Iloko Myths: Gods and Goddesses

Philippine Folk Tales

The Gods and the Goddesses

Cabalangegan was a formerly a jungle at the edge of the river Abra. On the far side of the river were mountains, high and steep. On these mountains lived an old man named Abra, the father of Caburayan. The old man controlled the weather. It is said that the river Abra was covered by a gathering of water vapor at night, and during the days, it was always bright with sunlight.

At that time Anianihan, god of Harvests, was in love with Caburayan, goddess of healing. Her mother, Lady Makiling, knew about their mutual attraction, but Abra did not know it because the three were afraid to tell him since he might punished them as he disapproved of Anianihan. Abra wanted his daughter to marry either Saguday, god of the wind, or Revenador, god of thunder and lightning. This being so, Anianihan took Caburayan from her home. Abra wept a great deal. He sent Lady Makiling away after beating her.

When Abra was alone, he wept day and night till Bulan, god of peace and calm, came. Though Bulan was there to brighten Abra’s spirits, Abra did not stop weeping. He could not express his anger. He begged the other gods to bring back his daughter.

One day the sun, eye of Amman, shone so brightly that the water of the river Abra was excessively heated. Smoke rose from the the river. Soon, thick, black clouds began to darken the sky. Then Saguday sent the strongest wind until the crowns of the trees brushed the ground. The god Revenador sent down the largest strings of fire. The heaviest rains fell.  All these frightful events lasted seven days. The river Abra then rose and covered the trees. There rose a vast body of water until only the highest part of the mountain could be seen. It looked like a back of a turtle from a distance.  This was the spot where Abra lived.

On the seventh day, Abra heard a cry. He also heard a most sorrowful song.  Abra dried his tears and looked around, but he saw no one. He was determined to find Maria Makiling, his grandchild. He did not find her, for the cries of the baby stopped.

The search for the baby lasted three full moons but to no avail, and the poor old man returned to his home very sad. He lost all hope; his wits were gone. At that time Maria Makiling was under the care of the fierce dog Lobo, who was under a god of the Underworld. He had been punished by the other gods, and that is why he looked like a fierce dog. He was sent down to do charity.

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