convent in a city several miles distant and it was
his custom, about once a week, to send the dog and cat to take her
a little present. The dog was so old that he had lost all his teeth,
and so was unable to fight, but the cat was strong and very cunning,
and so one could help the other, since the dog knew better how to
find the way.
One day the rich man wished to send a magic ring to his daughter, so he
called the dog and the cat to him. To the cat he said: "You are very
cunning and prudent. You may carry this magic ring to my daughter,
but be sure to take very great care of it." To the dog he said:
"You are to go with the cat to take a magic ring to my daughter. Take
care not to lose the way, and see that no one molests the cat." Both
animals promised to do their best and set out immediately.
On the way they were obliged to cross a wide and deep river, over
which there was no bridge, and as they were unable to find a boat,
they determined to swim across it. The dog said to the cat: "Give
me the magic ring." "Oh, no," replied the cat. "Did you not hear the
master say just what each of us had to do?"
"Yes, but you are not very good at swimming, and may lose the ring,
while I am strong and can take good care of it," answered the dog. The
cat continued to refuse to disobey its master, until at last the dog
threatened to kill it, and it was obliged to intrust the ring to the
Then they began to swim across the river, which was so strong that they
were about an hour in getting over, so that both became very tired and
weak. Just before they came to the other side, the dog dropped the ring
into the water, and it was impossible to find it. "Now," said the cat,
"we had better go back home and tell our master that we have lost the
ring." "Yes," answered the dog, "but I am very much afraid." So they
turned back toward home, but as they drew near the house his fear so
overcame him that he ran away and was never seen again.
The master was very much surprised to see the cat back so soon, and
asked him, "Where is your companion?" The cat was at first afraid to
answer. "Where is the dog?" asked the master again. "Oh, he ran away,"
replied the cat. "Ran away?" said the master. "What do you mean? Where
is the ring?" "Oh, pardon me, my master," answered the cat. "Do not be
angry, and I will tell you what has happened. When we reached the bank
of the river, the dog asked me to give him the ring. This I refused
many times, until at last he threatened to kill me if I did not give it
to him, and I was obliged to do so. The river was very hard to cross,
and on the way the dog dropped the ring into the water and we could
not find it. I persuaded the dog to come back with me to tell you
about it, but on the way he became so frightened that he ran away."
Then the master made a proclamation to the people, offering a reward to
the one who should find his old dog and bring him to him. They could
recognize the dog by his being old and having no teeth. The master
also declared that when he had found the delinquent he would punish
him by cutting off his tail. He ordered that the dogs all around the
world should take part in the search, and so ever since that time,
when one dog meets another he always asks: "Are you the old dog who
lost the magic ring? If you are, your tail must be cut off." Then
instantly both show their teeth and wag their tails to mean no. Since
that time, also, cats have been afraid of water, and will never swim
across a river if it can be avoided.
The Eagle and the Hen.
One day the eagle declared his love for the hen. He flew down to search
for her, and when he had found her he said: "I wish you to be my mate."
The hen answered: "I am willing, but let me first grow wings like
yours, so I can fly as high as you." The eagle replied: "I will do so,
and as a sign of our betrothal I will give you this ring. Take good
care of it until I come again."
The hen promised to do so, and the eagle flew away.
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