Philippine Folklore by Rodolfo Dato

Folklore entitled “Bikol Paper No. 43 Bikol Songs by Rodolfo Dato” Manila, October, 1922.

Bikol Songs by Rodolfo Dato
Folklore and myth by Rodolfo Dato

Why The Sky is Very High

Long, long time ago, when the world was still young, the sky was so low, people on Earth would often hit it with the pestles when they were husking rice. For this reason, the gods raised it a little higher. The people however, became so unruly that they would throw stones against it whenever their prayers were unanswered.

The gods could not tolerate the nuisance and so they raised the sky very high so that the people may not disturb it.

The Creation of the Monkeys

When the Great God was peopling the Earth with its inhabitants, He used to make statues out of clay, and with a short prayer would breathe life to them.

He had an assistant who was very ambitious and wanted to imitate Him.

One day, this assistant modeled several clay statues. When he began to utter the Great God’s incantation, he did not memorize the prayer, unconcluded, and so, instead of creating Men, he created the monkeys.

The Origin of the Lands

In the beginning there were no islands nor continents on Earth. All was water and so, the Great God decided to people the earth with its first human inhabitants, her ordered certain portions of the sea turned solid and become earth. The waves became the hills and the mountains; and between them, the valleys and ravines while the calm waters became the plains.

The Origin of the Echo

There was once a boy who was very lazy and would not help his aged mother even in cooking the rice. Whenever he was told to get some firewood, he would stay very long in the wilderness for he was very fond of imitating the songs of the birds, the noise of the water-falls, and almost every sound that came into his ear.

He became very expert in imitating all kinds of sounds and voices that he caused much trouble in the village, where he lived, by frightening the travelers at night with all sorts of infernal voices.

Every day the boy was out in the forests, and he became so intolerable that her mother became so exasperated. She wished she had never had a son.

Immediately after the mother had uttered those words, her son disappeared in view like a specter. His spirit was punished by God to remain forever in the places where he used to loaf around. Up to this time people still hear him imitating their voices and the sound produced in the woods and forests.

The Cause of Dreams

Dreams are caused by the experiences of the soul; the soul is a little lizard. When a man is awake, it stays in his body; but when he is asleep it goes out thru his nose and moves about the house. If in its wanderings, it enters holes, the man dreams of eaves and tunnels; if it swims in water, he dreams of something connected with the sea; and if it falls down, he may dream of having been thrown off from a horse, or having suffered a similar accident.

So, it is not wise to startle a sleeping man, he may not be able to wake up due to inability of his soul to return to his body. Neither it is wise to kill house lizards nor to tease them specially when somebody in the house is asleep.

The Lightning

The lightning is a very thin dog. It has very sharp teeth and fiery eyes. Whenever it rains, it hides under a basket so that the rain may not fall on it. Sometimes it leaves its hiding place, and goes out to its wreck of destruction.

After a thunderstorm, and you see a small patch of dry land in the streets or some other place where it rained, you may be sure that the lightning had been hiding during the storm.

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