Thursday, October 8, 2009

Woven Stories of Our Tribe


Once upon a time there was a couple named Remuryewen and Pangubleneen who lived in Mt. Alangan. They had three sons. Kaingin was their form of livelihood.
One day, the couple thought that their sons ere now old enough. They can already hunt by themselves and even to marry, so they can have their partner lives. That is why, the couple sent their two sons off.
The two brothers left happily without knowing the real intentions of their parents.
Until such time, they brought to Luklukeden’s place. There, they met Luklukeden’s daughter,a beautiful lady named Diyaga.
Not wasting any time, they told her parents that they were ready to serve her family as a exchange for her hand in marriage. Diyaga’s parents agreed with giving certain conditions or Pakulba in Mangyan term. First condition, The one who can plant crops in eight mountains may marry my daughter.” said the father.
Both brothers were able to plant in eight mountains. One could not defeat other.
Now, Luklukeden gave the second condition saying, The one of you who can bring me a lusong with eight holes may marry my daughter.” Both brothers fulfilled the second condition.
For the third requirement, the father said, the one who can hunt a tamaraw may marry my daughter. Both brothers were successful.
Diyaga’s father saw that two brothers where both great and good. Since no one of them would be defeated, they decided to fight.
During the fight, Alitawo stabbed Maburway’s body with a knife. So, Alitawo won the fight.
As his prize, he and Diyaga were married. And they lived together happily for many years.
Up to this day, our Alangan Mangyan elders say that a rock standing in the shape of Maburway’s body showing his wounds can still be seen in the mountains of Alangans. This is the place we call Palbunuan. And addition, whoever wanted to get the knife on Maburway’s body will die. Or, earthquake and thunder will simultaneously happen. That is why nobody wants to get that knife.

The Journey of Pepito
Narrated by Pepito Caquipotan
Illustrated by June Anthony Galicia

I live in a quite, simple, and peaceful community of Barangay Balite, Naujan. I am one of many Mangyan Alangan youth who continue to struggle in facing life’s challenges. My name is Pepito Caquipotan.
Like many Mangyans, I also dream of achieving all my goals in life. My parents sent me to a public school to get my education. In school, I faced many new experiences, very much different from the culture and life I grew up with. These new experiences completely changed me. In the morning, I leave the house but I do not go inside the school to attend my classes. I often stay outside of the school, wasting time with some of my classmates. We play games, gamble, drink alcohol and do other vices. We do this all for fun. In the afternoon, I wait for the end of classes and join my other classmates going home. This way my parents will not have any doubt about what where I went and came from during the day. It became very easy for them to convince me to join their group, a fraternity. I became a member of the fraternity. In a short time of joining the fraternity, I did know it will lead me to trouble. Ever since I joined the fraternity, I slowly forget my life, my culture, and my true identity as a true Mangyan.
In my new group, I was exposed to bad influences and activities. I took for granted the sacrifices of my parents to send me to school to be able to receive education. The money they give me for schooling I spent for my vices. For three years I was involved in the fraternity. One day I reflected on my situation and I realized that my misdeeds will not lead me to something good. My realization led me to a decision: I will stop temporarily going to school. One day, while I was with my fellow Mangyan friends, Lazaro, Rufino and Gener, I shared with them my situation and my decision. My Mangyan friends did not support my decision to stop temporarily going to school. They instead informed me about their special school and tried to convince me to go join them there to continue my study. They were referring to Tugdaan, their school. I thought about what my Mangyan friends told me and I felt that there are some things in that school that I might not be able to do, like wearing our native attire, tilling the land, speaking in Mangyan and relating with all my Mangyan classmates. These bothered me.
Many times I thought about the new school and the possibility that it might lead me to the right way and back to my roots as a Mangyan which I have somehow forgotten. The day came when I have to make a decision: to stop or to go to the new school. I was not sure that I deserved this new school. Because of my fears, I was one of the last students who signed up during enrollment. In my new school I initially felt fear and shame. Although it was very different, my fears and feelings of shame were later replaced by happiness. It was here in my new school where small positive changes in me and in my life started. Because of the positive changes, I am very grateful to the people who were being instrument in helping me make these changes and made me aware of the changes I need to make. Now I am here in this school which guides me in making my dreams come true.
Again, I am Pepito Caquipotan. Once I fell, but I picked myself up, stood up and continued to face all the challenges that life has to offer, together with the support of true friends who only wish a good and peaceful future for me.

