Ibanag Myths: Why There is High Tide during a Full Moon

Philippine Folk Tales

Why There is High Tide during a Full Moon

Long, long ago only gods lived in this world, the earth, seas, and sky were ruled by three different powerful gods. The sun god, who ruled the sky, had a very beautiful daughter, Luna, the moon. Luna enjoyed going around the heavens in her golden chariot. One day she found herself taking another path which led her outside her kingdom. She wandered on until she reached the place where the sky met the sea. Beautiful and unusual sights greeted her eyes. As she was admiring the beautiful things around, a voice startled her. It asked, “Where has thou come from, most beautiful one?”

Turning around she saw a young man who looked much like her father though fairer. She wanted to run away, but when she looked at him again, she saw that he was smiling at her. Taking courage she answered, “I am Luna, daughter of the sun god.”

The young man smiled at her and answered, “I am Mar, the son of the sea god. Welcome to our kingdom.” Soon the two became good friends. They had many interesting stories to tell each other. When it was time for Luna to go, they promised to see each other as often as they could, for they has many more tales to tell. They continued meeting at the same spot until they realized that they were in love with each other.

One day after one of their secret meetings, Luna went back to the heavens full of joy. She was so happy that she told her secret to one of her cousins.   The cousin, jealous of her beauty and her happiness, reported the affair to the sun god. The sun god was angered at his daughter’s disobedience to the immortal laws. He shut her in their garden and did not allow her to get out.  Then he sent a messenger to the sea god informing him that his son Mar disobeyed the immortal law. The sea god, who was also angered by his son’s disobedience, imprisoned him in one of his sea caves.

Luna stayed in the garden for sometime. She was very sad at not being able to see Mar.  She longed to be with him again. Feeling very restless one day, she escaped from the garden. She took her golden chariot and rushed to their meeting place. Mar, who was imprisoned in the sea cave, saw her reflection on the water. He wanted to get out to meet her. He tried hard to get out of his cave causing unrest in the sea. Luna waited for Mar to appear, but he did not come. Then she went back home very sad. Each time she remembered Mar, she would rush out in the golden chariot to the meeting place in hopes of seeing him again.

The fishermen out in the sea believe that each time Luna, the moon, appears, the sea gets troubled. “It is Mar trying to escape from his cave,”  they say.

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