Tagalog Myths: Why the Sun Shines More Brightly Than the Moon

Philippine Folk Tales

Why the Sun Shines More Brightly Than the Moon

Long, long ago there lived a fairy with two very beautiful daughters. Araw, the older daughter, was very amiable and had a kind disposition; Buwan, unlike her sister, was dishonest, cruel, and harsh.  She was always finding fault with Araw.  One night, when the fairy came home from her nocturnal rambles and saw Buwan badly maltreating her elder sister, she asked God for help against her unruly daughter.

Before this time, God had prepared very valuable gifts for the two sisters.   These gifts were two enormous diamonds that could light the whole universe. When God heard the prayer of the fairy, he descended to Earth disguised as a beggar. Upon learning for himself how bad-tempered Buwan was and how sweet and kind-hearted Araw was, God gave the older sister her diamond as a reward. Buwan was greatly angered by this favoritism on the part of the Almighty, so she went to the heavenly kingdom and stole one of God’s diamonds. Then she returned to earth with the precious stone, but there she found that were jewel was not as brilliant as Araw’s.

When God went back to heaven and learned what Buwan had done, he sent two angels to punish her.  But the angels abused their commission; they seized both sisters and hurled them into the sea. They they threw the two stones upward into the sky and there they stuck. But Araw’s diamond was bigger and brighter than the one Buwan stole.  Thereafter, the bigger jewel was called Araw (“day” or “sun”) and the smaller one, Buwan (“moon”).

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