Amagin-on and the Snakes
From: Buhid Mangyan

Amagin-on Relates:
When I hear the word “snake”, I have negative thoughts. Applied to human beings, it would mean a traitor or someone greedy. As an animal, it would be something I would fear and run away from, if it were alive. And if it were dead, I would return and find out how big it is what color it is and what kind of snake it is. A snake is fierce and it would make sure its victim is dead before leaving it.
On the other hand, Amagin-on had a story which his grandson Geosayan could not forget. He relates that the snake is also kind and is compassionate with fellow animals, even with enemies.
The story goes:
It is a long walk from home to the fields of the couple Gin-on and Agsing. While walking alone in his field, Gin-on saw two snakes fighting. The animals were not aware that someone was watching them. Ama Gin-on noted every move of the fight until one snake won over the other.
The victorious one left the dead snake but returned in no time, bringing something that looked like the root of a tree. It was black in color. The snake placed it near the head of the dead snake and left again. Hurriedly, Ama Gin-on stole the black root and climbed high up a tree in order to get a good view of what was to happen next. Several minutes after, the snake came back bringing a red root. Again it placed the red root near the head of the dead snake and left. Ama Gin-on climbed down, stole the red root and brought it to where he was hiding.
The snake came a third time, bringing another root which it placed near the head of the dead snake. This time, the snake stayed. It watched over the dead snake, and then twined itself around the body of the dead one. Next, it bit slightly into the flesh of the dead snake as though massaging its entire body. In no time, the tail of the dead snake began to move. It was starting to regain strength.
The victorious snake moved about as if looking for something. It went to the direction of Ama Gin-on. Am,a Gin-on felt the snake was after him, seemingly attracted by the smell of the roots he had stolen. Frightened, Am Gin-on jumped down the tree and ran as fast as he could.
Ama Gin-on arrived home panting. As he was about to rest, he heard commotion outside his house. Overcome with fatigue, he ignored the noise until he heard someone calling his name and asking for help. Someone was bitten by a snake and the condition of the victim did not improve even after several medications had been applied. Ama Gin-on remembered the roots he had stolen from the snake and gave some of these to be applied to the bite. The condition of the victim improved and soon he recovered.
Since then on, people would call Ama Gin-on for help every time someone was bitten by a snake. No other medicine could cure the victims except that which Ama Gin-on had.
Ama Gin-on did all he could to find out what kind of trees the roots came from. But something untoward happened. One day, his hut caught fire, burning everything down to the ground including roots that he wanted to identify.

Ang Mag-asawang Alitawo at Diyaga

The Couple,Alitawo And Diyaga

Si Alitawo ay makapangyarihan. Siya ay may panyong pula kapag tinatali niya ito sa kanyang leeg, siya nagiging isang manok.
Alitawo was a powerful man. He had a red magic handkerchief. When he ties it around his neck, he gets transformed into a rooster.
Isang araw, siya naglalakad sa tabing palayan sa bundok. Nakakita siya ng isang magandang babae na nag-aani sa gitna ng palayan. Ang buhok nito ay lampas-baywang. Si Alitawo ay humanga sa kagandahan ng dalaga. Mula ng ito ay kanyang nakita ay hindi na siya mapalagay. Hindi siya nakakatulog sa gabi. Lagi niyang naaalala ang dalagang si Diyaga.
One day, Alitawo took a walk in a rice field in the mountains. He saw a lovely lady with waist length hair, harvesting rice in that field. The lady’s name was Diyaga. Alitawo was held captive by her beauty. From the day he her, his nights became sleepless. And she was all he could ever think of.
Isang araw, namamasyal namuli sa palayan ni Diyaga. Nakita niya ang dalaga na nag-aani. Nag-isip si Alitawo kung paano niya ito malalapitan. Itinali niya sa kanyang leeg ang panyong pula at siya naging manok na tandang. Sa gitna ng palayan ay may krus na nakatusok sa pinaminhian ng mga matatanda. Doon siya humapon at tumilaok. Nakita siya ng dalaga, nilapitan at hinuli. Dinala ito sa bahay at ikinulong sa hinabing baging na hugis basket.
One day, Alitawo returned to the rice fields of Diyaga. As he had fervently hoped, he saw her harvesting rice again. Alitawo thought of a way to get near her. He tied his magic handkerchief around his neck and transformed himself into a rooster. In the middle of the field, near the place where Diyaga stood, there was a wooden cross marking the spot where the rice seedlings were piled up. The rooster, Alitawo perched on the wooden cross and stunted to crow, Diyaga went hear the rooster, captured it and took it home her. She kept it in a basket made of vine.
Sumapit ang gabi. Nasa loob ng kulungan si alitawo. Dummating ang manliligaw ni diyaga na ang pangalan ay si Alagase. Nagselos si Alitawo nang Makita niyang nag-uusap ang dalawa. Buong magdamag ay nag-isip si Alitawo kung ano ang gagawin niya para maka-usap niya ang dalaga.
Night came.alitawo was still in the basket when Diyagas suitor Alagase came to visit her. Alitawo was jealous as he watched the two nearby. All right,he could only think of how he could get to talk to Diyaga.
Nang umagang iyon,pumunta ang mag-anak sa palayan upang mag-ani at ang naiwan ay ang bunsong kapatid ni Diyaga na si Bukingking. Pag-alis ng dalaga ay tao si Alitawo. Kinausap niya si bukingking. “Bunso,nasan ang pana ng iyong ama?” tanong ni Alitawo. Pagkalipas ng dalawang oras ay bumalik siya na may baboy-damo. Inilagay niya ito sa pintuan ng bahay. Pinakiusapan niya si Bukingking na huwag sabihing siya ang may dala ng baboy
The following morning,Diyaga and her parents left for the fields. As soon as they had gone, Alitawo changed into his normal form as a man. It was only Bukingking, Diyagas younger sister, who was left at home. Alitawo asked Bukingking if he could borrow her fathers’ arrows. He promised to return it as soon as he gets back. With Bukingking’s permission, he left to hunt for a wild boar. In two hours he was back with his prize. He placed the wild boar at the doorstep of Diyaga’s house. Then he asked Bukingking to keep his identity secret. Bukingking promised to do so.
Napansin ni Alitawo na tuwing hapon, pag-uwi ng mag-anak ay saka pa lang sila nag-iigib, nagbabayo at nagluluto. Kaya tuwing umaalis ng bahay ang mag-anak sa umaga ay nag-iiggib siya ng tubig hanggang sa mapuno ang tapayan. Nagbabayo siya ng palay at nagluluto ng kanin. Pagdating ng mag-anak ay ala na silang kailangan pang gawin.
The next day, Alitawo noticed that each time Diyaga and her parents got back from the fields; they still had to fetch ater, prepare the rice and cook the food. So Alitawo id all these things for them while they were gone.
Pagdating ni Diyaga at ng kanyang magulang sa kanilang bahay ay nagtaka sila. Subalit ng naka-usap nila si Alagase ay nalaman nilang hindi pala siya ang gumawa ng mga ito dahil si Alagase ay may pagkatamad.lumipas ang dalaang lingo at ganoon pa rin ang nangyayari araw-araw. Ayaw namang sabihin ng bunso sa kanyang mga magulang o kay Diyaga kung sino ang gumagawa ng mga ito.
Diyaga and her parents were surprised to find the chores done when they got home. They thought that it was Alagase who did all these for them. So they asked him if indeed it was he. Alagase, who was lazy told them that he did not do any such thing. Meanwhile Alitawo and Bukingking still kept their secret.
Isang araw nagpunta muli ang mag-anak sa palayan. Sa tindi ng sikat ng araw ay sumakit ang ulo ni Diyaga kaya umuwi siya ng maaga. Habang ay papalapit na sa bahay ay may narinig siyang dagundong ng lusong. Nakita niyang may lalaking nagbabayo. Nilapitan niya ito. Nagulat ang dalaga sa kakisigan ng lalaking si Alitawo. Siya’y tulala ngunit hindi nagpahalata sa binata. Tinanong ni Diyaga kung siya ang gumawa ng mga gawain araw-araw habang sila ay nasa bukid. Sumagot ng “oo” si Alitawo at ipinagtapat niya kay Diyaga ang tunay niyang pagkatao.
One morning, while Diyaga and her parents were in the fields, Diyaga felt her head ache. She decided to go home early. As she came near the house, she heard the pounding of rice. From the distance she saw a man doing the work. As she approached, she noticed how handsome the young man was but she concealed her admiration. She asked if it was he who did the chores for them each day. Alitawo admitted to have done so. Then he revealed his true identity to Diyaga.
Noon din ay nagpahayag ng pag-ibig si Alitawo kay Diyaga. Sinabi ni Diyaga na kailangan munang magsilbi ni Alitawo sa pamilya ng dalaga sa loob ng dalawang taon bago siya pumayag na magpakasal sa binata. Bukal sa kalooban na tinanggap ng binata ang kondisyon. At siya’y nanilbihan ng dalawang taon sa pamilya ni Diyaga. Pagkatapos ng dalawang taon ay ikinasal sila at namuhay ng naligaya at masagana.
Unable to contain his feelings any longer, Alitawo offered his love to Diyaga. Diyaga told Alitawo that he has to serve her family for two years before he can have her hand in marriage. Lovingly, Alitawo served Diyaga’s family for two years. Then they were married and lived happily ever after.



  1. Once in our life we take a wrong path but a bundle of hopes is still there. Thus, we should work for it if we have the desire to make our life better and meaningful. Pepito's story will serve an inspiration for those who are in the wrong way.

    So, teacher, let's work hand in hand to let the rainbow shine in the midst of the stormy days that wrapped in the thoughts of our fellow.

    Good day...


  2. Let us pray...

    Teacher's Prayer
    Matimawa Aiza
    Lord, Please help me,
    To strengthen their voices,
    bodies and minds,
    To express their feelings and
    control them sometimes,
    To explore what's near
    and venture afar,
    But most important to love
    who they are.